Kiss My Airs

So what’s in a name?  Especially when that name has dominated the athletics shoe market for decades: The Nike Air Max was revolutionary for its time in 1987. This was the first shoe that had a visible sole. The shoe was originally designed by Tinker Hatfield who got his inspiration for the shoe from a building in Paris, France called the Georges Pompidou. A building that had a glassed outer layer in which you can see straight into the building. This inspired Tinker Hatfield to create a shoe with a visible sole.  In celebration to one of the most revolutionary shoe designs ever produced for a global clientele,  here are 10 things that you probably didn’t know about the Nike Air Max:

The Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, France is what inspired Tinker Hatfield to create the Air Max 1. Photo:Flickr

1) There have been 69 different designs of the Air Max released from 1987.

Some of the most notable Air Maxes that have been released are the Air Max 1,90,95 and 97.  

These are the most notable Air Max designs over the past 30 years. Photo:Nike

2) The first company to team up with Nike to do a design was Atmos.

Atmos is a Japanese boutique store located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. This move was made by Nike in order to try to increase sales in the Asian market. The creators of the shoe combined elements of the Nike Air Safari with the outline of the infamous Air Max 1. This colourway is now considered one the greatest designs of the Airmax.  Atmos also teamed up with Nike again in 2007 and created another Air Max 1. The shoe took inspiration from elephant skin and wanted to create something new and visibly outlandish. This shoe was re-released in 2017.

The on the top is the first Atmos design and the one below is the most recent Atmos Air Max design. Photo:Nike

3) The Nike Air Max is the only shoe to have a full book devoted to it.

The Nike Air Max book consists of the many designs of the shoe and the architecture of the shoe itself. The book came out in 2011 and was authored by Matt Stevens.

AirMax Book.jpg
The Nike Air Max book. Photo:Nike

4) The Nike Air Technology was created by Marion Frank Rudy, a former engineer from NASA.

The Nike Air technology cushioning gives and absorbs impact and really protects your joints and technology.  A noteworthy benefit is that the Nike Air is extremely lightweight and very durable.  In case you were wondering, the “air” inside of the shoe is hydrogen. 

Photo of Marion Frank Rudy.

5) Nike Air Max day is on March 26.

Every year on March 26 people gather together to celebrate the anniversary of the Air Max. On this day there usually is a new shoe that comes out. This year Nike released the Vapormax, re-released the Nike Air Max 1 Atmos, and redesigned the OG Nike Air Max 1.


6) The designer of the shoe Tinker Hatfield was discouraged from moving forward with his revolutionary concept.

The design for the shoe was hugely controversial and many people thought it didn’t suit Nike.  Hatfield was even sent hate mail in order to discourage him from developing such a concept in footware.

Photo of Tinker Hatfield with the original Air Max 1. Photo:Nike




7) The Albert Heijn Air Max shoe goes for around $3,000 USD.

The Albert Heijn is probably the most legendary Air Max design that was released in 2005. This is the most expensive and rare Air Max shoe. The designer Piet Parra got his inspiration from the largest Dutch supermarket chain (Albert Heijn). This model was only available to family and friends of Piet Parra and currently are only 24 pairs in existence.

The infamous Albert Heijn Air Max 1 design. Photo:Nike

8) The Air Max 95 was inspired by the Human Anatomy

Sergio Lanzo took inspiration from the human anatomy in best cushioning the impact points. It’s also the first Air Max with two Air compartments. The shoe had some backlash as it did not boast a clearly visible Nike logo on it.

The design of the Air Max 95. Photo:Nike

9) Celebrities love the Air Max

Anyone from Lebron James (wearing the Air Max 97) to the Chicken Connoisseur can be spotted in these iconic shoes.


10) Sean Wotherspoon

The winner of the annual Air Max design Sean Wotherspoon designed an Air Max that has a 97 top and an Air Max 1. With a unique top colourway using corduroy material. Wotherspoon wanted to create something that looked vintage. The shoe will be released on Air Max day, 2018.   

On the left is Sean Wotherspoon and on the left is his design of the Air Max that will be out on March 26, 2018. Photo:Nike


Author: Alan McDermott

Alan McDermott is a senior year this and it is his sixth year in Singapore. This is his very first year on The Eye. Some of his favorite activities are training in MMA, and hanging out with his friends. Alan is half Irish and half Japanese, and prior to living in Singapore he lived in Japan. Alan can be contacted at

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