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

7 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 the 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.

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 yet sporty vibe. It bears a combination of synthetic leather and mesh materials that are as durable but more breathable and a lot lighter than the original Air Max 1.

The signature visible Air-Sole unit provides cushioning and impact protection for increased comfort. Also, it is great looking and versatile to suit any outfit. A minor drawback, however, is its narrow-fitting toe box.



A top rated sneaker
A top rated Nike sneaker
A popular pick

Expert Reviews

  • First look | Sneaker News

  • First look | EXCLUCITY

  • First look | EXCLUCITY

  • First look | Mike Giroud

  • First look | Mike Giroud

  • First look | Techy 007

Become an expert

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.

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. 

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.

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.

  • 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.
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.