For many of us sneakerheads, the power of nostalgia is undeniable. The most important pairs in many of our collections are tied to memories of growing up with friends, family, and music that shaped who we are today. The same feeling exists when we connect online with fellow sneakerheads. Through social media, forums, and chat apps, we can share our stories and show off our collections to the world. We build relationships with people from all walks of life who share the same passion for sneakers.
Sharing our stories and collections is not just a way to connect with fellow sneakerheads, but also a way to preserve our culture. We can document the history of sneakers from the ever-evolving fashion statement they have become today. We can learn about different styles, trends, and the stories behind them. And more importantly, we can keep these stories alive for future generations. Through our shared passion, we create a lasting legacy that will continue to influence sneaker culture for years to come. For me, the upcoming release of the “Big Bubble” Nike Air Max 1 ‘86 is the perfect example of both the people aspect of sneakers and the preservation of the stories that link us all despite being from different parts of the world.
Unlike many sneakers that come out today, the “Big Bubble” Air Max 1 is a shoe that never saw the light of day beyond its original release. When it was first created by Tinker Hatfield and the Nike team, the Air Max took the cushioning technology originally created by Frank Rudy and made it a significantly larger “Nike Air” cushioning unit. After all, the Air Max 1 was the introduction of “Visible Air,” so you know they had to go big. The Big Bubble was used in advertisements for the actual Air Max 1 that was released in 1987, but after that, the size of the Air unit got much smaller, which only added to the allure of the shoe since the Internet and social media came around. The Air Max 1 has been released countless times since 1987, and more than a handful of times in its original red, grey, and white color palette. Yet, for the diehard fans of the model, the proper “true to original” releases have been missing the most important part, the “Big Bubble.”
Within the sneaker community, those diehard collectors have clamored for the release of sample and prototype sneakers that have helped shape some of the greatest sneakers of all time. When it comes to the Air Max 1, you’d be hard-pressed to find a collector as passionate as “Iceberg.” His collection includes some of the rarest of rare, original models, and dozens of the most significant Nike runners ever made. If you’ve been into sneakers for any significant amount of time, he is (or should be) one of the first people you follow on Instagram. For the Air Max 1 “Big Bubble,” he’s been sharing early images and details of the shoe, and while that’s important, his excitement for its release is contagious. When someone as deep into the Air Max game as Iceberg, who has an eye for detail beyond what most of us can see is excited about a retro release, you know it’s going to be an amazing release.
Like most sneakerheads, I would have likely tried to get the Nike Air Max 1 “Big Bubble” just because. As someone who has spent the last two decades documenting sneakers and sneaker culture, there is an added layer of importance to this shoe that makes me want it even more. Most importantly, when one of the most significant collectors in the game is excited about it, I can’t help but want it even more, and one of my favorite things about the sneaker game is that I know many of you reading this share that same passion and will be just as excited if you’re able to get a pair when they drop in the coming weeks.
No release date has been set for the Nike Air Max 1 “Big Bubble” but expect these to release on or before Air Max Day on March 26th in limited quantities.