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Nike Air Max Timeline

With the introduction of their Air technology Nike changed the game. A staple of the brand, Nike Air became the standard for cushioning and transcended footwear. It became a part of culture. From music to television, Nike Air was/is everywhere. Since its introduction in 1978 (Nike Air Tailwind), the famed technology has seen many evolutions. All of which pushed the boundary on design and style like nothing we’d seen before. All carrying memories and a story behind them. In celebration of Air Max Day we’re sharing some of the more memorable stories behind your favorite Air Maxes.


Nike Air Max 1

The one that started it all. Released in 1987, the Nike Air Max 1 was designed by legendary designer Tinker Hatfield. Air had been used prior to the Air Max 1, but it was always hidden behind foam. Inspired by a trip to Paris and a visit to the Pompidou Center, Hatfield took his thoughts about the glass building back to Oregon: “Maybe we could also expose the Air-Sole technology and create a shoe that’s like no other.” The rest is history.


Nike Air Max 90

The Nike Air Max 90 symbolized the start of a new decade. The design was fresh and indicative to where the brand wanted to go. Expectations for the Air Max 90 were high and designer Hatfield knew the silhouette would hit the ground running, so the sneaker was designed to evoke forward motion. With its fluid aesthetic, the Air Max 90 featured a larger volume Air unit than its predecessors and popularized the color that would become known as “infrared.”


Nike Air Max 95

The Nike Air Max 95 wasn’t just a sneaker. Nike itself describes the shoe as an “outcast.” The model was the first silhouette to feature visible Air in the forefoot. The element brought a whole new approach to cushioning and support. Designer Sergio Lozano was greatly inspired by the human body. Thus elements that resemble human ribs, vertebrae, muscles and skin were incorporated into the design.


Nike Air Max 97

Like the 95, the Nike Air Max 97 broke ground. The model featured the first full-length Max Air unit. A feature that brought 360 degrees of comfort and opened tons of doors for design and innovation. Designed by Christian Tresser, the silhouette for the Air Max 97 was directly inspired by Japan’s high-speed bullet trains. The result was a fast and fluid design. At a time when music, movies and style mattered most, the 97 was the perfect shoe for the era.


Nike Air Max 2003

The Nike Air Max 2003, took the Air unit from the 97 and doubled down on the innovation. New molding and a construction that brought your foot closer to the ground added comfort and flexibility. Up top, the Air Max 2003 employed an upper similar to track spikes and football boots. Making for a “lightweight design, aggressive look and premium feel” that brought comfort straight out of the box.


Nike Air VaporMax

Over seven years in the making, the Nike Air VaporMax was a true evolution and completely transformed the standard Air Max. Shedding weight and waste, the VaporMax puts your foot directly atop the Air unit. Eliminating the need for a traditional foam midsole and offering greater flexibility and response than ever before. It was initially paired with a Nike Flyknit upper, a move that allowed for targeted, precise support and further reduced the weight of the shoe.


Nike Air Max 270

The first of its kind, the Nike Air Max 270 was the first model to boast an Air unit 100-percent designed for lifestyle. So it was built to stand up to the rigors of sport as well as the demands of all-day wear. Its design was inspired by the Nike Air Max 93 and the Nike Air Max 180. With the former also inspiring the name for the new model. As 270 stems from an internal Nike epithet for the Air Max 93 that referred to 270 degrees of visibility in the air unit. At the time of its release it also featured the tallest-ever Air Max heel unit, at 32-mm tall.


Nike Air Max 720

A dedication to innovation forced Nike to think outside of the box with the Nike Air Max 720. Answering the question “how big is too big?” Released earlier this year, the model utilizes a large bulbous sole and set a new record for tallest Max Air unit, at 38-mm tall. While not quite traditional, the Air Max 720 does include some classic Nike DNA. Speaking to Sole Collector, 720 designer Dylan Raasch said: there’s a little bit of ‘97 and the ‘95. We use it tastefully but go somewhere new so it doesn’t offend anyone.” That’s what Air is all about. Paying respect to the past while looking forward to the future.


Keep it locked and celebrate Nike Air Max Day with us on March 26th.

A leader in innovation, Nike is constantly raising the bar. Their Air technology is the standard for footwear comfort. The Brand’s latest drop looks to amplify the famed technology. Honoring their past, while eyeing their future, the Nike Air Max Throwback Future Pack uses color to showcase each models Air unit.

Available for the whole family (men’s, women’s & kids’), a wide assortment of Nike Air Max styles are getting the Throwback Future treatment. Each donning bold colors to accentuate their individual details. “Our more expressive Air Max models shine with more expressive colorways,” says Courtney Dailey, Nike VP of Color Design. “We use color to show off a shoe’s technology and balance that with foundational grays and blacks.”

Men’s Nike Air Max 720

Men’s Nike Air Max 95 PRM

Men’s Nike Air Max 97 LX

Men’s Nike Air VaporMax 2019

Men’s Nike Air VaporMax Run Utility

Men’s Nike Air Max 270

Women’s Nike Air VaporMax 2019 and Air Max 270

The time is now, grab the Nike Air Max Throwback Future Pack on 3/21 from Finish Line.

The Air Max 97 is one of Nike’s staple silhouettes that stays in rotation every year by releasing new renditions of the popular retro model.  Donning the classic White, Blue, and Red scheme that’s become linked to the ASG in the past, this 97 uses a white jersey upper to tie into its uniform-theme. Bright Red and Blue accents can be seen on the upper’s lines, the tongue, and the multi-colored heel tab for a look that’s just too clean.

Grab your pair of the Nike Air Max 97 ‘Jersey’ on February 8th at Finishline.com.

