Nike Air Max 95 Sneakerboot

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Birth of the Air Max

The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris has one of the most thought-provoking architectural designs in the modern world. While it’s fully functional, its unique design makes it look like it’s still under construction. Features that are supposedly hidden (e.g., beams and posts) or kept indoor (e.g., staircases) are purposefully laid bare for the whole world to examine.

When Tinker Hatfield saw the Pompidou, he immediately recognized it as a good shoe inspiration. He toiled and subsequently pitched the idea of carving a window on the midsole so that the inner workings of the shoe--specifically the air packets that provide heel cushioning--will be visible.

However, his proposal was initially met with animosity. Some colleagues raised concerns about the resulting model’s durability. Of course, there was that good old conservative notion that the normal inner workings of a shoe are best kept hidden.

The resistance was so strong that there were already moves to remove him from the design team. Fortunately, Tinker Hatfield found an ally in Dave Forland, who was Nike’s Director of Cushioning Innovation at the time. The first Air Max was finally released on March 26, 1987, and it revolutionized the way the world would view sneakers.

The Air Max 1 became the wind that Nike needed to keep its flight steady as it countered fierce attacks from competitors. The window idea paid off, and the shoe was merely selling like pancakes. The hype was probably because the new design wittingly added a unique touch to an otherwise old technology: Frank Rudy’s Air technology which had already been in use since the late 1970s as seen in other vintage runners like the 1978 Nike Tailwind and the 1981 Nike Mariah.

  The founding of the Nike Air Max 95

Due to its success, the Air Max 1 single-handedly ushered in the Air Max era. In 1995, a memorable reiteration was dropped. Dubbed as the Nike Air Max 95, it was the first shoe that also had air cushioning in the forefoot area.

Consequently, instead of having just one pair of display windows, it had three pairs: one in its usual place in the rear foot area, and two small ones in the forefoot area. The changes on the upper are also noteworthy. It featured a pattern that easily reminded observers of well-developed human rib cage muscles.

  From a Running Shoe to a Sneakerboot

The recent years saw the revival of the Air Max 95, but with a significant twist. In 2017, the Swoosh brand teased die-hard AM 95 fans with a winter-ready release. Re-imagined as a practical outdoor shoe that can combat the harsh cold, it now sports a high-top cut. The former running shoe that’s recreated into a sneaker-boot with layers of support got a new name, the Nike Air Max 95 Sneakerboot.

The padded tongue is wrapped in neoprene that can be secured using a zipper. Once zipped, an additional lockdown is provided by a lacing system that sits on top part of the upper. Underneath, the feet are protected by the proprietary Nike Air-sole, while the outsole is lined with grippy and long-enduring rubber.