Size and fit

Initially made for running, the Nike Air Tailwind 79 is now a part of Nike’s lifestyle sneaker collection. Its cushioning is provided by the iconic Air-sole unit which is encapsulated by a foam material.

Nike Air Tailwind 79 Style

Vintage footwear like the Nike Air Tailwind 79 as such can be dressed up with accommodating retro-inspired apparel like crotch-tight jeans and constricting shirts that are smaller than the average size. But those who would just want a casual outlook can sport the sneaker with skinny and straight cut jeans. Pin-rolling them would also suffice.

Aside from the Nike Air Tailwind 79 OG Vast Grey colorway, an array of vibrant versions soon followed since its release. Some of the iterations include the black, Indigo Force, White/Phantom, and Gym Red. Everything from the overlays to the Swoosh remained intact, and Nike tried hard to keep it that way.

Notable Features

Aside from the highly significant waffle outsole, the sneaker’s shape can easily be noticed from a distance. Suede overlays were kept close to the original construction as well as the materials on its upper. The most promising feature of all would be the emblazoning Swoosh on either side of the shoe.

Nike Air Tailwind 79 History

Starting their way like any other ordinary old Joe would do, Nike had crept their way towards the fashion limelight like a larva sprawling its way into a butterfly. Inducted as Blue Ribbon Sports way back in the early days, the company chose the Greek goddess of victory’s name in 1971 not knowing that it would correctly reflect its current stature today.

Bill Bowerman’s invention of the waffle sole was just the start of their long journey to success along with the unveiling of the Nike Cortez in 1972. Both shoes manifested a relatively fair share of the running community market which propelled Nike as a brand to expand its production. Of course, this movement should imply the inclusion of updated shoe technologies.

  Birth of the Nike Air Tailwind

Fortunately for Nike, an aeronautical engineer named Frank Rudy came up with the idea of capturing air and infusing it into a shoe. The shoe of choice--the Nike Air Tailwind. The Tailwind debuted during the Honolulu Marathon in 1978 and was released in copious amounts to the public a year after. From then on, numerous models were patterned with the Air-sole technology which even created sub franchises like the Air Max.

To honor the pinnacle model which started it all, the Oregon-based brand re-introduces the coveted sneaker to the world in the name of Nike Air Tailwind 79. The rebirth stayed close to the original model as much as possible, from the textile underlays to the shape and waffle outsole.

The 2018 reappearance was not the first attempt to give the sneaker another life. The earliest of efforts were witnessed in 2012 in a grey and red combo as well as one in an Obsidian colorway. A couple of years after, the Tailwind was revamped again into a violet force and anthracite.

Nice to know


  • The upper is composed of textile and leather.
  • The sneaker was redesigned and was released in 1992 aptly named Nike Air Tailwind 92.
  • It was the first shoe to feature a full-length encapsulated Air bubble on the tooling.
  • The Nike Air Tailwind OG was officially released on October 17, 2018.

Facts / Specs

Style: Classic, Sporty
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: Nike Air, Nike Waffle
Closure: Laces
Material: Leather, Suede, Mesh, Rubber Sole, Gum Sole, EVA / Fabric
Technology: Air Cushion

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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.