Masters of Max: The Air Max Icons – Air Max 180



Hot on the heels of the 90 is the Air Max 180 from 1991. Creating another instantly recognisable colourway with White, Ultramarine and Solar Red blocking. The 180’s stand out feature is it’s Air, that huge air bubble! Construction of the 180 meant that it’s Air Max unit was visible through 180 degrees, stripping away the outsole to expose it’s underneath.


The Nike Air Max 180 was born from the collective minds of Hatfield and Air Force 1 designer Bruce Kilgore. The two legends set out to make the Max Air unit visible on the outsole and midsole, which highlighted the shoeʼs 180 degrees of cushioning.

The upper featured a new stretch dynamic inner sleeve that flexed with the foot, while the molded heel counter provided support. The forefoot grooves were another early experiment in natural motion.

The shoeʼs visible air was quickly recognizable around the world. Much like Nike introduced the Air Max 1 with a memorable commercial, the Air Max 180 was supported by advertisements created with legendary cartoonists, special effects masters and movie directors.


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