The pearl anniversary is Obsidian


Release Date: Friday 15th of December, in-store & 9 A.M (AEDT) online
Where to buy: Pitt St Mall (NSW), QVM (VIC) & online
Price: $199.95 AUD
Sizes: Men's US 9, 10, 10.5, 11

As 2017 comes to a close, Nike’s Air Max 1 has enjoyed a generous 30th anniversary.

With the re-release of the perennially popular Sport Red and Game Royal schemes earlier this year, the vintage vault was unlocked, unearthing the never before retroed Aqua arrangement. To cap off the year, the final colourway of the original four joins the fray: the elusive Obsidian makeup.

The resurgence of true-to-spec retro reproductions has helped introduce the mythology of Nike’s golden era to younger generations of Air Max wearers. By now, it is common knowledge that the first flagship Air Max was created by Tinker Hatfield and revealed to the world in 1987. Bold primary colours of Sport Red and Game Royal highlighted Nike’s new groundbreaking technology to men and women respectively. However, with longer lead times for design and manufacture, more colourways needed rendering until the next evolution of the model, the almost-forgotten Air Max Light. So, for the 1988 catalogue year, the Air Max colourway was homogenised for both genders in a patriotic Americana scheme, specifically light neutral grey/navy blue/red.

nike air max 1

The Obsidian entered a slumber state for over a decade, once again rearing its head in 1999 as an “Original Mesh LE”, widely considered by connoisseurs to be the most accurate retro to this day. This highly-coveted release joined the original 1988 edition in dormancy as a mere display piece, devoid of any wearability due to crumbling midsoles. In the following years, the Obsidian colourway has been teased on occasion. Contrary to popular belief, a rendition with a USA flag tongue tag was a hot flash in 2002 and not an official retro. Since then, other silhouettes have served as an Obsidian vessel, and also found on various Air Max 1s with different upper treatments – but none have come close to the original release’s details.

For 2017, Nike graciously revised the tooling of the Air Max 1, bringing in welcome refinements to the shape and materials for its 30th anniversary. The final result is now comparable to 2005’s gargantuan History of Air release, a retro cycle that the Obsidian missed. The largest factor that resulted in the Air Max 1 falling out of favour in previous years was the introduction of much-maligned “cliff toe”, resulting in an unflattering shape when worn. This is no longer the case, with a resculpted toe bumper. The more observant will notice the return of seamed piping on the tongue, not seen since the History of Air. The tongue also receives contrast lining as per the original colourways. Materials matter too – the upper’s mesh is a period rough variety, with the exception of the cushy durasheen nylon padded tongue and hardy densely woven nylon laces.The pearl anniversary is topped off with authentic packaging, down to an orange Nike Air swingtag and 80s spec grey and orange box.

The Nike Air Max 1 Anniversary "Obsidian" will be available online and at selected Hype DC stores on Friday 15th December.

Shop the Nike Air Max 1 at Hype DC

The men's Air Max 1 will be priced at $199.95 AUD | Size: Men's US 9, 10, 10.5, 11

Available ONLINE at 9 A.M (AEDT) via direct links on our Twitter & Facebook pages.

Releasing in limited numbers at the below Hype DC Stores this Friday the 15th of December:

  • NSW - Pitt Street Mall
  • VIC - QVM

Nike Air Max 1 Obsidian

Nike Air Max 1 Obsidian