January 24, 2012 BY John Kim
Rocking vintage kicks have become a popular method of capturing that true retro styling sought out by sneakerheads and hipsters alike, and so Nike began a controversial collection of ‘VNTG’ sneakers – that is, taking freshly manufactured models and giving them a vintage makeover. You can typically find these Nike VNTG models with softer suede, pre-yellowed midsoles and the 70’s Nike tongue label, but the recently released Nike Air Max Light is hardly from that true ‘vintage’ era. In fact, it’s barely even an 80’s baby, as the Air Max Light (actually the Air Max II) was born just before the turn of the decade, sandwiched between the Air Stability (Stab) of ’88 and the iconic Air Max 90 (III) of ’90. It took eighteen years for the Light to see the light of day, with most of the great releases dropping as Euro exclusives and collaborations – most of the U.S. drops were available at chain retailers in crazy colorways and didn’t induce the excitement a true flagship Air Max would have.
Nike Sportswear finally decided to drop the two original Air Max Light colorways in late 2011, but in the oft-maligned ‘VNTG’ form, but it’s clear Nike got it down pat by pre-yellowing just the rear portion of the two-piece midsole (the rear was built with polyurethane, the forefoot with EVA, which resisted yellowing). Want to see for yourself? Sneaker News has for you a nice side-by-side comparison between the true original and the redone Retro, and you’ll quickly see that the OG has that two-toned yellowing with a truer aged appeal, down to the discolored thermoplastic straps, dingy mesh, and oxidation on the outsole. A picture says a thousand words, and we’ve got a ton of ’em below, so check out this great Nike Air Max Light OG vs. VNTG comparison below and let us know what other Nike models you’d like to see with the ‘VNTG’ treatment.
Tags: Nike Air Max Light