If there’s one thing we all know about fashion, it’s that the same trends come around time and time again and the trends from the ‘90s seem to come and go more frequently than any other decade.
From the '90s came some of the world’s most iconic sneakers from Jordans and Reeboks to Nikes and New Balance, and we’re going to look back at some of the best '90s silhouettes, tell you just why we love them and let you know if you can still cop these absolute gems.
Nike Air Max 90
Arguably THE most iconic shoes of the ‘90s is, of course, the Nike Air Max 90. Celebrating its 30th birthday this year, the Nike AM90 is set for a massive resurgence with old staple colourways coming back and newer hues making their debut. Most recently, the silhouette released a new “Volt” colourway which took the internet by storm thanks to its nostalgic look. However, when the AM90 first dropped way back when, it wasn't all rainbows and daisies. The silhouette divided sneaker fans because of its exposed heel unit and modern design. But if one thing's for sure, it's that now the AM90 has secured a place in the sneaker hall of fame.
You can find the latest must-cop Nike Air Max 90 here.
Nike Air Huarache
Way ahead of its time when it was released in 1991, the Nike Air Huarache was and still is one of Nike’s most iconic silhouettes. One of Tinker Hatfield’s best designs, the Huarache was inspired by the humble water-ski boot and received some criticism at the time. But the fact of the matter is, the Nike Huarache has secured its place as one of the most functional, stylish shoes ever made and the sleek colourways available now are a testament to the timeless finish of Hatfield’s aesthetic.
Originally marketed at runners - who initially fought to get their hands on a pair of the Huaraches - recent years have seen it transform into a covetable lifestyle sneaker that's famed for being versatile, comfortable and timeless.
Check out all the latest Nike Air Huaraches here.
Nike Air Max 180
A Tinker Hatfield Classic released in 1991, the Nike Air Max 180 features a visible Air unit that, at the time, was 50% more visible than any AM unit seen before. Loved by runners back in the day and now a staple in the collections of sneakerheads world-over, these Air Max are a retro essential.
Originally dubbed a "dad shoe" upon its release, fans weren't exactly queueing up in the masses to cop the AM180. Now seen as an underrated icon, the Nike 180 experienced a massive resurgence back in 2018 thanks to Rei Kawakubo's COMME des GARÇONS, which launched a sleek pink-tinged iteration which received worldwide acclaim.
Check out the latest Nike Air Max 180s here.
Nike Air Max 95
Next up we have the legendary Nike Air Max 95. Released in 1995, this silhouette is renowned for its meticulous attention to detail, the upper was inspired by the human spine and skin and it was one of the first silhouettes to (almost) do away with the Nike Swoosh completely, to allow the shoe to speak for itself. Still one of Nike’s bestselling sneakers, you’ll find an AM95 in every self-confessed sneakerheads collection.
Back in the '90s, the Nike AM95 was in such high demand, that robbers in Japan would steal them off people's feet! Why? Because even second hand pairs were reselling for a high price and even the press had nothing but good things to say about the shoe.
Check out the latest Nike Air Max 95 here.
Nike Air More Uptempo
The Nike Air More Uptempo, released in 1996, is famous and most distinguishable by its oversized AIR lettering. The same lettering most recently featured on the Cactus Plant Flea Market x Air Force 1 and sold out, but the Nike AM Uptempo remains the OG when it comes to this statement detail. Setting the standard for chunky trainers, the More Uptempo is a heavy silhouette that ensures style with every single step.
You can find the latest Nike Air More Uptempo here.
Nike Air Max 97
Still among Nike’s most popular silhouettes to this day, the Nike Air Max 97 (released in 1997, of course) has had more makeovers than we can count. The visible Air Max unit that runs from the heel to the toe was loved by runners on its release and the upper has similarities to the crowd-favourite Nike AM95. In the '90s, the Nike Air Max 97 literally ticked every box and for fans of the silhouette, it still does.
Over the years, the Nike Air Max 97 has been fused with silhouettes from the Nike Air Force 1 to the AM90 and Humara, but none of the collabs were as successful as the classic AM97 silhouette. With an innovative hidden-lacing system and raindrop-inspired upper, you just can't improve on perfection when it comes to the 97.
Check out the latest Nike Air Max 97 here.
Nike Air Max Plus
Next up is the Nike Air Max Plus. Released in 1998, the Nike AM Plus is still one of the brand’s most covetable silhouettes, this crep was the runner’s version of the Air Max Garnett 3 (and is way more wearable). With a wavy overlay that’s inspired by speed and Air cushioning in the midsole, this sneaker was the first of its kind and has absolutely smashed the test of time.
Interestingly, a key feature of the Nike Air Max Plus is the Swoosh. If you look closely, the iconic logo is longer and thinner than usual. This is because it was Sean McDowell's first design for the brand and he had no experience drawing the logo and so this gives the AM Plus an extra unique finish.
Find the latest Nike Air Max Plus here.
Nike Air Max 98
Last but by no means least is the Nike Air Max 98. Unlike the Nike Air Max 1 and AM95s which became instant icons, the Nike Air Max 98 was a bit of a flop when it initially released, and it took fans a few years to come around to the idea of the futuristic design. Designed by Sergio Lozano, the chunky silhouette had a complex lacing system and a hefty price tag which instantly turned fans off. However, when 2016 came around, Supreme stepped in and single handedly revived the silhouette and fans were won over. The rest is history!
Check out the latest Nike Air Max 98 here.