March 26, 1987 marked the release of the Air Max 1 and with it, a revolution began. In the form of a literal window to the sole, the invisible became visible and Nike Air cushioning forever changed how Nike designed running sneakers. Twenty-seven years have passed, visibility has increased, the legend has grown, and the time to celebrate has arrived. 3.26, the day that started it all, marks the celebration of an experiment turned icon. To kickstart the festivities, a limited edition Air Max 1 will be released to usher in a new tradition.
For almost 30 years, Nike and “air” have been synonymous and inseparable. Although 3.26.87 marked the beginning of the epic known as Air Max, the journey began ten years earlier with an aerospace engineer by the name of Frank Rudy and his ingenious idea. During a visit to Nike’s World Headquarters, Rudy gave Phil Knight a pair of running shoes fitted with a prototype Air-Sole unit — and the rest was history.
After much trial and error Rudy’s concept was applied to the Air Tailwind in 1978, catapulting the running industry forward. The real impact would hit almost a decade later when a lightbulb went on for storied footwear designer Tinker Hatfield.