2023 has already seen some of the most covetable releases and collaborations of the past decade. The Nike Dunk has extended its three-year reign as one of the most sought-after silhouettes, while GORE-TEX styles and heavy-duty gorpcore continue to influence the market. But with some trends growing tired, fans are now looking for the next big thing. Fortunately, the Laced team is on-hand with our carefully curated sneaker forecast, with the Air Max 1 predicted to take the industry by storm once again. Here, we take a look back at the AM1’s history and how it came to be the next ‘It’ sneaker.

First introduced in 1987 by Tinker Hatfield, following increasing competition in the market, the Air Max 1 was the first sneaker to display Nike’s Air unit in the sole. Drawing heavily on the Centre Pompidou’s exposed structure, the AM1 — dubbed the “Big Bubble” — paved the way for a new wave of game-changing styles and challenged the status quo. Its highly anticipated launch broke records, with Nike selling over 5,000,000 pairs of the “Infrared” iterations.

Soon after its release, the Air Max 1 began to attract attention from within the sporting sphere. John McEnroe and basketball legend Michael Jordan spearheaded the famous “Revolution” campaign, while runners enjoyed the AM1’s lightweight design and supportive sole. Years later, the sneaker inspired further styles from the iconic Air Max series — including the 270, Air Max 95 and Vapormax

Fast forward to present day and the Air Max 1 is showing clear signs of returning to the top spot. The resurgence of retro silhouettes and OG colourways has confirmed the shoe’s relentless staying power, with fans embracing the silhouette’s nostalgic heritage and enduring versatility. With more releases than ever before, the Air Max 1 is slowly cementing itself as one of the most wanted styles of the moment. 

While it’s a stark rise in popularity for a sneaker that’s been around for decades, the Air Max 1’s current success is unsurprising. Thanks to a number of high-profile partnerships — atmos, Patta and CLOT, to name a few — the AM1 is having a moment, and it’s not hard to see why.

One of the pioneers behind the Air Max 1’s restored demand, Travis Scott’s collaboration with Nike in 2018 saw the silhouette propelled back into the limelight. The Texas-born artist reworked the silhouette with coffee-inspired hues, nubuck overlays and functional details, effortlessly fusing his streetwear appeal with the brand’s technical roots. Featuring sizes for the whole family, this AM1 collection appeals to a whole new generation.

With more collaborations lined up for 2023, the Air Max 1 is showing no signs of slowing down. From elevated colourways to updated classics, the sneaker continues to break boundaries and secure its place in the industry. Now, as the Nike Dunk and New Balance 550 look to dip in popularity, we expect the Air Max 1 to change history once again.