Air Max Day. March 26. An important day for the Nike Air Max 1 enthusiast. And that’s not without any reason. We have something to celebrate. The anniversary of the Nike Air Max 1! And if we’re lucky, we’ll do that with an awesome release via the SNKRS app and selected retailers. If you have just started collecting Nike Air Max, we can imagine that you do not understand much about this. This blog will help you out. Why do we celebrate Air Max Day?
The sacred date 3.26
On March 26, 1987, Nike released the very first Air Max 1 sneaker. The legendary color code on the box was White/Light Neutral Grey/Red. At the time, this sneaker was called the Nike Air Max 1 Varsity Red. Today we call this the ‘OG’ Red. A revolutionary shoe that would change the way people viewed sports shoes forever. Realize that a sneaker was released for the sport at the time. Sneakerheads were few. The Air Max 1 is designed as a running shoe. The sole of the shoe was provided with an air cushion. Nike used to do that before, but now it was visible for the first time. The cushioning and comfort of the sneaker became literally visible this way. Brilliant! The first Air Max 1 showed that a runner can also be stylish. It is important to know that the origin of the Air Max 1 dates back to 1986 with the ‘big bubble’, not 1987. Read everything in our other blogs about the history of the Air Max 1.
The Air Max 1 was designed by Tinker Hatfield, a legendary designer who would go on to create many more iconic Nike sneakers. You may have spotted his signature on sneakers. Tinker stands for his revolutionary contributions to the sneaker industry. He started his career as an architect, but soon ended up at Nike as a designer of sports shoes. He has designed some of the most iconic Nike sneakers. Tinker also designed the Nike Air Safari, Trainer 1, Jordan 3, Huarache and most of the Nike Air Max we know. His designs are often inspired by architecture and have changed the sneaker industry by introducing new technologies and innovations. Tinker Hatfield is considered by many to be one of the greatest designers in the history of the sneaker industry.
Tinker was inspired for the Nike Air Max 1 by the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris. This building is known for its unconventional architecture, where the functional elements, such as pipes and stairs, are visible on the outside of the building. The Air Max 1 also combines style and visible functional elements. The Air Max 1 was an instant hit with athletes and shoe enthusiasts alike. It quickly became an icon of sneaker and street culture. The design was so popular that Nike would release many other Air Max sneakers in the years that followed, featuring different colors, styles and new technologies.
Sure. We also think the origin of our favorite sneaker is legendary. But of course it was Nike’s genius marketing beast that takes the advantage out of it perfectly. Over the years, Nike has changed things up a bit when it comes to selling sneakers. For example, there are fewer (physical) retailers that are allowed to sell their special sneakers. Nike can easily sell these pairs themselves. In the Nike Store, via Nike.com or more importantly, via the SNKRS app. The marketing department came up with Air Max Day to promote their sales channels even more and to hype the beloved Air Max 1 even more. That’s smart! Another day that contributes to this is SNKRS Day. This is celebrated on August 8. Instead of 3.26 this day is indicated with 8.8.
The very first Air Max Day
Air Max Day was first celebrated in 2014, when it celebrated the 27th anniversary of the Air Max sneakers. They did this with a release and a website about the history of this model. Since then, the event has grown every year, becoming an international celebration of sneakers and the culture that surrounds them. Nike releases new releases each year on Air Max Day, such as new colors and styles of the Air Max sneakers and collaborations with artists and designers. The 2014 release is perhaps the most famous Air Max Day release. You can’t have missed this OG Red with a bright green sole.
More than just a release
Over the past few years, we’ve seen Air Max Day on March 26 grow into more than just a sneaker release day. It has become a day when we celebrate the unifying power of sneaker and street culture and recognize the importance of embracing our creativity and self-expression and supporting our communities. In addition to releases, many artists and speakers can be followed via the Nike channels. We highly recommend to keep an eye on the SNKRS app March 26th.
Air Max Day releases at a glance
Nike releases new special releases every year on Air Max Day. Often with unique details and in collaboration with artists, shops or designers. We must admit that we are not fans of every release. On a positive note, that means upcoming Air Max Day releases are only going to get better. Some examples of Air Max 1 releases at previous Air Max Days include:
2014: Nike Air Max 1 OG Red 3.26 Anniversary. The OG Red with a fluorescent yellow-green sole. The story goes that this colored was considered on the very first Nike Air Max 1.
2015: Nike Air Max Zero. Before Tinker fleshed out the Nike Air Max 1 in its current form, his sketches were how the Air Max Zero was released. So in 2015 the Zero was a completely new release, but based on sketches that are more than 30 years old. A great story, but the Zero releases flopped.
2016: Nike HTM. HTM is the abbreviation of a collaboration between Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker. HTM guarantees innovation. They released three innovative non-AM1 pairs. Nevertheless, the HTM releases did not deliver what was expected. Another flop.
2017: The best Air Max Day ever. First of all, the Anniversary OG Red. Possibly the most beautiful retro of the original colorway that has been released. Next, the Nike Air Max 1 Master of Air. Boom! Because a white Friends & Family Master was also released, the hype about this release was at its maximum. In addition, the Atmos Elephant also received a retro release. Sick! The 4th AM1 was an Ultra LE 2.0 OG Red Anniversary. Five more non-AM1s weree also released that day.
2018: The previous edition was hard to beat. But with the hybrid Nike Air Max 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon, Nike gets the most out of it. An all time classic and a holy grail on the list for most sneaker collectors. It is not without reason that you soon pay €1000 for this sneaker.
2019: It can’t always be a party. This year nothing happened. TERRIBLE.
2020: If you like Air Max 90, it was a great day. For the Air Max 1 enthusiast, there was nothing… again.
2021: Nike Air Max 1 Evolution of Icons. Definitely a cool release with details referring to history. The releases of the Air Max 90 Bacon and Vapormax EVOs were also there.
2022: Three cool Air Max 1s. The Nike Air Max 1 La Ville Lumière was the easiest to buy. The Air Max 1 Blueprint and Wabi Sabis were both not available worldwide, and therefor hard to find. No doubt, these are coveted pairs that have found a prime spot on the wish lists of many sneakerheads.
2023: FINALLY! The return of the Nike Air Max 1 with the Big Bubble. The return of the legendary original pair that should have been released in 1986. The real OG Red. Besides this amazing tribute to the Nike Air Max 1, Nike will drop a few more colorways with the big bubble. We expect it to be a temporary shape.