Nike Air Max 1 Royal

There is definitely temptation to scoff at the branding of “royal” footwear as a bit melodramatic.  Admittedly, there are probably few, if any, examples of sovereigns sporting visible air on their royal feet, but this is one of those situations where focusing on the literal ignores the larger context, and ends up missing the point entirely. 

Dating back as far as ancient Egypt and Rome, shoes served an ornamental, status symbol purpose, sometimes in addition to and sometimes superseding the functional purpose of the shoe.  We even have footwear based idioms ‘well heeled’ and ‘down at heel’ to indicate prosperity and bad fortune, respectively. 

The love affair with sneakers, the purely aesthetic appreciation of footwear designed for a very specific purpose, is a continued expression of this tradition. 

Air cushioning had been utilized in Nike running shoes since the late 70s.  The original Air Max 1 became legendary by incorporating this technology into the design of the shoe.  The concept of visual air was the birth of a legend.  

The Air Max 1 Royal gives this icon a material makeover worthy of the shoe’s lofty status.  An Ultrasuede upper is augmented by a leather sock liner, a buffed phylon midsole, embellished stitching, and a debossed swoosh.


Words: Dan Alvarez
Photography: Tommy Boudreau

Nike Air Max 1 Royal
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Nike Air Max 1 Royal
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