Sandwiched between two iconic shoes, the Air Max 95 and Air Max 97, Nike’s Air Max 96 is among the more unsung Air Maxes. Re-issues for the shoe are exceedingly rare, and all but the most hardcore of sneakerheads would have difficulty picking it out of a lineup. Its relative obscurity, however, makes it a perfect fit for Supreme, which loves plucking deep from the Nike archives.
Early leaks suggest the Air Max 96 will be the next Nike collaboration for Supreme, and the fact that pairs have made their way to Stadium Goods suggests a release should come sooner rather than later. Under the streetwear brand’s stead, the sneaker gets updated with transparent windows that will encourage you to step up your sock game.
Of course, there’s also a healthy bit of branding coming from the tongue and a silver Box Logo on the heel. The iconic logo also appears on the insole, a nice little sight through the clear windows whenever you aren’t wearing them.
Expect more color schemes — For now, the only pair that leaked comes in predominantly black with Supreme red accents including the Swoosh toward the heel and co-branding on the tongue. Supreme usually releases three color schemes for each of its Nike sneakers, and chances are one of them will serve as an inverse in white and red.
A potential third, though, who knows. Supreme is liable to freak it in any number of bright colors.
More on the underdog sneaker — Save for a limited-edition release in 2016, Nike has never reissued the Air Max 96 in its original form — a pattern that’ll continue with Supreme’s window treatment.
Bransen Fernando, then 13 years old, chose the shoe to collaborate on in 2019 as part of Nike’s Doernbecher that gives young cancer patients the chance to design their own sneaker. While scant, a few releases have also seen the Air Max 96 released with an outsole swapped from the Max 95 Ultra SE.
Purists may have cried foul over the switch, but clearly Nike doesn’t view the Air Max 96 as an important enough sneaker to painfully recreate on a regular basis. Wave-inspired lines on the upper make it an oddity, even when compared to the Air Max 97, and the technology was essentially a repeat of the Air Max 95. Its visible Air cushions were tuned to different pressures based on their location underfoot, a breakthrough that began the year prior.
When will Supreme’s drop? — In short, who knows? If pairs have already made their way out to reselling platforms, we’d think Supreme’s Air Max 96 should arrive by the end of its current season. But because Supreme has already released a Dunk Low and Goadome in this short year, we wouldn’t be surprised if the AM96 is saved for fall/winter either.
You’ll just have to wait for more information, but if that doesn’t suffice and you happen to wear a size 11, you can pick up a pair for $515 right now.