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Nike Air Max 1

335 articles

The shoe that launched the extraordinary Air Max range.

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Nike Air Max 1 '87 HF5387-001
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '87
  • "Metallic Platinum & Pink Rise"
  • $220
Nike Air Max 1 '87 HF0026-001
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '87
  • "Pure Platinum & Light Smoke Grey"
  • $220
Nike Air Max 1 '87 FZ3621-220
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '87
  • "Velvet Brown"
  • $220
Nike Air Max 1 '86 OG FZ2149-100
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '86 OG
  • "Museum Masterpiece"
  • $220
Nike Air Max 1 FN6952-100
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Green Chili"
  • $206
Nike Air Max 1 SC FB9660-001
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 SC
  • "Noise Aqua"
  • $121
Nike Air Max 1 HF7814-100
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Summit White & Hyper Royal"
  • $136,99
Nike Air Max 1 '87 FZ4346-200
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '87
  • "Valentine's Day"
  • $240
Nike Air Max 1 '87 FZ3598-299
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '87
  • "Flax & Coconut Milk"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 FZ3559-100
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "White & Pink Foam"
  • $140
Nike Air Max 1 FV6910-001
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Bred"
  • $230
Nike Air Max 1 '87 FV6605-200
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '87
  • "Leopard"
  • $230
Nike Air Max 1 '87 Denim FQ8900-440
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '87 Denim
  • "Aura"
  • $121
Nike Air Max 1 '87 SE FQ8150-133
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '87 SE
  • "Hangul Day"
  • $121
Nike Air Max 1 '86 OG G NRG FN8075-101
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '86 OG G NRG
  • "Solheim Cup"
  • $168,99
Nike Air Max 1 '86 OG G FN0697-100
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '86 OG G
  • "White Gum"
  • $230
Nike Air Max 1 Premium FJ0698-100
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 Premium
  • "Escape"
  • $127
Nike Air Max 1 FD9082-107
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "White & Black"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 FD9082-106
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Dark Team Red"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 FD9082-104
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "White & University Gold"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 FD9082-102
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Medium Olive"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 FD9082-100
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Deep Royal Blue"
  • $160,99
Nike Air Max 1 FD9082-002
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Platinum Tint & Dark Obsidian"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 FD9082-001
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Thunder Blue & Lilac Bloom"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 SC FB9660-002
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 SC
  • "Light Bone & Violet Dust"
  • $220
Nike Air Max 1 Premium FB8915-600
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 Premium
  • "Coral Stardust Corduroy"
  • $127
Nike Air Max 1 Corduroy FB8915-400
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 Corduroy
  • "Baltic Blue"
  • $127
Nike Air Max 1 SC DZ4549-110
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 SC
  • "Bronze"
  • $121
Nike Air Max 1 SC DZ4549-001
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 SC
  • "Clear Jade"
  • $121
Nike Air Max 1 EasyOn DZ3308-104
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 EasyOn
  • "Royal Blue"
  • $120
Nike Air Max 1 EasyOn DZ3308-103
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 EasyOn
  • "Bronzine"
  • $120
Nike Air Max 1 EasyOn DZ3308-004
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 EasyOn
  • "Black Denim"
  • $120
Nike Air Max 1 DZ3307-109
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Viotech"
  • $140
Nike Air Max 1 DZ3307-103
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Bronzine"
  • $140
Nike Air Max 1 DZ2628-106
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Platinum Violet"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 DZ2628-105
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Football Grey"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 DZ2628-104
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Smokey Mauve"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 DZ2628-103
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Red Stardust"
  • $124
Nike Air Max 1 DZ2628-100
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Volt"
  • $113
Nike Air Max 1 DZ2628-003
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Malachite"
  • $200
Nike Air Max 1 DZ2628-002
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Safety Orange"
  • $113
Nike Air Max 1 DZ2628-001
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Fuchsia Dream"
  • $113
Nike Air Max 1 '86 Premium DV7525-001
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '86 Premium
  • "Lost Sketch"
  • $141
Nike Air Max 1 '86 OG G DV1403-115
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '86 OG G
  • "Royal Blue"
  • $230
Nike Air Max 1 '86 OG G DV1403-110
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '86 OG G
  • "Panda"
  • $161,99
Nike Air Max 1 '86 OG G DV1403-010
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '86 OG G
  • "Black & White"
  • $161,99
Nike Air Max 1 '86 OG G DV1403-003
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1 '86 OG G
  • "Black & White "
  • $230
Nike Air Max 1 HJ3966-110
  • Nike
  • Air Max 1
  • "Grand Piano"
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Air Max 1

