Air Max 96 II

The Sergio Lozano era continues with the Nike Air Max 96. And it’s arguably the most underrated model between the Air Max models he designed. That isn’t a bad thing, though. As it gives the OG sneakerheads an easier time to cop and appreciate the shoe.

Just like the previous model, the Nike Air Max 96 took inspiration from nature as Sergio Lozano began sketching for ideas. There’s no human anatomy inspiration on this one, though. Instead, rows of open panels exposing the mesh body that increase in size represent the natural ocean waves. And of course, more visible Air Max units don the forefoot and the heel. Quite a unique imagination for Lozano who is expected to be Tinker Hatfield’s Air Max series successor.

The Nike Air Max 96 actually had a different name when it first came out. It’s named Nike Air Total Max before adopting the year of the shoe’s debut to its name.

Going into the details, it has a similar yet completely unique build compared to the previous model. The mini Swoosh on the rear returned in a slightly more vertical form. Wavy patterns appear with a different inspiration. As for the cushioning, Air Max units highlight the visible windows just like always.

Only four colorways originally released in 1996, two for men and two for women.

Various rumours about a retro release never panned out as the Nike Air Max 96 remained inside the Nike vault. As a matter of fact, another model replaced the shoe completely.

That’s where the “other” Nike Air Max 96 comes into play.

The second iteration of the model that bridged two iconic models that are the Air Max 95 and 97 featured a more reinforced upper. There is still some semblance of ocean waves, but the main highlight of the shoe is the return of the Swoosh. So much so that Nike put more than two of them on the body.

The Nike Air Max 96 II featured mesh and leather overlays that make up the majority of the runner’s structure. It retained the same midsole and outsole from the first 96. Both utilizing Air Max in the heel and forefoot with different densities for a balanced ride.

It’s been a long time since we’ve last seen either of the two 96 silhouettes. But in 2021, the Nike Air Max 96 II returned in its true OG form. Signaling the comeback of one of the most underrated Air Max models in the 90s era.

Check out some of the latest Nike Air Max 96 colourways below:

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