Air Max Month
March is here, and this means just one thing for sneakerheads; Air Max. Nike has been busy digging through its archives for the last year more or so, unearthing gems to help continue the Portland giant’s reign of March. Exploiting its history is often the best way to catch the attention of collectors who are always ego to hop aboard the nostalgia train. With its the worst moment in recent history, Adidas appeared to be closing the sales gap, but Nike has steadily focused on what its throngs of followers have clamored for, the return of familiar silhouettes with their original shapes, classic colorways, and storied partnerships.
In the last year we’ve seen the celebration of two anniversaries, the Air Max 1 (the 30th) and the Air Max 97 (20th). In both cases, Nike started from the beginning, releasing the two iconic models in their introductory colorways, ultimately respecting and maybe improving the shape (above all for the Air Max 1). Everyone who’s purchased one of these well-weathered silhouettes within the last year, knows how successful and how vital the initiative was. But we’re not here for a 2017 overview. So, let’s try to guide you in what’s happening (and what has already happened in these early months of 2018) with the impending Nike Air Max Day/Month celebrations.
One of the main features of Nike 2018 strategy is the fusion of some Air Max models to create some “hybrids”. Surfacing at the end of January, the VaporMax Plus connect a Tn Air Max Plus upper with a VaporMax sole. They are realized in a quite large palette of colors and anticipated the Air Max 97/Plus (Air Max Plus upper with Air Max 97 outsole) and the Air Max Plus/97 (Air Max 97 upper with Plus outsole).
Air Max 180
One of the models chosen by Nike is the Air Max 180, which owes its name to the Air bubbles 180 degrees view. Born in 1991 of Tinker Hatfield (Air Max 1 father) and Bruce Kilgore (Air Force 1), this silhouette was released again this year, in an “ultramarine” color and, above all, in two collaborative versions from Comme des Garçons (black/pink and white/pink). Nike had already joined the Japanese fashion brand for a limited edition of the Vapormax. Released on February, these shoes are still available with select retailers and on the resell market.
Air Max 93
In the same days, Nike released the Air Max 93, created by Tinker Hatfield with a 270 degrees Air unit (inspired by a milk mug) and a neoprene collar. It was made in a “dusty cactus” colorway, white and black upper with pale green details: something interesting for Air Max 1 “Atmos” lovers.
Air VaporMax 97 and VaporMax 2.0
Releasing both on March 9th, the first one is another hybrid in the “Japan” colorway, made of an Air Max 97 upper and a VaporMax sole, combining the two most iconic models with a 360 degrees Air Max unit. The VaporMax 2.0 is an upgrade of the OG VaporMax, with a smallest swoosh on the side panel and a new Flyknit upper.
Air Max 270
The great new entry is the Air Max 270, a brand-new silhouette with the biggest Air Max unit ever, paying homage to the Air Max 180 and 93. The most awaited color is the Dusty Cactus (part of the OG pack, that includes an ultramarine version too), to be released on March 22nd.
Air Max 1 & Air Max 95 “Animal Pack 2.0”
Revamping the “Animal Pack” released in collaboration with Atmos in 2002, these are maybe the most hyped shoes of the month. Made of pony-fur style patchwork from various animals (cheetah, zebra, giraffe, tiger), they differ from the OG pack due to the use of the black base rather than white. Last Friday they were raffled in a one-day quickstrike at Atmos NYC, where a select few special sneakerheads picked up a pre-reserved pair via the SNKRS app. In Europe they will be see a much wider release March 17th and stateside the week after.
Air Max 1/97 SW
Last year, Nike involved twelve creatives (called the “Revolutionairs”) in the “Vote Forward 2017”, to reimagine some Air Max styles. The winner of the contest (voted by sneakerheads) was Sean Wotherspoon, with his hybrid Air Max 97 corduroy upper featuring an Air Max 1 sole unit. Inspired by vintage Nike’s hats from the 80s (Wotherpoon is an avid vintage collector), the shoes will be officially released on March 24th.