In the mid-1990s, Nike Air Max cushioning was in the midst of rapid evolution. Shoe designs progressed rapidly, with Air Max 95 and Air Max 97 becoming the industry aspiration for shoe perfection. However, the Air Max 98 has always played something of a second fiddle for its predecessors. The younger brother of the Air Max 97, the AM98 was built on the same Nike Air-Sole, but lacked the smooth, wavy lines of Nike Air Presto Femme 97. There were still some wavy lines, but there were also stripes and patches that cut the shoe in different sections. . The 98 just didn't flow as well as the 97. Regardless, it's worth noting that the AM98 launched in many eye-catching colors, many of which will return in 2018. Here's a look at some of the highlights from 1998.
Designed by Sergio Lozano, the same man responsible for the Air Max 95, the AM98 was touted as the best Nike running shoe available. An anatomically designed, dual-pressure, full-length Air-Sole unit with a cushioned, foot-guided side pad system through each step, while a full-length airbag absorbed the punishment. Featuring synthetic leather and a mesh upper, there was an overlay strap system for fit and support, a sculpted polyurethane midsole, and a Nike Regrind BRS 1000 outsole. If the Air-Sole Nike M2k Tekno Womens unit is similar to the AM97, it's because it is. The tools of the Air Max 97 were transferred and used for 98.
Although Air Max sneakers are rarely taken seriously by tough runners, the AM98 was definitely comfortable. One of the main problems was the lack of arch support in the shoe: it was not designed with the overpronator in mind. Few runners were training for marathons in them, but they were perfectly fine for shorter races.
For the Eastbay war sports catalog, the Air Max 98 debuted in the February 1998 issue (due to ship in January). The men's and women's versions sold for $ 149.99, which was the same price as the AM97 a year earlier. There was a cement / corn / obsidian color scheme for the men, and a white / corn / oversea color scheme for the women. A gray / citron / obsidian version was also available for kids, Nike Air Max 720 Damen but with a modified Air Max 95 sole. The tools for a full-length Air-Sole were probably not available for the Nike Air Presto Dámské elementary school model (aka GS) at the time, but it's an interesting and possibly subtle nod to Lozano the designer, as the same groundbreaking sole appeared in his most famous runner, the Air Max 95.
In April, a metallic silver / Atlantic blue / black / white version would be released for men, and a white / light sage / navy / tidal blue version for women. For boys, a white / orange / black / corn was released for boys, and a white / ice / twilight blue was also released for girls in April.
In early fall, the debut colors of the AM98 began to appear in the Eastbay sales section. This wasn't necessarily surprising in the 90s, as many iconic sneakers went on sale due to high prices and overproduction. Just a few months earlier, the Air Max 97 was also for sale. In the basketball section, it wasn't surprising to see some of the most Nike Air Max 720 Donna popular Air Jordans of all time at a reduced price, sometimes almost half off. However, it didn't help the charm of the AM98, as once the shiny red sales bubble appeared, it almost always made a style less desirable.