One of the greatest sneaker lines of all time, and certainly one of the most revolutionary, Nike Air dates back to 1978 when the technology first hit shelves via the Nike Air Tailwind. But what exactly is Nike Air, you ask? Well, the Swoosh explains that Nike Air "uses pressurized air in a durable, flexible membrane to provide lightweight cushioning. The air compresses on impact and then immediately returns to its original shape and volume, ready for the next impact."
Since 1979, this technology has been used in a wide range of Nike sneaker silhouettes, many of which are counted among the brand's most popular to this day. In 1987, Nike debuted the Tinker Hatfield-designed Air Max 1, the first shoe to feature the first visible Air Unit and window to the sole of the shoe — now an inseparable part of the Air Max line. As if you needed proof of its popularity, Air Max even has its very own day.
In celebration of Air Max and Nike's enduring innovation, we've picked out some of our favorite Air Max models that are currently available to shop online. From new, self-lacing iterations of the Air Max to the classics in the Nike Air Max 97, explore and invest in the technology below.
Shop some of our favorite Nike Air Max silhouettes available online.
Nike Air Max 90
The Nike Air Max 90 is one of the defining silhouettes of the Air Max range, and this iteration, which uses 20 percent recycled materials by weight, shows its ability to move with the times. The clean white colorway features a speckled outsole and recycled felt hits to the upper which bring unique texture.
Nike Air VaporMax 2020 Flyknit
One of the more recent members of the Air Max family, the Nike Air VaporMax 2020 Flyknit employs a 360-degree transparent Air sole unit and, updated for 2020, now features a cog-tightening lacing system to the Flyknit upper.
Nike Air Max 95 Essential
Released in 1995, and often referred to as the Nike Air Max 110, the Nike Air Max 95 only needs a simple muted color palette to make its mark. A layered upper sits atop a chunky sole unit in classic Air Max style.
Nike Air Max 2090
Carrying aspects of the Air Max 90, the Air Max 2090 brings the past to the future with a streamlined, transparent upper. In all-white, this new-age classic is a clean look at the future of the Air Max saga.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus
Another collision of past and future, the Nike Air VaporMax Plus combines features of the Nike Plus silhouette as well as the VaporMax sole unit. A caged lacing system covers the neoprene upper which offers premium comfort and support.
Nike Air Max Plus
We couldn't include the VaporMax Plus without a nod to its iconic predecessor. The Nike Air Max Plus is typified by the waving design to the upper which is only emphasized by the clean, triple-white color palette.
Nike Adapt Auto Max
Perhaps the most overtly futuristic aspect of Nike's technical locker (and not only because it featured in Back to the Future) is the Adapt self-lacing system. While this system is rolled out in the world of professional sport, you can try it out yourself on what is sure to be a groundbreaking Air Max silhouette in the Nike Adapt Auto Max.
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