The birth of a legend AirMax 1


Nike introduced its Air Cushioning Technology in 1979. By embedding Air Cushioning in the midsoles of its running shoes, it changed the way athletes approached and reacted to athletic performance forever. Eight years later, as Nike continued to bring the latest scientific discoveries to footwear design, the Nike Air component became larger – meaning greater cushioning and comfort – and was made visible for the first time in the Air Max shoe: now athletes could see as well as feel the benefits of Nike Air. Many Nike Air products were developed since then and many of them grew to become icons on and off the track.
While the shoe was originally designed by Tinker Hatfield, who started out working for Nike as an architect designing shops before falling in love with shoe design the actual Nike air technology was created and patented by employee M. Frank Rudy.

Released in 1987 as the Air Max, the Air Max 1 is the first shoe to have Nike’s air cushioning unit on full display. The sneaker’s upper was made of nylon and synthetic felt. Leather version was later released in 1988. A 1992 reissue had taken the midsole and outsole from the Air Max III (now called the Air Max 90) and featured a leather upper. Nylon was brought back in a 1995 reissue.

The most iconic colorway of the Air Max 1 is, of course, the original white, red and grey version designed by Tinker Hatfield and released in 1987. As if the brand new visible Air window wasn’t enough, Tinker made the shoe stand out even further with a bright red colorway. The use of bright color wasn’t that common for running shoes at the time, and Tinker actually had to fight to get his fiery red colorway produced. Thank another one of Tinker’s rebellions against the marketing department for one of the most iconic and recognizable colourways in Nike’s history.

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