Written by Sophia Altholz 

Images and video by Jordana Koffsky 

Growing up in New York City, and Israel, I’ve always had a particular sensitivity to visual polarity. Clashing of patterns, contrasting cultures, inverted colors and any other form of modern day chiaroscuro treatment that has the potential to come to life

I relate to contrast figuratively, when it comes to femininity versus masculinity, but also literally when it comes to color and subject matter. I consider myself a fine artist and digital creator/designer, but I also strongly identify as an entrepreneur, business woman, and pragmatic marketeer on this earth.

After receiving my BFA from Pratt Institute in Digital Art & Interactive Media, I went straight into advertising working for Gary Vaynerchuk at Vaynermedia, helping Art Direction for JP Morgan & Chase.

After hours, I started drawing on sneakers for Gary and his team which created a lot of buzz in and out of the agency. I started to create more customized sneakers post my time at VM. Since Gary, I’ve created sneakers for people like Casey Cott, Nigel Sylvester, Mason Plumlee, Hannah Bronfman, Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray, Andrew Zimmern, Giada De Laurentiis, Anne Burrell, Alton Brown and more, where SophDawg Creations has continually grown to be what it is today (I’d like to give a special thanks to the people who helped until now).

I was always a doodler, especially in high school, where I secreted creativity out of every moment I could. Drawing on stuff, especially sneakers has always been extremely meditative for me. It brings me to a place of simple thinking and peacefulness. In this digital age, there are so many potential options at all moments; iPhone, therefore, I am, so It’s nice to just draw and disconnect from the world.

With sneakers, there is no command-z, but cautious creativity and focused illustration. I usually send people a questionnaire to extract what types of images and messaging I’ll draw on their sneakers. When it comes to designing sneakers for myself, I bring in that clash of imagery I was talking about before. Nature versus artificiality; bright versus dark; feminine versus masculine; basketball versus flowers; city versus country; pink versus blue; sky versus land; black versus white. And so on.

Throughout my years growing up in New York City and Israel, one consistent place I would visit was my family’s home in the woods of North Western Connecticut. I always felt split between the bright and exciting city, and the calm and peaceful country. As an artist, I believe I embody both qualities pretty equally, and am excited to grow these harmonious incongruities in the future.

Follow Sophia on Instagram or visit her site for custom pairs at www.sophdawg.com.


The history of the Nike Air Max line is something that can’t be ignored. Since 1987, designs have continued to evolve and impress sneakerheads around the world. This summer, we’re turning to Air Max as one of the biggest staples in our sneaker rotation. This footwear represents iconic silhouettes and technology, making looks perfect for any lifestyle.

Clean, minimal and quality are a few things that come to mind when thinking of top Air Max styles. Designs like the Air Max 95 OG dropping 7/19 or VaporMax Utility are great go-to’s for Men. In a women’s world, Air Max is a versatile staple that you can wear with just about anything.

Whether you’re dressing up or down, Air Max styles have proven time and again to complete a look. The Air Max 97 is another minimal, sleek silhouette that has been a must-have for years. As one of the more recent silhouettes, the Air Max 270 has also been a hit for men and women. Whether it’s a all over colorway or sharing the spotlight with more shades on the upper.

Denim, joggers, dresses, leggings, there’s an Air Max style that will definitely match the threads you wear on a daily basis.

Check out all Nike Air Max styles for men, women and kid’s today at finishline.com. 


If you love the Air Max 97 and Air VaporMax, then you do not want to miss the next release of the Nike Air VaporMax 97. This colorway is sporting the appeal of an Air Max 97 upper and the latest Air Unit from the VaporMax. The style will go with everything from your favorite jeans to your summertime go-to athleisure.

Don’t miss out and make sure you download the Finish Line app for Apple or GooglePlay to purchase your VaporMax 97 on the app ????  Available 6/21.

The hybrid vibes coming from this next Nike VaporMax release is something to get excited for. You’re looking at a classic Air Max 97 upper with the innovative VaporMax midsole. Coming in an elegant colorway of aqua blue and dark blue, this look mimics shades of the ocean and is cool for the summer.

Whether you’re thinking a pop of color or updated footwear for your sporty threads, the Nike Air VaporMax 97 will live up to all expectations.

You’re going to want to download the Finish Line app for Apple or GooglePlay to purchase your VaporMax 97 on the app ????  on 5/24.

Last year, Nike celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Air Max 97 and they went all out with the releases and colorways. If you’re a lover of all things Air Max then the past two years had to be your favorite as Nike dropped so many classics that are so hard to resist. Over the years, the Air Max 97 has branched out into many different color schemes, from all-red to camo to black with Swarovski crystals, just to name a few. Now, they’re rereleasing one of the top three colorways of this shoe and it’s just in time for Summer.

Coming dressed in that classic Metallic Gold, Varsity Red, White, and Black color scheme that will always be in style. This Nike Air Max 97 last made its debut back in 2017 for the anniversary of the silhouette. For 2018, Nike is bringing back the colorway once again for those that may have missed out. Make sure you peep the next page to see what’s dropping along side this 97.

Get your pair of the Nike Air Max 97 OG ‘Metallic Gold’ on 5/17 at finishline.com.

The Nike Air Max 97 is a staple in the sneaker world and many peoples rotations. When the Nike Air Max 97 debuted with visible Air Max in the heel and forefoot, stylish lines, and bold color options, they were a top choice for sneaker enthusiasts and casual wearers alike, and nearly 20 years later is still a major people pleaser. If you’ve been paying attention then you’ve noticed that the last couple of years have been huge for the 97 and they only seem to be getting better. The next pair to release comes dressed in a Wolf Grey, Tour Yellow and Royal Blue make up. This Nike Air Max 97 features an Wolf Grey upper that is paired with Tour Yellow on the Nike Swoosh logos and Ro on the outsole while, 3M Reflective trimming completes the design.