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An Animated Cultural History of Air MaxWhat was “in the Air” when these Air Max icons were created?
See what you can spot.
THE EVOLUTION OF VISIBLE AIR
1987: Air Max 1Inspired by the open architecture of Paris’s Centre Pompidou,
Nike Designer Tinker Hatfield cut a small window into the
Air Max 1’s midsole, making Nike Air visible for the first time.
1990: Air Max 90With its stand-out side panel, the AM90 was a revolution
of its own. Its original “Infrared” colorway still creates a
sensation with every reissue.
1991: Air Max 180Its Max Air unit wasn’t just bigger—it also wrapped all
the way under the shoe. A clean, sleek design helped
draw the eye straight to that 180°Air cushioning.
1995: Air Max 95Our designers took inspiration from the earth’s layers for
the 95’s sculptured look. This Air Max shoe was also the
first to add a second visible NikeAir unit at the front foot.
1997: Air Max 97The first Air Max shoe with full-length Nike Air cushioning, the
97 looks incredibly futuristic. But our designers actually took
their inspiration from the natural beauty of ripples in water.
1998: Air Max PlusSplitting the Nike Air unit into different sections allowed us to fine-tune
each one—a technology we called Tuned Air. The debut colorway took
its look from tropical skies and swaying palms.
2006: Air Max 360With the Air Max 360 shoe, we achieved our first no-foam design—
it’s Max Air cushioning, and nothing but. This breakthrough would
kick off a new era of Air Max technology.
2015: Nike Air VaporMaxWith only a thin film separating your foot from the cushion,
this shoe is the closest you can get to walking on air. Nike
Air VaporMax is fast, flexible and impossible to miss.
2018: Air Max 270That mighty heel unit—visible for a full 270°—makes it one of
the boldest statements in the history of Air Max. A lightweight
formfitting upper makes it one of the most comfortable.
2019: Air Max 720The newest member of the Air Max family delivers pure energy,
with a show-stopping look and a powerful bounce. It also
features our tallest-ever Nike Air cushion... for now.