Year Introduced: 1987

The Nike Air Max stands as Nike's ultimate achievement, one of the most successful cases of form dictating function in sneaker history. As the Air bag grew bigger, designer Tinker Hatfield was faced with a problem - how to fit the larger Air into the traditional foam midsole? A trip to Paris, and a look at the Centre Georges Pompidou, gave him an idea. Why not cut the foam away to expose the Air? The Centre Pompidou exposed all of what was normally hidden, so would the Air Max runner. Nike's signature technology became visible, and nothing in the sneaker world would ever be the same again.