March 26, 1987 was when the first Air Max was officially released, and it's on this day every year that Nike celebrates the history of the Air Max with Air Max Day.
The History of Nike Air Max Day
Air Max Day 2014
On the first Air Max Day in 2014, Nike released the Nike Air Max 1 ‘Air Max Day’. This sneaker largely has the looks of the OG Air Max 1 but there are some important details. The midsole, for example, is not white but fluorescent green. The same goes for the inside of the tongue. On the tongue, there is also a clear reference to Air Max Day. On the tongue, we see the numbers '3.26'. This of course stands for 26 March, which is the official date of Air Max Day.
Air Max Day 2015
In 2015, Nike released a completely new sneaker called the Air Max Zero. Although the sketches of this Air Max were made before the Air Max 1, the sneaker had never been released. Yet in 2015, Nike brought life to Tinker Hatfield's sketches and released this Nike Air Max Zero.
2015 was also the year that Nike organised numerous events to celebrate Air Max. For example, Nike had a track in Prague together with Footshop and you could listen to different lectures about the Air Max in Johannesburg.
Air Max Day 2016
In 2016, Nike released 3 different HTM sneakers. HTM stands for Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker. The Air Max LD-Zero H was designed by Hiroshi Fujiwara, the Air Max 90 Ultra Superfly T was designed by Tinker Hatfield and the Air Max Ultra M was designed by Mark Parker.
The Air Max LD-Zero H had a classic upper with a large white swoosh on it. The sole is very similar to an Air Max 2016 and has a full-length Air unit. Tinker Hatfield's sneaker was actually an Air Max 90 with an upper made of the FlyKnit material. In addition, the sneaker has a sock-like construction at the ankle. This made the sneaker a lot higher than the original Air Max 90.
Air Max Day 2017
In 2017, the Air Max 1 hit its 30th anniversary and celebrated quite a bit. No less than 9 sneakers were released on Air Max Day. The most striking one was of course the Nike Air VaporMax. This sneaker was launched in Paris at the Centre Pompidou. This was the building that inspired Tinker Hatfield to use the visible Air unit.
The same year, Nike introduced the 'Vote Forward' competition which was won by Sean Wotherspoon. The Air Max hybrid was of course characterised by its corduroy upper. With different colours on the upper, this would be one of the most anticipated releases of the next year. The sneaker was a combination of the Air Max 1 sole and the upper of the Air Max 97. This is reflected in the colourful waves on the upper.
Air Max Day 2018
2018 was marked by the release of the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97. Along with the Air Max 1/97, the Air Max 180 and Air Max 93 also returned. Nike also introduced the Air Max 270 and the VaporMax Flyknit 2.0. This new Air Max technology on the Air Max 270 is nowadays often seen on different sneakers. For example the Air Jordan Mars 270 or the Nike Air Max 270 React.
In Los Angeles, the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 was introduced with a classic Volkswagen van with the Air Max 1/97 print on it. This van made its way through Los Angeles with the sneaker of the year in the back. He gave the sneakers away for free to fans, causing chaos on the streets of the City of Angels. This included matching 'More Air' t-shirts in the sneaker's colours.
Also in 2018, 'Nike: On Air' brought together different people around the world to design a sneaker. These designs would then be released the following year on Air Max Day. Here we saw for example the Air Max 1 'Tokyo Maze', Nike Air Max 98 'La Mezcla', Nike Air Max 97 'SH Kaleidoscope', Nike Air Max 97 'Neon Seoul', Nike Air Max 97 'London Summer of Love' and the Nike Air VaporMax Plus Paris Works in Progress.
Air Max Day 2019
In 2019, the 5 'Nike: On Air' sneakers were actually scheduled to be released. But due to unknown reasons, the release of these sneakers was moved to April. Other than that, Air Max Day remained very quiet and there were no major releases.
Air Max Day 2020
In 2020, Nike paid tribute to the numerous variations of the Air Max that paved the way for the future of Air, such as the Air Max 90 Flyease and the Air Max Verona. We saw a number of special drops on Air Max Day, including a futuristic Air Max 2090, the fan-favourite duck camo print on the Air Max 90 and 2090, and a shiny Air Max 90 Metallic Pack that released a full size run in gold, rose gold and silver colorways.
Air Max Day 2021
2021 saw the launch of the Air Max Day Worldwide virtual experience, which allowed users to watch, listen and experience a range of activities taking place around the world. We also saw the arrival of the Air Max Pre-Day, a trio of Air Vapormax EVOs and the conclusion of the Air Max 1 'Evolution of Icons' pack with a beautifully detailed colorway. But the most anticipated event was definitely the revival of the Air Max 90 'Bacon'.
Air Max Day 2022
In 2022, the Nike Air Max celebrated its 35th anniversary. Several colorways of the Air Max 1 surfaced and the Nike Air Max 1 'La Ville Lumière', 'Premium' and 'Blueprint' were dropped on Air Max Day for different areas in the world.
Air Max Day 2023
In 2023 the hype was all around the Air Max 1 '86 'Big Bubble', as Nike brought the original design that made them the iconic brand that they are today back to the public.
Legendary designer Tinker Hatfield was initially criticised for his Air Max design, as the visible air bubble was considered too eccentric. Luckily Nike believes in innovative thinking, and the Air Max went on to take over the footwear industry and make history.
On 26 March 2023, the Air Max 1 '86 OG 'University Red' was released. A special touch on this exciting drop was the enlarged air bubble, that could originally be found on the original pairs due to a manufacturing mistake, and gives the sneaker the nickname the 'Big Bubble'.
Featuring a white mesh base, grey suede overlays and a 'University Red' suede mudguard, the sneaker is an iconic throwback that no sneakerhead can miss out on.
Are you curious about the upcoming and recent releases of the Air Max? Then check out the Sneakerjagers Release Calendar.
Want to add a classic pair of Air Max to your collection? Check out all the Air Max offers at GOAT and Flight Club!