In the late 70s, a technological shift occurred in the sneaker world. Frank Rudy, who had previously worked as an engineer at NASA, walked into Nike’s Oregon Headquarters holding a prototype shoe he had made himself. It contained a new kind of midsole that harnessed the cushioning power of gas-filled pockets to create the sensation of walking on air. 10 years later, this groundbreaking technology had only ever been hidden inside Nike’s shoes, but the time had come for it to become visible to the world for the very first time in the Nike Air Max 1.

By the mid-80s, Air technology had been used in a number of Nike designs. However, the brand felt that Air was ready for an update. To create something genuinely new and exciting, Nike made the daring move of enlisting their architect – a man named Tinker Hatfield – to work on the project. Though new to the world of shoe design, Tinker’s architectural background gave him a unique perspective that would go on to define the Air Max 1.

Looking to find some inspiration, he travelled to Paris, where he came across a building that displayed its interior hardware externally: the Centre Georges Pompidou. At first, Hatfield was fascinated by its unusual design, and later his curiosity led him to begin making sketches of shoes with this unconventional building in mind. These became the first prototypes for the Nike Air Max. Like the famous Parisian building Hatfield had encountered on his travels, these early models had their internal technology revealed. Nike Air, which had been concealed for so long inside the shoe, now became visible through a plastic window that was incorporated into the midsole. Nothing like it had been seen in the sneaker world before.

As no other Nike product had featured a visible Air unit, the first prototype was quite unconventional, receiving less than positive feedback when it was presented to the brand’s executives. Its aesthetic was so visually unfamiliar that there were allegedly people inside the company calling for Hatfield to be sacked. They had hoped the Air technology would be made smaller and more compact, so were unhappy with the idea of it being larger and more conspicuous. Some were even concerned about the integrity of the window, a point that had some merit. Hatfield and his team had to work hard to ensure it would not break under the weight of the wearer. One of their early attempts, known as the “Big Bubble”, had a larger window than the eventual Air Max 1. It was thought that this would accommodate the bulkier airbag the team had produced, but its size caused the window to split, so it was reduced for the final design.

Despite the opposition, Tinker had the backing of the Director of Cushioning Innovation, David Forland, who had been involved in the production of a structurally sound Air Max unit. With Forland’s support, the team were able to continue their work, and Nike launched the Air Max 1 on March 26th, 1987.

This first iteration was simply called Air Max at the time, only coming to be known as the Nike Air Max 1 as subsequent versions were released. It initially came out in two colourways that were influenced by the colourful pipes on the side of the Centre Georges Pompidou. These draw the eye even at a distance, an effect Hatfield wanted to emulate on his shoe, so he made one vibrant red and the other royal blue.

On its release, the Air Max 1 provided something completely unique, and it became a resounding success. The visible Air in its midsole wasn’t just an aesthetic enhancement, it was a functional one as well. The window openings provided space for the airbag to expand into, allowing it to be bigger and wider so that the wearer could experience better cushioning without losing stability. Alongside this, the AM1 had an upper that combined mesh and suede, which helped bring down the weight while also keeping it durable. There was a Nike Air Max logo on the heel, and Tinker’s chosen colours stood out on the contoured mudguard as well as the brand’s unforgettable swoosh. It was this mix of stylish and practical features that took the Nike Air Max 1 beyond the running community it was made for to become a prominent trainer. Eventually, this popularity led to a series of collaborations with retailers, artists and other brands. The first came in 2002, 15 years after the Air Max 1 came out, but it was worth the wait as the Air Max 1 x atmos “Safari” was remarkably well received on its release and is still a much sought after shoe to this day.

Today, the Nike Air Max 1 is a culturally resonant sneaker. Its groundbreaking use of visible Air has inspired countless other Air Max designs, and it is without question a trailblazer. The shoe has been so pivotal to Nike’s tremendous success that it initiated a line which is now honoured on 26th March every year, when sneaker enthusiasts from around the world celebrate Air Max Day with the brand. The history of the Air Max 1 marks it out as a cultural icon, while its continued popularity proves that it is still a hugely influential shoe, and one which is likely to remain that way for many years to come.

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