What Does Air Max Day Mean to UK Sneakerheads?

Air Max Day – the biggest ‘holiday’ in a sneakerhead’s calendar.

I headed down to the capital, London to speak with those swinging by the Crepe City Air Max pop-up store in Shoreditch, we talked everything Air Max and got a perspective on the traction this annual celebration has gained.

What is your favourite Air Max model and why?

@hickshickshicks: For me, it definitely has to be the OG Air Max 90, specifically the Infrared. That was my birth year, 1990, so I already have a connection to that shoe. Other than that I think it’s a fresh colour that goes with everything.

What will you be wearing on Air Max Day?

@hickshickshicks: I might genuinely wear the Air Max 90s, I’ve not worn them this weekend at all. The 2016 release version.

How many pairs of Air Max do you own?

@hickshickshicks: I got rid of quite a lot last summer, so I’d say between 20 – 30 pairs.

What do you think of how Nike made Air Max Day into an international holiday?

@hickshickshicks: I do like it, but I don’t like the whole Air Max Month — I think it should be more like a weekend. I don’t think they should do as many releases as they do, I genuinely don’t think they should let the public vote for one shoe and only produce 5,000. I do think they should celebrate it more with events so the general public can get to know more – especially the youth that are coming in now, as they know it as a ‘hype’ shoe or a ‘hype’ month. There’s more education that Nike can be doing to the public.

Do you have any special Air Max stories or memorabilia?

@hickshickshicks: The last few years I was in a good position working for Nike, and last summer I got a call from a member of the Europe HQ office and he said you need to be at this place, at this time because X is coming. I couldn’t make it so he ended up coming to my flat and picked up some of my favourite Air Max and a Jordan 3 and he said I’m going to take them to Tinker Hatfield’s hotel and I’m gonna get him to sign them for you. I had no idea this was going to happen so I had no preparation time to clean them. They were a little beat with scuffs on them, they even had paint on the midsole. He took them to Tinker to sign and he said to my friend, ‘these have been worn with love, I can tell.’ I wasn’t there to experience that but from someone who has inspired generations of streetwear and running, just the culture of Nike… that is a huge grail for me.

What is your opinion of the direction that Air Max is going?

@hickshickshicks: I thought the Air Max 97 and 1 hybrid was a cool twist, and although not Air Max, the VaporMax is obviously the future of Air Max. That shoe was in production for 9 years and has so many different parts, it’s very impressive getting rid of the midsole – but there is something still so fascinating about 1987. This was a running shoe that has now become the pinnacle of streetwear. I don’t know what the future holds, but they’re gonna blow your mind.

What has kept Air Max so relevant in our culture?

@hickshickshicks: Air Max is 100% a UK shoe, specifically London rather than the North. I just think the way they have done the colourways for the uppers, the collaborations that they have been putting together. I think that is what’s held the community together.

What is your Air Max grail?

@hickshickshicks: It’s the Air Max 1 Parra Patta Cherrywoods. If I was following trends back then, I would have flown to Amsterdam just for that shoe. Speaking to some of the older people that inspire me, they have a pair, I’ve seen them and I’ve tried them on and it’s one I’ve never wanted to take off, to be honest.

 Your favourite Air Max model and why?

@the_r0n: Probably the Air Max 1 because that’s the shoe that got me into sneakers. I’m not really big into Air Max with the larger air units so the 1 does it nicely for me. I really like their pointy shape and they’re not too technical either.

How many pairs do you think you own?

@the_r0n: I estimate 50 pairs of Air Max 1 and another 20 pairs of Air Max in general like 90s, BWs, a few 95s and a few 97s.

What do you think about Nike making ‘Air Max Day’ an annual holiday?

@the_r0n: It’s a nice way to celebrate it and get together, plus it breeds a bit of life into the franchise and gives Nike an opportunity to drop new product. I doubt we would see something like the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 if it wasn’t for an event like Air Max Day. It kind of drove that to happen and the Atmos retro. Nike has set the benchmark so they have to keep doing more to make it work.

Do you have any special Air Max stories, or a tattoo even?

@the_r0n: I met one of my oldest friends involved in shoes — I met him when I went into Footlocker one day, they had that brown Air Max 1 over there, the Brown Shimmer, I got them for £14 so I bought literally all of the shoes they had in store. This was about 15 years ago and we just got talking and became really good friends ever since. One shoe created our friendship so that means a lot.

