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    Nike Air Max 95

    128 articles

    A shoe inspired by the walls of the Grand Canyon.

    Air Max 95

    Halfway through the nineties, Air Max decided they needed to try something new. They wanted to follow up on the initial success of their Air Max 1 and Air Max 90 running shoes. This is why in 1995, Nike appointed designer Sergio Lozano to be chief designer of the new Nike Air Max 95. Lozano knew he had big shoes to fill. It was star designer Tinker Hatfield who first started the line. And it was something Hatfield always used to say which set Lozano's plans in motion for the 95. 'What's your story?' Hatfield used to ask. All trainers, all sneakers, need a good background story, and now designer Lozano needed a story for the AM95. Not only this, he wanted to push the boundaries for the innovative Air Max sole. Quite an ambition, looking at Nike’s history before the Air Max 95. But the UK public was eager for something new. Lozano wanted to give them something special, and people soon fell for the latest men's, women's and kids' models the 95 boasted. It meant more and more sneaker enthusiasts, from girls to ladies and boys to men, were looking for a cheap pair of sneakers when they went on sale. All hoping to find their favourite model at a discount. Success came fast for the Air Max 95. In no time the sneaker won over fans of all ages, with a children's junior model as well as infant and toddler sizes. With the start of the 21st century, the Nike Air Max 95 is now a classic. More than ever, youngsters are drawn to its bold and recognisably 90s vintage look. When designer Lozano got started, he immediately wanted to find a 'why'. Why, in other words, would the Air Max 95 look the way it does? In the end, there were two answers to that question. Firstly, for the lining and different shades of colouring. This all came from a daydream Lozano had while looking out at the lake from his window at the Nike campus. He wondered what a shoe would look like if it was dug up from the earth. Lozano imagined a shoe with eroded lines of different colours, looking like 'the walls of the Grand Canyon'. This explains those wavy lines on the side of the sneaker. Secondly, Lozano was inspired by the human body. The midsole was like the spine, the ripped panels on each side, the ribs, and in between were the muscle fibers. So, rock erosion and the anatomy of the human body inspired the upper. But what about the outsole? Before 1995, visible Air was only used for the back part of the sole. The Air Max 95 was the first ever Nike model to feature Air Max technology at the front of the foot, a huge step forward in terms of cushioning and comfort. These two parts together are what made the 95 what it is. Thanks to the shoe making a running start, Nike released several sub-models like the Air Max 95 Ultra, the Essential, the Premium and the SE.

    Now you're probably wondering how Nike made each model different. They differ in colour, print, and in the materials used. Pink or navy blue, in smooth leather or soft suede, it's all possible. At one point, we even saw a denim Air Max 95. This fits with the message Lozano received from his colleagues of the running design team when they started the project: be bold and take risks. Looking at colourways that were launched since, it's clear that message has not been forgotten. Even the plain coloured shoes have a striking look - the Triple White and Triple Black for example, also known as All White and All Black, certainly fit that description. Using only black or only white on the AM95 resulted in two very expressive appearances. The colours and stripes of the Juventus were a nice mix of these two plain coloured versions. Air Max 95s with just one block colour are rare. You do have one in red, just as you have the High Voltage in yellow, or the stylish Pink Oxford. But more commonly, the lines of the shoe are highlighted with different shades, as the designer originally intended. Wolf Grey is one of the more subtle colours that comes back in many of the models in one shape or another. Take, for example, the Phantom. Every now and then, these shades are matched with details in blue, as in the Blue Spark and Fresh Water, red, in the Solar Red, or purple, with the Grape. Over the years, more and more colours have come along. They come in brown with the Dusted Clay, in beige with the Oatmeal, and multicolour with models like the Rainbow or Halloween. But Nike wouldn't be Nike if they didn't start using some crazier patterns and animal print after a while. Pretty soon we saw a version where lots of different patterns were combined, one for each layer of the shoe. This was also done in a more subtle way with the Infrared, a dark shoe with black safari print and details in pinkish red. A pattern the world had already seen on the Safari. Similar to this was the Camo colourway. Nike used more than just green in its camouflage design, showing that Nike wasn't afraid to push the limits of the Nike Air Max 95. They even made a glow in the dark edition, with reflective panels that light up in the dark. Others, which come from the Logo pack, look reflective but actually aren't. In this pack, the upper is completely covered in Air Max logos, and looks like it's part of the JDI line, where Nike used special Just Do It branding. In this range, the orange version got a lot of attention. It's obvious that Nike likes to have fun designing shoes. You can see that from how they added the famous Silver Bullet upper - first used in the Air Max 97 - to the 95. Another variant was the Metallic Gold, a golden version of the Silver Bullet. You can even design your own custom 95 with Nike ID.

