Are Nike Air Max Shoes Good For Running? (Read First)

Advertised as running shoes, the Nike Air Max shoes are considered a great option for running instead of casual lifestyle sneakers. But can they survive the harsh demands of running?

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Nike Air Max For Running Explored (All Models)

Most Nike Air Max shoes are not designed for running. Instead, they are casual lifestyle sneakers that are merely inspired by running shoes. The weight and substantial midsole do not provide stability for running, and its overall construction isn’t intended for rugged terrains.

One of our writers ran a half marathon wearing the Nike Air Max. At mile 8 the Air Unit midsole (which is basically an air bubble) burst like a flat tire. He continued running like that, but it was very uncomfortable.

At mile 12, as he was struggling with the deflated shoe he fell and scraped his knees. He managed to finish the half marathon but had to go to the medical tent immediately.

That just goes to show that you should not wear the Nike Air Max for running. Below, we examine 10 models of the Nike Air Max and explore whether they are suitable for running or not. 

Is the Nike Air Max 270 good for running?

The Nike Air Max 270 is not good for running because it is designed as a lifestyle sneaker. It has one of the tallest midsoles ever in a Nike sneaker, making the shoe quite tall and unstable.

Can you run while wearing the shoes? Yes.

However, the Nike Air Max 270 is stiffer and heavier than most running shoes. And while it is very comfortable to stand and walk on, I’d rather have Nike React underfoot than 270 Air.

To summarize, they are good lifestyle shoes but not the best. The Nike Air Max 270 is meant more for casual streetwear than it is for heavy-duty running. Its weight and substantial midsole make it unfit for going long distances, and its overall construction isn’t made for rugged terrains.

Is Nike Air Max 270 React good for running?

While the React midsole is the same name found in most Nike running shoes, the Nike Air Max 270 React is not meant for running or other types of sports. It is designed for casual wear.

Short-distance walking and jogging are okay but don’t overdo them.

Its weight and substantial midsole make it unfit for going long distances, and its overall construction isn’t intended at all for rugged terrains.

The Nike Air Max 270 is perfect for lifestyle wear because the cushioned midsoles provide unparalleled comfort while the soft, breathable upper hugs your feet ever so gently.

Is the Nike Air Max 90 good for running?

Spend enough time on the Internet and you may see photos of people actually running in the Nike Air Max 90. One such example is legendary Australian distance runner Steve Moneghetti.

However, it is unlikely that he wore the shoes for competitive running.

While you can run in the Nike Air Max 90, it is not recommended because the shoes are narrow and quite tall. The overall construction of the shoe does not provide the best stability for running.

Wearing a tall and narrow shoe for running makes you prone to ankle injuries.

Is Nike Air Max 97 good for running?

While the Nike Air Max 97 is inspired by running shoes, it is not good for running because of the clunky midsole and non-breathable upper (tightly woven mesh and synthetic leather).

It does, however, perform surprisingly well in other aspects of life, including casual hangouts, everyday encounters, lighter training sessions, and afternoons at the gym.

To summarize, the full-length Max Air unit adds soft, comfortable cushioning underfoot. It is perfect for casual walking but won’t survive the long haul of high-performance running.

Is Nike Air Max Excee good for running?

While the Nike Air Max Excee is perfect for light workouts and casual walking, it is not good for high-performance running. Some people do find comfort wearing the Nike Air Max Excee for workouts, including skipping rope and HIIT but don’t expect much for long-distance running.

The shoe is basically the budget version of the Nike Air Max 90, made with cheaper materials. While it does make the shoe substantially lighter, it becomes much less durable.

It does, however, match very well with sporty outfits.

Is the Nike Air Max 2090 good for running?

The Nike Air Max 2090 is not good for running because the substantial midsole makes it unstable. While the shoe is historically meant as a running shoe, at its core, it is simply a lifestyle sneaker.

A high-performance running shoe should be able to withstand the force of each stride that is at least 5 times your body weight. Without the appropriate shock absorption, the Nike Air Max 2090 created a “marshmallow effect” where the shoe is too soft and won’t propel you forward.

In short, the Nike Air Max 2090’s weight and substantial midsole do not support your body while running, and its overall construction cannot survive the wear and tear of long distances.

Is Nike Air Max SC good for running?

The Nike Air Max SC is not good for running. While the shoe is amazingly light, it won’t be able to survive the wear and tear of high-performance running. It’s best worn for casual walking.

Just like the Nike Air Max Excee, the Nike Air Max SC is a budget sneaker. The cheaper materials make them lighter than the average trainers at the expense of durability.

While it’s not good for running, it is one of the most comfortable casual sneakers.

The Nike Air Max SC borrows a lot of features from the renowned Air Max 1. Its design combines the timeless running-inspired details while providing modern comfort and durability.

Is the Nike Air Max 95 good for running?

The Nike Air Max 95 is not good for running because of the heavy construction, bulky midsole, and non-breathable upper. It is more suitable for casual wear instead of a marathon.

Since the upper is made of a combination of tightly woven mesh and synthetic leather, the Nike Air Max 95 does not provide enough airflow to your feet while running. The supremely tall midsole also does little to add stability during each running stride.

Technically, you can run in the Nike Air Max 95. However, you would be doing yourself a disservice when you have a plethora of lightweight running shoes on the market.

Is Nike Air Max Fusion good for running?

While the Nike Air Max Fusion is an excellent all-around sneaker, it is not suitable for running. The shoe is for you if you are after an affordable shoe with a street-ready look and cozy feel.

Praised by many customers for its affordable price and incredible support, the Nike Air Max Fusion combines the look of running shoes with the comfort of everyday trainers.

You should not run while wearing the shoes, but you can certainly wear them every day.

Is Nike Air Max 720 good for running?

The Nike Air Max 720 is not good for running because it is designed as a lifestyle sneaker. It has the tallest Air Unit (midsole cushioning) ever in a sneaker, making the shoe very tall and unstable.

While the shoe is comfortable when it is brand new, it has a limited life span. The Air Unit, which resembles a large bubble underneath the shoe, is very easy to penetrate with a sharp object. Once the bubble is popped the shoe is pretty much useless, just like a flat tire.

Nike should have made the sole out of a more robust material to protect the Air Unit.

To summarize, the Nike Air Max 720 is clearly designed for looks over practicality. While it is perfect for casual streetwear, it is not suitable for an occasional jog or workout session.

Bottom Line

Now you know that all Nike Air Max shoes are not good for running. You can run while wearing the shoe, but you would do little to optimize performance. Worse, you run the risk of injury.

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