1. Home
  2. sneaker news
  3. nike air max 1 guide

Nike Air Max 1: A Complete Guide

11 November 2021


Liam Perry

When you buy something from links on this page we may earn a commission. Learn More

AIR MAX 1 Complete Guide

Going back in memory lane, the year 1987 was pretty dramatic in the entertainment and fashion landscape. The first television appearance of the Simpsons family, the release of Michael Jackson’s album ‘Bad’ and of course, the evolution of the Nike series with the emergence of the much-loved Air Max 1. Let’s focus on how Nike Air Max 1 has positioned itself as the highest echelon in sneaker lore.

It’s a story that cannot do justice without names like M Frank Rudy and Tinker Hatfield. How the exit of one led to the entry of the other. And how the legendary sneaker wear dominated the US shoe market share.

Stay tuned to know everything about the incredible Air Max 1.

The Birth of Nike Air Max 1

Let’s take it right from the top. It was the year 1978 when M. Frank Reddy developed the ‘AIR’ for Nike. His takeaways were from NASA, wherein he learnt how to pump the dormant gas into a bubble and insert it swiftly into the sneaker sole. That’s how Nike adopted the airbag technology and presented the Air Tailwind.

The aerodynamic sneaker waved out an air pocket in the midsole, thereby enlarging the length of the sneakers. With the help of this technology, the response and bounce was something never seen before in the sneaker realm. And that’s how the Nike Air Tailwind family grew by leaps and bounds.

Bubbles in the shoe were certainly enchanting. But Nike got a little greedy. Well, greedy for the runners. The Swoosh brand visioned developing the feather-like weight of the soles. They wanted to replace the soles and make them even more responsive. The idea was to create game-changing sneakers and make an astounding impact in the history of footwear.

In 1981, Tinker Hatfield had collaborated with Nike as an architect to construct the brand’s Oregon campus. Little did we know, the renowned architect had a hidden talent for shoe designing. One fine day, his boss threw a challenge at him to redesign the brand and create an innovatory class of sneaker series. Nike was adamant about diminishing the air technology and requested Hatfield to get going on the mission.

Guess where the architect eventually turned designer decided to take his inspiration from? The man visited the city of love. He planted the idea from a controversial building in Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, which many may have considered ‘eyesore’. The trained architect was blown away by the building’s inside-out appeal with a structural element wrapped around the exterior of the building. It was placed on the outside for the world to see. And that’s when Tinker’s architectural gut went upside down.

He immediately came up with the idea of revealing the magical inner fabrication of the sneakers and flaunting a visible Air pouch. ‘The bubble inside the shoe needs to be exposed’, he said. Hatfield believed the focus should not be the air bubble but the visibility. And that’s how the Nike Air Max 1 was born.

10 Facts About Nike Air Max 1

The Air Max 1 did not just become a favourite for plenty of sneaker jaggers. The brand is symbolic for various reasons. Here are some facts about the sneaker series; I bet you didn’t know!

  • The Air Max 1 silhouettes originated with two different versions. In 1986, featured a large airbag with a different outsole and midsole. It also featured a foam design that was receptive to crumbling. Nike then reinvented the Air Max models with smaller airbags and Swoosh on the side of the toe.
  • When Tinker Hatfield took over the reincarnation of the silhouettes, the news spread like fire. He had messages pinned to his demoralizing him to design the sneakers. But that did not stop him. He absorbed the concept of ‘haters gonna hate’ and moved on.
  • Air Max 1 introduced heel branding to Nike.
  • The Nike marketing team was not convinced with the visible air unit at first.
  • Air Max 1 brought in the best numbers to Nike.
  • Japanese retailer atmos were the first company to collaborate with Air Max 1.
  • The air unit was just not about ‘AIR’. The cushioning unit was filled with sulfur hexafluoride and then later replaced by nitrogen.
  • Air Max 1 was first launched in a TV campaign.
  • The version was released in mesh and suede and later replaced with leather. However, the suede and mesh combination returned in 1995.
  • Amongst all the Nike sneakers featuring the air unit, Air Max 1 features the biggest one to date.

Recommended Reading: Nike Air Jordan 1: A Complete Guide

The making of the Stunning Sneakers

Air Max 1 Anatomy

The Air Max 1 is a testament to the quality of fabrication of Nike’s capability.

Let’s get to what everyone’s curious about. What are the AIR Max 1 sneakers made of? How has the legendary footwear designer – Tinker Hatfield beaten his records?

The mastermind used his architectural skills to design the sneaker, and that was a cakewalk for him. He imparted his rebellious spirit into developing the brand name. The creeping competition in the sneaker industry led Nike to come up with a proactive idea. The brand aimed at changing the landscape of footwear amongst all other Nike predecessors.

We have already spoken about the inspirational beauty – Centre Pompidou in Paris. Tinker was blown away by the whole structural design and came up with a brilliant idea of exposing the inner workings of the shoe. And that’s how a visible Air window was spawned.

Nike’s patented air cushioning technology was not a newfound construction. This innovation was already well established. The EVA soles were replaced swiftly with gas pumped urethane pouches to provide an exceptional bounce. The shoe had decided to breathe and bob like never before.

The first version of the Air Max 1 decided to ditch the mesh and suede. The uppers were composed of synthetic and nylon feels. It flaunted a premium leather which made the sneaker look extravagant. Eventually, the mesh and suede combination made a grant re-entry.

The remodelled sneaker was packed with an ultra-lightweight 2.0 outsole. This made Air Max 1 as one of the lightest sneakers in the industry. The trainers are often recognized as the ‘piece of art’, and that’s totally justifiable. The revolutionary footwear can up your sneaker score with its smart embroidered branding and enhanced support.

Heavily constructed rubber outsoles provide a grip like no other. You can be sure of feeling safe even on slippery tracks. Tinker also involves thermoplastic straps to make sure the stability is uncompromised. Some of the trainers look jaw-dropping with contrasting lace loops and overlays at the heel tab.

We cannot go without mentioning how Hatfield played a gamble for the first time by cutting a tiny window in the sole. And Nike definitely trusted the man. ‘Innovation is the hallmark of entrepreneurship. The rock-hard collaboration sure proved it right.

Why should you buy the Nike Air Max 1?

I have five strong reasons which are enough to lure you from buying these freak field mules. The dope like sneakers deserve an entry in your shoedrobe right away, and here’s why:

  • Spare laces and a commemorative box accompany the sneakers.
  • The material, shape and fabrication is high end and completely distinct from all other Nike footwear.
  • The beauty of the sneakers is spelt out even more once worn.
  • Nike Air Max 1 is like fine wine. It never goes out of style.
  • The colourway and design elements give more freedom to play with the outfit.

Recommended Reading: Nike Air Force 1: A Complete Guide

Nike Air Max 1 Size & Comfort?

Air Max 1 Size Guide

Everyone’s wondering if Nike Air Max 1 is true to the size? The answer is a straightforward YES!

The Nike Air Max 1 size is as accurate as it could get. And that’s one of the plus points of the sneakers. Choosing the right sneaker size requires no effort whatsoever.

The Swoosh sneakers run true for every variation. Nike Air Max 1 does not crease much whether you are walking or running for long hours. So, indulging in a bigger size can get too roomy or taddy.

The padding inside is also a bang on. It is sure to make you feel snuggish but in the right quantity. The heartbreakers are a personification of perfection. It features the right proportion of everything. And that totally helps in providing an inch-perfect size. The mesh walls are incorporated to dispense flexibility and give that additional room around the midfoot. So, your tiny toes have that little space to move around and stretch. This surges the comfort level of the sneakers swiftly.

Paint your town red with these sneakers on your feet for hours, indulge in physical activity or run for a bus; these sneakers give you the freedom to do what you want without bothering you an inch. The sneakers are incredibly comfortable.

Talking about the insoles, it is elevated with an upward curve around the midfoot. This gives great comfort to the feet in need of arch support. At the same time, the outsole features a tried and tested combination of a reinforced heel, flat midfoot and extruding lugs at the forefoot. This amalgamation gives satisfactory traction.

The sneakers rocked the air pouches, heavy-duty engineering, midfoot collar buckle, robust leather and flexible inner layer. Thanks to this entire construction, you can be sure that the Nike Air Max 1 is one of the comfiest pairs.

Nike Air Max 1 Style Guide

And that’s what we love about these charmers. Nothing is as facile as styling them. Since the inception of the sneakers, they first garnered all the attention for the visible air unit and then the timeless beauty. Unlike the other Nike funky trainers, these sneaker series are the epitome of elegance and poise. So styling them is really no rocket science. The best part? You can never go wrong. You are in safe hands! But how about making them look more prodigious and refined?

Daywear styling

Air Max 1 Daywear styling

Are you heading to a brunch or a movie with friends or just walking around the city? I would love you to look street chic with these silhouettes on your feet. Someone rightly said, being a sucker for basics is sure to make you look uber cool. Vibe in a back crop top fitted with blue baggy denim or joggers. Bring out your wardrobe essentials – sunglasses & a scarf and chill with your homies as much as you would want to. Boys, pull out your cargo pants with a logo printed t-shirt. That’s all you need. Sure, you can cap on.

Nightwear styling

Air Max 1 Nightwear stylingImage Credit: shelflife.co.za

These hypebeasts will let you dress up and yet go easy at your dinner party. Slip on your best denim jacket with a dapper t-shirt and a pencil skirt. The unconventional look will garner all the eyeballs at you. Guess what? Boys could do with a denim jacket too. Tapered fitted pants, a crisp t-shirt and a denim jacket. Let your Air Max 1 silhouette spell out glamour.

Workwear Styling

Air Max 1 Daywear styling

Fun at work? Yes, you could be that. The drool-worthy sneakers can make you look plush and fancy at the same time. Slip on your best black blazer and trousers. Let your feet in your aerodynamic sneakers. Walk into the conference room with utmost confidence. Easy peasy, right?

Recommended Reading: Nike Dunk: A Complete Guide

How to clean Nike Air Max 1?

Own your sneakers with pride and love. Part of loving involves cleaning and disinfecting them. Let your trainers sparkle every time you slip them on. The process is absolutely effortless. Let me tell you how to get going.

How to clean white Air Max 1 laces?

  • If your white shoelaces are pretty shabby, loosen up all the dirt first. Once the top mud layer is out, cleaning will become fairly easy.
  • Fill a bucket with room temperature water. Soak the laces in the clean water for a while. Now add 3-4 tablespoons of bleach but make sure of not having any direct contact.
  • Use a spatula to stir the laces in this sound solution.
  • You have the option to add the laces to your washer and give it a quick hot water wash. Once done, let it dry out.

How to clean coloured Air Max 1 laces?

  • The procedure to begin is the same. Buffer all the dried and excess dirt with your hands.
  • Fill a bucket with warm and clean water. Keep the bleach away.
  • Slip in the coloured laces and let it rest in the soapy solution for a while.
  • Use a spatula to mimic the swirling movement of a washer.
  • Take a soft bristle brush and scrub the laces to eliminate the dirt.
  • If your laces still have dirt on them, change the water and repeat the process.

How to clean Air Max 1 insoles?

  • Are your sneaker insoles dirty or smelly, or both? In any case, remove them and let them air out for a while.
  • Take a soft brush to eradicate all the dirt and mud from it.
  • Bring out a clean bucket and fill it with hot water.
  • Add a few drops of shoe cleaning serum to the crystal clear water.
  • Immerse the soft bristle brush in soapy water and scrub the insoles with it.
  • You definitely should stress more on the stained areas. The toe and heel areas will have large and obvious patches of dirt.
  • Wet the brush again and repeat the process. Do not soak the insoles.
  • Once you are done, make use of a microfibre cloth to dry out soap residue.

How to clean Air Max 1 uppers?

  • Grab the sneaker cleaning serum and add some drops of it to a bowl filled with water.
  • Mix the soft bristle brush to the solution and then move it over the Jordan upper in a circular motion.
  • If you find stubborn stains, you can get your hands on a hard brush. Scrub them back and forth to remove all the stuck dirt.
  • You can also use a toothbrush to clean the cracks and crannies.

Things to Avoid

Don’t let your dirty sneakers turn into damaged ones. Let them snazzy as long as they can. Here’s a list of DONTs you must follow.

  • Don’t use hot water.
  • Don’t put the shoes in the washing machine.
  • Don’t expose your shoes to direct sunlight.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals.

Recommended Reading: Nike Air Jordan 3: A Complete Guide

Real vs Fake: How to spot the difference?

Air Max1 Real vs Fake

Fake is fake! And for die-hard enthusiasts, it’s certainly a taboo. Well, not just one, but several indicators will help you identify the counterfeit. Let me place them on a platter for you.

Swoosh positioning

Let’s begin with the branding of the silhouettes. The Swoosh logo in the fake sneakers is placed too low and slightly more curvy than the original. This is the first indicator of the trainers being fake.

Material Matters

I am sure you are not doing this; check the material description and compare them with the sneakers you have received. Most probably, the bootleggers may have missed or gone wrong somewhere. Get into the fine detailing. The truth lies there.

Tongue Tab

The tongue tab is ideally the focal point, but people still tend to miss it. The fake trainers will always have a tongue shorter than the one in the original one.

Heel shape

Pick up any original AM1. The heel will be curvy with a straight midsole. The shape of the heel is a major indicator. The fake AM1s will lack the bulge in the heel and have a midsole running upwards.


The sneaker label is a major source of information to spot the fake one. The label will have various details like – product code, size, dates, barcode and mode. Begin with verifying the product code by surfing on google. Only if it matches, you must proceed. Or else you can spot the difference right there. Carefully check the alphabets on the tag. The fake ones will have all inconsistent letters. The making on the label should be mentioned as ‘Made in Vietnam’, not ‘Made in China’. The swoosh logo on the real sneaker tag will be far from the other detailing and not touch anything.

Outsole and Insole

The outsole of the trainers have a distinct feature, and that’s what Air Max 1 comprises- the visible air unit. That’s ideally the identity of the shoes. Then get inside and deeply evaluate the insole. The print of the fake sneakers may deviate.


The sneaker box also says a lot. The fake ones will always be packed in a box with different sizes and colours than usual. This is a fine detail that you must not ignore.

Top Nike Air Max 1 of All Times

1. Nike Air Max 1 Kid Robot (2005): These silhouettes are real head turners and are still Nike’s adorned sneakers to date. An eye-catchy combination of hot pink, black and gold, these much deserving shoes are definite to make you feel like a celebrity. These arresting runners flaunt the label on the heel as well on the tongue label. The striking pink on the eyestays and socks liner and laces accentuates the black leather upper very dramatically.

Best Feature: Classic gum outsole

2. Nike Air Max 1 Patta Purple Denim: The Patta purple denim puts across a recipe of madness for every sneakerhead. A waving mudguard defines the silhouette to ensure a classic feel with every step you take. It features an old-school shape of a slightly turned up toe box with some colour blocking on the retro runner. The sneakers are spotlighted with washed violet denim on a white mesh upper and grey suede. The mini swoosh on the mudguard front and a Patta tongue tag is like a cherry on the cake.

Best Feature: Enhanced grip

3. Nike Air Max 1 Patta 5th Anniv Green: The sneakers feature a unique construction of denim, mesh and nubuck in white and grey accents with a green Chlorophyll tone throughout. The Patta tongue tab and footbed are sure to impress you with their personification. Also, the embroidered swoosh near the tongue cannot be overlooked.

Best Feature: Premium footbed

4. Nike Air Max 1 Master: Call it the black beauty or the black panther; these silhouettes can make you feel immensely powerful when you slip them on. The premium looking sneaker is fabricated with black upper and pristine detailing. The mudguard is like fairy floss. It flaunts an innovative design of a long lineage. The sneaker also sports perforated leather on the ankle collar and toe box.

Best Feature: High-end quality leather

5. Nike Air Max 1 SP CLOT Kiss of Death 2 (2013): If there is something called as too much elegance, these runners do complete justice to it. The groundbreaking sneakers spell sophistication from every angle. It features an unparalleled suede upper and a mesh toe box. The see-through toe box sure makes the silhouettes eye-catchy, and that’s what makes every sneakerhead drool over them.

Best Feature: Versatile

6. Nike Air Max 1 112 Pack: These Air Max 1 sneakers are unique, unconventional, and quirky. It shows an elephant print wrapped mudguard with a colourway of black/neon yellow-metallic silver. The Nike runners are also distinctive, with 3M reflective metallic silver overlays and translucent neon yellow outsole. If you are crazy in the head, grab these right away.

Best Feature: Eye candy feels

7. Nike Air Max 1 Atmos Elephant (2017): Nike loves the elephant print, and so do we. These retro featured sneakers are just as head-turning as the others or maybe more. You can convincingly see a crisp elephant print along with the ankle and mudguard panelling. The silhouettes are wrapped in a premium black suede around the ankle and side panel. And the Nike branding completes the look in vibrant colour.

Top Nike Air Max 1 of 2021

Clot Nike Air Max 1 KOD Cha Dark Brown DD1870-200

1. Clot Nike Air Max 1 KOD Cha Dark Brown DD1870-200: Here’s a complete package of subtle, sound and sophisticated colourway. Slay these stunning silhouettes wearing any outfit of your choice. It can complement pretty much anything you like. CLOT branding, ostrich leather accents, and a see-through toe will have all the onlookers eyes glued to your feet.

Best Feature: Aesthetic vibe

Resale value: £180.00

Nike Air Max 1 EOI White Multi CW6541-100

2. Nike Air Max 1 EOI White Multi CW6541-100: These juvenile and techy looking lace-up sneakers are classy and fun at the same time. A full white construction with hues of grey and orange contrast the white base gracefully. The sidewalls have a distinct bright colour on Swoosh branding on both sides. This sure flaunts an exquisite display and looks iconic.

