NIKE Air Max Day with Erik
The 26th of March has become a day sneaker minded people circle in their agendas. Specifically the Dutch sneaker minded people. Netherlands is Air Max country, so the 26th of March holds a special place in our hearts: Air Max Day! As a sneaker enthusiast, there’s no going around the Air Max line: practically all the models of the late 80’s and begin 90’s are straight bangers. Shoes so iconic they will be worn for a decades to come. As will I, I couldn’t outrun those darn Air Max’s. In honour of that sacred date, here are my top 3 Air Max shoes (in no particular order).
NIKE Air Max 1 ‘Urawa’
The red colour and the Air Max 1 have always had a love story in my opinion. That of course stems from the original. The granddaddy of the Air Max series: the Varsity Red Air Max 1. That white & red is so clean and so iconic, practically every Air Max 1 with the same type of colourblocking or red colour is a winner. In comes the Urawa. This 2004 colourway is inspired by the football team kit of the Japanese J-League Urawa Red Diamonds. It was a Japan-exclusive and one of the only NIKE sneakers where the NIKE logo on the heel was replaced by something else: a dragon, so embedded in Japanese culture. Everything on this shoe clicks: the all time best Air Max 1 in my opinion.
NIKE Air Max 90 ‘Infrared’
When talking about Air Max’s, or sneakers in general, colourways are a big part of the appeal. A colourway can make or break a shoe: a colourway can certainly send a shoe into the stratosphere. There’s a few of them out there that if you ask someone about a certain model they will immediately think of one shoe. That holds true for the, originally (1990) named, Air Max III Mx Orange. Or as we know it now: the Air Max 90 Infrared. I have always said it is a must have sneaker in anyone’s collection. After the rerelease earlier this year I currently have 5 pairs of the AM90 Infrared, in different conditions. NIKE has become so synonymous with that Infrared colour, this is the colourway to end all colourways.
NIKE Air Max 90 x DQM ‘Bacon'
Dave’s Quality Meat used to be a sneaker store in New York’s meatpacking district. At a certain point, a sneaker store becomes synonymous for the place it is located in: Solebox in Berlin, Patta in Amsterdam, Kith in New York to name a few. Back in 2003 they held that crown: Dave’s Quality Meat was a concept store before there were the concept stores like we know them today. Hoodies hanging from meathooks, shrink wrapped t-shirts in a fridge. Their hunger for a simple bacon sandwich sparked the Bacon colourway on the Air Max 90 in 2006. This era of collaboration sparked some of the most iconic shoes of all time: Tiffany and Pidgeon Dunks, Atmos Viotech Air Max’s and Dunks, anything with Futura, the list goes on. NIKE was willing to let artists and boutiques mess with their best models, whereas nowadays that honour goes towards athletes and musicians.
What makes this pair special for me is of course the importance in the sneaker game, but most of all the material use. In all the sneakers I have had and held, no pair stands out more than the Air Max 90 x DQM ‘Bacon’ as far as materials go. The leather is so soft and buttery, the tongue is so juicy, it is a joy to wear them. Just not daily, or weekly, or monthly. These are just for the special occasions.
What a coincidence it is that NIKE has decided to retro that grail colourway for this year’s Air Max Day. Important note: Calico Jack is sadly not getting those. That is not why I am mentioning them. I sincerely hope the materials are as on par as they are from the original 2006 version.