In the ever-evolving landscape of sneaker culture, few models stand as timeless icons like the Nike Air Max 90. Since its inception, this classic silhouette has graced the feet of sneakerheads and athletes alike, becoming a staple in wardrobes across the globe. Despite its enduring popularity, Nike has proven time and again that innovation knows no bounds like it’s the case with the new Air Max DN in 2024, consistently reimagining the Air Max 90 with daring spin-offs, special editions that push the boundaries of design and functionality.

Nike Air Max 90 collaborations stand as testament to the model’s cultural significance, blending the brand’s iconic design with the creative visions of renowned artists, designers, and brands. These collaborations infuse the classic silhouette with fresh perspectives, unique materials, and storytelling elements, resulting in limited-edition releases coveted by sneaker enthusiasts worldwide. From high-profile partnerships with fashion houses like Off-White and atmos to creative collaborations with artists such as Travis Scott and Dizzee Rascal, each collaboration brings a distinct flair to the Air Max 90, making them sought-after collectibles and further cementing their status as cultural icons.

But while the OG Air Max 90 remains a best-selling favorite, Nike’s commitment to evolution is evident in its diverse array of reinterpretations. From rugged sneakerboots designed to brave the elements to sleek Slip-On iterations for effortless style, and even elevated Platform renditions that command attention, each spin-off pays homage to the timeless appeal of the original while injecting fresh perspectives into its DNA.

In this article we’ll looks thru some of the most notable special editions of the Nike Air Max 90, specifically models that tweaked the original design in the brand’s relentless pursuit of innovation, starting from its classic roots and branching out into the dynamic realm of modern sneaker culture.

Nike Air Max Terrascape
Nike Air Max Terrascape 1

Nike Air Max 90 Terrascape


As part of their eco conscious campaign “Move to Zero” Nike introduced in 2021 the Crater midsole which contains NikeGrind materials mixed with EVA foam. Aside from the flagship models for this foam like the Crater Impact and Space Hippie the brand came up with some spin offs for some of their classics under the Terrascape series. This included multiple colorways for the Air Max Plus and 97, the Nike Max 90. Here the AM90 got a larger logo and a see thru midsole with the Crater foam on display.

Nike Air Max 90 Jewel Royal Blue DV3503 100 Release Date 4
Nike Air Max 90 Jewel Royal Blue DV3503 100 Release Date

Nike Air Max 90 Jewel


In 2019 Nike introduced a winterized version of the Nike Air Max 90 featuring Cordura fabric and a slightly higher silhouette. But the most striking feature was the smaller than usual Swoosh logo made of a translucent material looking like a gemstone. The idea catched on and a year later the “Home and Away” pack was released with the classic AM90 displaying the jewel swoosh. Since then several other colorways were released as the luxury touch on this special edition of the Nike Air Max 90 gained more and more fans.

ipad nike wmns air max 90 futura lunar new year 0
ipad nike wmns air max 90 futura lunar new year

Nike Air Max 90 Futura


Over the years Nike attached the “Futura” name to some of their classics when they added some modern twist to their popular models. More recently this line has been more recognizable with the new versions of the Nike Air Max 97 and the Nike Air Max 90. As with the 97 the AM90 Futura were mainly made for the ladies, featuring a slightly higher silhouette with dual pull tabs. While the sole unit and the mudguard remained unchanged, the upper of the shoe suffered some notable modification, the different logo size and shape being the most striking.

Nike Air Max 90 LV8 Laser Blue FD4328 103 4
Nike Air Max 90 LV8 Laser Blue FD4328 103

Nike Air Max 90 LV8


The Nike Air Max 90 LV8 is another special edition of the classic made for the ladies. The LV8 name is one that we’ve seen for more of a decade at the Nike Air Force 1 version and more recently at the Air Max 1 which both featured a slightly higher midsole. In 2024 Nike introduced the AM 90 LV8 which features double stacked Air Max units that elevate the midsole more than before for even more comfort and style. This was a nice addition to Nike’s platform sneakers lineup and it being one of the most notable twists of this classic in recent years.

