With Nike’s Air Max Day 2018 quickly approaching, how is it set to compare to years past?
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is possibly Nike’s motto this year when it comes to their highly anticipated Air Max celebration. The releases of this year are almost identically to the models and colourways of last year. A couple of classics, a few highly-touted collaborations and past colourways infused with the latest technology seems to be Nike’s go-to recipe, but will it ultimately lead to a successful launch in the current climate of streetwear culture?
Last year’s “Kiss My Airs” campaign was followed by multiple releases spanning old and new. Despite the high price point, the Nike Air VaporMax was a success and one of the most coveted sneakers of 2017. Whereas in terms of classics, the Air Max 1 Anniversary was brought back in blue and red, both considered the most iconic running shoe in history. With a slightly improved shape from previous years and the release date on the tongue tag, this might have been the most popular of the releases. The Air Max 1s were a primary focus of 2017 as the “Masters” and “Atmos” drew a massive following and huge resell prices. However, they also brought along a sub par release of 2016’s Air Max Day, the “LD-Zero” which is often forgotten.
Set for March 26, this year’s Air Max Day looks to follow a similar footprint. The introduction of the Air Max 270, with an engineered mesh upper and a massive amount of air on the entire heel, has had the sneaker world abuzz for the past few months. The Air Max 270s are set to release in eight separate colorways, with the most exciting being the historic “Ultramarine,” “Dusty Cactus” and the newer subtle “Light Bone.” They will release for a lower retail price of 200$ CAD, likely a smart move considering the VaporMax drew most of their criticism last year simply through their retail price. VaporMax 2.0’s in new colorways will also be released, but likely won’t gain any new attention.
As for the classics, Nike will be releasing a greater variety than in previous years, including the Air Max 97s supported by a reimagined VaporMax sole, Air Max 95s in a NikeCourt Vapor RF sole, Air Max 1 in Aqua, the Air Max 98s in Cone and possibly the Air Max 180 available in Nike ID with multiple materials. The incorporation of new soles on multiple classics is truly a bold move, and we’ll soon find out if it pays dividends.
Even with new technology and a handful of re-releases, the focus will undoubtedly be on this year’s collaborations with Sean Wotherspoon, and again with Atmos. Sean Wotherspoon, arguably the most influential sneakerhead, has had a huge impact throughout the years. The incredibly knowledgeable owner of Round Two has consistently gushed of his passion for the culture, and focuses on positive social interaction and a “wear your sneakers” ideology.
After winning a concept contest from Nike, he’s created a unique 97 upper out of colorful corduroy that wears with age and is topped off with an Air Max 1 sole. Wotherspoon, who has been spotted gifting sneakers away, and his down-to-earth attitude might just sway Nike enough to produce enough quantity for people to get their hands on, but don’t get your hope up, as the love of the new classic will have people doubling up.
Atmos has been a key to success for Nike in the last two years and it seems this year will be no different. Atmos is set to bring back the Air Max 1 and the 95 in the loud “Safari” colourway, which already has many turning their heads for animal-inspired materials and hits of black, white, red and green. This release has been more than pleasantly received by streetwear enthusiasts, so expect for resell to sky rocket.
This year’s celebration could be considered slightly toned down in comparison to previous Air Max campaigns. With the appearance of so many new and classic shoes on the market, and a busy february month with shoes like the “Bred Toes”, “Black Cements” and “OVO” Air Jordan 8s, sneakerheads have a lot to look forward to on top of the March Air Max madness.