Air Max 90

Air Max 90

INFRARED. One word is enough - and every sneakerhead knows immediately which shoe it is. With this colorway, the sneaker has become famous and has burned itself into our hearts. Initially, the Nike Air Max 90 was actually a professional running shoe, but it quickly became a streetwear staple and found its way onto the feet of sneakerheads, rappers, professional athletes and fashionistas. No wonder - because the 90s OG version was designed by none other than Tinker Hatfield.

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Nike Air Max 90: The shoe with the "fast look"

The Nike 90 was one of the first silhouettes with the "Visible Air" style, which has shaped many sneakers to this day: Everyone could see what was behind the famous Air technology. The shoe is often hyped as a holy grail and therefore definitely belongs in every good sneaker collection. The Air Max Essential and the Air Max Ultra in particular are at the top of the list of favorites. The sneaker stands for sporty design, retro style, originality and absolute passion. The Air Max 90 is more than just a shoe - it's a statement.

But what makes the Air Max 90 so special and which versions are particularly hyped? Let's fill the gap!

A running legend

How could it be otherwise? The Nike Air Max 90 was penned by design icon Tinker Hatfield, who also had a hand in the Air Max 1 and the Jordan 3, for example.

The first Air Max dropped on the market in 1987 and was to become one of the sports giant's most successful silhouettes. The famous Air technology came from NASA engineer Franklin Rudy and had already been used in other models such as the Nike Air Jordan - but the air cushions only became visible with the Air Max. Hatfield was inspired by earlier models of the Air Max and the architecture in Paris: by moving the escalators to the outer facade, the Pompidou Center pursued the idea of making things visible from the inside. The tremendous success of the sneaker showed that Hatfield had hit the bull's eye.

The retro design, the colorways and the visible technology have managed to stay at the forefront for decades: The Nike 90 is still the second most popular Air Max variant today - thanks to designer Tinker Hatfield. The colorway of the OG version was initially called Hyvent Orange and was launched as the Air Max III, but since the kick's comeback in 2001, the color has been called Infrared. The model name also changed with the relaunch of the model - namely to Nike Air Max 90. But die-hard collectors don't just pounce on the first colorway. The Escapes, Laser Blues and Pythons, for example, are also highly coveted.

Fun fact: sneakerheads and collectors were crazy about one particular collabo - namely the one with French company Courir. The Air Max 90 Denim was available exclusively in France and only in women's sizes. The kicks are considered iconic among the Air Max models. The Navigation Pack released in 2004 was also something very special: a street map of New York was engraved with a laser to guide you to your next favorite sneaker. A cool move!

Hyped versions of the 90s

The success of the OG versions in Infrared and Laser Blue is still unrivaled today. But in addition to these two cult models, there are of course many other colorways such as the Silver Surfer, hyped collabos and special editions, which are also at the top of the popularity scale for Air Max models. In 2008, for example, there was the Current Infrared, in which the front part of the sole was designed as individual segments. We would like to introduce you to our absolute favourites here.

The Nike Air Max Terrascape 90

This version was specially developed for high loads and has a less futuristic and more classic design. The new Terrascape logo on the tongue, the triple stitching and plastic elements on the eyelets provide an additional sporty look. The base of the sneaker naturally remains an AM 90, but also comes with a few new features: The robust Crater Foam ensures a comfortable feel, while the translucent Nike Grind rubber on the outsole encloses the mud guard, making the shoe the ideal outdoor kick. The Terrascape Plus is a little more playful and futuristic. The outsole is no longer transparent, but features Air technology in various places. It is equipped with a plastic cage and robust details for that extra look. This version of the Nike Air Max 90 in black and white is very popular.

The Nike Air Max 90 Essential

With the ultimate 90s look, optimal comfort and the familiar Air technology, the Essential is an ideal companion - whether on the street or during sports. Thanks to the mix of materials in the upper made from different types of leather and its sole, the shoe is both robust and ideally cushioned - without compromise. The basic design is strongly based on the AM 1, but fresh colorways, the visible Air unit, clear lines and flat laces create the retro look of the Air Max 90 Essential and make the subtle difference.

The Nike Air Max 90 LTR

This version has a more delicate design and is reminiscent of a typical running shoe thanks to the low top and waffle sole. The additional padding in the shoe collar and the leather upper ensure optimum comfort, while the Air unit guarantees additional cushioning. The waffle pattern outsole offers you grip and flexibility with every step, giving you the security you need during sport. The Air Max 90 LTR is for all those who like things a little more understated and sporty.

Skilfully staged

The first colorway, the Air Max Infrared, made sneaker history. But the Laser Blue version is still in demand today. The silhouette is now released annually in both classic and fresh color combinations, such as the Orange Duck Camo from 2020 or the Mars Landing from 2019. In addition to the various colorways from Nike itself, the collabos are also getting a lot of hype. Virgil Abloh from Off-White and Patta are just a few of the coveted collaboration partners who got their own Air Max 90. One of the most unusual and at the same time most spectacular collaborations was probably the Air Max 90 Bacon. In collaboration with Dave's Quality Meats, a tribute to Dave's passion for bacon was created in 2004: the combination of different types of leather and mesh appeared in shades of brown, pink and red, reminiscent of his passion. Collabos such as the "The Ten" with Off-White also contributed significantly to the hype surrounding the sneaker.

How the Air Max 90 fits

Although the design of the Kick is a little chunkier than other models, the Air Max 90 is slightly smaller than the regular fit, similar to the Air Max 1 or the Air Max 95. This applies to both the Air Max for men and the women's version. If you are looking for a little more room in the shoe, we recommend going up half a size when buying the Air Max 90. Basically, the variants of the AM are very diverse: patent, suede and smooth leather, mesh and Flyknit have already been used for the upper. But materials such as cork have also made an appearance with the Nike 90, and many colorways come with a contrasting frame for the visible air cushion, which makes it stand out even more. The new Ultra sole also provides an extra dose of comfort. A real eye-catcher is the large Nike logo on the heel, which usually stands out in color. Last but not least, the visible Air technology ensures a real special effect!

The Air Max 90 is not only a damn good shoe for professional sporting performance, it also has a high status in the street style sector. It's not just for young kids, but a real cult object among sneakerheads and a must-have for all fashion fans. It has that very special drive like hardly any other model from the sportswear brand and is suitable for both the street and the office. And it creates something quite unique: it arouses emotions. And that makes the shoe with the "fast look" not only something special, but also a real legend!

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