Some athletic shoes transcend their performance roots and become a cultural phenomenon. The Nike Air Max Plus, released in 1998, is one such shoe.The Air Max Plus, known as the ‘TN’ for its Tuned Air technology, is one of the biggest cult favourites in Nike history. Speaking with Sean McDowell, the model’s designer, Nike dive into the TN’s origin story. A combination of steep pricing and distinctive design meant the shoe was always destined for great things and/or infamy. Among its legions on fans are diehard experts who can recite even the craziest little-known facts, design details and brand history.

The Air Max Plus bought along a shed load of features that had never been seen before. The most notable being the alien-like exoskeleton cage covering the outer of the trainer. Although it’s extremely noticeable and a huge statement, it went down immensely well with Nike fans. Second up has to be the Air technology itself. Nike went for a completely different approach to Air than they ever had before, using a blow moulded rubber unit to contain the air bubbles themselves, along with the brand new hemisphere technology.

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