Air Max Day is two weeks away, but we're getting the celebration started early with a look at some of our (and everybody's) favorite Air Max models of all time. First up is, naturally, the Air Max 1, the grandfather of all big-bubbled running shoes. Tinker Hatfield's landmark design is the first, and still the very best Air Max model in the eyes of many. You probably already know the story behind the Air Max 1: the first Nike shoe to have a visible Air window, Hatfield's inspiration for that window from the "inside-out" architecture of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, France, and its consistent output of amazing colorways and constructions both original and collaborative.
Indeed, the Air Max 1 has no doubt appeared in some of the greatest sneaker colorways of all time throughout the years. After the OG red and blue versions became iconic, its resurgence began in the early 2000s with the now-legendary collaborations from Patta and atmos, which turned the shoe into one of the most collectable sneakers ever. Modern marvels like the Sean Wotherspoon x Air Max 1/97 and "Master" colorway have helped keep the silhouette among the world's hottest models. The Air Max 1 is simply as good as it gets for sneaker culture across the globe.
With Air Max Day quickly approaching on March 26th, we wanted to make sure you can be laced with all of the Air Max 1's hottest releases throughout the years. The following are our 10 picks for the most epic editions of the shoe that we currently have to offer. Among our favorites here are everything from extremely rare grails to much more attainable drops, but one thing is for sure, they're all some the absolute best versions of the Air Max 1 ever imagined. Check 'em all out, and get ready for Air Max Day in superior style.
This incredible edition by Parra, the Dutch artist who is responsible for some of the greatest colorways of the Air Max 1 ever, is, well, one of the greatest colorways of the Air Max 1 ever. The holiest of holy grails for many Air Max collectors, this beautiful Air Max 1 reps Amsterdam in a blend of burgundy, pink, and light blue tones, which are repeated on the speckled midsole for the perfect touch. These were extremely limited when they initially released in 2005, so you do the math on how rare a deadstock pair is 14 years later.
This is the rare alternate edition of the released collaboration from Parra and Nike in 2018 that was only given to a few lucky friends and family of the project. The colorway features the same wild multi-patterned look, with two major modifications: a leather construction (instead of mesh and felt) and no Swooshes on the cloud-covered quarter panels.
Originally released in 2003, the "Elephant" colorway by atmos returned in 2017 by popular demand — literally. It was the winning vote-getter in Nike's Vote Back campaign in 2016 that allowed fans to pick their choice from hundreds of Air Max models and colorways to bring back for Air Max Day the following year. The brilliant colorway takes the classic elephant pattern from the Air Jordan 3 and gives it a whole new life, complemented with jade green, black, and white for the rest of the upper. Perfection.
In 2016 Nike surprised everyone with an unannounced drop of this cork Air Max 1 at their 21 Mercer retail location in New York City. Released only in 100 individually-numbered pairs each for men and women, this is now one of the most collectable, and coolest, Air Max 1s out there.
The second, but not the last, version of the Air Max 1 by Japan's atmos on this list is this "Tiger Camo" edition from 2013. The Tokyo-based sneaker boutique has been producing some of the greatest Air Max colorways since the early 2000s, not just for the Air Max 1, but also for other icons like the Air Max 90 and Air Max 95. They're most well-known for the Air Max 1s, however, creating all-time favorites like the "Elephant" and "Safari" colorways. This tiger camo and black snakeskin rendition gets less attention than many of the others, but it's no less amazing. Don't sleep on these any longer.
China's CLOT followed their now-legendary see-through "Kiss of Death" Air Max 1 from 2006 with this sequel in 2013. Once again going for a non-traditional construction, CLOT opted for the modernized Hyperfuse Air Max 1 with a matte grey upper, speckled midsole, and clear outsole with a foot graphic visible underneath. These are becoming increasingly rare, so if you like what you see, you might want to pick them up while you still have a chance.
OK, so half of it is an Air Max 97, but we're still counting Sean Wothespoon's ultra-hyped creation as one of the best Air Max 1s ever. The sneaker that took the culture by storm in late 2017 and throughout 2018 is still just as appealing, and even more sought-after today.
This ultra-clean edition of the Air Max 1 reps Toronto, Canada with a high-contrast color block in black and white, with a whited-out Air Max window for a special touch. The construction is intended to protect your feet in harsh Canadian winters, featuring a rubberized coating on the midsole and a Tech Tough coated leather and heavy-duty textile upper. Red maple leaves on the tongues and insole graphics depicting Toronto's CN Tower and the Northern Lights further underscore the Canadian theme. This isn't one of the rarest or most valuable Air Max 1s in our inventory, but we're throwing it in here to give it some of the shine we feel it rightly deserves. You definitely don't have to be a Drake fan to appreciate "The 6" Air Max 1.
Like the "Elephant" colorway that appeared earlier in this list, atmos also reprised the wild "Animal" Air Max 1 with a second release years later. Originally released in 2006, the multi-animal-print colorway constructed in faux pony hair returned last year with a small tweak: solid black on the toe box instead of white. Nobody seemed to mind the small variation, as it sold out instantly and is now highly coveted just like the original.
As part of the Air Max Day celebration in 2017, Nike released the premium Air Max 1 "Master" featuring a black leather upper and the mudguard in patched-together pieces of recognizable colorways of the shoe from the past. The "greatest hits" concept was elevated even further with this ultra-rare friends and family edition in an alternate white leather upper. This is currently the most valuable Air Max 1 in our inventory, and for good reason.