Considering the newer models and technology, what do you think about the direction of Air Max over the years and where it’s heading?

@the_r0n: I really like the look of the Air Max 270, I haven’t tried it on yet but it’s a really nice look and balance. It’s quite a modern shoe but still gives a homage to the Air Max 93 which always gets overlooked, but I’ve always liked the fact it’s not a full Air unit and just has that bubble at the back of the shoe. It’s something I’ve always liked so it fuses the two together. I’m not fully sold on the VaporMax yet but I do the look of the new Acronym one so I might try and grab them.

What do you think has kept Air Max so relevant over the years, especially in the UK and London?

@the_r0n: The price point has always made it desirable, from when I was a kid the Air Max 95 was always the most expensive shoe so it made it something everyone wanted. When you’re a kid, it’s the shoe you don’t get because your parents don’t let you buy it so it’s something you always want and then when it gets retroed further down the line you find yourself reminiscing about that shoe, making it desirable again. It’s a nice feeling.

What is your grail?

@the_r0n: Probably the BRS Air Max 1. I got ridiculously lucky and found a pair from a guy who didn’t really know what they were. He was wearing them as slippers in his house! Fortunately, I was able to persuade him to part ways with them.

Your favourite Air Max model and why?

@supremeofthearts: Air Max 1. It’s a clean, simple, sleek and future-proof that goes with anything.

What will you be wearing on Air Max Day?

@supremeofthearts: I’ll probably wear the Air Max 1 Masters, the black ones.

How many Air Maxes do you own?

@supremeofthearts: Around 25 pairs.

What do you think about Nike making a ‘holiday’ out of Air Max Day?

@supremeofthearts: I thought it was very brave move because I didn’t think it would work the first time they did it. But they’ve continued on in progress and it has become a success and I salute them for that.

Do you have any special stories about Air Max? Anything sentimental?

@supremeofthearts: When the Air Max 98 Supremes came out, I missed the drop for that but then I went in-store the next day and they had stock available again. So I picked up three pairs – red, blue and black.

Taking in consideration all the new Air Max models Nike is bringing out, what are your thoughts on how they are taking Air Max into the future?

@supremeofthearts: I love the direction they are taking it, the way they’re re-releasing old school Air Maxes. All I care about is that the quality is on point. That’s all I care about.

What’s kept Air Max so relevant in London?

@supremeofthearts: Firstly with Air Max Day and secondly their collaborations with brands. Especially brands like Clot, Comme Des Garcons… but I’d be interested to see ones with more local stores like Cooshti and 5 Pointz in Bristol, my home town.

What is your Air Max grail?

@supremeofthearts: Good question, I’ve got too many. I think I’ll say the Air Max 1 Masters, the black ones.

What is your favourite Air Max model and why?

@arunb3: The Air Max 1 is definitely one of my favourite Air Max models. They are so clean and so versatile, anyone and everyone can wear them.

How many pairs of Air Max do you own?

@arunb3: Close to 10 I think – I do love the VaporMax.

What do you think of the Air Max Day holiday?

@arunb3: I do think they need to slow it down a bit, a whole month feels like they are trying too much with it. Keep it to a weekend and concentrate more events within that time throughout the UK, not just London.

What is your opinion of the direction that Air Max is going?

@arunb3: Yeah, I’m enjoying the direction overall but I would like to see some of the old, classic colourways coming back in as well. And also some more collaborations with new brands. I’d like to see another APC collab, that was just a nice clean shoe. It will be interesting to see what other stuff they start digging out now.

What has kept Air Max so relevant to the culture and consumers?

@arunb3: It is a big London shoe, and the campaigns do help a lot with that. The Skepta collaboration too for example. Grime in itself is massive here and those kinds of influencers change everything, people went crazy for those shoes. He has another shoe coming out again.

What is your Air Max grail?

@arunb3: Without being stereotypical, probably the Air Max 1 Parra Patta Cherrywoods. It’s just one of those iconic shoes.

And there you have it, a healthy roundup of where people stand with Air Max Day. Overall it seems a positive reaction from consumers and enthusiasts to this annual celebration and the journey which Nike is taking Air Max on.

I think we all have our preferences of what we would like to see more of, but overall the Air Max train is showing no signs of slowing.

Do you agree? Or are Nike missing something? What would you like to see more of from Air Max?

Let’s talk! Hit us up on Instagram or Twitter.

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