Nike Air Max

Thirty years later, you can cop these Nike Air Max III OG colorways that still look as fresh as ever

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A 30th anniversary is one hell of a milestone, and rightly so: three decades is a long time, and that’s worth celebrating.

Nike agrees, and it’s thrown plenty of 30th birthday parties for one of its iconic silhouettes this year, the Air Max III.

Hold on, you might be saying. Isn’t that the Air Max 90? Yep, you’re right. But it was only when the shoe turned 10 in 2000 did the Swoosh change its name from III to 90.

While the Air Max Light was the original follow-up to Tinker Hatfield’s legendary 1987 Air Max 1, there’s no denying that the true sequel was the Air Max 90. The 90 was the first model to incorporate the cassette — the window surrounding the Air Unit in the heel — and its bright coloring drew the eyes straight to the high-tech cushioning.

The original releases included colorways that will now be familiar to sneaker enthusiasts the world over. Men’s sizes came in what we now know as ‘Infrared’ and ‘Laser Blue,’ although the name of the former is up for debate. Some call it ‘Hyvent Orange,’ others have dubbed it ‘Radiant Red,’ while the tag on boxes from 1990 read ‘H RED.’ Either way, the term ‘Infrared’ wasn’t associated with the Air Max 90 colorway until a 2003 retro re-release in 2003.

Women weren’t left out in the cold in 1990 though. Nike produced a women’s-exclusive ‘Eggplant’ colorway for the initial release, which boasted a red Swoosh and deep purple accents on the mudguards and heel tabs as well as the lace ports.

As you can imagine, the past 30 years has seen countless colorways, iterations and collaborations roll off the factory line, and Tinker’s creation is just as hot today as it was in 1990.

The AM90 was one of the silhouettes featured in Virgil Abloh’s OFF-WHITE collection ‘THE TEN,’ not to mention remixed on other occasions by the designer, while Patta, Kaws, Dave’s Quality Meats and plenty of others have put their spin on the classic shoe.

The party isn’t over, though.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary, Nike is releasing Air Max IIIs in OG colorways that are stitch-for-stitch true to the original drops.

You’ll be able to rock true 90s style in the ‘Laser Blue’ and ‘Eggplant’ colorways, and the latter will be available in extended sizing to suit men and women.

Both colorways will arrive in OG boxes with the Nike Air hang tags that were packaged with the 1990 releases.

Pick up some timeless 90s heat when the Nike Air Max III OG ‘Laser Blue’ and ‘Eggplant’ drop at FinishLine.com on 10/2.

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Further reading:

  • Third Time’s the Charm: A History of the Air Max 90 (Grailed)
  • The All-Time Greatest Nike Air Max 90s: Part 1 & Part 2 (Sneaker Freaker)
  • The Air Max 90 is Nike’s Greatest Air Max Design (Sneaker Freaker)