The Air Max 1's contribution now is not necessarily evaluated based on its importance in running history, even though it opened the doors for the stability shoes that Chris McDougall hates but the majority of the population without a perfect stride tend to rely upon. Instead, it is an iconic piece, and a monumental link between athletics and fashion.
It's not unusual for a functional piece of sporting attire to be worn in everyday life as fashion. Baseball caps and jerseys have become normalized as casual wear over the years. Nike Air Max 720 Dame In terms of footwear, basketball shoes are worn casually off the court. But in terms of actual functional running shoes, it's tough to think of a shoe other than the Air Max that is still deemed cool fashion Nike Air Max 95 Damen wear. If you were to wear your Mizuno Waves to the bar at night, it's unlikely you'd get props from anyone other than the guy who just ran 35K and is celebrating with a cider.
The Sneakeasy is indeed in the upper level of what used to be a fish market, now converted into an event space. The layout is that of an art gallery, with several of Toronto's top artists and fashion designers tasked with representing a specific historical model of the Air Max.
Bryan Espiritu, founder of the Legends League clothing company, chooses the original Air Max. He designs a space meant to draw a parallel between the changing social and Adidas Superstar Damen political landscape of 1987 and the avant garde construction of the shoe.
Showing up at a race in Air Max shoes would be akin to Nick Young wearing a pair of Yeezy Boosts in an NBA game last year. It's something you can do—the shoes are built to perform—but people will wonder why you're ruining such a nice pair of sneakers by scraping them on the pavement.
"When I was younger, Air Maxes were attached to status. Yeah, I played basketball and I ran track, but it was more about owning them as an emblem. It was like a trophy. I can lose at every meet, I don't give a shit, because I have these," said Espiritu.
"When I started to actually grow my collection, I was like wait a minute, these are performance shoes. Tinker Hatfield has talked about Jordans as basketball shoes—the best basketball player of all-time was wearing them Adidas Stan Smith Mujer in games. So as years went on, I was like fuck it, I'm gonna start running in them. And I would run them, even if they were super sought after. You have to remember, they aren't designing performance sneakers strictly with fashion in mind. Yeah they wanna look good, but they have to hold up to an actual athlete utilizing them."
The latest edition to the line, the VaporMax, is being marketed heavily to runners, more so than previous additions to the line have in many years. In Toronto, Canadian Olympic 800m runner Melissa Bishop helped launch the shoe, and took them for a trial 5K run through the city.
If they're good enough for an Olympian, they're good enough for the weekend warriors, right?
Well, if the reaction to the shoes at the Sneakeasy is any indication, this incarnation may run into the same good problem its Nike Air Vapormax Donna predecessors have. If you get them dirty on your morning run, what are you going to wear out at night?