Tomorrow, March 26th, Nike releases the Air Max Zero, 29 years in the making.
The Nike Air Max Zero was the precursor to Air Max 1, legendary designer Tinker Hatfield’s first shoe for Nike. After famously travelling to Paris and being inspired by the Centre Pompidou, Hatfield returned to Oregon and designed the Air Max 1.
Recalling the design process of the Air Max, Tinker Hatfield says, “There was no brief or research, just a single revelation. I thought, ‘Why couldn’t we design an exciting new running shoe that reveals to the world what Nike Air really is?’… we were making bigger and bigger Air-Sole units and that people needed to see and understand them.”
Released in 1987, this shoe kickstarted a sneaker revolution, with visible air seen from running to basketball. However, the Air Max 1 was not Hatfield’s first creation. It was the product of several redesigns, the first of these being the Air Max Zero. In the Air Max Zero, Hatfield wanted to create a shoe that offered superior comfort and performance. However, the technology and materials required to produce Hatfield’s vision were simply too advanced for the time, and so the Air Max 1 was born instead.
Forgotten for 29 years, Hatfield’s original sketch of the Air Max Zero sat in the Nike Archives. When the Nike design team recently stumbled across early prototypes ad samples of the Zero, they knew that it was time for the world to see the original Air Max.
To celebrate the iconic Nike Air Max design, the 26th of March has been proclaimed as Air Max Day. The Air Max Zero will also launch at selected Nike Sportwear retailers from 10am on this day.
Join in on Air Max Day by wearing your Air, and tagging @NikeSportwear #AirMax