Browsing the "Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max Classics" Tag

Classics Revisited: Nike Air Tuned Max (1999)

August 3rd, 2012 by | 7 comments

104189 031 Classics Revisited: Nike Air Tuned Max (1999)


Air Max is the embodiment of Nike’s leading standard of Innovation and Technology, so for the final Classics Revisited segment of the week, we’ll focus on one of Nike’s game-changing breakthroughs of Air Max history – Tuned Air. While Tuned Air first debuted a year prior in the Nike Air Max Plus (also referred to as the Nike Air Max TN), the Air Tuned Max (hope you’re following us) featured the first full-length system of Tuned Air. To quickly summarize what Tuned Air is: this breakthrough in Air technology combined Nike Air with Tuned mechanical elements for high performance impact protection. The Pebax-built Tuned hemispheres provided low pressure cushioning at the heel, providing a natural foot-landing while providing the stability of the Air Max. In other words, it made an already-perfect cushioning system even better, and the Air Tuned Max provided the system on a much larger scale than the Air Max Plus did. Although Tuned Air itself isn’t used anymore, the idea of creating an anatomically true cushioning unit still embodies itself in Nike’s latest concepts in Air engineering, making Tuned Air one of Nike’s greatest achievements in history. Revisit some of the first colorways of the short-lived Air Tuned Max below and stay tuned for more Classics Revisited next week!

Nike Air Tuned Max

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Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max ’98 (1998)

August 2nd, 2012 by | 7 comments

nike air max 1998 Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max 98 (1998)


Believe it or not, 1998 might be one of the best years of Air Max in Nike’s history. Aside from the introduction of Tuned Air with the Nike Air Max Plus, there was a wide variety of can’t-miss models that dropped in ’98; including the Air Max ’98 (tonight’s focus of Classics Revisited), there was another ’97-based model also referred to as the Air Max ’98, the Air Max Tailwind III, the Air Max Triax Plus, a plethora of flagship model re-designs like the Triax, Perseus, and Structure, and who can forget the first official Retro of the Air Max ’95? Looking back, 1998 deserves much more respect than it gets, so let’s take a look at the highest priced and possibly hardest-to-find model of that year.

The Nike Air Max ’98 picked up on the full-length Max Air technology that debuted with the Air Max ’97, using a synthetic leather and mesh upper for weight reduction. The external lace overlay system (the two lace loops at the forefoot) provided optimal fit, while the Max Air cushion we alluded to before utilized the BRS 1000 Nike Regrind outsole. A swift look at original colorways: the most recognized of the bunch is likely the Royal/Red colorway (above) that is commonly referred to as the ‘Gundam’ for its resemblance to the protagonist of the Gundam series. A slew of others followed that year, like the popular ‘Atlantic Blue’ and Navy/Yellow, and again in 2000 in two Cool Grey-based releases and even a sick JD Sports Exclusive. We’ve got a quick overview of the Air Max ’98 releases below – which of the bunch can you call your own?

Nike Air Max ’98

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Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max Deluxe (1999)

August 1st, 2012 by | 11 comments

nike air max deluxe 1999 Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max Deluxe (1999)


Moving forward with this week’s Classic Revisited is one of the many “cult” Air Max hits that have spilled out in the 1990′s – the Nike Air Max Deluxe. Unlike yesterday’s featurette of the Air Max2, which focused on the introduction of the advanced multi-chambered Air unit, the Air Max Deluxe was more of a marvel of design; it utilized the same full-length Air Max unit that was developed for the Air Max 97, but the upper of the Deluxe was one of the most visually stunning of the decade. The construction along was unlike anything Nike had done with its previous Runners; instead of stitched leather panels, the Air Max Deluxe took a ‘seamless’ approach in welding the clothed upper with the TPU exoskeleton, which provided coverage on the toe and the collar of the shoe. The Deluxe also gained its unique personality with the dotted-line scales and the unique graphic on the upper. Many considered the Deluxe as the ‘big brother’ to the Air Max 97 before Tuned Air and Alpha Project designs overtook the Air Max legacy. More of this amazing Air Max Classic below, so take a look and stay tuned for more Air Max Runner throwbacks tomorrow!

