The Nike Air Max 1 is ubiquitous in any European city. If you aren't already programmed to look from the feet upwards at passers' by, have a look. The shoe is everywhere. And we won't lie - when we saw those weird ACG editions that made no damned sense in late 2010, we assumed the shoe had peaked with Patta and Parra and was in the same freefall that the Dunk was in, and is - until the Supreme SB instigates 72 hour queues - right now. Then a new breed seemed to embrace this model in grand style. A black uppered edition that made little to no splash in the Crooked Tongues office instigated feverish enquiry after enquiry, and that curious hype-kid 3.0 uniform of Obey hat worn on the hair rather than the head, skinny chinos, Penfield jacket and chambray shirt half buttoned from the top seems to implement AM1s as regulation footwear. We're pleased to see so much enthusiasm for sports footwear after those years dominated by ageing cynics. While we couldn't fathom the popularity of some bland executions of a shoe that was once the domain of we weirdos since those 1996 leather jewel editions - we never thought it would ever supersede the AM90 (pretty much a British institution) in the retro stakes, but here we are marvelling at its success.
Recently those zesty yellow canvas versions showed us that there's life in the Max (we still want to see some jewel swoosh versions this year) as it hits its 25th birthday, and Nike have evidently been paying attention to what the youngers want. This black, white and brown makeup makes up for the insta-fail of that leather toebox (though it's one of the greatest makeups ever, the atmos AM1s had a leather toe, but we'd still have preferred a mesh or canvas), because that chocolatey shade is a good base, the off-white leather swoosh is eyecatching, white on the outsole works, the suede and leather mix is effective and that red stitch on the embossed tongue branding is a wildcard colour that works. All without a single ruinous contrast stitch. We've decided that Hazelnut is what elevates this makeup from the duller stuff and the byproduct is an air of rustic running. We never thought we'd ever describe a shoe that was, in its revolutionary heyday, one of the most technical trainers we'd ever seen as "rustic" but that's because we're old. This is no longer an old person's shoe, and that's the key to its longevity. These drop in May and you can take a closer look at them in the store right now.