Are nike air max good for running

Nike Air Max sneakers have long been one of Nike’s most iconic and popular shoe lines. With their visible Air cushioning units in the heel and forefoot, Air Max shoes make a bold fashion statement in addition to offering cushioning and impact protection. But are the stylish Air Max models suitable and recommended for running? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Nike Air Max Shoes?

Nike Air Max refers to Nike’s line of shoes that feature visible Air cushioning units in the midsole. The original Air Max 1 debuted in 1987 and featured a large visible Air unit in the heel. Over the years, Nike has created dozens of Air Max models with full-length Air, Air units in both the forefoot and heel, and modern updates like Nike’s newest React or ZoomX foams paired with the iconic Max Air units.

Common Air Max models you may see for running include the Air Max 270, Air Max 720, Air Max 2090, Air Max Alpha Savage, and Air Max Invigor. New Nike Air Max styles cater more towards lifestyle and fashion use than serious running.

Are Air Max Shoes Good for Running?

The short answer is: not really. While early Air Max models like the Air Max Triax from the 1990s were suitable stability running shoes, today’s Nike Air Max lineup is geared much more heavily towards casual lifestyle use and fashion.

Modern Air Max models prioritize bold, head-turning aesthetics and maximum Air unit visibility over the functional performance that runners need. So they tend to be heavier, stiffer, and not as suitable for high mileage running as Nike’s dedicated running shoes.

If you want Nike shoes primarily for running, you’re better off looking at Nike’s performance running shoe categories like the Pegasus, Structure, React, and Zoom Fly lines. These are lighter, more flexible, more breathable, and crafted specifically to meet runners’ needs.

Downsides of Air Max Models for Running:

  • Heavier weight – Most Air Max shoes weigh 11oz to 13oz or more, which is heavy compared to traditional running shoes at 8-10oz. Heavier shoes mean needing more effort to move your feet.
  • Stiff midsoles – For stability and support around the Air units, Air Max shoes tend to have dense foam and stiff midsoles that don’t provide the flexibility runners seek.
  • Lack stability features – With their focus on cushioning from the Air bags, most Air Max models lack guidance features, support frames, or stability technology to control excess motion.
  • Poor breathability – Lifestyle Air Max shoes prioritize bold design over ventilation, so they can get hot and uncomfortable over long distances.
  • Expensive MSRP – The iconic styles demand a premium price, sometimes $180 to $200 retail, compared to Nike’s performance runners around $100-$150 MSRP.

When Air Max Models Could Work for Running:

The right Air Max model could still work for shorter, easy paced runs up to 5K for some neutral runners looking for cushioning. The overall fit and comfort has to feel right for your foot shape too.

Trying on in-store is recommended. Look for reviews confirming the model runs true-to-size and has ample room in the toe box for toe splay while running.

The key things to look for are Air Max shoes with:

  • A lighter weight under 11oz per shoe
  • A flexible sole that bends at the forefoot
  • An upper with decent breathability
  • A smooth transition underfoot from heel to toe

For example, the Air Max 2090 or Air Max Alpha Savage models could work for some runners because they incorporate lightweight foams like React to complement the Max Air units. This helps improve flexibility and reduces weight compared to retro Air Max styles.

Best Nike Running Shoes Overall

If you want specific running shoe recommendations from Nike’s performance lineup, these three categories have proven models ranked highly for running.

Nike React Shoes:

React foam is Nike’s lightweight, durable and responsive carrier foam paired with rubber crash pads for smooth transitions. Great for daily mileage running. Models like the Nike React Infinity Run 2, React Miler 2 and Nike React Phantom Run Flyknit 2 are tested marathon and tempo running shoes.

Nike ZoomX Shoes:

The ZoomX foam is ultra-lightweight, soft and responsive foam made popular by the Next% racing shoes. The innovative ZoomX foam delivers that “fast feel” by combining cushioning and propulsion in one material. Recommended models include the Nike Zoom Fly 5, Nike Tempo Next% and fun Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit.

Nike Pegasus Shoes:

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus has been a neutral cushioned trainer shoe for over 40 years. Updates like React foam and Zoom Air Pods in the forefoot make the Pegasus 39 a versatile mileage shoe for runners of all paces. The Pegasus is a reliable classic.

So in summary – the iconic Nike Air Max shoes are better off kept lifestyle rather than your main running shoes. Prioritize proper running fit and function over the flashy visible Air units. Leave Air Max models for the pre and post run fashion on your short jogs. Nike has other performance-focused running shoe technologies better suited to Log those miles!

Frequently Asked Questions About Air Max for Running:

Here are answers to some common questions runners have about using Nike Air Max models for running shoes:

Are Nike Air Max good for long distance running?

Generally no, most Nike Air Max models are too heavy, stiff and not breathable enough to be ideal long distance running shoes for half marathon to marathon distances. Prioritize proper running fit and function over the flashy visible Air units.

What is the lightest Nike Air Max?

Currently, the Nike Air Max 2090 is among the lightest Nike Air Max at around 10-11 oz depending on men’s or women’s sizing. The Air Max 2090 uses a lightweight React foam carrier which helps reduce weight.

Are Nike Air Max good for walking?

Yes, Air Max shoes can make great casual walking shoes due to their cushioning, support, and stylish looks. Just note most current lifestyle Air Max models prioritize looks over lightweight breathability and flexibility, so performance walking shoes may feel less fatiguing for long walks.

Can you run marathon in Nike Air Max?

It’s not recommended for most runners to run a full marathon in Nike Air Max due to the stiff platform and heavier weight compared to dedicated lightweight performance running shoes. For a half marathon or less at easy paced runs,certain Air Max may work for some neutral runners who prioritize cushioning over speed.

Do Nike Air Max last long?

With proper rotation and not using exclusively for running hundreds of miles, most Nike Air Max shoes can last over 50-100 miles or several years of casual wear before cushioning breaks down. Outsoles will show normal wear over 300-500 miles. Air Max 720 and 270 may last a bit longer thanks to deep cushioning midsoles.

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