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This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Nike Air Max 90, the classic running sneaker loved for its clean design and simple details. Many consider the style to be the second flagship in the Air Max family, behind only the trailblazing Air Max 1. (Both shoes were designed by the legendary.) For Air Max Day 2020, the Nike-invented sneakerhead holiday, the Swoosh is paying homage to the countless Air Max releases over the years with a grip of new colourways and iterations. The standout is the future-inspired Nike Air Max 2090.
The bold-looking Nike Air Max 2090 takes clear inspiration from the Air Max 90, from its big visible Air bubble to its pared-down silhouette, but as a shoe, it’s also wholly it’s own. It’s more of a spiritual sequel. While the original 90 looks the part of a classic running shoe, 2090 is a re-cladding of the silhouette to seemingly prepare it for space travel (an idea Nike appears to be quite taken with these days). There’s a blend of transparent fabric and bold graphics. Virgil Abloh-Esque stitching details abound. The Nike Air Max 2090 has also been upgraded with a softer underfoot and comes with an internal lining with a padded heel so you can also feel like you’re walking on the moon. All of this adds up for a sneaker that melds timelessness with right-now vibes in equal measure.
“Air Max Day” typically yields a variety of high-concept sneakers, with Nike pulling deep cuts from its archive and exploring new trajectories and designs for its most beloved sneakers. The colors on this Air Max 2090 are meant to evoke “a future state where roads are dominated by electric and solar-powered vehicles.” Nike’s vision of the future is clearly soft shades of silver and hints of lilac-blue, dusty red, and black. Other Air Max 90 sneakers to drop on the occasion include a version decked out in duck camo print (a cult-loved collaboration with New York retailer Atmos) and a trio of shiny and metallic versions (previously only available through Nike’s custom “By You” program).
Does a superfluous sneaker holiday amidst the global pandemic feel a little…off? Maybe. But Air Max Day is really for the diehard fans to celebrate the style and history of a much beloved sneaker legacy. Let the sneakerheads have their fun.