Facts

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Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 9.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

8 reasons to buy

  • A large number of reviewers applauded the Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential for its comfort. Some even claimed that it still feels great on the feet after using it intensively all day.
  • One purchaser noted that the mesh material on the upper allows her feet to breathe and the cushioning is marvelous for her back and feet.
  • Some purchasers were pleased that it looks stylish and attractive in actual as it is in the advertised photos.
  • A few of the reviewers noted that they liked the style and colors of this shoe. It can be worn with anything and even in a workplace.
  • There were a few comments appreciating that it is lighter compared to the original Air Max 1.
  • Some reviewers noted that this shoe has excellent arch support, including those with high arches.
  • Many satisfied purchasers liked that they were able to grab this shoe at a reasonable price.
  • The majority of the buyers agreed that this shoe fits true to size.

1 reasons not to buy

  • The Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential is a bit narrow and not the best shoe for wide-footed people, according to a small number of reviewers.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential retains the iconic look of the Nike Air Max 1, but now in a rebuilt upper for a more sophisticated but sporty vibe. It bears a combination of synthetic leather and mesh materials on the upper that is as durable but more breathable and a lot lighter than the original Air Max 1.

The signature visible Air-Sole unit is still there, which provides the wearer the much-needed cushioning and impact protection for a more comfortable feel on the feet. Many purchasers appreciate its great look and versatile style that suits any outfit. The only drawback for a small number of reviewers is that it is not the best shoe for wide-footed people as it is a bit narrow in the toe box.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 97 ratings

5 star
70%
4 star
12%
3 star
8%
2 star
3%
1 star
6%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential History

The Nike Air Max initially dropped in 1987 as a running shoe, which eventually became an essential part of Nike's sneaker history and the sneaker culture in a broader aspect. Designed by Tinker Hatfield, it was the shoe that introduced the visible Air-Sole unit that functions for cushioning and impact protection. Truly an iconic classic, it has been ubiquitous in the sneaker market for 30 years now with several releases and iterations such as the Air Max 90, the Air Max 95, the Air Max 97, and the Air Max 2015 among many others.

In 2015, the original Nike Air Max 1 silhouette received a slimmed down version with a single-piece upper known officially as the Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential. It resembles the profile of the original Air Max 1, but the upgrade on the upper makes it lighter and more breathable. The signature Swoosh is presented on the side, but it is screen-printed and not sewn. The rubber outsole also received minimal tweaks to make the shoe lighter without sacrificing support and stability. This Ultra Essential version of the Air Max 1 is available in several colorways.

Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential Style

The Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential is a perfect mix of sophisticated and sporty. Resembling the original Air Max 1, this modernized version has its upper rebuilt from suede to synthetic leather and mesh that is lighter and more breathable on the feet. Available in several colorways, this shoe is a great pair to wear to dress up or down any casual outfit. 

Fit & Sizing

The Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential has a low-top construction which allows flexible ankle movement and a traditional lace closure for a snug fit that can be customized depending on the wearer's preference. There is an extra eyelet or tab presented on the tongue for the laces could loop through and help keep it from sliding to the sides. The tongue and the collar are well-padded for ample comfort around the ankle area.

This shoe is available in men's sizing that ranges from size 7 to 13, half sizes included, in D Medium width. Women's half sizes from 5 to 12 in B Medium width are also available. It generally fits true to size.

Notable Features

One notable feature of the Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential is its visible Air-Sole unit in the heel part of the midsole. It is a technology in which a pressurized air in a sturdy but flexible bag is utilized to help absorb impact force for a more comfortable feel on the feet. It is flexible, lightweight, and durable. Another feature of the Air Max 1 Ultra Essential that stands out is its no-sew synthetic leather and mesh upper, which replaces the suede material from the original 1987 Air Max. The rebuilt upper is much lighter and breathable than on the original.

Additional Info

  • The Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential also features a round toe, flat shoelaces, and a rubber outsole with flex grooves for natural foot movement.
  • The Swoosh is screen-printed on the side panels while the Nike Air brandings are presented on the tongue and the heel.