Space Shoes

It was “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” and I can assure you if Neil Armstrong could have he would have been wearing 2014’s Nike Air Max 90 Lunar SP Moon Landings. Such was the hype surrounding this incredibly unique product that it has held a resell value to this day well above retail. Making it highly regarded as one of Nike’s most creative and inspired Air Max 90 designs on the market.

Air Max 90 Mars Landing

Fast forward to 16th March 2019, and we are gifted with its (sort of) sequel. A fittingly themed Air Max 90 Mars Landing.  With the Mars “Opportunity” Rover recently concluding its mission on the surface of the red planet. The data collated being used to inform future human missions to Mars. It makes perfect sense that while 2014 was all about the first steps on the moon 2019 is all about the potential for there to one day be footprints on Mars.

Following the example set by the Air Max 90 Lunar SP Moon Landing this new launch retains the same all over graphic upper that made 2014’s offering so memorable. Only instead of the grey and white hues of the moon’s craters this 2019 edition uses an official image taken from the surface of Mars. Aesthetically turning the iconic Air Max 90’s silhouette a striking combination of Mars Stone and Magma Orange. The intergalactic motifs don’t stop there. With a seamless one-piece upper these kicks feel like a space suit for your feet. The black Air midsole boasting a white paint splatter effect creates a night sky impression with a rover-wheel-inspired graphic on the outer sole. This design could only be oozing with more of a space vibe if Neil deGrasse Tyson was donning them on a billboard.

Air Max 90 Lunar SP Moon Landing vs Air Max 90 Mars Landing

To pick a preference between the Lunar and the Mars Air Max 90s is more down to individual sensibility than glaring aesthetic or technical difference. In a lot of ways, the pair retain very similar framework. Both utilise the same upper at least stylistically. With a one-piece composition being imprinted with a still from each of their chosen sources. Almost like a canvas has been moulded to the shape of the Air Max 90 silhouette. While both make use of visible Air Bubble on the heel to imitate in a small way, the weightlessness of spacewalking.

So I think it is less of a question of one or the other. With them coming so far apart I guess really, the launch of the Air Max 90 Mars Landing is indicative of the developments that have been made in space exploration. The 2014 design was about celebrating past achievements. Since that world has been transfixed on what Mars has to offer, and 2019’s design is a telling tribute to that.

Decline of the Air max 90?

Available at select Nike Sportswear retailers and It is difficult to gauge whether this launch will make a massive crater or barely a dent in the trainer landscape. If we can use its predecessor as any indication, then I think Nike will be hoping for big things. The Air Max 90 silhouette, however, despite retaining nigh-on legendary status doesn’t carry the same weight as it has done in previous years. While the decline of Nike, in general, has left me questioning whether or not this shoe was a good move for the Swoosh.

For me, it would have made a lot more sense to implement a design like this on one of their newer silhouettes. The Air Max 720 would have pulled off the aesthetic particularly well for example, but all, of course, is speculation at this moment in time. Only time will tell if Nike’s intergalactic sequel to one of their more interesting Air Max 90s ever is going to fly off shelves or sit collecting dust.

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