Even if you didn’t grow up on Nike‘s Air Max technology, even if you never understood the hype or the history or the hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe who cherished it, at least you had to get that the shoes looked really good. Doing it for the ‘gram is all the rage in 2015 but even before we were all sharing our kicks on social media apps, cats everywhere from Jacksonville to New York City to London were flexing with classics like the Air Max 95, the Air Max 1, and the Air Max 180. Now on Air Max Day, everyone is following along.
March 26 isn’t just some random day that Nike picked out, either. It’s the anniversary of the date in 1987 when designer Tinker Hatfield and CEO Mark Parker first showcased a concept started a few years prior by Nike’s David Forland called Visible Air. That was the date that changed the company’s entire fortune. Really, it changed the world of sneakers forever. At the time, Nike was struggling through a depressing decade and Reebok was gaining on them quickly. But by taking a cushioning technology that had worked well for them on running shoes and literally showcasing it on the sneakers, they created a new ballgame.
That was nearly 30 years ago and today, silhouettes like the Air Max 1, Air Max 95, and Air Max 90 are all unquestionable classics. The technology went from runners to trainers to even basketball shoes, and was always innovative and changing, from Visible Air in the forefoot to Tuned Air to even shoes with no foam.
“I remember the first blow-molded Air-Sole unit,” Forland says. “We worked so hard on that and had no idea if people would embrace it. I was at an airport right around the time the first Air Max sneaker launched. I was calling a tech in the lab when someone walked by wearing a pair. I stared at him from the phone booth and said, ‘Somebody bought them. I see the Air-Sole going up and down.’ It was a big risk, but bigger reward. For the Air Max family, it’s only up from here.”
So put the Js away today. Keep the new Tubulars on ice for another 24 hours. If you aren’t rocking some Air today, you might as well go home and lock yourself inside. You better realize that Flexing Is a Must on Nike Air Max Day.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney
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