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Nike Air Max 90

Originally known as the Air Max III until it was renamed in 2000, the Nike Air Max 90 comes from the legendary sneaker architect Tinker Hatfield. Hatfield pushed the limits of the Air Max design with this iconic silhouette.

The first thing that was apparent about the original colorway of the Air Max 90 was the Inferred, ribbed panels on the sneaker. The ribbed pattern and sharp angles on the sneaker evoke images of speed and forward motion. The sneaker was composed of Duromesh, suede, and molded thermoplastic. At the time of the sneaker, Inferred was a bold color to put on a running shoe, and Nike used it to draw attention to the Air Max 90’s most defining feature, the air unit.

The Air Max line was born at a time when Nike was trying to trim down the size of the air units to reduce production cost. When Hatfield created the first Air Max, people went nuts over the visible tech. Nike had been telling customers for years about the benefits of air units, but until the first Air Max it was just talk to everyone. Once the encapsulated air units were exposed to the world that was that. Nike had to change course as well. They could no longer make the air units smaller, with each new model customers wanted a bigger and better air unit. The Air Max 90 delivered with an air unit with more gas pumped into it, and a slightly larger window to view the tech.

Like the Air Max models that came before, the 90 had a visible air unit in the heel, but Hatfield wanted to push the limits of the tech. He designed the sneaker with more air that its predecessors, providing runners with responsive cushioning for their run. The front and back portions of the midsole were separated into different compartments to allow for better range of motion and material options.

What was once a contemporary running sneaker, is now a stable in the lineup for sneakerheads who favor these fantastic runners for their style and heritage. The Air Max 90 continues to be one of Nike’s top sellers, especially when they drop it in the ‘Inferred’ colorway. However, the silhouette has seen varying treatments and materials, such as nubuck, leather, Vac-tech, and more. If you don’t have this silhouette, I suggest you check out City Gear’s selection of the Nike Air Max 90