It’s been 35 years since Nike revolutionized the sneaker world with its Air Max cushioning, leading to the birth of iconic styles like the Air Max 1 and Air Max 90. An often overlooked member of that legacy is the Air Max 95, created by Nike designer Sergio Lozano.
When they were introduced in 1995, running shoes were considered radical for several reasons. First, Lozano brought the Nike Air sole to the front of the shoes for the first time, giving athletes maximum cushioning when they hit the track. He then moved the Swoosh from his spotlight on the sides of the sneakers to a low-profile corner just below the collar, all to highlight the shoes’ distinctive gradient pattern.
Finally, the Air Max 95 featured an intriguing design inspired by human anatomy: its lacing system resembled a rib cage, its outsole borrowed from the lines of the spine, and its mesh and suede uppers were meant to represent the fibers muscle. More than two decades before Demna designed the Balenciaga Tyrex based on the muscular system, Nike was already making shoes that felt like an extension of the body.
The hype that followed sneakers in the 90s is comparable to the Air Max 1 mania we see today. The Air Max 95 has become the shoe of choice in Liverpool, where it is colloquially known as 110 (it cost £110). In Tokyo, the shoes often sold out within days, prompting Japanese sneakerheads to spend thousands of dollars for a pair on the resale market. In the United States, hip-hop stars like The Game, Eminem, Lil’ Kim and Gucci Mane cemented the shoes’ cult status by sporting them on the streets or checking them out in their songs.
The return of the Air Max 95
Over the years, the Air Max 95 has slipped under the radar a bit, with celebrities opting for other Nike styles instead. But the silhouette could see another revival in 2022, especially after Kim Kardashian showed off a pair on Instagram.
The SKIMS founder wearing Nikes is a big deal in itself. After all, Kim has long shown her support for Kanye West by exclusively wearing his Adidas Yeezy designs. Her Air Max 95s may be a blow to her ex-husband, but they’re also truly a practical choice of shoe for hitting the gym.
If you want to match Kim’s workout look, try one of the pairs we’ve selected below.
Header photo credit: Sneaker District
The best Air Max 95 sneakers to buy now:
This story first appeared on lifestyle asia singapore