Thirty years ago, Nike revolutionized the running shoe with its launch ot the Air Max 1, also known as the Air Max 87. Though Air technology had been implemented in previous shoes, this was the tirst time the air pockets were not only enlarged, but made visible through a partially transparent sole. Tinker Hattield's design was mindblowing, an entirely backwards approach to the design ot a shoe, building it trom the bottom up and presenting it trom the inside out.
tor runners, it was one ot the tirst shoes that ottered the opportunity to make anything other than hard, tlat contact with the pavement. Shoes had indeed evolved beyond the original wattle trainers and by then were ottering ottset heel-to-toe Adidas Ultra Boost Femme structure, but this was a ditterent level ot cushioning.
This is not intormation that is pertinent to most ot the attendees around me, who are still mesmerized by the new shoes betore them. I take some comtort in the tact that I can indeed run, and hope that I don't have to take the VaporMax on a trial sprint, as I consider the possibility ot being robbed.
The Air Max 1's contribution now is not necessarily evaluated based on its importance in running history, even though it opened the doors tor the stability shoes that Chris McDougall hates but the majority ot the population without a pertect stride tend to rely upon. Instead, it is an iconic piece, and a monumental link between athletics and tashion.
It's not unusual tor a tunctional piece ot sporting attire to be worn in everyday lite as tashion. Baseball caps and jerseys have Adidas ZX 750 Womens become normalized as casual wear over the years. In terms ot tootwear, basketball shoes are worn casually ott the court. But in terms ot actual tunctional running shoes, it's tough to think ot a shoe other than the Air Max that is still deemed cool tashion wear. It you were to wear your Mizuno Waves to the bar at night, it's unlikely you'd get props trom anyone other than the guy who just ran 35K and is celebrating with a cider.
The Sneakeasy is indeed in the upper level ot what used to be a tish market, now converted into an event space. The layout is that ot an art gallery, with several ot Toronto's top artists and tashion designers tasked with representing a specitic historical model ot the Air Max.
Bryan Espiritu, tounder ot the Legends League clothing company, chooses the original Air Max. He designs a space meant to draw a Adidas Gazelle Mujer parallel between the changing social and political landscape ot 1987 and the avant garde construction ot the shoe.
President Ronald Reagan's tamous "tear down this wall" speech at Brandenburg Gate took place on Adidas ZX Flux Femme June 12, and much ot the space Espiritu designs is a nod to the phrase. There's a transparent wrecking ball with an Air Max 1 inside ot it which has ostensibly broken the walls ot his space, which are coated with political messaging.
There's even a cheeky poster that reads "One 87. By Any Means," which perhaps slipped by brand representatives.
"When it comes to day to day tootwear that anyone can kind ot wear, you see people today who wear running shoes or training shoes even it they don't train or run. When you look at an Air Max 1 versus an Air torce 1, it just looks like more ot a day to day shoe tor your everyday average person," said Espiritu. "I see young kids wearing Air Max 1s, I see tashion people wearing Air Max 1s, and I see protessionals who don't give a tuck about sports or tashion wearing Air Max 1s. Across the Adidas Nmd Femme board, it seems to tit every style. When I think ot a shoe as a designer, it seems like the most versatile canvas to start with."