The Air Max 1 went down in history as a pivotal and innovative

  • nike trainers sale For Nike, the Air Max 1 went down in history as a pivotal and innovative design that elevated the brand when they needed it most. Although the story is part of sneaker lore, its 30th birthday—also known as Air Max Day—is approaching and as Nike dedicates an entire month to its celebration with more releases than we can keep track of, we’re taking a look back at how the Air Max revolution started. It’s a story that can’t be told without first introducing renowned designer Tinker Hatfield. In 1981, long before becoming sneaker industry royalty, Nike hired Hatfield as a corporate architect to design buildings on the brand’s Oregon campus.

    nike trainers sale uk He applied his architectural background to sneaker design and it didn’t take long for him to impart a rebellious spirit into the recently struggling brand. “I began working on a renegade set of shoes that were not part of a design brief or marketing drive,” he explains, referencing what would become the very first Air Max sneaker. The ‘80s started well for Nike, they’d acquired 50% market share in the U.S. athletic shoe market and were on track to become a one billion dollar company. However, midway through the decade, the competition was creeping up on them. Bright colors, daring patterns and bold neons embellished the era, and Nike needed something more striking.

    nike shoes mens uk Air replaced traditional molded EVA soles with gas filled urethane pouches. However, it was the consensus that as performance technology the pouches ought to be felt and not seen. That was until Hatfield came along. It wasn’t another sneaker or even a fashion concept that planted the idea to expose the Air-cushioned sole in Hatfield’s mind, it was a controversial building in Paris that many considered an eyesore. “I don’t know if I was thinking, well now I’m going to design a shoe based off of this,” Hatfield said in the documentary series He’s referring to the Centre Georges Pompidou.

    nike shoes womens uk Hatfield describes the reaction to early Air Max sketches: “It was widely discussed that I had pushed it too far. People were trying to get us fired.” Fortunately, Hatfield had the confidence to challenge the opposition with support from David Forland, Nike’s Director of Cushioning Innovation. However, while Hatfield had complete confidence in the integrity of his design, no one could have predicted the Air Max 1’s lasting impact. a building design that took all its functional and structural elements and placed them on the outside for all to see.