Verdict from +100 user reviews

11 reasons to buy

  • Air Max reviewers specifically loved the “featherweight” feature of the Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit. 
  • Sneaker fans who anticipated the drop of this shoe said Nike did a good job in constructing a Flyknit version of the Air Max 1.
  • Considering that Flyknit uppers are super soft, several buyers were very pleased with the mudguard that runs around the middle of the shoe towards the back of the heel as it holds the shape of the sneaker
  • Most of those who bought the Wolf Gray colorway liked the concept of the seamless mudguard that offers added protection and enhances its style.
  • Air Max fans liked how the knitted pattern resembled the silhouette of the original Nike Air Max 1.
  • The Flywire cables on the lateral and medial sides that are looped in a form of a lacing system provide extra support across the width of the shoe, explained by quite a lot of users.
  • No problem wearing this sneaker for a long time as it breathes very well, affirmed by many.
  • As mentioned in a good number of reviews, the Ultra midsole feature makes this Air Max 1 variation very flexible.
  • This shoe takes the stress off the feet minus the added weight, as shared by a reviewer whose job requires standing all day.
  • Aside from the original colorway of University Red and White, many liked that it is available in several stylish knitted colors.
  • One buyer gave a forecast that this minimalist-looking sneaker will never go out of fashion.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The upper of the Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit gets dirty quite fast and it’s hard to clean, shared by many.
  • Pretty expensive pair of sneakers.

Bottom line

The original Air Max 1 received upgrades with the introduction of the Flyknit engineering on its upper and Ultra technology for its sole. The fusion of these two features gave birth to the Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit, the most lightweight version in the Nike Air Max category.

It comes in an array of colors, including the iconic OG colorway, which is both classic and stylish. It is a little heavy on the pocket, but it’s comfortable, breathable, flexible, and durable which is why it’s worth copping a pair.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The single-piece Flyknit design on the upper contours to the shape of the foot and offers a sock-like fit. The seamless mudguard that stretches around the Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit firms up the structure of its ultra-soft upper. It also adds protection to all sides of the shoe for that ultimate comfort and secure fit. The shoe generally runs narrow, but those with wide feet can benefit from the stretchable feature of the upper. 

Nike was successful in keeping an almost three-decade-old classic profile attuned to the times by transforming it to its most appealing silhouette dressed in a minimalist cover.  The Ultra Flyknit version of the Air Max 1 almost completely revamped its original structure, yet retained its classic charm among sneaker admirers. This version, a crossover between a performance shoe and modern, versatile footwear, blends well with the fashion trend of the era. It is even more appealing when paired up with a mélange of casual clothing, such as skinny jeans, sweat shorts, joggers, and compression leggings.

Nike achieved the most lightweight Air Max when it dropped the Ultra Flyknit version of the Air Max 1. The brand reduced a lot of weight from the original edition by incorporating the Flyknit technology in the design of the upper.

It got rid of the layers of mesh and suede of the OG model and utilized one seamless knitted material that allows air to flow without the added weight, which makes this sneaker extremely comfortable. At the bottom, Nike slashed down more weight from the standard midsole as it hollowed out the grooves, the concept behind the Ultra midsole. Even by doing so, Nike kept the Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit very flexible and long-lasting.

Almost three decades from the year Nike dropped a NASA-inspired sneaker, the brand once again astonished the world when it released the most featherweight version in the entire Air Max line. It was in July 2016 when this giant footwear brand made public its groundbreaking Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit. It is likewise the first Flyknit style ever made to an Air Max.

This revamped version of the original Nike Air Max 1 carries a rich legacy, which all started with Nike’s quest in coming up with the most advanced cushioning system for performance footwear. It was in 1987 when the combined ingenious concepts of aeronautic engineer Franklin Rudy and Nike’s stalwart creative innovator Tinker Hatfield gave birth to the Air Max 1, a running shoe with a visible cushioning unit on its midsole. It remains one of the most celebrated silhouettes until today, known for its distinct University Red/White colorway.

In its continuous pursuit to produce the most lightweight and breathable version of the Air Max 1, Nike modernized and retooled the OG upper by incorporating Acespan mesh, which allowed more ventilation within the shoe. This was a year after the futuristic Flywire tech was introduced by Nike and landed into the walls of the Air Maxim 1, released in 2009, to create the needed flexibility and support.

The Flywire concept is made up of the same Vectran material used for outer space clothing and the filaments are placed in strategic points in the upper for the needed support and the lockdown fit. This same modernized technology was used in the construction of the Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit.

The Maxim 1 also had a spongy midsole made of three-piece injected durable Phylon, which was one of the references used by Nike when it created the Ultra technology for the 2016 version of the Air Max 1.

In 2013, Nike dropped two editions of the Air Max 1. The EM version, which stands for engineered mesh, had a full mesh component on the upper with the inclusion of the iconic suede overlays, resembling the original design. This sleek-looking sneaker, nearly resembling the Ultra Flyknit, is very breathable and comfortable.

In its attempt to further reduce a fraction of weight from the previous edition, Nike dropped an upgraded iteration of the Air Max 1 in 2014, called the Air Max Lunar 1. Inspired by how spacemen bounce on the moon, this variation delivers exceptional Lunarlon cushioning.

This springlike midsole is 30% lighter than the Phylon material used in Air Maxim 1. Together with the Air-Sole unit, this sneaker is one of the incredibly comfortable editions in the Air Max folio.

Two more shoes were released in 2015 before the Ultra Flyknit model was unveiled in the succeeding year. The Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Moire weighed even lesser than its successor with the use of a singular piece of lightweight synthetic suede for the construction of its cover, which is punctured by laser to allow airflow within the shoe. Nike used the Ultra tooling technique with the sole, carving out portions of the durable foam while holding on to its stability and flexibility. The upper was further simplified in the Air Max 1 Ultra Essential that used a one-piece synthetic material.

Nike’s Flyknit technology, a precisely engineered fabric and yarn modification that forms into a seamless and superbly lightweight upper,  paired with its iconic Air-Sole cushioning unit brought forth in July 2016 the most lightweight Air Max ever made during that time, the Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit.

  • The forefoot has flex grooves that give a barefoot feel and enhance comfort in that region.
  • Nike revolutionized the standard knitting process used in the construction of the shoe upper when it pioneered the seamless Flyknit technology. This advanced concept was introduced at the 2012 Olympic Games in Rio when the brand dropped its innovative Flyknit Racer and Flyknit Trainer.
  • The Flywire engineering was introduced by Nike in 2008. It is made up of very tough filaments located strategically on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe. The concept was adopted from the strong cables that provide the needed support on a suspension bridge.
  • The Air-Sole is made of inert gases encased in a polyurethane chamber. It compresses and expands offering the needed padding in the midsole.  


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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.