Good morning, good afternoon to you – wherever you are on the globe. Happy to have you back here at SFS. A special topic of discussion today that I’m sure not all of us can agree upon. We’ll be going over the Top 5 Nike Air Max 90 of All Time. With such a timeless sneaker we’ve been graced with since 1990, it’s only right to reminisce on the favorites. There’s always well contested answers and opinions so let’s see how they stack up.
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Without further ado, I’m excited to bring this list to everyone, let’s go.
Top 5 Nike Air Max 90 of All Time
First up let’s talk about an honorable mention. This isn’t on our top 5 list but think it at least deserves a mention as it may be on some of your lists at home.
“The Ten” Off-White Air Max 90 shook the sneaker world at the time in September 2017. Crazy to think we’re already 3 years removed from the drop of the Virgil Abloh’s original 10 sneaker Nike collaboration. As you’re now used to seeing in today’s sneakers, the Off-White Air Max 90 touts a deconstructed look that was simply irrelevant at that time.
Off-White continued their trend and released two more Air Max 90s in a black/white colorway, along with the desert ore colorway. The first Off-White 90 retailed for only $160 and has an average resale value of around $1,500.
The Air Max 90 “Hufquake” earns our number 5 spot. When Keith Hufnagel and company got their hands on the AM90 in 2007, they channelled the look of another classic Tinker Hatfield design: the 1989 Air Jordan 4. They borrowed the elephant print as well as the classic “Military Blue” pantone. The HUF crew also added an earth-shattering motif to the “Neutral Grey” panels, a playful take on the Jumpman’s old elephant print, and a nod to San Francisco’s ubiquitous earthquakes.
The shoes retailed for $120 and resell anywhere from $400 to $700 depending on size.
Another 2007 release was the “Warhawk” Air Max 90. Be ready to wage war and salute the troops with these military-inspired shoes. Released as part of the Armed Forces pack, the ferocious tiger shark print is based on the paint job for the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter planes that were piloted by the Flying Tigers, a volunteer group of American pilots who defended China from Japan before America’s entry into WWII.
These retailed for a measly $110 and the rare sales are usually in the scattered four-figure range.
Up at number 3 is the Atmos “Duck Camo” Air Max 90. The venerable Tokyo-based Japanese retailer is best known for its Nike Air Max 1 collaborations, but seven years ago it managed to deliver another hit just in time for the 10th anniversary of their Air Max 1 Safari release. This shoe featured a bold Duck Camo patterned upper, snakeskin Swoosh, and black and infrared colors. Any shoe using the Infrared color scheme as its base probably could not flop. The Air Max 90 Black Tiger Camo dropped a few weeks later but did not make the same splash as these.
In 2013 these dropped for $170. While resale prices have fluctuated over the years, you could expect to pay around $800 for a pair now.
Almost certainly in everyone’s top 5, is the Bacon Air Max 90 in collaboration with Dave Ortiz from Dave’s Quality Meat. Back in 2004, Nike worked alongside the fake butchers to create a meat inspired Air Max 90. Dubbed the “Bacon”, the shoe featured varying shades of dark red, pink and cream, all reminiscent of something you could find at a real butchers. It became a big hit amongst the sneaker community and has rightly earned its place on this list.
The Bacons hit shelves for $120 and you’d be hard-pressed to find a pair under $900 today. Word is that we’ll be seeing the Bacon return in 2021, potentially on Air Max Day (3/26).
We gotta give it up for the OG. In 1990, Tinked Hatfield and the Nike team created the Air Max 90. The debut colorway was coined, Infrared, and has been a staple for over 3 decades now. It’s tough to point to just one release of the Infrared 90 since we just saw a retro in 2020 and have previously seen versions in 2015, 2010, and more – even iterations like an ostrich leather, flyknit, and lunar soles.
I hope you enjoyed our rundown on the top 5 Air Max 90 of all time.
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