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Nike has countless sneakers and individual styles that sneakerheads love, however few are as renowned as the Air Max line.
Ever since the Nike Air Max 1 debuted on March 26, 1987 — which is now celebrated every year in a holiday of sorts referred to as Air Max Day — the franchise of running sneakers has become the go-to choice of collectors everywhere. (NBA star and revered sneakerhead P.J. Tucker admitted to FN that the Nike Air Max 1 is his daily wear.) And even past models, which are no longer considered peak performance sneakers, have been adopted as fan-favorite lifestyle looks.
With more and more Nike Air Max models hitting the market every year, FN rounded up some of the best sneakers that are available to buy online today. Although Air Max tech is featured in several categories, and has strong ties to performance basketball shoes, its roots are in the run category. Because of this, FN’s list below features both new and retro Nike Air Max running shoes for those interested in either performance or lifestyle wearability.
Nike Air Max 1
The Air Max 1 is the shoe that’s responsible for kick-starting the Air Max line in 1987. The sneaker features a mesh and suede upper with the standout visible Air midsole underneath.
Nike Air Max 90
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Air Max 90, which decades later remains one of the most popular models from the Air Max line.
Nike Air Max 95
Designed by Sergio Lozano, the Air Max 95 draws inspiration from the anatomy of the human body, with the shoe’s upper inspired by the tendons and muscles and the midsole made to resemble the spinal cord.
Nike Air VaporMax 2020 FK
The latest VaporMax style delivered by the Swoosh is the Nike Air VaporMax 2020 Flyknit, an eco-friendly look that the brand said is made from at least 50% recycled content by weight. Included in the sustainability story are its Nike Air soles made from at least 75% recycled TPU.
Nike Air Max 2090
The Air Max 2090 makes its debut this year, a futuristic take on the Air Max 90 that reimagines what footwear will look like 70 years from now.
Nike Air Max 93
The Air Max 93, which was introduced in 1993, features a leather and mesh upper with a neoprene sock collar and a visible air bubble in the midsole.
Nike Air Max 97
The bullet trains in Japan was the source inspiration for the Air Max 97’s sleek design that features a neoprene-based upper that is paired with the revolutionary full-length Air unit in the midsole.
Nike Air Max 98
The Air Max 98 makes use of a leather and mesh upper to provide durable breathability, while the full-length visible Max Air unit underneath offers responsive cushioning.
Nike Air Max 270 React SE
For the Nike Air Max 270 React SE, the brand paired its first-ever lifestyle Air Max sneaker with its most plush and resilient foam cushioning to date: React. It also features the brand’s Nike Worldwide graphics, which it stated conveys “the unifying power of sports,” as well as the Max Air 270 unit in the heel for comfort and no-sew synthetic overlays for a flexible fit.
Nike Air Max 270 React ENG
The popular Air Max 270 receives a major upgrade with a lightweight engineered mesh upper that’s paired with a React midsole and a plush Air unit at the heel.
Nike Air Max 720
The Air Max 720 features a breathable mesh upper that’s paired with the largest Max Air unit yet in an Air Max sneaker, providing comfort from heel to toe.
Nike Air Max Plus
The retro-inspired Nike Air Max Plus features a unique wave-like design running through the upper while classic Tuned Air cushioning offers all-day support.
Nike Air Max Deluxe
The Nike Air Max Deluxe features a textile upper that’s fused with TPU for extra durability, which sits atop a full-length Air Max unit for all-day comfort.
Nike Air Max 180
First released in the 1990s, the Air Max 180 makes use of a neoprene upper with leather overlays, complete with an exposed Air Max unit on the heel of the midsole.
Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 3
One of the more radical models in the Air Max line, the Air VaporMax Flyknit 3’s standout feature is the fully exposed cushioning unit that reaches from the heel to the toe.
Nike Air Max Tailwind 4
The 1990s-era Air Max Tailwind 4 features a blend of style and comfort with a sleek leather upper, while the Max Air technology in the midsole provides lightweight cushioning and impact absorption for all-day wear.
Nike Air Max2 Light
First released in 1994, the Air Max2 Light is crafted with a mesh and synthetic upper along with a molded heel and Max Air unit similar to the original, while a soft foam midsole provides all-day support.
Nike Air Max Exosense SE
The Nike Air Max Exosense SE is another style to feature the Nike Worldwide crest. The look is designed with transparent swirling no-sew skins on the upper that the brand said adds depth as well as Nike Air cushioning paired with a foam midsole for comfort.
Nike Air Max 2X
The Nike Air Max 2X features a minimal upper that is paired with an open Max Air window with double-stacked Air cushioning. Also, the look includes a padded collar and tongue for comfort and a mix of matte and gloss finishes.
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