The air max range for me is hands down the most relevant piece of footwear for my generation. Growing up in 90s London they were all you needed for any sort of street cred.
Even though the Air Max 1’s were original they were not my favourite. The lines were just too horizontal for my liking and it always felt like there’s something missing - For me there was simply no flow.
The air max 90 on the other hand nailed it. the missing piece of the puzzle was the exagerated air bubble. The contoured lines rising in an almost 45 degree angle - you could almost imagine flames coming off the back of your soles. the back ‘license’ plate ‘nike air’ was also a winning addition not to mention the introduction of the infrared colourway - an orange/red hue thats now part of Nike history.
The Air Max 90s were also unique in the sense that they caught on globally at the same time - NY, London and Tokyo.
I often find myself in debates about which ones better - Jordans or Air Max’s. while the Jordans are undeniable icon the answer is always an easy one - Air Max.
Jordans were too much about basketball shoe - The air max’s stood out for one thing and one thing only - design. They never needed the crutch of celebrity and were able to shine purely on aesthetics.
Air Max’s and the 90’s in particular transcended this culture or that culture - They were adopted by all.
If i were to rank the Air Max range by design preference it would look something like this: