There are few shoes more steeped in history than the Nike Air Max 1. With its revolutionary visible air unit in its heel providing a step up from the competition, everyone had to have a pair when it made its debut in 1987 (myself and my family included). However, did you know that before Air Max 1, there was another? Meet the Air Max Zero aka, ‘The one before the 1’ - a trailblazing shoe that was designed in 1985, un-released until 2015 and the very first piece in the Air Max puzzle.
Now available in a range of new season colourways including a striking triple-black launch, it provides both a step back in time and step forward in the style stakes. A pre-concept design to the iconic Air Max 1 by then-developer Mark Parker and Tinker Hatfield, Air Max Zero is more than a mere footnote in the Air Max 1 story having played a key part in its final development. Why then did we need to wait so long to get our hands on a pair? Essentially, because it was way ahead of its time. “Not just in regards to its appearance, but also in terms of the construction it required,” Tinker Hatfield says. “The technology and materials available to us at the time weren’t advanced enough to execute the original vision.”
However, fast-forward almost three decades later, and a new chapter was ready to be written. Seemingly forgotten in the Department of Nike Archives, its sketch caught the attention of the Nike Sportswear design team some 30 years down the line when they were searching for ways to celebrate the second annual Air Max Day. Upon updating it with the latest Nike innovations, it was then launched to a modern day audience to provide a covetable piece of Nike history in a range of new season colours, and provide both style and substance in equal measure. Its key design features? While still keeping its distinctive visible Max Air Unit in the heel, its bootie-inspired construction and sock-like breathable textile upper are nods to Tinker’s original concept. When combined with its premium triple black colourway, lightweight cushioning, sleek silhouette and super comfort, it makes for a style and lifestyle staple of the highest order and a must-have in anyone’s shoe wardrobe if you ask us.
The Nike Air Max Zero Unisex Shoe is £115 and available to buy online here . The Nike Air Max Zero Women’s Shoe is £115 and available to buy online here or design your own with NIKEiD for £155.
Written in partnership with Nike.
The Nike Black Friday sale is now on across all these selected products! Get up to 30% off clearance when you enter XMAS16 at the checkout. Nike T&Cs apply. (Please note the Nike Air Max Zero is not included in this promotion).
Follow Nike Women on Instagram @nikewomen and Ayesha @Ayesha_Muttu .