April 3, 2010 BY Aaron Hope
They were fortunate to sign a litany of charismatic athletes including perhaps the greatest of all time, but don’t mistake Nike’s march to global leader for luck. The Swoosh became *the* icon of performance footwear and apparel because their gear was every bit as excellent as their marketing.
Case in point: these tears-of-joy-inducing magazine ads that ran in late 1995/early 1996. The Nike Air Max 95 had hit early that year and the result was clear: consumers loved full-length visible Air cushioning, and they had to have more. Nike was willing to oblige, releasing a series of bubbly sneakers like the Air Trainer Max that were so innovative, one could have concluded that Nike practically invented running (shoes).
While the updated Air Max Light and 400m world-record holder Michael Johnson’s Zoom Super Fly proved that the world ran on Nike Air, pretty much all of college basketball was rocking the soon to be retroed Air Max (Up)Tempo. The Uptempos were groundbreaking for their cushioning, but the Air Zoom Flight (95) stands as one of the most original designs ever. No wonder older sneakerheads claim the ’90s were the ‘Golden Era’. via Bob Getty