Nike Air Max 90 Golf black
Nike Air Max 90 Golf

Nike Air Max Golf


For the past decade Nike has been working on improving their golf sneaker line by adding special editions of their classics in the lineup. This way we’ve had over the years dozens of versions of the Nike Air Max 1, 97 and the Air Max 90 being released with small modifications that made them a better fit on the golf course. The main tweaks addressed the traction with a more rugged and grippy outsole made for grass and an upper that is less prone to letting moisture get in. The Nike Air Max 90 has several such editions that featured these changes.

Nike Air Max 90 FlyEase Laser Blue CZ4270 100 6
Nike Air Max 90 FlyEase Laser Blue CZ4270 100 5

Nike Air Max 90 FlyEase


In 2015 Nike introduced the LeBron Soldier 8 that also had a version featuring a new technology to help disabled athletes. Its main feature is to be able to make it easier to put your shoes on, without tying the laces. Not long after several other models have been released with this new technology, including the AM 90 in 2020 as part of their celebration of 30 years of Air Max. It featured the same classic design but with a flexible heel tab that collapses when the shoe is being put on.

Nike Air Max 901 Black Leather AJ7695 001 Release Date
Nike Air Max 901 Black Leather AJ7695 001 Release Date 2

Nike Air Max 90/1


The Nike Air Max 90/1 is one of the oldest hybrids from the brand, being first introduced in 1992. The idea around it was quite simple, with the upper of the Nike Air Max 1 sitting on top of the sole unit of the Nike Air Max 90. The model made a comeback in 2018 at a time when Nike also brought the Air Max Plus 97 and the Air Max 97 Vapormax hybrids. While we haven’t seen these or something similar coming back recently Nike, with their huge retro archives will surely apply this concept again on other classics.

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nike air max 90 ez ao1745 002 1

Nike Air Max 90 EZ


Year 2018 was another rich year of innovation for Nike. Another special edition for the Nike Air Max 90 was the EZ version that is in essence a slip on. The idea is to make another version where to take these on and off easier than with the classic and add another level of comfort to the shoe. The idea did not take off, with only one version being released in gray, black and crimson. But it is another good example of how the brand innovates year after year. At the very least this model will serve as inspiration for future experiments.

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nike air max 90 ns laser blue aj7182 002 4

Nike Air Max 90 NS GPX


In 2016 Nike introduced the idea of Big Logo on their Air Max BW model where the BW letters were oversized on the heel of the shoe. A year later they continued on this line with two new versions of AM 95 and AM 90. The Air Max 90 came in two versions, one with a red and another with blue paneling, both on a black mesh base with white sole unit. The Air Max letting was oversized on these side panels on top of the swoosh logo. The shoes also featured a seamless upper, with neoprene overlays taking the place of the usual stitched leather.

nike air max 90 ultra mid winter sequoia olive black 924458 300 1
nike air max 90 ultra mid winter sequoia olive black 924458 300 2

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Winter


The idea of a winter ready sneaker has been around for a while and Nike has been experimenting quite a bit in this regard. One option was to make the classic design prepared for the cold season with all leather upper or Gore-Tex coating. Such versions have been omni present for the past several winters. Another option was to slightly modify the silhouette so it will turn the classic into a sneakerboot. This was the case with the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Winter which looks like a mid top sneaker. It featured a seamless upper typical to the “Ultra” line that repels the moisture but also an improved traction for snow and wet terrains.

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nike air max 90 ultra 2 0 blue fox 875695 401 02

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0


In 2017 Nike was in the midst of developing their seamless upper. Taking advantage of all the new available technology. While countless new models were released with this new feature they also gave a makeover to most of their classics. The AM 90 got its first such version in 2016 but a year later the second edition was introduced, one that enjoyed more attention. As with the first edition the side mudguard was still stitched leather given its contribution to the stability of the shoe. Same year a Flyknit version of this shoe was also introduced with the two new technologies combining flawless.

