Air Max Day: The Story Of Nike's Global Phenomenon
''We don't treat shoes as apparel items only, but as part of the fabric of our time.” - Tinker Hatfield
Air Max Day is a global celebration for one of Nike's most iconic designs in sneaker history with exclusive releases, events, and more for the community to both relish in the nostalgia and look to the future of Air.
Nike's unofficial holiday only came into fruition when they announced the anniversary re-release of the original 1987 Air Max One in 2014, but its rich cultural value extends farther back than just the sneaker.
This is not only a story about the significance of the sneaker and celebration, but the origins of Air itself and why it will continue to pave the future for Nike's future endeavors.
It all started when the Air Max One was born on March 26, 1987 by none other than "The Godfather of Sneaker Design," Tinker Hatfield.
The most notable feature of Hatfield's creation was its visible air bag located in the outsole inspired by the inside-out aesthetic of an art gallery in Paris, the Pompidou Centre.
The sleek design and silhouette of the Air Max One closely reflects the era in which it was birthed. In the words of Hatfield himself, "the mid-’80s was a period of transition from a more formalized hierarchy to a looser, street-based, more inspirational form."
Not only did the aesthetic bring something fresh to the table, but on a more practical note, the use of these tiny air bags provided a softer cushion upon impact for runners.
The creative solution of Air was actually first introduced by a former aerospace engineer named Marion Franklin Rudy.
He pitched his innovative idea to 23 companies and was rejected by all of them. Until 1977, when Nike's Co-Founder, Phil Knight, conducted a test run with the prototype sneakers around Nike's Beaverton campus.
This moment in time is the perfect example of science and art coming together to create a shift in design, practicality, and culture.
Since then, Air has been a core component for Nike's most successful franchises from the Air Max 97, Air Vapormax, Air Max 270, and many more iconic models.
Dubbed "Bring The Future To Light," this year's celebration will look different than in past years by.. you guessed it - going to the virtual arena via Air Max Worldwide.
The virtual event will consist of collection tours, creative workshops, as well as panel discussions. You can sign up here.
Along with the festivities, we are anticipating the return of the DQM x Nike Air Max 90 "Bacon" on the SNKRS app after a 17 year hiatus. Meat reimagined as a sneaker from the mind of Dave Ortiz of New York’s “Dave’s Quality Meat” reminds us that sneaker culture and design is supposed to be about fun. Head to the SNKRS app to turn on notifications so you don’t miss the drop tomorrow morning.
Good Luck and Happy Air Max Day!