Air Max Customs are a dime a dozen, but only a select few truly inspire. Here’s our pick of some of the best efforts from around the world.
Chris Dodd Design – Air Max 90 “Safari”
Norwich-based Chris Dodd makes Air Max customs solely for himself, but we really wish he’d offer his services to all. Just look at the intricate hand-painted “Safari” print on the mudguard and the mini swoosh that mirrors the original Atmos x Nike Air Max 1 “Safari” from over a decade back. We spoke to the man himself, and he has said that making custom sneakers for others may be a possibility in the future. Keep your fingers crossed!
Dank Customs – Air Max 90 “Jedi”
A familiar name in the sneaker world, Jacob Danklefs has made a couple of noteworthy Air Max customs. We’re feeling this particular one that he created, in part because he took an Air Max 90 Hyperfuse as the base model, but more so because he managed to put together various colors and still managed to make the Jedi symbol and volt panels pop.
Etai.la – Air Max 1 “Hermes”
The Air Max 1 can hardly be considered a luxury sneaker, but Etai.la made it one by taking apart a vintage Hermes long sleeve shirt and re-purposing the silk material to wrap the uppers of quite a few pairs of sneakers. The shirt certainly didn’t go to waste, as it made this particular Air Max that much more impressive and sought-after.
Smoothtip – Air Max 1 “Bape Camo”
Preserving the essence of this all-white Air Max 1, Roberto Maymi aka Smoothtip decided to give the swoosh and heel panel the BAPE treatment. Understated as this custom may be, it’s still a clean look for those who prefer to see the BAPE camo kept to a minimum.
JBF Customs – Air Max 1 “GTD”
Jacob Ferrato of JBF Customs may have moved from reconstructing well-known sneaker models to making his own silhouettes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t admire his past work. He once made an Air Max 1 with skins from lambs, pythons and crocodiles, putting them together to produce a fine, textured masterpiece.
Revive Customs – Air Max 90 “What The”
Nike’s “What The” series continues to dazzle, and at times, puzzle sneakerheads. But the signature color blocking style has adorned an Air Max shoe only once (source), and boy it wasn’t great. Revive Customs did an arguably better job, putting together a mashup of patterns and colors that are less likely to elicit the “what the” response.
SBTG – Air Max 1 “Feline Fury”
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an artist who’s as meticulous about his work as Mr. Sabotage (SBTG). His mastery of camouflage patterns is second to none, and he presents this “Feline Fury” edition of the Air Max 1 with wicked tiger and leopard camo that’s executed with precision.
Sekure D – Air Max 95 “Deadpool”
The Air Max 95’s unique paneling poses a challenge when it comes to custom works, but sneaker customizer Sekure D nailed it with this Deadpool-inspired colorway. Keeping things simple, he opted for red, silver and black on the “wave” uppers, with a splotchy design that gives the shoe its finer details.
TK Customs – Air Max 90 “Geometric”
Sometimes, less is more. All TK Customs did to make this sneaker look better was to add geometric patterns on the swoosh and “love” heel, matching the color of the inner lining and making it seem like the patterns came stock on the sneaker.
Sevenzulu – Air Max Correlate “Sea, Sun, Sand”
Sevenzulu aptly named this custom “Sea, Sun, Sand”, using blue overlays and midsole speckling to denote the ocean, orange tones on the swoosh and heel to represent the Sun, and desert camo mixed with brown hues to reference the sand. Through this, they’ve managed to turn the obscure Air Max Correlate into a worthy collector’s item.
TRAGIKMCMXCIII – Air Max 90 “Back to the Future”
While these shoes won’t lace themselves up, they look just as futuristic as the Nike Mag worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future II. TRAGIKMCMXCIII has kept faithful to the color scheme used on the original Mag, even throwing in some cool lights within the visible Air Max unit and on the rear of the mudguard. It’s not too late to order a pair if you’re interested.
Know of any Nike Air Max customs that deserves a mention? Let us know in the comments below.