What is all the fuss about Air Max Day

What is all the fuss about Air Max Day

by Ollie Cox
4 min

Should Air Max Day be a national holiday? We think so. You might be wondering why a whole day is dedicated to a piece of technology designed to make your shoes comfortable. Air Max Day is like Christmas for sneaker purists, giving rise to exclusive releases and a chance to revel in all things Nike Air Bubble.

It’s a chance for the sneaker community to come together and share a love for one of the most pioneering pieces of sneaker technology to release. The event first started in 2014 to celebrate all things Air Max, from the people who make it to the lineage of iconic Air Max silhouettes in its 36-year history. Air Max Day turns ten this year, and it’s set to be a big one, so strap in and get to know what the footwear fuss is all about. 

What is Nike Air Max? 

Nike has always been known for its industry-leading technology, but it might surprise you that the Nike Air Max comes from space… kind of. The air-filled bubble underneath your shoe is actually filled with gas, following the discovery by former NASA scientist M. Frank Rudy, who was desperate to incorporate this technology into footwear, and it was Nike who listened to him. 

The first shoe to incorporate this technology was the Nike Air Tailwind, which was conceived in 1978 and then introduced in 1979. Thanks to its comfort-focused design, the trainers sold out quickly and were well received. This was the first use of the technology, but not the first Air Max sneaker. 

Sneaker design legend Tinker Hatfield designed the first Air Max sneaker as we know it. Looking to the Centre Pompidou in Paris for inspiration, Hatfield wanted to design a sneaker which exposed the Air Bubble on the side of the shoe. This decision initially faced criticism, as people believed the sneaker would look weak. However, Hatfield persevered and went on to design the Nike “Big Bubble,” which would morph into the Air Max 1, and was released on March 26, 1987.

What goes on during Air Max Day? 

Since the original Air Max 1 launched on March 26, 1987, Air Max Day falls on this day each year. The inaugural event was held in 2014, accompanied by the release of the Nike Air Max 1 Premium QS “3.26,” which saw the classic Big Bubble colourway updated with highlighter yellow detailing to the upper. In recent years, Nike has launched some of its most coveted releases around the event, including the hugely popular Sean Wotherspoon-designed Nike Air Max 1/97, which honoured the legacy of the Nike Air Max 1 and the iconic Nike Air Max 97. The whole shoe was finished in a vintage-esque corduroy inspired by ‘80s vintage stores and we’re still thinking about them now. 

Other notable releases from previous years include the Nike Air Max 90 NRG Bacon, released in 2021, the Nike Air Max 1 atmos Elephant from 2017, and the Nike Air Max Anniversary Red release, which also dropped in 2017. 

If you’re looking to get your hands on some new and exclusive pairs, it’s a good idea to get the Nike SNKRS app on your phone and be ready. It’s not uncommon for some surprise releases to be thrown into the mix, so you’ve been warned. 

What is happening for Air Max Day 2024? 

This year, the celebration turns 10, and to mark the occasion, Nike is celebrating the technology that started it all, releasing the Air Max Dn. This brand-new Air Max sneaker is releasing in an “All Night” colourway and will be available across Nike’s retail channels. 

The latest Air Max model incorporates Dynamic Air Technology into the mix, adding two different pressures under the heel and to the fore. Like the original Air Max, these sneakers are rooted in science-backed design and look just as good as they feel. 

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