This year’s annual Air Max Day taking place on March 26 has come and gone, but the Nike Air Max 90 is here to stay. 2020 marks 30 years since the debut of this iconic running shoe designed by Tinker Hatfield, and it’s time to take a look back at the best colorways released. This year brought us an Air Max 90 Reverse Duck Camo that is basically the Air Max 90 atmos Duck Hunter Camo with infrared accents and a variety of different colorways of the Air Max 90 from LA-based sneaker boutique UNDEFEATED. The offerings this time are admittedly weak compared to past years, so let me introduce the cream of the crop from the Swoosh.
Be ready to wage war and salute the troops with these military-inspired shoes. Released as part of the Armed Forces pack, Nike Air Max 720 Donna the ferocious tiger shark print is based on the paint job for the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter planes that were piloted by the Flying Tigers, a volunteer group of American pilots who defended China from Japan before America’s entry into WWII.
Previously in 2006, legendary sneaker shop Patta released the Air Max 90 Patta Homegrown Grass, a green version with leafy panels that paid homage to Holland’s favorite recreational drug. The orange laces that came with this shoe are an obvious homage to the Netherlands national football team’s home kit colors. The local imprint then came up with more straight heat. State Magazine was a premier Dutch music publication that Nike Air Max 2016 Damen featured up-and-coming Dutch hip hop artists. To celebrate the release of the “Homegrown” CD compilation, Patta designed a sneaker for the ages. The premium leather, State Magazine tongue tag, leafy paneling, and gum bottom outsoles vividly demonstrate Amsterdam’s style.
stands for Dave’s Quality Meats, a concept store before concept stores were in vogue. Dave is the name of the owner, Dave Ortiz, who worked at iconic skate label Zoo York before opening his butcher shop themed store. The tan, dark brown, pink, and red colors combine for a savory shoe that is ready for breakfast. Two years later came the Nike Air Max 95/360 Cooked Bacon and three years after came the Nike Air Max 90 Current Huarache DQM Bacon.
U.K. grime rapper Dizzee Rascal teamed up with British artist Ben Drury to celebrate the release of his fourth LP, Nike Air Max 90 Womens Tongue n’ Cheek. Details include Dizzee’s silhouette embossed on the heels, the Dirtee Stank Recordings logo visible through the translucent outsoles, translucent Swoosh, embroidered pink tongues, and stitching on the laces. Released exclusively at 1948 (now a NikeLab store), proceeds from this sale went to the charity Tower Hamlets Summer University (rebranded to Futureversity in 2010), which offers independent learning programs for young Brits.
KAWS is a household name by now with his collectibles and collaborations with everyone from Uniqlo to Christian Dior. More than a decade ago, the Jersey City native teamed up with Nike for an Air Max 90 pack from his now defunct OriginalFake label. The black four-way stretch textile upper, Nike Free sole unit, exposed volt yellow “XX” motif, and two-tone black and volt laces make this shoe Nike Air Max 90 Mujer a modern masterpiece. He also designed a crisp white pair in the traditional Air Max 90 silhouette. This shoe is just one of many from KAWS’s long history of designing footwear.
Multi-Grammy award-winning rapper Eminem came out with his debut album Infinite in 1996 and has been on a roll ever since, his most recent project being his 2020 surprise album, Music to be Murdered By. The same could be said for his sneaker collaborations with the Swoosh. In 2006, the Rap God unveiled this Air Max 90 (limited to 8 pairs!) along with other Air Max shoes during a four-week charity event to raise money for his Marshall Mathers Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ninemillion.org campaign. Slim Shady also signed each pair. The gray, blue, green, and white color blocking scheme combined with patent leather and Nike M2k Tekno Femme suede materials and Eminem logo stitched on the heel still has fans going berserk today.