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Arguably one of Nike's most ground-breaking and innovative technologies they have brought to the market, Nike Air technology. Created by Marion Frank Rudy, an aerospace engineer who had the insane idea to place air inside of tiny translucent air bubbles and utilize them in athletic shoes - he took his idea to 23 sneaker companies that all rejected him. It wasn't until 1977 when he presented his vision to Phil Knight, and finally found someone who believed in his wonky idea. In his meeting with Phil and other board members, Phil tried on the prototype and actually ran out of the meeting and went for a run around the Beaverton campus to physically wear-test the prototype for himself.
Not known to many, the Air Max 1 was not Nike's first model to boast the Air technology, in fact, it was the Nike Air Tailwind - first featured in the 1978 Honolulu Marathon. Nike's shoemakers at their Research & Development labs in Exeter, New Hampshire created 250 pairs of the Tailwind and released them to six Hawaiian running stores, where the shoes sold out within 24 hours thanks to Nike's gorilla marketing tactics creating hype for a shoe with their bold advertisements.
Originally released in 1987, Nike released the Air Max 1, created by the world-renowned designer Tinker Hatfield. Tinker took Rudy's Air technology and implemented his architectural-spin taking inspirations from the Centre Pompidou building in Paris, France. This was the first time consumers were given visible Air technology until then the Air units were found between the midsole and outsole.
Nike Air technology changed the game for footwear in its entirety, Nike's Air Max line has been around since the '90s and is featured in countless amounts of models. Here is a timeline of Air Max models starting with the original Air Max model: the Air Max 1, Air Walker Max, Air Max Light, Air Max 90, Air Max BW, Air Max 180, Air Max ST, Air Max 93, Air Max 94, Air Max 95, Air Racer Max, Air Max 96, Air Max 97, Air Max 98, Air Max 98 TL, Air Max Plus, Air Max Deluxe, Air Tuned Max, Air Max 2003, Air Max 360, Flyknit Air Max, Air Max 2015, Air Max Zero, Air VaporMax, Air Max 270, Air Max 720, and their most recent model which released this past Air Max Day - the Air Max 2090.