The phenomenal success of the Air Max 95 in the Far East seemed to catch Nike off guard. After a fairly quiet initial response, some celebrity co-signs in Japan caused a level of hype previously unseen—the Air Max boom had begun. Books and magazines dedicated to these tech running models were pumped out in 1996, adding fuel to the fire. Retro was a solid business at the time, but the Air Max series was still considered fairly contemporary.

While the Air Max 1 had been reissued in the mid-1990s, it was eight years old by that point, whereas this Air Max had barely been off the shelves. The AM95’s final colorways arrived in late spring 1996 before the shoe vanished to make way for the Air Max 96. By 1997, it was back. Arguably, the AM96—a fine design—suffered as a result of 95 mania.

In a conversation with Sneaker Tokyo, Harajuku sneaker retail legend Hidefumi Hommyo of CHAPTER recalls the 1997 reissue doing good business: “I’m pretty sure that we stocked 1,036 pairs of the Air Max 95. At a price of 30,000 yen [approximately $250 at time of writing] per pair, we sold out in three days.