Ain’t Even Mad

Sneaker reboots are like movie reboots, they usually suck. Companies take something we loved for so long and then try to get our money by dumping all over it years later. So when I heard Nike design gawd Dylan Raasch was recreating the Air Max 95 I thought FFS. Then I heard the new generation of 95s would only be for women and again I thought ‘goddamn Nike’. As a fan of the iconic Nike runner and someone who has ashamedly enjoyed a pretty patriarchal sneaker world, these were two reasons to get mad.

The Air Max 95 is a classic for so many reasons. First created in (you guessed it) 1995, Sergio Lozano styled the shoe on the human anatomy with its sole the spine, the lace straps act as ribs, the upper was made to resemble muscle fibres and the 95’s mesh covering mimicking human skin.The shoe has scored massive popularity over the years blah, blah, blah. A top boy shoe in school playgrounds and a favourite with everyone from politicians to burglars, long story short the 95 is a model you should know about.

Sergio Lozano's original Air Max 95 design

Sergio Lozano’s original Air Max 95 design

So all these years later we have the AM95 Ultra. The immediate questions that come to mind are why? And are they actually any good? Well the 95’s 20 year anniversary being this year probably answers why and when wondering if they’re any good the answer is yes, yes they are.

The Ultras strip away so much of the original 95’s design but does so without losing its concept. The upper is made from seamless lightweight Hyperfuse and the outer sole is mainly cushioned foam. The air units that appear on the original have been swapped for one lower cushion (or “air bubble”) in the heel. This minimal aesthetic is exactly what we expected to see from the designer who gave us the Roshe Run.

Dylan's Raasch's 2015 Air Max 95

Dylan’s Raasch’s 2015 Air Max 95

Nothing will compare to the original 95 and by calling these an improvement is just trying to start arguments. I will say that of all the AM95 variants released these do come closest to being as good as Lozano’s mid 90 masterpiece. It’s smooth and streamline and lightweight and made with modern tech. It is very much a product of 2015, not a retro or clone. For taking one of their most famous models and making it look relevant compared to all the super technical uber designed pairs of today Nike definitely deserve some praise. Or at least a thumbs up.

These are a women’s only release but knowing the almighty swoosh a men’s version will be on the way as soon as these sell out, which they will. A classic taken, flipped and put back out in a truly modern way and they didn’t even f***k the whole thing up. Can’t be mad at that now can you?

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 11.50.33

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