Happy Air Max Day 2022: A History of the Models


Today is a very special day for sneakerheads. Doubly so if you're an Air Max Head. March 26th is Air Max Day,the day in which Nike debuted one of the most iconic sneakers of all time— the Air Max 1. For the Air Max’s 35 year anniversary, we thought we’d take you through a little of a history lesson talking about some standout different models that have released since the 1987 OG. 

1987: Nike Air Max 1 — the OG. 

The design of this OG sneaker was influenced by Tinker Hatfield's background in architecture. After visiting the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Hatfield would go on to design the shoe originally known simply as the Air Max, which was the first time we saw the "Air" bubble. This model is being used to celebrate Air Max Day 2022, with the “Blueprint” being the North-American exclusive available for raffle at OTH.

1990: Nike Air Max 90

Similarly to the first model, the Air Max 90 was known as the Air Max III up until 2000. Since its release, the 90 has been one of the most popular Nike sneakers, making alterations from its predecessors. Hatfield would this time make several material changes to the shoe, but most popularly, he would increase the size of the Air bubble, which was a success. The Air Max 90 was used to celebrate last year's Air Max Day with the “Bacon” colorway which was also available at OTH.

1995: Nike Air Max 95

Skipping several models in between, sneaker designer Sergio Lozano would design the Air Max 95 based on the idea of human anatomy. The unique story behind these sneakers played into their design visibly and technologically, with the 95s being the first pair of Air Maxes to use two air cushions in the forefoot and their Air technology the wearer's forefoot.

1997: Nike Air Max 97

With yet another designer creating yet another iconic model, Christian Tresser created the Air Max 97 based on a design people would be surprised to hear. Commonly believed to be inspired by Japanese bullet trains, the real inspiration was metal finishes on bikes. The AM97 would feature several highly sought after colorways such as the Silver Bullets and Metallic Golds, and even received a huge collab. In 2018, Sean Wotherspoon created the Air Max 1/97, where he combined both models to create one of the sneakers of the year.

1998: Nike Air Max Plus

While 1998 saw the AM98 release, it was the Air Max Plus that was in the spotlight. Designer Sean McDowell was feeling inspired by the palm trees and whales from when he was in Florida. While the show didn’t perform as well as some previous models, the Air Max Plus TN found success in many parts of Europe among the youth.

2017: Nike Air VaporMax

Moving away from the OGs of the AM series, we get one of the most technologically advanced Air Maxes available. When people saw the Air bubble on the AM1, they were impressed. Three years later when they amped that bubble up with the AM90, they went wild. So in 2017, Nike skipped a few steps by getting rid of the entire foam and rubber bottoms from previous Air Max models, and replaced the outside with giant Air bubbles. The unique design of the VaporMax would bring about several high profile collabs such as Off-White, Cactus Plant Flea Market, and Acronym.

2020: Nike Air Max 2090

While not the most popular of the ridiculously long list of models, the Air Max 2090 is however a recent model that was made to celebrate just like we are today. In 2020, Nike released the 2090 in honour of 30 years of AM90s, with the model keeping several elements of the classic sneaker. As the AM90 was partly designed based on sports cars, the colorways of the 2020 model were based on the future of transportation.