Nearly 25 years on from the introduction of one of the most renowned silhouettes in the Air Max canon, we’re proud to announce that JD Sports is now exclusively the home of the Nike Air Max 95. If you’re craving those distinct lines and provocative design, the Undisputed King of Trainers is the only place to go. From its unique gradient colour-ways, swoosh pops and signature comfort, we take a closer look into what made the Air Max 95 the sneaker we’ve all come to know and love today.
With the heavy influence of NBA stars, the early 90’s was a time dominated by the basketball shoe category. The likes of Nike athletes such as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Hakeem ‘The Dream’ Olajuwon dominated the game on and off the court, making it inevitable for Nike Basketball to take control of the sneaker market. In doing so, the running category was forced to take a backseat to its hardwood counterpart and Nike sought new and inventive ways to breath new life into the lifeblood of its origins. Turning a new page in the Air Max lineage, Nike ACG designer, Sergio Lozano, was brought in to inject a fresh perspective into the storied franchise.
Inspired by mother nature and his outdoor legacy, Lozano’s imagination led him down the road of unearthing the perfect product by erosion. Forming the silhouette’s unique upper, the lines and gradient construction were built to resemble geographical striations of erosion. Fusing this with the anatomical make-up of the human body, the layered panelling echoing muscle fibres, nylon eyelets resembling a protective rib cage, and extended midsole reminiscent of the human spine; the result was a truly unconventional innovation of design.
Launching in a signature gradient grey colour-way, Lozano set-out to minimize the appearance of wear and dirt which would inevitably build over time. Although he was explicitly told by Nike execs that the colour-way wouldn’t sell, from the design to the colour-way, the individuality of the sneaker was both its greatest strength and its most significant obstacle. Calling back to Nike’s heritage bright colour race kits, the shoe was finished with with neon yellow pops at the eyelets and late addition heel swoosh.
The Air Max 95 represented a number of firsts for Nike. The first ever Nike model to feature visible Air in the forefoot and the first Air Max model to boast a black midsole. Although the sneaker went against the grain of everything the footwear market and Nike had embraced previously, the 95 resonated with youth culture and quickly became a statement piece for the streets. Particularly popular throughout Europe and Australia, like any great older sibling, the ability of the sneaker to break the mould paved the way for other brazen designs such as the Nike Tailwind IV and Nike Air Max Plus aka. Tuned 1 or “TN’s” if you ever rocked them with nautica shorts and a polo cap.
The Air Max 95 has and always will be a beacon for tearing up playbooks and going against the norm; and because of its unapologetic attitude has become a legendary sneaker in not only the legendary lineage of the Air Max franchise, but sneaker design period. Individuality has always been the name of the shoe game and in the words of a rap ‘Game’ legend (no pun intended):
“I’ll kill you if you try me for my Air Max 95s”
Shop the Air Max 95 range at JD Sports here.