Introducing the Nike Air Max 95
Since its release in the mid-1990s, the Nike Air Max 95 has been a huge hit around the world, receiving special attention in Japan especially, as sneakerheads admire the style's unique design and athletes praise its responsiveness.
First seen in 1995, the model was actually called the Air Max, or Air Max SC, before being recognised officially as the Air Max 95.
The Air Max 95 was designed by Sergio Lozano who gave the model a very different look from the Air Max that came before.
Lozano designed the shoe based on human anatomy, with the lacing system resembling ribs, an outsole inspired by the spine, and mesh on the upper to look like muscle fibres. This look was achieved by layering stitched and compression moulded synthetic suede on the upper.
The 95 was the first Air Max model to use air cushions in the forefoot, and it also featured a minimised Swoosh on the heel. A black outsole was introduced on the model in a first-of-its-kind, intended to help hide dirt.
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Popular AM95 Colorways
The very first colorway of the model, the 'Neon', consisted of a black, neon yellow and white colour scheme, with four waves of colour fading from light grey to black featured in the gradient design of the shoe. This was said to be inspired by rainy days at the Nike campus and the Oregon landscape.
The iconic 'Neon' has since been re-released over ten times since its first release in 1995.
The 'Grape' was also released in 1995 as a women's exclusive, but loved for its simple grey and white colour scheme with a subtle use of purple, it has been re-launched several times also in men's sizing.
Another '95 release, the 'Solar Red' is a vibrant colorway that helped define the AM95 range.
Loved so much, it even received a shout out in the song 'Hate It Or Love It' by The Game, and each re-release over the years has been just as sought-after as the last.
Love it or hate it, this zippered version of the Air Max 95 undoubtably streamlined the look of the model, taking away the signature tongue and lace loops and giving it a futuristic vibe in an understated colorway.
Released in 2006, the 'Stash' was the first AM95 to feature a speckled midsole.
Produced as the result of a collaboration with New York graffiti artist Stash, it depicts a recognisable theme (if you're already familiar with the artist). Blue and grey layers form the transition of the night sky into morning, giving the pair a unique theme.
This Miami Vice-inspired colorway divides up an irresistible pink and teal colour combo with sharp black and clean white layers on the AM95.
Dropped exclusively in the Miami area in 2008, the colorway got an update in 2015 with a grey midsole and neon green Air Max units, but nothing beats the coveted original.
This 2013 release not only went heavy on the camo treatment, but incorporated innovative tech in its military-inspired colorway.
Nike's Hyperfuse technology took the place of the usual mesh and suede, creating a seamless, one-piece upper for increased stability, breathability, and support.
Despite its lightweight construction, the 'Country Camo' is one of the more hard-wearing Air Max sneakers.
Another 2013 release, the Ekiden pack pays tribute to its Japanese fans, namely with five separate colorways dedicated to the Josai, Kanagawa, Komazawa, Waseda and Toyo Universities.
The Ekiden race pits these top universities against each other in a horrific 219KM relay, and Nike commemorates their commitment with this hard-core pack.
One of the most popular colorways on the Air Max 95 is the 'Persian Violet', inspired by the legendary Nike Air Max BW colorway and released in 2016.
A 3M reflective panel stretches along of the length of the sneaker, adding a striking touch to the black and purple colorway.
This flawless metallic colorway is an iconic theme taken from the Air Max 97, and just like the OG, shiny silver fabric is used throughout the design of the sneaker, with small hints of red on the mini-Swoosh and branding adding a nice hit of contrast.
Utilising the camouflage pattern developed by the US. Army's Engineer Research and Development Laboratory in the 40s, the 'ERDL Party' incorporates four different shades of camo along its side panel for a distinct look.
The otherwise black colorway was one of the top-selling releases for Air Max in 2018.
Part of the Air Max 95's 25th anniversary in 2020, the 'Pink Foam', alternatively known as 'Gunsmoke Pink', saw a massive boost in popularity mere minutes after Kim Kardashian posted a picture of herself rocking a pair after her divorce from Kanye West.
Celebrity endorsed or not, this calm colorway still pops with pink reflective detailing over the forefoot and pink eyelet panels over black mesh underlays.
Atmos x Nike Air Max 95
The AM95 has also been the subject of some popular collaborations, such as with Atmos, who designed the 'Viotech' in 2003. Back then, these earth-toned sneakers with hints of purple were extremely hard to come by.
As part of the Nike Air Max 95 ‘Animal’ collection in 2006, Atmos also designed a limited edition version. An eclectic mix of faux-fur animal prints adorned the sneaker, including zebra, tiger, and leopard.
The brands reunited in 2018 on the AM95 with the 'We Love Nike', a black and red colorway aggressively stamped with Air Max branding throughout, and featuring exclusive insoles.
Parra x Nike Air Max 95
As a follow-up to the collaboration between Amsterdam-based artist and designer Parra and Nike on the AM1 in 2005, which resulted in the incredibly sought-after 'Amsterdam' and 'Cherrywood', Parra collaborated with Nike on the AM95 'Running Man' in 2008 as part of a three-pack including a Cortez and AM90.
Known for his vibrant colours and bold patterns, this laid-back sneaker pays homage to Amsterdam with Parra's signature style.