History of Nike Air Max 1

by Beau
5 mins read

The days are becoming brighter again, and time is moving in the direction of Air Max Day 2022. The new releases made me wonder about the history of the Air Max 1 since the 35th Birthday or the Anniversary of the iconic sneakers designed by Tinker Hatfield is coming up. Are you ready to go all out with balloons? The celebration is mostly directed to the Air Max 1. There have been some new releases coming out rolling forwards to the actual day.

Why are we going to celebrate Air Max 1? It might have an obvious answer. Nevertheless, itwould be interesting to dive into some history and uncover more about the designer Tinker Hatfield. In addition, 35 years after the release we know how spectacular the design is and how it remains the most bought and sought-after pair of sneakers. Here you will find all about the renowned Air Max 1 and its iconic silhouette. How did design become so stellar? And why do we still run to the store to buy this specific pair of sneakers? An answer I surely cannot wait to find out and it makes me wonder: how many pairs of Nike Air Max 1 do you have in your closet?

A little dive into the history of Nike Air Max 1

There is no way you can think about a pair of sneakers and not think about the Nike Air Max 1. This specific design has managed to become the most renowned pair of sneakers, especially because of its significance. There is a whole lot of history tangled with the design, but also how it impacted the footwear industry. After 35 years, the Air Max 1 is still worn every single day and people continue to buy more of the design. How did we get from 1987 from its initial launch to today?

To find the answer to the question, we need to dive into the 1987s, a time that was incredible for the development of sneakers. Nike just dropped the most iconic sneakers of all time: the Air Max 1.

The most important designer of the Nike Air Max 1

Without a doubt, the best-known designer of the Nike Air Max 1 is Tinker Hatfield. He played a big role in crafting the model of the Air Jordan 1. Surely, this wasn’t the only shoe he put his heart in and later came with the design of the marvelous Nike Air Max. In 1985, he was promoted to sneaker design to aid Nike to stand out from its competitors. The design he came up with was the Air Max.

With their secret weapon: Tinker Hatfield, Nike managed to rise above its competitors Adidas and Puma. At the time, the company was still called Blue Ribbon Sports Company and managed to forge collaborations with athletes. Out of which iconic sneakers were released and boosted the brand’s growth. Everything that rises must come down. In 1985 Nike struggled due to rising competition. Tinker saw this as a great time for innovation and designed the Nike Air Max 1.


Nike’s Air technology wasn’t something new, instead, it was something they had worked on for a long time. It was Frank Rudy who found out how to place gas inside the soles of the sneakers. This innovation was first used in 1978 for comfort. It replaced the EVA soles for the gas pouches. These shoes seemed to mostly be directed to runners who liked how the gas pouches gave the soles a bouncy feel. It would be weird to show the soles, however, Hatfield went against that notion. He decided the soles would be visible. The idea came from a Parisian building named the Center George Pompidou. The building was not built
conventionally with structures placed in a different place to allow people to see the inside. He used the same technique for the Air Max 1.

At the time, Nike was looking at other designs because of fear of what the public would think of the Air Technology. Fortunately, Tinker was backed by a director who saved his job. Also, his confidence in his design could’ve not predicted how significant the sneaker would become.

It started on March 26th, 1987, when their first Air Nike 1 with a visible air unit was released. Today the iconic Air Max 1 is iconic and a popular release for its significance and meaning to the culture and its history

A few popular models of these iconic sneakers

What do you consider the most popular models of these sneakers? The Nike Air Max 1 ‘white/red’ is the one that started it all and changed everything for Nike. It was called the Nike “Infrared.” Next, the Dutch artist Parra designed the most wanted pair of sneakers for its stripes and dots. It is a work of art. Also, another very important design was the 2006 CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death.” The Chinese designs elevated the collaboration to the Hall of Fame. To follow up on this iconic design, Nike released a collaboration with the Japanese brand ATMOs for an ‘Elephant’ makeover.

The design was used on the Nike Air Max 1 instead of Air Jordan 3. Arguably, the best design of all time with its animal print, teal accents, and white and black leather.

Why are Nike Air Max 1 sneakers so popular?

The answer is simple. The visible air unit was a risk that Tinker Hatfield took in 1987 to save Nike their aim to rise above the competition. Now, people love sneakers for their history and culture. It is the symbolism the Nike Air Max 1 stands for. Now they are still incredibly loved. It is the sneaker that started it all. Now with the Air Max 1 Day coming up, you have a new
opportunity to purchase loved silhouettes. There have been so many releases that are sought-after and maybe you should try your luck on March 26th and Hypeboost.