Air Max Mondays: Nike Air Max II / Nike Air Max Light

Name: Nike Air Max II / Nike Air Max Light

Release: 1989


With the overwhelming success of the Nike Air Max I it would only make sense to follow it up with another sneaker to keep the hype going. The Nike Air Max II otherwise known as the Nike Air Max Light to others was very similar to its predecessor, but at the same time added some newer features to the sneaker.

This sneaker featured a Forefoot Air-Sole Unit for some added comfort and continued to you utilize the Maximum-Volume Heel Air-Sole Unit. Another feature included on the Nike Air Max Light was it had a polyurethane heel midsole encapsulated the Air-Sole and interlocked with the forefoot Phylon unit. The purpose of these items was to give the sneaker additional flexibility and cushioning. The Nike Air Max Light also incorporated breathable 420 Denier Nylon mesh, a variable-width lacing system as well as the uppers features thermoplastic straps that made the sneaker look like the Nike Air Max 1.


Well for the most part people were still ranting and raving about the Nike Air Max 1, so to have a follow up would be a no brainer. It was amazing that something that a concept that appeared to be so simple could be so comfortable. By this time if you had missed out on the first batch of Air Max sneakers YOU HAD TO get the Nike Air Max Light.

“By this time for a person like me if the sneaker didn’t have a BIG Nike Air Max type air bubble in it I wasn’t wearing it”

One of the most beautiful things about this time period in the sneaker world was the fact that as a sneakerhead you really didn’t know what you were going to be able to see in your local Foot Locker or Champs because there was no Internet or anything of that nature for you to search some leaked pics of the shoe. On a side note I think things like the Internet has taken the joy out of the shock factor sneaker companies had for sneaker heads. If you were lucky you may have caught a glimpse of the newest Nike Air Max in a Sports Illustrated magazine or any other magazine of that caliber at that time.

By this time for a person like me if the sneaker didn’t have a BIG Nike Air Max type air bubble in it I wasn’t wearing it…unless it was a pair of Nike Air Jordans of course! But, that being said I know that a lot of other sneakerheads felt the same way as I did. There was still nothing like it on the market and judging by the sneakers that were coming out from other sneaker companies it was no contest when it came to making a choice as to what you would be caught wearing in your local neighborhood.

The question that always lingered in the back of my mind was how much longer could Nike make something like an air bubble in the heel of a sneaker the standard amongst most sneakerheads?

Was it just another sneaker fad or could this last the test of time…?

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Sole Theory is a sneaker lifestyle guide that explores the social impact of the sneaker culture. Users can expect to gain insight on recent trends, historic brands and signature styles that have heavily influenced the shoe industry. Content will be driven by articles, interviews and reviews that will uncover interesting facts and stories that have rarely been told.