Falling somewhere in between a mainstream hit and a cult classic in the history of the Nike Air Max line is the Air Max 98. It’s no Air Max 95 when it comes to popularity, but it’s certainly not the last vintage Nike runner most could identify, either.
But go back just a few years, and the 1998 Air Max model would definitely be leaning much more towards the side of an obscure cult classic, only loved by the most knowledgeable and hardcore Air Max collectors. Its rise in popularity for casual sneakerheads and hypebeasts alike began in 2016, when Supreme gave the Air Max 98 a major cosign, dropping four premium colorways of the shoe. Of course, they all sold out in seconds and instantly introduced the model to a whole new generation. From then on, thanks to what we’ll just call the Supreme effect, the Air Max 98 wasn’t just for nostalgic collectors. Now people that weren’t even born in 1998 wanted it.
Even without the push by Supreme in 2016, the Air Max 98 could very well have been back in the spotlight just as much as it is now, anyway, thanks to the excellent timing between its 20th anniversary and the current trend in the sneaker/streetwear/high-fashion worlds of chunky and gaudy designs with a late ‘90s-early 2000s aesthetic. Even thought the Air Max 98 has retroed numerous times throughout the years, the timing seems to be perfect right for it to become one of the biggest retro sneakers of 2018.
Not on the Air Max 98 bandwagon yet? Find all the essential releases to add to your rotation below.
Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 "Varsity Red"
Style: 844694 600
Link: Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 "Varsity Red"
No other Air Max 98 releases even come close, when it comes to desirability, to the four colorways by Supreme. Inspired by Prada's famous America Cup sneakers, here we have the edition featuring a red patent leather upper with silver mesh and white accents. Bellissimo!
Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 "Obsidian"
Style: 844694 400
Link: Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 "Obsidian"
Slightly more subtle than the red version, this Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 features an Obsidian patent leather upper.
Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 "Triple Black"
Style: 844694 001
Link: Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 "Triple Black"
It's all-black-everything for this colorway by Supreme.
Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 "Snakeskin"
Style: 844694 100
Link: Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 "Snakeskin"
The favorite of many of the four Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 colorways, this wild version features a snakeskin upper for an ultra-premium look. "World Famous" indeed!
Nike Air Max 98 OG "Tour Yellow"
Style: 640744 105
Link: Nike Air Max 98 OG "Tour Yellow"
Nike wasted no time getting the 20th anniversary celebration started in 2018 with the drop of this original colorway in January. The white, navy, yellow, and grey combination returned for the first time ever, and it didn't last long on the shelves.
Nike Air Max 98 OG "Gundam"
Style: 640744 100
Link: Nike Air Max 98 OG "Gundam"
Arguably the most iconic colorway of the Air Max 98, the original "Gundam" edition also made a welcome return in early 2018 (officially dropping 2/24 and available now here at Buy Wholesale). Nicknamed Gundam due to its similar color scheme to the Japanese anime robot of the same name, the white, red, and blue Air Max 98 is an absolute must have for any Air Max collection.
Nike Air Max 98 "Thunder Blue"
Style: 924462 400
Link: Nike Air Max 98 "Thunder Blue"
The first of what we assume will be many new colorways for the Air Max 98 to drop during its 20th anniversary, this "Thunder Blue" edition features a modified construction in a denim upper with all-over branding printed throughout the various panels, while black snakeskin accents seem to call back to the Supreme collab. The final product is a unique and super clean new look for the classic model.