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The History Of The Nike Air Max Tailwind 96

The Nike Air Tailwind series would join the Air Max line with the 1996 launch of the Nike Air Max Tailwind 96. The joining of the Tailwind and Max brands would be monumental for Nike and fans of both styles. Learn more about the Nike Air Max Tailwind 96 below.


The Nike Air Max Tailwind 96 kept with the aesthetic of the other sneakers released in the era. It was a continuation of the evolution of the Nike Air Tailwind series. The merging of the Air Max line with the Tailwind line took the Max and Tailwind into a new era of innovation. Visible air was used again on the Nike Air Max Tailwind 96, it was also used on the previous Tailwind model in 1992. The Nike Air Max Tailwind 96 had a more ambitious design, which kept with the boldness of the Air Max series. There was a leather upper on the silhouette. The Tailwind and Air Max merging would be the start of something special for Nike.

Nike Air Max Tailwind 96

Blue Ribbon Sports

Nike started as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964. The company was headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight founded Blue Ribbon Sports. In 1966, the first Blue Ribbon Sports store opened in California. The storefront was an instant success, and a name change was needed.

NIKE, Inc.

In 1971, Nike would become the new name of the company. The winged Greek goddess of victory inspired the name. The iconic Nike Swoosh was also created in 1971. A graphic design student created the world famous logo. The logo was crafted to convey speed and the goddess Nike was its inspiration. The first shoes to feature the Nike Swoosh were the Nike Cleat and the Nike Waffle Racer at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

The first Nike factory location opened in 1984 in Portland, Oregon. This led to the first Niketown opening in 1990, which was also located in Portland. Niketown was able to broaden the storytelling ability of the brand. Consumers could interact with the products in the store, learn more about them, and the athletes that endorsed them. More Niketown locations would quickly follow. Locations that would be placed all over the world. This would strengthen Nike’s status as a global retailer.

In 1996, Nike launched The site focused on storytelling initially. It gave site visitors the chance to learn more about Nike’s large list of athletes. Storytelling has always been an important part of Nike’s brand. The storytelling has grown more mythical and epic as time passes on for Nike.

The Nike website got bigger and more unique in 1998 when NikeiD launched. The ability for the consumer to customize their own Nikes was trailblazing at the time. In 1999, the site fully transitioned from an editorial hub to an e-commerce platform.


- Adam C. Better