30 Years of Air Max

Shoe Laundry
March 24, 2021
6 minutes

Is Air Max Day an international holiday yet? On March 26, 2021, Nike is celebrating the iconic silhouette with a day - turned an entire week - of new releases and digital events. 

From the return of old favourites to brand new editions, Nike’s release line-up will be the center of the sneakerhead universe until mid-April. To gear up, we’re breaking down the drops that everyone is waiting for, plus a few SL team picks that we couldn’t help but include. 

30 Years of Air Max

As always, we like to start things off with a bit of history. In 1978, a NASA engineer named Frank Rudy came to Nike with a once-in-a-lifetime idea: putting air in shoes. Nike loved it. They started cushioning their soles with air, long before premiering the iconic Air unit. 

A decade later, Tinker Hatfield arrived on the scene. Also known as the Father of the Air Max, Tinker’s original Air Max design was inspired by Parisian architecture. In 1987, the world was introduced to the very first Air window. 

Tinker's Air Max
"Tinker’s Air Max". Image Via Nike.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Nike continued to release new versions of the Air Max for walking and running. Tinker continuously improved on his original design, debuting Air windows that were bigger, bolder, and more unique. No matter how much of the air sole was visible, these kicks were built for speed. 

Air MAx 97
Image Via Nike.

Today, Air Max is in a league of its own. Every new release plays with the possibilities of the air sole and the silhouette that sits on top of it. For Air Max Day 2021, Nike is showing what more than three decades of innovation can accomplish. 

Our Top Picks From the Air Max Day 2021 Release Line-Up 

DQM x Nike Air Max 90 “Bacon” 

Air Max "Bacon"
Air Max "Bacon". Image Via Nike.

We had to start with the Bacon. Debuted in 2004, this Dave’s Quality Meat collab was a fan favourite as soon as it dropped. Almost 20 years later, Nike is bringing back the bacon (if you’re lucky enough to cop a pair). 

Swarovski x Nike Air Max 97 “Polar Blue” 

Air Max "Polar Blue"
Air Max "Polar Blue". Image Via Nike.

Reviving this luxe classic from 2017, Nike and Swarovski are celebrating Air Max Day with an OG “Polar Blue” colourway (and the same sleek, silver exterior).  

Air Max Up “City Special” Pack 

Air Max "City Special"
Air Max "City Special". Image Via Nike

Dressing up silhouettes like the Air Max Up and the Vapormax Plus, Nike’s “City Special” pack features nods to NYC, LA, Chicago, and Atlanta. Shown above: Nike’s ode to the Statue of Liberty. 

Air Max Pre-Day 

Air Max "Pre-Day"
Air Max "Pre-Day". Image Via Nike.

Inspired by the 70s-era swoosh, this OG drop is a big step for Nike’s Move To Zero initiative. The sleek and sustainable silhouette is constructed with 100% recycled vamps, laces, back tabs, tongue overlays, and tips. 

CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss Of Death”

Air Max "Kiss of Death"
Air Max "Kiss of Death". Image Via Nike

Re-releasing the CLOT collab that started it all, Nike celebrates 15 years of partnership with the iconic Hong Kong brand through a 2021 recreation of “Kiss Of Death”. And we’ll all be watching to see if the previously teased “Cha” colourway gets dropped alongside it. 

Celebrate with free shipping

Which drop are you aiming to add to your collection? Whatever you cop, make sure to keep ‘em clean. We’re celebrating Air Max Day 2021 with FREE shipping on our sustainable all-in-one cleaning kit from now until April 31.

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Image via Nike.
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