Best Feature: Chunky heel

Resale value: £140.00

CLOT Nike Air Max 1 Kiss of Death Beige DD1870-100

3. CLOT Nike Air Max 1 Kiss of Death Beige DD1870-100: Surprise surprise! Here’s something you have never seen before. The see-through plastic material toe box flaunts a remarkable theme in the sneaker series. You are sure to feel luxurious in a premium red leather tongue tab, tonal beige suede overlays and the carefully embroidered Chinese knotting pattern at the heel.

Best Feature: Ultra flexible

Resale value: £124.00

Patta Nike Air Max 1 Monarch White DH1348-001

4. Patta Nike Air Max 1 Monarch White DH1348-001: These funky coveted trainers promise to remain forever trendy. The white and grey base is wrapped with a unique wavy patterned suede overlay with the brightest orange palette. The construction is pretty much enjoyable as well. It’s feathery, comfy and breathable. Your feet are sure to feel cosy and homely.

Best Feature: Ultra flexible

Resale value: £124.00

Nike Air Max 1 Martian Sunrise White Red DH4059-102

5. Nike Air Max 1 Martian Sunrise White Red DH4059-102: The Swoosh sneakers, with their fierce makeover, will let you rule the street at any time. The brightest white overlay with sunrise orange, vibrant accents makes the pair irresistible. The kicks also have a solid cushioning technology to provide the comfiest footbed.

Best Feature: Ingenious air cushioning

Resale value: £170.00

Celebrity Tales in Nike Air Max 1

Celebrities can be sneaker influencers too. Well, that’s what it looks like these days. They are all seen showing immense love towards the Air Max 1. These sneakers are not just recognized as basketball or runners shoes, and we are here to prove to you that.

Chris Brown spotted with Air Max 1Image Credit: fashionbombdaily.com

American singer-songwriter – Chris Brown has always rocked the stage with his performance and attire. This time it was the AM1, which made substantial waves. He paired the sneakers with a vibrant hoodie, ripped jeans and denim jacket. He accentuated his clobber by accessorizing it with a sporty cap. We are not sure what was more drool-worthy, his performance or look. Travis Scott made a statement in the sneakers as well. He wore them to a red carpet event with baggy pants, a printed t-shirt and a jacket. He sure looked pretty ravishing. Did I miss his jewellery?

Lebron James spotted with Air Max 1Image Credits: klekt.com, nicekicks.com

The trainers are surely doing the rounds amongst the basketball and football players. We spotted Odell Beckham Jr, off the court, in them. He wore the dope-like colourway with patchwork destroyed jeans and a Gucci hoodie. Senior on the basketball court and senior in fashion – Lebron James wore the stunners on his way to the basketball game. He sported a studded leather jacket, blue knitted beanie and acid wash jeans. Of course, the beauty was on his feet.

Former American Football wide receiver – Victor Michael Cruz has always been a trendsetter. He matched his stylish AM1s with light wash jeans, a Louis Vuitton x Supreme denim jacket and a pastel hoodie. Well, basketball cannot be spoken about without the mention of Kevin Durrant, isn’t it? He was spotted signing autographs in these stunning sneaks wearing a relaxed Nike sweatsuit.

Yara Shahidi spotted with Air Max 1Image Credit: fashionbombdaily.com

Bombshell Yara Shahidi was one of the first celebrities to grab these trendy looking sneakers. She flaunted them on her Instagram handle, wearing a denim and denim look. Fabulous and fashionable! Since we know the stunning model – Karrueche Tran, she has always looked glamorous, hasn’t she? This time she decided to go the sporty way. She wore ripped denim jeans with a turtleneck crop, an LV messenger by her side and the Air max 1 beauty on her feet.

The protruding love of all A-listers is growing by the day, and we are going to give you a sneak peek of all of it.

Recommended Reading: Nike Air Jordan 4: A Complete Guide

Wrapping Up

Our Nike Air Max 1 guide has all the insides you could ever think of. The a la mode has lived up to the promise of gratifying every sneaker junkie with its aesthetics and comfort. If you haven’t yet, make sure these kicks make it to your roster this year. And that’s exactly what Fast Sole is here for.

Stay tuned in the world of Nike Air Max 1 release dates. Grab a gist of the style and size guide. If you are a Fast Sole loyalist, you are certainly the first to know.


Related Posts



Share this post

Recent News

Copyright Fastsole 2024 |

All Rights Reserved |

Company Reg No. 10812528 |