What’s your Air Max story? Well here’s one. Actually two. Maybe four.
34 years ago, the Air Max 1 went down in history as a pivotal design, elevating Nike’s brand identity to a powerhouse. Yep, we going back in time; strap in.
In 1985, Tinker Hatfield (if you dunno who this is, reconsider your sneakerhead status), hired as a corporate architect, began designing footwear upon request. While working on a ‘side project’, he took, NASA engineer, Frank Rudy’s Air technology and literally exposed it for the world to see. Air Max was born, history was made. TLDR; rebellion is at the core of Air Max.
For years, Air Max has influenced pop culture around the world, all the while cementing its OG status by impacting the fashion styles and choices of generations to come. Speaking of, here’s an OG and a GenZ talkin’ bout their Max stories.
It’s all about comfort and the cool factor for sneaker collector Akhil Purohit. He schools us about sneaker history, lists his most favourite designs and how the big Air Max 90 made an even bigger impact at the time.
“The shoe was a little bit bulkier than Air Max 1 and obviously during that culture – baggy trousers and everything – that shoe just fit in right,” he says. “It’s funny because, you know, before people would wear a shoe to stand out, now people get a shoe to fit in.”
His advice to the young sneakerheads: “Think about it and then buy a pair. Don’t have the sheep mentality. And just enjoy, it’s a beautiful hobby.” Preach Akhil, preach!
On the flip-side, part-time student and full-time sneakerhead, Aradhna is all about versatility. Avid sneaker fan through and through, she is well-versed with sneaker lore and lets us in on her all-time favs, “The Bacon, the Infrared and the Virgil Abloh collab”. Akhil approves and so do we. It’s always interesting to hear from the youngins’ on what they think of a decades-old culture.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
As a special, (cuz why not) we give you Air Max stories from behind-the-scenes. Glaiza and Sid are the OG and youngin resident sneakerheads here at Dropkick HQ, who supply the goss for eavesdrops. We pass the mic to hear their take on the impact of Air Max.
Glaiza: “As a 90s kid, I remember wanting the Air Max big kids were wearing. So when I finally had the purchasing power, I got my very first pair of Air Max 90 – in kiddie size, lol. Don’t judge, even my feet can’t move on from that era. Exposed Air, ribbed midsole, a sort of elevated heel; it’s a really dope shoe. Nike Air Max 90 took a life of its own, people make it their own, and that’s what makes these sneakers an icon until today.”
Sid: “I respect the culture immensely. Air Max, especially the 90s have defined streetwear. Nothing’s got *beep* on the OG. But, for me, the 2090 slaps hard. First time I laid eyes on it, I knew it was the one. I mean think about it, it reps the future while being rooted in culture. I can relate to that.”
Different takes, different opinions. There is beauty in diversity. But it all stems from one place: love for the culture. What’s your Air Max story? Tag us in your kotd @dropkickhq.