Air Max day is nearly upon us, which means reverence and reminiscing for the game-changing Nike technology is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, this love for the sneakers is often funneled into the same handful of hallmark silhouettes that have been most built up by brands and blogs. Face it: it's impossible to divorce your affinity for certain sneakers from the notions that you've been fed for years about which ones are the best. So rather than rank the Air Maxes of old ourselves in a list that would be affected by longtime notions of what's "classic" and what's not, we've enlisted someone who knows nothing about the line to do it for us, hopefully creating a list that's freer of subjectivity. This is the second part in series, the first being Kristen Yoonsoo Kim's ranking of Air Jordans that got a decent amount of people pretty upset over footwear. This time around we've recruited Khal, one of Complex's social media editors and resident dads to deliver some hot takes on the Air Max lineage. His breakdown focuses on the Air Max archive models Nike highlighted on Air Max Day last year. Read his rankings below.
Full disclosure? I’m an old ass man. Not AARP old, but old enough to have owned a few pairs of Jordans when they were released the first time around (aka some time around 4th or 5th grade). I couldn’t tell you what the number or nickname for the pairs I owned, but if I Google Image searched, I could probably find them. Either way, I’m far from a sneakerhead; I love New Balance 574s, but only because I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle, and don’t feel the need to stunt (not that I’d know how to anyway). I like colors but being an IRL (kh)Al Bundy, I don’t have the time (or cash) to be all up on these Sneakers Internets.
Basically, I am old enough to know what kind of kicks I’d like, but couldn’t tell you shit about said kicks. I like what looks simple and I can work a few different ways with whatever “fit” I’m putting together—although in the winter, most of my outfits feature dusty Timbs on my feet. Sue me.
Growing up in New Jersey, and having attended my share of clubs in the NJ/PA region, I’ve seen Air Max sneakers before, but couldn’t tell you what year whichever ones came out. If you’re an Air Max aficionado, I apologize in advance. This is based solely on what an old fogey like myself fucks with.