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Jan 31, 2013
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Nike’s iconic Air Max line reaches a milestone this year as the sneaker famous for its visible air cushioning celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Debuting in 1987, the original Air Max 1 was designed by Tinker Hatfield, who decided to make the Max Air sole transparent and fully visible. In retrospect, it was a brilliant move that resulted in a fantastic design that allowed people to instantly understand what air cushioning was. Inside that Air sole capsule are pressurized gases that are the very pillar of the technology. It's those gases we can thank for giving the Air line the ability to provide top comfort for a quarter of a century now.

Below is a cool stylized cartoon tracing the line's roots:

The Air Max's sterling record is so, uhm,  sterling that vintage pairs and re-releases of classic models of the Air Max continue to capture the fancy of sneakerheads everywhere. And not just sneakerheads: a 2007 study of the UK Forensic Science Service's database of footwear revealed that one Air Max model, the Air Max 95, is the No. 1 choice in footwear for criminals. Damn them stylish criminals.

Nike’s Max Air cushioning technology has also found its way to other shoes apart from the main running line. Examples include the Lebron 8, 9 and 10, Pippen’s Air More Uptempo (that one with the word “AIR” plastered on the entire shoe), Charles Barkley’s strap-heavy Air Max2 CB 94, and, who could forget, Penny Hardaway’s Air Max Penny 1.

But before we start naming other players from the '90s (who didn’t win rings), we turn the focus to the newest bad boy in the Air Max line, the Nike Air Max+2013. That bad boy is waiting for you at the next page...

NEXT: Get ready to say "Wow, astig!"