“Got your track shoes on but what you running from?”
Welcome to today’s Nice Kicks’ Throwback Thursday. On today’s episode, we pay tribute to a late ’90s Nike running model that has yet to receive the retro treatment, a staple and cult favorite within the storied Air Max running collection: the 1997 Nike Air Max Light 3.
In 1989, Nike debuted the Nike Air Max Light, a running sneaker which struck a balance between large volume, visible air without compromising weight. This silhouette helped usher in a series of classic lightweight running models throughout the ’90s decade.
The mid-to-late 90s, however, was a time of progression and transition, a period which saw running sneakers move from thick, fat bubbles and maximum cushioning to that of lower profile, responsiveness and reduced weight, such as visible Zoom Air and Tuned Air.
In between these two platforms was the Max 3 Light, a model which served as the final installment of the Air Max Light line. Following on the heels of the 1996 Nike Air Max Light, the Air Max Light 3’s construction, coupled with lightweight, breathable materials allowed for maximum comfort without compromising weight.
Additionally, the Air Max Light 3 featured thick, reflective 3M piping along the upper, dual-pressure chamber Max2 visible heel and encapsulated forefoot air sole units, Duralon outsole, Phylon midsole, and debuted in a variety of colorways such as white/deep emerald-photo blue, white/varsity royal-hot lava, varsity royal/taxi-white, white/lapis-black, and a women’s white/taxi-raspberry red, an ode to previous models which featured loud, bright colorways.
While not one of the more iconic Nike running models of the ’90s decade aside from hardcore running and sneaker enthusiasts, the Air Max Light 3 nonetheless continued the rich history and legacy of the Air Max running line. An example of yet another highly underrated, underappreciated, under-the-radar gem from the greatest sneaker era.
So, go ahead. Lace up your pair of favorite Nike Air Max running sneakers, and let the world be your road.