Nike Air Max Utility
Nike Air mAX 90 uTILITY

Nike Air Max 90 Utility


In 2015 the idea of an “Utility” version was introduced with a version of the Huarache and one of the AM90 both featuring a seamless upper construction, slightly elevated with an inner sock. A year later Nike took the experimenting to another level with the Nike Air Max 90 Utility, one that looked much like a sneakerboot with a zipper that replaced the traditional lacing. The upper also featured a ripstop nylon material that worked in tandem with the zipper and mid silhouette to keep the feet dry in any weather condition. There were three colorways released that year but the idea did not catch on much given that we haven’t seen it since.

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nike air max 90 breathe ultra volt 6

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR


Another spin off for the Ultra spin off for the classic AM90 is the BR series that surfaced in 2015-2016 period. There were a few models released with this name, all featuring a seamless mesh upper that was meant to maximize breathability of the shoe given that for some this was a concern for years. The monochromatic versions in triple black, volt and platinum are the ones that enjoyed most of the attention at the time but even so, with the seamless technology evolving and the use of the Flyknit mesh these faded away into the past.

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Nike Air Max 90 SuperFly


In 2016, Nike unveiled a special edition of the classic Air Max 90, known as the Nike Air Max 90 Superfly, as part of the buildup to Air Max Day. This release was part of a series of revamped Nike Running classics, with each design individually crafted by notable figures in the industry. Tinker Hatfield’s contribution to this lineup was particularly striking – the Air Max 90 Ultra SuperFly. This iteration seamlessly fused the updated Air Max 90 Ultra silhouette with the distinctive ankle collar inspired by the Mercurial SuperFly football boot, which made its debut just two years prior. 

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nike air max 90 vt gorge green 02

Nike Air Max 90 VT


The Nike Air Max 90 VT, introduced as part of the Air Max line’s evolution in 2011, represents a fusion of innovation and timeless design. VT, short for “Vac Tech,” refers to the advanced construction method utilized in crafting the shoe’s seamless upper, creating a sleek and modern aesthetic. This version of the Air Max 90 maintains the iconic silhouette while introducing subtle yet impactful updates. The VT edition features a streamlined look with a one-piece molded upper, enhancing durability and providing a clean, futuristic appearance.

Nike Air Max 90 Lunar 1
Nike Air max 90 Lunar

Nike Air Max 90 Lunar


With the Lunarlon technology in full swing, in 2014 Nike decided to upgrade some of its classics with the new, plushier midsole. The Nike Air Max 90 Lunar was born and over the following two years it surfaced over and over again in various colorways but also with various upper materials and tech. Many of them took advantage of the new, seamless upper technology while others stayed closer to the original. Overall the new foam added extra comfort but also it helped to give the shoe a more futuristic look. The trend only lasted for a couple of years, however.

Nike Air Max 90 Jacquard
Nike Air Max 90 Jacquard 2

Nike Air Max 90 Jacquard


Nike has been using the Jacquard technology for the upper construction of their shoes for the past decade. The Nike Air Max 90 is one of the first to get this treatment back in 2013, at a time when Nike was experimenting with seamless technology. The result was a futuristic looking sneaker where colors were easy to blend and also a more breathable sneaker.  The Jacquard material not only enhances the shoe’s visual appeal but also provides a snug and supportive fit, wrapping the foot comfortably.

NiKE aIR mAX 90 2014
Nike Air Max 90 2014 1

Nike Air Max 90 2014


Much like the Air Max 90/1 the AM 90 2014 is a hybrid sneaker that is a special edition of the classic worth mentioning. While Nike used the same sole unit from the Air Max 2014 the upper of the shoe was updated so it will keep the design of the classic sneaker but with a modern twist by using the Vac Tech technology. This hybrid showed once again Nike’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of design and performance, making it a standout choice for sneaker enthusiasts looking for a blend of heritage and innovation.