The Air Max Light is overshadowed by its predecessor (the Air Max 1) and successor (the Air Max 90). This iteration was lighter than the AM1—hence the name. It switched up the midsole to a polyurethane heel and phylon forefoot, adding hits of thermoplastic straps for extra support, and sat on a BRS1000 waffle outsole that was sturdier than the AM1’s.One of the initial sneakers in Nike’s Air Zoom series, which took the Air technology and spread it around the sole in different encapsulated forms, the LWP saw the debut of textile lace loops and an early version of a low-profile cushioning system at the forefoot, with a larger Air unit at the heel meant to absorb shock. The retro-futuristic appeal of the shoe caught the eye of Louis Vuitton menswear designer Kim Jones, who revisited and reinvented the silhouette last year.
This envelope-pushing design from Tinker Hatfield takes its name from the beachside sandals often seen in locales like Mexico. Fusing a neoprene, mesh, and suede upper with a sporty-technical rubber strap and a jagged, chunky midsole that looks like a mountain range, the Huarache is a physically imposing sneaker that remains as attractive now as it was then.Designed by Trip Allen as a trail runner, the bright accents and patterned midsole make the Terra one of Nike’s most memorable kicks from its outdoorsy All-Conditions Gear sub-offering. It even made Gary Warnett’s cut of the 25 Best Nike ACG Models of All Time. It embodies that ’90s obsession with day-glo outdoor gear, and you could easily see someone rocking these with a pair of nylon warm-up pants and a neon puffa jacket.
The sleek Talaria, another underrated Tinker Hatfield design, showed off Nike’s bright Volt colorway, which has seeped into more standard offerings. The sole melded two of Nike’s most signature technologies—Air and the waffle sole. As for the name? That comes from the winged sandals worn by Hermes, the mythological Greek messenger of the gods.Christian Tressler’s Air Max sneaker remains one of the most sought-after kicks 20 years after its debut. An especially big hit in Italy, its design draws from speedy Japanese bullet trains and highly technical mountain bikes alike. Italian fashion designer Riccardo Tisci recently revisited the model, offering up a mid-top silhouette in an understated black colorway with metallic accents.