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Classics Revisited: Nike Air Max ’98 (1998)

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NIKE AIR MAX CLASSICS WEEK

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
1998

Varsity Royal/Comet Red-Obsidian
104111-462
1998

White/Deep Orange-Black-Varsity Maize
104111-181
1998

Cement Grey/Citron-Obsidian
104111-071
1998

Metallic Silver/Atlantic Blue-Black-White
104111-042
1998

Cool Grey/Varsity Royal
604181-041
2000

Cool Grey/Varsity Red
604181-061
2000

JD Sports Exclusive
2000

Photos: dirtysoles