Surprise everyone, it’s Air Max Day! 90% of people rockin’ with Modern Notoriety know about #AirMaxDay already; but for those in the dark March 26th marks the 32nd anniversary of the Nike Air Max (1). Nike’s visibly awesome cushioning technology debuted in 1987, and has evolved in-hand with sport (& fashion). On the real, we shouldn’t have to break down Air Max to y’all because you know what it is on a subconscious level. From subway floors to steppin’ out of suicide doors – Air Max is errrr where.

Nike Air Max 1

Without hesitation most sneakerheads can rattle off their top-5 Air Maxes like they’re reciting Biggie verses. We here at Modern Notoriety wanted to give our two cents on the matter in celebration of Air Max Day, so we ranked the 5 greatest Air Max Runners of all-time! Design, impact, longevity and colorways were taken into consideration; peep the list below and tell us where we went wrong (news flash: we ain’t wrong :p).


5. Air Max 180 (1991)

Nike Air Max 180

First up to bat is the criminally underrated Air Max 180. These Tinker joints feature 180 degrees of Air Max visibility and were the first major Air Max innovation other than just increasing the air bag size. The 180 was used on some of the most fabled Air Maxes of all time – the Kanye West 180s! These rare AF 180s feature Mr. West’s iconic bear logo from his “College Dropout” album. Air Max collabs have been plentiful in recent years and the Air Max 180 Comme Des Garçons pack early stands as one of the best of the ’10’s (2010+).

4. Air Max 270 (2018)

Nike Air Max 270

Options galore with the lifestyle driven Air Max 270. You readers probably think we’re just crazy for putting these above the likes of the AM 95 and AM 90, but guess what? …We are crazy! The enlarged 270 heel Air unit is dumb comfortable, colorways slap, and the ingenuity is bananas. Nike is at its best when fusing past and present into something new, and the Air Max 270 masters that fusion beautifully. At the end of the day they’re as comfortable as a pair of fresh silk undies.

3. VaporMax (2017)

Nike VaporMax

Another new Air Max? Yes, Billy, another one… Get over it. The Nike VaporMax completed Air Max’s long standing mission of packing as much Air as possible into a pair of shoes. These guys right here are literally all Air – from toe to heel. VaporMax tech is officially unapologetically gaudy and forward thinking to the point where most people remember when they first saw a pair; they’re striking.

2. Air Max 97 (1997, duh)

Nike Air Max 97

The Chinese Bullet Train inspired Air Max 97s are an undisputed fan favorite. Foresight was on point when these dropped in ’97 because they look inline with current trends today in 2019. Linework defines the Air Max 97 with its long, flowing lateral details. Every aspect of the shoe’s design work in harmony to create an Air Max that looks to be in constant motion. Gold, Silver, black, purple, rainbow… it all works on the Air Max 97 with ease, and the 97’s variants (Ultra, EM, Fusion) look solid too.

1. Air Max 1 (1987)

Nike Air Max 1

Say it with us kids: long-gev-ity… longevity! The one that started it all remains the greatest of ’em all.
Collabs? Check.
Impact? We wouldn’t have a list to create without the Air Max 1.
Design? Timeless.

Few can argue against our number 1 pick – you’re welcome. Happy Air Max Day.


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