March 26, 1987 is a date that will forever be remembered for the release of the Nike’s iconic Air Max 1, and with it a revolution that still resonates today. Thanks to Tinker Hatfield and his ingenious vision to make the invisible visible in the form of a literal window to the sole, Nike’s ground-breaking air cushioning forever changed how the Oregon-based brand designed running sneakers. Since then, twenty-seven years have passed, air has increased, the legend has grown, and the time to celebrate has arrived.
The day that started it all, marks the celebration of the experiment turned icon. And to kick-start the festivities, Nike will be releasing a limited edition Air Max 1 celebrating both the past, and the future, ushering in a new tradition.
For almost 30 years, Nike and “Air” have been synonymous and inseparable. Although March 26thmarked the beginning of the epic known as Air Max, the journey began ten years earlier with an aerospace engineer by the name of Frank Rudy and his ingenious idea. During a visit to Nike’s World Headquarters, Rudy gave a pair of running shoes fitted with a prototype airbag to Phil Knight and the rest was history.
After much trial and error Rudy’s concept was applied to the Air Tailwind in 1978. With this introduction the running industry was revolutionized but the real impact wouldn’t be felt for almost another decade. Air remained a mystery until a light bulb illuminated in the mind of the storied footwear designer, Tinker Hatfield.
“If we actually cut away some of the midsole and expose the airbag so you could see it, then people will understand it.” – Tinker Hatfield
From that initial thought, Mark Parker and Hatfield created prototypes, samples and finally the Air Max 1; a running shoe that would mark the intersection of both innovation and style. Air Max would go on to be redefined and re-imagined on an annual basis creating a sneaker royal family of sorts including the Air Max Light, BW, Air Max 90, 93, 95, 97, 360 and most recently the Air Max Lunar90. A journey that’s nearly three decades long has solidified Air Max as a premier footwear innovation and expression of style.
Over the years, we have had a major love for all things Air Max, starting back in 2005 when we helped artist and footwear collector Dave White launch his exclusive ‘Wet Paint’ pack to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Air Max 95. The pack consisted of a neon themed Air Max 1, Air Max 90, Air Max 95 and, later in 2010 the famed Air Stab.
Not long after our encounter with Dave White, we presented our part of Nike’s ‘Clerks Pack’, a combination of silhouettes paying homage to three cities in which our size? stores resided; Air Stab ‘London’, Classic BW ‘Manchester’ and finally Air Max 90 ‘Brighton’.
However, with our unique spin on some the most popular Air Max icons to date, we decided to resurrect one of our favourites in two of it’s original colourways: the Air Max Light.