Nike Air Max Deluxe

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Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max2 (1994)

July 31st, 2012 by | 8 comments

nike air max2 1994 Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max2 (1994)


One of the first lessons we are taught in elementary school science class is that Air, one of the three states of matter, has no true shape. It can only be contained by a fixed compartment, but what can be altered is the amount of pressure inside a system. Nike had already experimented with expanding Air into a larger unit with the Air 180 and Air Classic BW, but in 1994, Nike honed in on the true behavior of air and introduced the four-chambered Air Max2 (or Air Max Squared) unit, which featured two different pressure systems (25 psi and 5 psi) within one Air unit. Nike truly believed that the different levels of pressure optimized cushioning on the heel; the exterior chambers were blasted to 25 psi, offering a more solid, firm cushion, while two interior units were softened down to 5 psi, allowing for a cushier bounce. The Air Max2 unit was also used in several other Nike models – particularly in Running and Basketball – but for tonight’s Classics Revisited, we’ll focus on the flagship running shoe that featured this next wave of Nike technology, the Nike Air Max2.

At the time, the ‘Squared’ Air Max unit was the prized technological footwear advancement – no other brand could measure up to what Nike was doing with their advancements in cushioning. It was the next logical step in the evolution of a fully-explosed Air unit, which would’ve been a major improvement on what many brands saw as the biggest weakness in running shoes – the midsole foam material itself. So not only did Nike enlarge the Air Unit, it decreased the amount of midsole foam (the single-density polyurethane used by Nike was already very lightweight). Additional structural cues to the Air Max2 was the inner sleeve that was first introduced in the Air Huarache series, which minimized the amount of stress on the foot, and a forefoot embedded Tensile Air unit (later named ‘Zoom’). Alongside the Air Max2 was the Air Max2 Light, which was one ounce lighter than the Air Max2; the Light utilized the same heel cushioning, but the midsole was comprised of Phylon and featured a pronounced wedge (a lack of a footbridge, which some hardcore runners didn’t particularly like). As mentioned before, Air Max2 was a big step up in the evolution towards 360 Air, as it served as a precursor to the larger units seen in the Air Max 95 and Tuned Air of ’98.

Nike Air Max2

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Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max ’96 (1996)

July 30th, 2012 by | 6 comments

nike air max 96 1996 Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max 96 (1996)


Nike Air Max reinvented the Running Sneaker with the unprecedented visible Air bag with the Air Max 1, but what followed was a string of groundbreaking designs penned by the world’s greatest footwear architects in history. Nike has displayed a strong effort in giving these classic models an honorable tribute, most notably with the late-2005 celebration of ‘History of Air’, which focused on the Air Max 1, Air Max 90, Air 180, Air Max 93, Air Max 95, and Air Max 97 – all leading up to the 2006 debut of the first-ever 360-degree Max Air unit in the Air Max 360. We’ve revisited those models plenty of times and even today, Nike Sportswear continues to depend on those heritage models to keep the spirit alive, but how about the other annual models that haven’t seen much sun? This week, Sneaker News will focus on five different Air Max models that are equally as magnificent as the headlining bunch, but not nearly as recognized. We’ll kick things off with the Air Total Max from 1996, or better recognized as the Air Max 96.

A year prior to the Air Max 96, Nike design lead Sergio Lozano shattered the norm with the Air Max 95 and its outrageous design highlighted by the multi-compartment Max Air bag with varying PSi grades. Lozano followed that up with the equally enticing Air Max 96, inheriting the same Max Air bag concept with slightly altered tooling with a redesigned upper that mimicked the flowing waves of the ocean. Four original colorways were released (two for men, two for women, all detailed below) and the shoes were produced in South Korea and in Vietnam. The most recognized colorway is the Black/Dark Concord, which originally featured a Scream Green Max Air bubble in its Sample stage and later released with a black unit.┬áTo this day, the Nike Air Max ’96 remains a true original, although the Air Max ’96 design infrastructure was used in the Nike Air Max 180 ’96 (2007) and the Air Max ’96 Evolve (2012). Nike also flirted with a Retro release in 2007, but that route never went beyond the Sample stage, although two samples that did surface continue to be hot collectors items. Take a trip down memory lane as we kick off a week of Air Max homage in Classics Revisited with the Air Max ’96!

Nike Air Max 96

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