    So far, we've only looked at colour and print. But diving deeper, you also have Nike combos and submodels of the first edition, and these can be pretty interesting too. Let's start with the Air Max 95 LX. The LX stands for luxury, which comes in the form of top shelf materials such as suede, premium leather, and even pony hair. For those who love vintage, there's the Nike Air Max 95 OG. This model has the same classic look as the original from the 90s, including the one with neon details near the laces. Once again showing off Nike's flare for innovation is the Nike Air Max 95 Sneakerboot. These are thick, warm, high top boots, ideal for when winter kicks in. Now onto the combinations. Nike has always loved to combine different models. At one point, the AM95 was given the Air Max Plus upper, with its recognisable Tn logo. This was called the Air Max 95 Tn. Likewise, Nike gave us things the other way round: the upper from the 95 combined with the VaporMax Air sole. The model was also merged with an old school high top 90s basketball shoe, resulting in the Nike Air Max Uptempo 95. Along with those releases, there was also the Air Max 95 Ultra Jacquard. It brought along something new and alternative for the collection. It's an Ultra, meaning that, like the seamless No Sew, it's a lightweight model, and that the Flywire is showing on the outside of the foot. This should not be mistaken with the Dynamic Flywire (Dyn Fw), which looks a lot like a 95, but has Flywire underneath a see-through outer layer, as well as an updated Air sole. Sounds rare? Well, that's because they are. Just like the Air Max 95 TT. Sometimes Nike releases a small number of shoes in a short burst, or 'quick strike'. They have even released a line of models making reference to this, the Air Max 95 QS. Other shoes are given limited edition colourways or specific themes, such as the Air Max 95 NRG. And sometimes Nike pushes the limits even further, teaming up with famous designers, artists or brands. The Air Max 95 X Atmos is one model that does just this. In collaboration with the Japanese clothing shop, a few eye-catching models were released to get the sneaker community excited. Every now and then, Chris Brown is spotted with a pair. Nike worked with artist Parra who made The Running Man edition. Another stylish collaboration was carried out with clothing brand Stussy. Closer to home, Nike produced the 95 Mowabb, as part of a special ACG release, coming from Nike’s All Condition Gear outdoor clothing and footwear line. Similar to this, Carhartt made a camo-type model of the Air Max 95. Moreover, the Doernbecher is the result of a really special collaboration. It incorporated several models designed by patients from the Oregon Doernbecher Children's Hospital, giving a lot of depth to this edition of the Air Max 95. 

    Air Max 95 Ultra

    It was twenty years after the launch of Air Max 95 that Nike released the Nike Air Max 95 Ultra, a modern version of their classic favourite. Updating the model wasn't done by adding to existing features, but by losing what they thought was unnecessary, slim-lining the design to give the product a lighter feel, now Nike's trademark. The Air Max 95 Ultra was designed in 2015 by Dylan Raasch, who created the famous Roshe Run, a shoe also famous for its minimalism. At first glance, Raasch's 95 Ultra doesn’t seem to be any different from the original. But on closer inspection, it's thinner and has less weight. The upper has fewer stitches compared to the original, and it has more mesh material than before. The most interesting part is the outsole, which is quite lighter than usual yet doesn’t compromise on the cushioning comfort of the shoe. As for colour, anything is possible. Black looks cool in the Air Max 95 Ultra Essential, and with the release of the Air Max 95 Ultra SE, other special editions came along with colourways ranging all the way from green to red. And don't forget the Ultra Jacquard. The outer Flywire will blow your mind.

    Air Max 95 Essential

    Nike has been able to create submodels of popular shoes like no other brand. The number of popular spin-offs is huge. These models vary in the materials they use and often give a subtle nod to the past. The Nike Air Max 95 Essential is a great example. It honours the first AM95 with its classic lining on top, and at the same time pushes comfort to the max using different materials. For example, it can use leather or suede in the upper. It’s even possible to combine this with mesh. At the same time, the Air Max 95 Essential uses different colours, such as grey, khaki and black. Due to this use of colour, it can be hard to tell if you are looking at an Original, an Essential or a Premium model. Remember to zoom in on the materials. Sometimes there’s a fine line between the last two, as explained in the section below.

    Air Max 95 Premium

    If you want to bring style to the next level, this is where to start. The Nike Air Max 95 Premium gives us a 90s icon with a 21st century spin. And this modern upgrade is pretty stylish. Nike decked the original 95 out with the best quality materials, giving it a premium look. You may wonder how it differs from the Essential? Well, the premium models, also referred to as PRM, are just a bit more sleek than the other AM95 trainers. People notice it in the materials used. The leather is just a bit softer, the suede just a bit smoother. They even invented a new material for the upper known as Tape construction. The Air Max 95 Premium has been released in some really rare colour combinations with limited availability, such as the purple and blue model.

    Air Max 95 SE

    Now that we've talked about limited offers, rare colourways and once-in-a-lifetime materials, it’s time to move onto another cool subsection of the Nike range. You have reached the special editions section. This is where you'll find the Nike Air Max 95 SE. Nike was quick to realise they needed truly exclusive models, that are a lot harder to get your hands on than any others. And they did a great job. The popularity of the Air Max 95 SE increased partly because of how difficult it was to get hold of. The AM95 special editions got uppers and materials featured in no other model. Some, like versions from the Just Do It line, have really eye-catching prints. Others, such as the Burgundy with its varnished look, use shiny materials. Furthermore, there are sparkling ones, like the Glitter. The 95 SE can go quite fancy while still keeping that vintage 90s vibe.

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