Air Max Day ‘23 Review

March 29, 2023 by Joey Birch

Air Max Day ‘23 Review

Air Max Day is one of if not the, most significant dates in the sneaker calendar garnering mass appeal from the global sneaker community. Despite the almost cult-like following that Air Max appears to have, the celebrations are held throughout all major cities across the globe with the Swoosh utilising the day to release some of their most popular pairs. 

2023 was no exception.

In 2022, we saw the release of the three-pack of Air Max 1s each of which was deemed to be geographically exclusive including the ‘La Ville Lumiere’ released in Europe, ‘Wabi Sabi’ released in Asia-Pacific and Latin America and finally the ‘Blueprint’ released in North America with additional silhouettes and colourways sprinkled throughout the year including the OG Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’ making its long-awaited return at the back-end of the year.

In contrast, 2023 has felt a little different with a larger offering of new Air Max products being released around Air Max Day in addition to Nike’s recent shift in focus to their original catelogue of sneakers seemingly starting with the Air Jordan 1 'Lost and Found' which arrived near the end of 2022, and followed up by the ‘Reimagined’ Air Jordan 3 in 2023. 


With 2022 marking 35 years of the Air Max 1, colourways of the popular silhouette have continued to arrive throughout Q1 of 2023 including a Baroque Brown aesthetic reminiscent of the Air Max 90 released in 2020, a White Safari variant which may remind some fans of the 2016 atmos Safari AM1 in addition to a multi-layered option which holds close ties to the more recent Concepts collaboration last year and an all-over corduroy number - somewhat linking to the 2016 Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97. 

While new colourways of popular sneakers are great for those that want them, it does continue to show a similar trend of oversaturation seen also seen with the likes of the Nike Dunk which has to some extent put some people off whether that’s down to over accessibility or eco-impact. 

To further the sneaker anniversaries, the iconic Nike Air Max Plus (lovingly known as the TN) marks its 25th birthday after releasing in 1998, designed by Sean McDowell. Recent reports suggest that the original ‘Hyper Blue’ is scheduled to return in 2024, however, Nike has been building hype around the sneaker for some time now starting with a Supreme collaboration in 2020, going on to drop two ombre style colourways this AMD.

There were three stars of the show this Air Max Day, each in the form of a different silhouette. The first of which wasn’t a sneaker but instead a slide. First experimented with in 2019, Nike has once again turned one of their most popular Air Max silhouettes into a slip-on footwear option - this time utilising the Air Max 1 instead of the previous AM90. 

Maintaining the OG Air Unit found in the ‘87 version of the Air Max 1, the design effectively takes the regular model and cuts off the toe and heel sections, leaving the middle featuring the usual Nike Air tab stitched on. 

The second pair that dropped was one of the most intriguing Air Max releases for some time. While fans have been treated to a selection of high-calibre collaborations, it has felt as if there hasn’t been quite the same impact as with OG releases in the 90s which seemed to shake up the whole industry with each release debuting technology-advancing products. 

It is to be admitted that the Air Max 1 ‘86 hasn’t had quite the same impact that Tinker Hatfield’s 1987 model did upon its release, but they did certainly come with an interesting story. Last year, fans of the Air Max 1 were wondering when, if ever, they’ll see the return of the original University Red AM1. Those questions were finally answered with the arrival of the ‘86 model, designed in line with the original concept for the silhouette, simply featuring a bigger Air Unit (or bubble as it’s been coined). 

Touching on the previous point, the last few years of Air Max haven’t been incredibly intriguing, leaving much to be desired from the likes of the Air Max 720 and Air Max Dawn. Again, the same impact sadly hasn’t been felt with the latest Air Max model, but it does appear that Nike is moving in the right direction with the latest addition to the 36-year-long lineage with the introduction of the Air Max Pulse. Inspired by the London music scene, the sneaker takes the Air Unit from the 270 and places it within a streamlined, minimal, model. 

Featuring a textile mudguard surrounding a clean white mesh upper, the latest silhouette is certainly one for the summer with its minimal aesthetic with red detailing on the Nike branding. The most interesting feature, however, is the introduction of a new Air Max logo which has had very little to no mention from Nike itself. The new branding can be found on the tongue and insole of the shoe as well as a subtle nod on the heel. 

In conclusion, this year’s Air Max Day offerings have been positive. Expecting there to be a groundbreaking new sneaker silhouette in 2023 seems like a tall order when looking at the context of the footwear industry at the time the original models were rolled out. 

Nevertheless, Nike continues to keep things interesting with their new approach of releasing previously forgotten or beloved models with something for every sneakerhead. 

To shop the latest Air Max Day releases, including the recent Air Max 1 ‘86 and Corteiz x Nike Air Max 95, click here For the latest news on Nike, keep it Kick Game