Save Your Sole: Air Max 1 Anniversary ‘Obsidian’

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Lee Painter, Contributor

The Air Max 1 sneaker has been around since 1987 when it originally debuted in the classic ‘Red/White’ colorway. This sneaker is what most people picture when they think of a Nike shoe. It featured the revolutionary “Air” technology, which is clear plastic casings filled with air. Nike still uses this method for comfort today with updated materials used elsewhere on the shoe.

Positives

For any sneakerhead, seeing an original colorway covering an icon of sneaker culture, the Air Max 1, induces a nostalgia trip back to the days of soft buttery leather and rock-hard rubber soles. The design has changed minimally in 33 years, with only the definitive Nike swoosh slightly changing size. As well as perfecting the design, Nike successfully constructed the sneaker with first-class materials. The toe box is mesh, well balanced between breathable and insulated. The upper is a blend of nylon and leather, both soft to the touch. The midsole is made of solid yet forgiving white rubber. These aspects all give the Air Max 1 a fantastic feel on foot.

Negatives

The biggest issue is by far the resale value. There is no doubt that Nike did a great job recreating a legend, but I cannot honestly say these are worth nearly 400 dollars. Personally, the biggest knock on the price is they just are not comfortable enough to justify that much. It seems that fashion outweighs function this time. Yes, Nike is using different rubber then in 1987, but compared to other modern options, the soles feel way too stiff. The heel is fine because of the air cushion underneath which does an admirable job, but any other part you put weight on while walking, for example the toes, is only solid rubber. After walking in them all day, your toes will go numb. 

Worth It?

Absolutely worth $140, but absolutely not worth $367. If you are solely looking for a retro design and not retro color scheme, there are plenty of Air Max 1’s in the resell market for upwards of $200 less, and retail for less than that.