A Brief History of Air Max Day

A Brief History of Air Max Day

Nike Air Max Day Drops

It’s March, so we all know what that means. . . No, not St. Paddy’s Day and green beer, Air Max Day 2018!

Over the last couple months, the good folks at Nike have been teasing loads of new Air Max releases in anticipation of Air Max Day 2018, including a wider release of Sean Wotherspoon’s Air Max 1/97, the release of the new Air Max 270, two new OFF-White Vapormax designs, and classic Air Max 97 colorways “Silver Bullet” and “Japan” getting a Vapormax sole update. To say we’re excited would be an understatement.

We will look closer at all of the new releases leading up to the big day, but first, a primer on how Air Max Day became Air Max Day.  

Tinker Hatfield

The Origins of the Air Max

Way back in 1987, Tinker Hatfield unveiled a new shoe inspired by the Pompidou Center in Paris. The Pompidou Center famously features an “inside-out” design, with most of the building’s internal structures wrapping the building’s exterior. So when Tinker conceptualized the Air Max 1, he did so by making the shoe’s “inside” available for all to see, in homage to this iconic French building.

According to Tinker, his training as an architect directly informed his design of the Air Max 1. Tinker said that,“as an architect, you’re educated to solve problems not only technically, but environmentally and aesthetically.”  

For Tinker and his Air Max 1, this meant creating a shoe with not only high-design but high-performance as well. The Air Max 1 balanced a bold colorway, the Nike Air Technology airsole unit, and a revolutionary midsole cut-out revealing “visible air.”

A modern classic was born.   

Air May 97 UNDFD 2017Nike Air Max 1 Patta Parra CherrywoodOff-White Air Max 90

The First Air Max Day

In 2014 Nike declared March 26 as Air Max Day, dedicating “24 hours honoring 27 years” of Air Max greatness. The inaugural Air Max Day was lit: a limited edition Air Max 1 “Air Max Day” was released; a giant shoebox filled with Air Max goodies opened in Shanghai; Undefeated hosted a huge Air Max event in New York; and Air Max aficionados the world over were encouraged to sport their favorite Air Max colorways. Ever since, Air Max Day has become an annual event featuring the release of the some of the boldest sneakers of the year.           

Since it’s release on March 26, 1987 (Air Max Day!) the Air Max 1, subsequent models, and the annual Air Max Day events have proven Tinker’s belief that sneakers are not just sneakers, but “part of the fabric of our time.” This year’s drops and celebration further cement the Air Max as one of the most important lines in sneaker culture.  

Air Max 1 and Paris Pompidou(Left: Tinker’s tailored Air Max 1, Right: Pompidou Center, Paris, France)  

Check back throughout the month for Air Max 2018 updates and more Air Max history.

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