TREASURE, tainted by Nike’s own success; the Air Max 98 was an unfortunate follow-up to our ‘beloved’ ’97, one year prior. Fortunately however, as we enter the period where a love of chunkier, heavier sneakers is becoming evermore common; Nike are giving this model its 20 year retro treatment.
In 2016, Nike collaborated with Supreme on four separate colour way iterations of the aforementioned sneaker. This included; navy, red, black and the notorious snakeskin collection- to many this was a completely new shape and concept from Nike. Little did they know, 1998 saw them sit in outlet warehouses countrywide. Following the above, it was inevitable that Nike’s Air Max ’98 would make a return. As a pair that was shunned in the 90’s due to Nike’s success with ‘La Silver’, there’s been an awful lot of excitement and social media hype in recent weeks. So, what is the reason behind this?
It may lie in the well renowned colour way, pallet inspired by, and infamously named after Japanese anime- ‘Gundam’. On Friday 26th, the Gundam ’98 will hit shelves alongside a ‘Fearless 90’ retro; noting this as the second year in concession where Nike have dived into a specially curated archive to re-release expected favourites.
RX-78-2, below, was the character to which this palette was drawn. For example, the full length, red ’97 sole unit is pulled directly from the feet; thereafter the blue and white sneaker upper correlates with RX’s torso and shield. Nike used a vibrant concoction of royal, crimson and ice white to stand out ahead of sibling colour ways.
On foot, designer Sergio Lozano allowed his blueprint to take up a reptilian shape with multiple layers, reflective 3M piping and accents throughout. To be expected, each would be finished with a signature ‘mini swoosh’, seen to be carried by the Air Max ’95 and ’96; unsurprisingly, these were gifts of Lozano, too.
As mentioned, alongside this popular release we will see a rendition of the ‘Fearless 90s’; a nickname given due to its bright and vibrant scheme suited perfectly to the era. A combination of black, silver, white and yellow upon the upper, allows the yellow bubble to sit perfectly beneath a white midsole.
All in all, the Air Max ’98 will certainly face similar treatment to that of last year’s ’97 retro. There are already teasers for a denim, all over print get-up; a cream, ‘fossil’ WMNS colour way; OG orange and lucky green.
Of course we can expect a number of collaborations to drop alongside those available in all retailers, but as with nearly every Nike partnership… high demand. What they can be seen as, on occasion, is a dual swooshed remix of the ’97 however incorporating ‘choppy’ side panels opposed to streamline, smooth cuts from toe to heel.
With this release, you’re likely to see early queues and many attempts to resell a sneaker that is being produced in excessively high numbers. This is not one for the moneymaking among us, it will sit in the same way as ‘La Silver’, Golden Bullets and every revamp in between. Pun intended, any market bubble will burst.