Celebrating Nike Air: The One Before The 1

By - Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Throughout its 28 year history, countless consumers have walked a mile or two rocking the Nike Air Max. The Air Max is worn by a diverse crowd, from devout sneakerheads to those simply looking for the now-classic style and comfort of the Air Max. Nike has designed over 50 models of the sneaker since its original conception in 1987 by Tinker Hatfield, also of Air Jordan design fame.

In anticipation of Air Max Day, March 26th, Nike released a teaser video “from the desk of Tinker Hatfield,” for the latest Air Max 2015, ending subtly with the caption “The One Before The 1.”

As Nike shares, in 1985 then-developer Mark Parker and Hatfield were faced with some roadblocks, and had to configure how to continue with their groundbreaking ideas for innovative sneaker designs. The solution featured unique Nike Air cushioning, visible in the heel, and surfaced two years later, with the help of the Director of Cushioning Innovation, David Forland, and showcased the debut of the now-legendary Air Max 1. The original design has not been featured as a new model ever since and is being reintroduced as part of the 28th anniversary celebration.

Earlier this week, Nike published an informative visual, breaking down the evolution of the Visible Air revolution, taking us literally step-by-step and year-by-year, explaining the logic behind the design features and processes, with anecdotes from Forland himself.


The Air Max 2015, the latest addition to the Air Max family features a bold, reversed Nike Swoosh, signifying the innovative history of the series and the fact that Nike has no intention of playing it safe in the years to come in terms of their design and aesthetic.

As David Forland reflected on the first Air Max sneaker launch, “It was a big risk, but bigger reward. For the Air Max family, it’s only up from here.”

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