Nike Air Max 95
The Nike Air Max 95 is a widely-recognizable, popular sneaker from NIKE, Inc. As its name suggests, the silhouette debuted in 1995.
Designed by Sergio Lozano, whose earliest design work for the Swoosh consisted of Tennis, Training, and ACG products, the model was a visual departure from previous silhouettes in the Air Max line. And intentionally so. Given the success of Michael Jordan's Air Jordan collection, basketball was NIKE, Inc.'s primary focus throughout the '90s. In trying to reclaim some of the momentum that Tinker Hatfield created with the Air Max 1, Nike's Running design team encouraged Lozano to take a risk and have fun with what would become the Air Max 95. In an interview for the sneaker's 20th Anniversary, Lozano shared that the goal in designing the model was to create something Nike – and by extension, the world – hadn't seen before.
Ironically, the earliest sketch of the shoe was inspired by the scenery outside the window of Lozano's office in the Michael Jordan building on Nike's campus – a sight he turned to on a near-daily basis. In envisioning what a product would look like if it were unearthed by erosion, Lozano began sketching a sneaker with striations like those on the walls of the Grand Canyon. Human anatomy also found its way into the silhouette's DNA, as the layered panels are both reminiscent of muscle fibers and flesh and connected to a spine-like heel.
While Lozano was a fan of his creation after mulling over the design's “Why?”, some individuals at the Swoosh opposed the earliest version of the Air Max 95. For starters, it had none-to-little Swoosh branding. Other concerns included the first-ever visible Air window in the forefoot, unconventional layered gradient, and black outsole. Ultimately, Lozano's design was green-lit, but ran into production-related issues because of the 3M™ Scotchlite™ accents on its upper and forefoot Air Max unit.
Since 1995, the silhouette has undergone both minor and major updates, dressed up in hundreds of colorways, and become a cult-classic across Europe and Asia. Yet, the most beloved release has been the original Air Max 95. Clad in “Black/Volt/Medium Ash/Dark Pewter”, the debut colorway received some pushback pre-production, but went on to define the bold color palettes of the era. As the trainer celebrates its 25th Anniversary, it's lent the color arrangement to the Jordan 4. Elsewhere, Lozano's design has served as inspiration for the Air Max ZM950, which recently received a collaboration with Japan's atmos.
Pricing for the Air Max 95 varies between size and type of release, with standard pairs for adults usually retailing for $160 USD. Quick Strike, special, and collaborative releases typically range between $170 USD and $190 USD. Kids' pairs sell for between $65 USD (Toddler) and $140 USD (Grade School).