The Nike Air Max Tailwind IV is set for a rerelease this year after it was first introduced in 1999. We at FRESHCOTTON are stoked for the rerelease and are proud to present that several colorways will soon be available in our very own webshop. The soon-to-be expected sneaker has an interesting background story which we will be discussing through out this blog.
The very first Nike Tailwind was released in 1978. The revolutionary Tailwind featured the waffle iron soles which Bill Bowerman created after pouring molten rubber in his wife’s waffle maker. Another feature, which made the sneaker so revolutionary, was the cushioning system made out of a pressurized air bubble capsuled inside the foam part of the sole. The sneaker was released just before the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii and quickly sold out to athletes prior to the start of the race. They found the air-cushioning system very effective and felt they could run longer distances while experiencing less pressure on their knees over time. A year later Nike released the Nike Tailwind to the greater public and it quickly became a favorite amongst professional and amateur runners.
The first Nike Tailwind featured the first air unit in the foam part of the sole. The air unit was meant to provide runners cushioning while covering longer distances. The air unit was developed by former NASA engineer, Frank Rudy. By repurposing an old aeronautics technique for the creation of helmets on space suits, he was able to hollow out foam midsoles in which he placed plastic pouches filled with dense gasses. These were made so they wouldn’t wear out after being repeatedly used. As the air unit was capsuled inside the foam of the shoe, consumers had to trust Nike’s claim that they were running on air. It was only until almost a decade later, thanks to Tinker Hatfield’s design, that the air unit would be made visible when Nike introduced the famous Air Max 1.
The introduction of the Nike Air Max 1 led to the release of many Air Max models in the years to follow. Initially perceived as a very controversial choice of style, the visible air unit became a preference among many. Amongst various Air Max models, Nike Air Max Tailwind models followed as well. First came the Nike Air Max Tailwind II and III, both featuring the visible Air Max unit only in the heel of the shoe. In 1999, the Nike Air Max Tailwind IV was released. This version of the Tailwind featured visible Air Max units under both the heel and the front of the foot. The sneaker also featured a durable rubber outsole for grip with flexible grooves which made it possible for the shoe to bend with the movement of one’s feet.
In Australia, the Nike Air Max Tailwind IV received a rather remarkable name after some time. Being dubbed the Jailwinds by the locals, the reasoning behind the nickname had been a topic of discussion for quite some time. Some found the sides of the sneakers having an uncanny resemblance to prison bars. Others thought it was the high price tag which led to the large amount of Tailwind IV thefts. However, the Jailwinds received their cleverly found nickname after it became the go-to shoe for many prisoners. Having nothing else to do besides running laps around the prison yard all day, the Tailwinds offerend both the comfort and durability the inmates were looking for. As they were hard to get by once prisoners were already inside prison walls, the Jailwinds also became a status symbol within Australian jails. Showcasing you either had the strength to get them off someone else or signaling you belonged to a group which meant you were better left not to be messed with.
So what drove Nike to rerelease the Nike Air Max Tailwind IV after 20 years? Well, once again it was Supreme who dived into Nike’s archives to revive an old and forgotten sneaker. Through a collab they recently released a white version with red accents along a black version with blue accents, as seen above. The revival of the Nike Air Max Tailwind IV has set Nike to come up with new colorways as seen below.
As earlier mentioned, the Nike Air Max Tailwind IV will feature in the FRESHCOTTON webshop fairly soon. So keep an eye out for these colorways, (and many more are to be expected)!