4.213 users: 4.4 / 5
Base model: Nike Air Max 90
Style: Dad , Retro
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running

Verdict from 10.2 hours of research from the internet

10 reasons to buy

  • The majority of the users praise the high-quality materials used in the Nike Air Max 90 Essential.
  • Many satisfied buyers say that this pair is undeniably a head-turner.
  • Most of the users describe their experience in wearing these kicks as “comfortable.”
  • Great for running outdoors and doing errands, a number of wearers disclose.
  • Many runners say that this pair carries an excellent shock-absorbing capacity.
  • Longtime users reveal that this pair is very durable and reliable.
  • Most testers admire that the details and craftsmanship of this kick match the price point.
  • A real collectible item, many buyers have claimed.
  • Nike offers this in the market at an affordable price.
  • This model is present in multiple colorways.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Most critics gripe about the narrow fit of the Nike Air Max 90 Essential shoes.
  • Some users do not like that the Nike Air Max 90 Essentials needs a break-in time.
  • Others did not enjoy its bulky profile.
  • The colors of the items posted online are better than in the actual, some buyers have complained.

Bottom line

Classic comfort in an iconic profile. Nike revolutionized athletic footwear forever by releasing the Nike Air Max 90 Essential. The chunky profile of this model highlights the Air-Sole unit in the heel which provides a bouncy shock absorbing feel and optimum comfort.

Available in daring color selections, this kick is worth adding to one’s collection despite the few reported drawbacks.

User reviews:

SportsShoes, Zappos and 20 other shops don't have user reviews

The Nike Air Max 90 Essential has a padded collar and lining to provide comfort for the wearers. It has a massive amount of cushioning in the PU midsole that is working together to deliver a plush air ride to its wearers. This shoe has a conventional lace-up closure system for a personalized, secure fit. 

The Nike Air Max 90 Essential running shoes feature a unit of Air-Sole in the heel that can be seen through the cutout. Nike wanted the wearers not only feel the air cushioning but also to see it. This feature proved that the prototype Nike Air Max was able to stand the test of time as being one of the most loved classic silhouettes. It found its path from being a simple running shoe to being a streetwear shoe. Highlighting the superb cushioning and timeless profile, this delivers comfort and support fitting for all-day walking.

Going casual with the Nike Air Max 90 Essential is easy by wearing it with shorts, tees, and sunnies. Street swaggers cruising with their AM 90 Essential will surely get the people’s attention with this chunky casual, running sneaker.

  Popular Nike Air Max 90 Essential colorways

The Swoosh brand released several colorways of this model in the market to cater to its vast range of audiences. Here are some of the well-known colorways of the Nike Air Max 90 Essential:

  Nike Air Max 90 Essential black

Included in the Suede Pack, this all-black sneaker features all-suede upper contrasted with a white Swoosh logo and a thick white midsole. The color-blocking style retained the simplicity and the classic vibe of the Essential series.

  Nike Air Max 90 Essential wolf grey and black

Sold for $110, this model combined the wolf grey, anthracite, and the white hues to come up with a perfect colorway that gives an authentic retro vibe. This shoe provides a beautiful focal point to one's casual attire without going overboard.

  Nike Air Max 90 Essential all white

This all-white kick displays a clean and crisp vibe that can be paired up with any attire. The all-white hue boasts its versatility and timelessness that can be worn whatever generation you are in.

  Nike Air Max 90 Essential tough red

Another eye-catching colorway of the Nike AM 90 Essential was unveiled using hints of the favorite Jordan 1 'Bred.' The mesh upper has a back black leather added with the plush suede overlays, contrasted with the white midsole.

  Nike Air Max 90 Essential sport turquoise

The light bone mesh upper is accented with black and white elements all over to give a nice combination of colors. To make this kick more interesting, the brand added sport turquoise on the Swoosh logo, Air-Sole unit, and on the lining of the collar.

  Nike Air Max 90 Essential wolf grey-challenge red

Nike came up with another strong combination of hues to revamp the classic AM 90. The mesh upper is in white accented with dark grey elements. The mudguard, meanwhile, was dressed in a vibrant red hue which serves as the domineering point in the entire sneaker.

  Nike Air Max 90 Essential university gold

This model showcased a University Gold base added with brown leather mudguard and highlighted with pink and blue details.

  Nike Air Max 90 Essential armory blue

The combination of suede, tumbled leather and mesh gives this model a hint of luxurious touch boosted with the plush combination of hues. The blue tone upper resting on top of the white midsole gives contrasting appeal to this lifestyle sneaker.

One would surely not miss the air bubbles located in the heel of this pair. The men’s Air Max 90 Essential running-inspired shoes display the Air-Sole unit in the heel area which provides support and bounces back giving much better energy return to its wearers. Compared to its sister vintage silhouettes, Nike used smaller air units in the 90 Essential models. In addition, the classic Nike Air logo found on the heel is something quite noticeable. It is a design typically seen in the 90s, and Nike revived it through the Air Max line.

In the late 1970s, Nike introduced the Air-Sole unit to the market. The Nike Air Max 1 was the first shoe released in the market with a visible Air-Sole unit in its heel. The succeeding generations of the Air Max shoes were released in various noticeable color combinations making it an instant hit with athletes and collectors.

In 1990, the Nike Air Max 90 was released as Nike Air Max line's second flagship model. It was the brainchild by the legendary Tinker Hatfield as the third installment in the Air Max line and was originally named as the Air Max III. It became famous for its outstanding comfort. The original Air Max 90 was conceived displaying an overlapping Duramesh, synthetic suede and synthetic leather.

27 years after it was launched, the Nike Air Max 90 shoes were able to maintain its status as the most popular shoe with countless collaborations and hybrids. The Infrared model is still considered the greatest sneaker of all time by most Air Max fanatics.

The Air Max 90 Essential was released in 2016 as the rework of the original Air Max 90. It uses better and lighter materials. Overall, it seems almost the same copy of the original version, but Nike ditched the suede on the upper and the Air-Sole unit used is smaller and compressed.  

  • The Nike Air Max Essential 90 Essential was molded with a premium leather upper with mesh overlays for comfort and durability.
  • The heavy-duty foam midsole with Air-Sole unit in the heel provides maximum protection from impact. The Air-Sole unit present in the 90 Essential is smaller compared to classic versions.
  • The outsole is made of rubber with waffle pattern for better ground grip and durability.
  • Presence of padded collar and the inner lining for extra comfort.
  • It has the Air Max tab on the lateral and medial side of the shoe.
  • The huge Nike logo is located on the heel tab. This element is usual for vintage shoes and something that is not common for modern shoes.
  • The Nike Air Max 90 Essential is available in the NikeiD technology where one can personalize his/her pair, from the materials in the upper to the colors and prints.

Size and fit

True to size based on 196 user votes
Small (14%)
True to size (82%)
Large (4%)
Add rating

Calculate size

Size comments

Very comfty and fit true to size. - Amazon
Perfect size and fit.. - Amazon
Tight Loose
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.