NIKE of old were occasionally known for producing the more limited run in sneakers, for example an Air Max 90 dressed in purple and orange, iconically labelled the ‘BRS’ or a colourway exclusively launched under Jessie-J’s branding; but, it has been a notable period of time since we had borne witness to something of Swoosh’s original Powerwall Pack numbers.
Alas, we hear you asking, why is this collection so formidable? Why bring up the brand’s past when its present and future are equally as bright? Well, quintessentially these are some of the rarest Air Max releases — ever.
First of all, this pack was forced into the spotlight throughout 2005, a globally-binding celebration of Air Max’s 30th year lining the shelves of our beloved retailers. This pack was made up of seven categories, from then on working across the same eight models eventually launching a grand total of 56 pairs, ranging from the most limited combinations to widely available, storefront residents. Below, sits an illustration produced by selling-platform Klekt.
Brand President at the time, Mark Parker, thought this collection coined the “3 Decades of Cushioning” and strides Swoosh had taken towards becoming one of the most prestigious symbols in both sport and fashion culture.
History of Air (HOA). Primarily, eight of Nike’s most coveted silhouettes in their original colourways; this could be seen as their most iconic model variations, the first palette to mind when considering each model in the eye of a consumer.
Extraordinary red, this team formed a gradient-base starting with light pink and slowly transitioning into orange then finally a dark red — as seen above. It goes without saying, Nike’s pink Air Max 1 remains one of the collections most sought after pairs; not only due to the expertly chosen pigmental compatibility, but it’s stature within 2005’s launch calendar.
The fourth row takes form of old Blue Ribbon Sport, Nike’s predecessor back in 1964. Here, each model is draped in a colourway used by BRS when first starting out; most notably the Air Max 1 only reigned in a manufacturing bracket of 144 pairs, a triple figure level of accessibility unrivalled in the modern day.
Nike’s final assortment of flavours was labelled “Tier 0”, the title given to their highest level stockists which in the UK compile of Footpatrol, END, Hanon, SneakersNStuff to name but a few. Importantly, “Tier 0” in this instance lost no relative hierarchal importance; every pair spanning this row was limited to a mere 144 units just like the BRS. A noteworthy mention must be made to the inspiration behind each pair, playing host to a black upper sat over contrasting bright sole-units — Japanese toys, these were inspired by Japanese toys.
So, back to the original point. Why is all of this history relevant, why explain at length a pivotal point in sneaker days of yore? Mid-September 2020, Nike released a modern revamped and addition to the “Extraordinary Green” branch of 2005’s Powerwall Pack — the Air Max 1 “Limeade”. Entering the frame as a first of three Powerwall installations, to improve the tail end of what has unquestionably been a year laced with lead. Well, nearly…
This pair didn’t have the easiest birth, after all, how could anything in the modern day live up to what we as consumers had already grown to love? Admittedly, quality control left a lot to be desired with a rigid upper cracking the reflective vinyl after minutes of light wear. A vast array of intricate details only quashing disappointment in the short term. Each pair was assigned four sets of laces, and housed a lime-ridden insole-cross-tongue patch embellishment combination to leave Air Max enthusiasts drooling. The Limeade were topped off by “AIR” emblazoned across the lateral, instep, heel and lace panels; a trait shared by every member of the Powerwall family.
As 2020 draws to a close, customers can expect to see two more drops to coincide with this launch; namingly, retro-releases of their namesakes the Air Max 1 “Lemonade” and Air Max 1″Pink Powerwall”. Dates TBC.