March 25th, 2014 by Aaron Hope
Tonight, we introduce our new Sneaker News NINE@NINE segment, and what better topic to kick off with than the ongoing Air Max celebration. With March 26th marking the 27th anniversary of the Nike Air Max 1, Nike will commemorate the birth of Max Air tomorrow with a special Volt-midsoled release. In preparation for ‘Air Max Day’, Nike took us back to 1987 and gave a bit of a history lesson with all the major pairs from Tinker Hatfield’s first golden era running designs all the way up through the recently introduced Flyknit Air Max.
That list certainly touched on most of the biggest releases from Nike’s flagship running series, but hardcore sneakerheads would immediately see a compilation like that as an opportunity to think back on some of the more obscure pairs as well. So that’s our goal here – to go back over the timeline and fill in some of the less common pairs that represent fresh retro opportunities we’d love to see return alongside the recurring cornerstones.
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July 31st, 2012 by John Kim
NIKE AIR MAX CLASSICS WEEK
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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