Air Max Day: Nike’s Landmark Sneaker Turns 27

“March 26, 1987 marked the release of the Air Max 1 and with it, a revolution began. In the form of a literal window to the sole, the invisible became visible, and Nike Air cushioning forever changed how Nike designed running sneakers.” —Nike Inc.

It’s not every day an aerospace engineer walks into your office with a history-making idea—even when you’re the CEO of Nike. Sparked from an Air-Sole prototype created by engineer Frank Rudy and brought to life through countless trials and errors by shoe designers Mark Parker and Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s iconic Air Max sneaker—the first to ever feature air cushioning you can see—turns 27 today.

Keep reading to see a timeline of vintage Nike ads (with a commemorative ‘Air Max Day’ twist), shop a selection of Air Max Editor’s Picks—and learn how to score a pair of extremely limited-edition sneakers from one of Nike’s elusive ‘Quickstrike’ releases.

Air Max 1 (1987)


Air Max Light (1989)


Air Max 90 (1990)


Air Max 180 (1991)


Air Max BW (1991)


Air Max 93 (1993)


Air Max 95 (1995)


Air Max 97 (1997)


Air Max 360 (2006)


Air Max Lunar90 (2013)

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Editor’s Picks from our Nike Air Max selection:

Nike (L-R): Air Max Lunar90 in black | Air Max 2014 | Air Max 90 in white/teal
Air Max 95Air Max 90 in black

Nike (L-R): Air Max Tailwind 6 | Air Max 97-2013 Hyp | Air Max IVO
Air Max Lunar90 in navy | Air Max 90 in light grey/red

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NIKE ‘QUICKSTRIKE’ RELEASE—UPDATE 3/27: We announced the launch of these two extremely limited-edition Nike Air Max styles last night via our men’s instagram feed, @NordstromMen. The ‘Jacquard’ style (bottom) has already sold through, but the ‘Ice’ colorway (top) is still available:
Top: Nike ‘Air Max 90 Ice (QS)’
Bottom: Nike ‘Air Max 90 Jacquard (QS)’ [SOLD OUT]


And for a curated selection of sneakers from our shoe buyers, including
Nike and many more, check out The Sneaker Project.

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