We take a look at the rise of women’s Nike Air Max over the last 5 years and how Air Max became just as relevant to the female sneaker world.
The fact that I am writing an article about the rise of women’s Nike Air Max shows enough just how much females are now included in the sneaker game. I remember looking back how hard it was to get some of my favourite Air Max styles in small sizes, they just never did any for us with petite feet. “Part of the issue within sneaker culture is that they have historically been available only in men’s sizes. So it was hard for female ‘sneakerheads’ to participate,” said Elizabeth Semmelhack who is the author of the amazing book ‘The Rise of Sneaker Culture’ if you didn’t already know.
I think now that’s one of the things (amongst hundreds of others) why I respect and love Nike so much, the fact that they now realise women’s Air Max sizes are just as important as the men’s. There was a time where women were really underrepresented in regards to there being amazing releases but no small sizes, which still sometimes happens, but now the rise of women’s Air Max styles is non stop and I am here to celebrate that.
I might be quite partial to pick out a pink because I’m female, but I think that alone shows the rise within women’s powers over trainers alone. One of the best examples I have of my own trainers is the Nike Air Max 90 City pack Shanghai ‘Must Win Cake’ which came out in 2015. These are probably the pinkest trainers I have ever seen, from the outer shoe, the sole, the laces, everything being bright baby pink, with little hints of red, they’re about as girly as it gets. But they also came out in men’s sizes too after they released as a women’s trainer. I have had many comments off males when I wear these and I get the, “Those are very pink”, and whilst that may be, stereotypically very girly, at the end of the day they are Air Max which is a success for us females, but also they were so popular and so crazily sick that men wanted them too.
Nike Air Max 95, or if you’re the type to call them by their OG name, 110’s, are one of the best examples of how trainers, Air Max specifically, are just completely changing. The Air Max 95 used to be and still is, such a staple piece of a male outfit. It quickly became a youth culture icon when it was released in the mid 90’s and you can look all over the street and internet and find some of the main images and people wearing them mid 90s onwards are male. They’re athletic, at the time they were different, the first ever Air Max to have a black midsole, they were quite dark and bold in colourways, something not typically advertised to a female audience, and barely any branding and that’s what made them so iconic, it was how different they were. Even Gucci Mane said, “95 Air Max cause I’m a dope runner” in his song Bricks, from 2009.
But now everything has flipped. Females have became such staple icons within the fashion community, specifically now the sneaker community, a lot of it definitely has to do with how women can wear male clothes but males don’t really do vice versa. One of the newest Air Max 95 trainers to be released as part of the Air Max 95’s 25th Birthday (crazy) is the best example I can give you of how females have dominated the sneaker game and changed what iconic air max silhouettes look like. For example the Nike Air Max 95 ‘Barely Rose’ which recently launched is the most gorgeous, minimal, feminine yet masculine shoe you’ll currently see on the sneaker market.
Women have became so important at showing off Nike, and the crazy thing is, I can really see each Women’s only drop being wanted by a male audience too. Look at the amount of girls wearing Air Max now, it’s just rising and rising and I am all for it. The crazy thing is you’ll have seen all the girls but not noticed just how much they’re dominating Air Max. You’ve got Alani Figueroa (@wuzg00d), Fenna Lang (@fennalang), and even the OG Emily Oberg (@emilyoberg) who for me was a massive inspiration at opening the way for female’s in Air Max and the sneaker game back in 2014. You only have to go on social media for 2 minutes to find hundreds of female Air Max fans & collectors who post pictures of their matching nails & kicks, something which has become a growing trend over the last few years in the women’s sneaker community.
Look at the rise of the Air Max 97 since it’s reissue in 2017, I remember getting my pair of Silver Bullets and I was beyond excited to wear them, something so iconic and unorthodox for a trainer to be so chunky yet so slim too, a male shoe but it finally came in small sizes again. It’s since 2017 that every where you go you will definitely see a female wearing 97’s, and that’s because women needed a trainer which could cater to us and I think it’s safe to say that 97’s are a female driven trainer now. An Air Max style hadn’t properly been reissued in such a way and females have dominated it since they came out. You’ve got the Air Max 97 Red Leopard, the Air Max 97 ‘Have a nice day’, the OG Silver Gold and then the amount on the way is incredible, some of my personal favourites are Air Max 97 GS Cherry and Air max 97 Metallic Bronze.
Time released an article in 2018 called “Nike helped create Sneaker culture. Now it’s Catering to Female ‘Sneakerheads.” Where they amazingly let us all know that Nikes new campaign unlaced is, “Part of Nike’s overall strategy to grow it’s women’s business from $6.6 Billion to $11 billion by 2020. The women’s business has outpaced the growth of it’s men’s business in the past few years.” Which is just insane. Not only is it clear that the rise of female driven air max styles is happening, it’s so clear how the rise of females alone is happening, and Nike with air max are letting us do it with them.
Shop the latest Women’s Nike Air Max trainers now via the links above and also be sure to subscribe to Air Max Tings to keep up to date with all the latest Air Max news, releases & drops.