Nike Air Max 90 Surplus: A rugged-soled street junkie

Nike added muscles to the ever-versatile Air Max 90 by reinforcing its upper with hard-bitten overlays and tough-wearing plasticky accents. This military-style, workwear-inspired kick adds up to Nike’s retro lineup that’s wearable under light rains, snowy, and rugged terrains. It comes in earth colors, which you can pair up with outdoor, athletic, and casual wear. The Desert Camo colorway comes as a cheaper alternative to the Off White spinoff

What does this Air Max 90 bring to the table?

  • It’s built with larger lugs versus the waffle tread on the previous models for an enhanced grip. 
  • Cordura nylon fabric, a non-porous and water-resistant textile, takes up a large portion of the upper. Water beads up and trickles down, so it doesn’t get absorbed by the shoe. 
  • Under the tongue is a bonus internal stash pocket used to hold keys, coins, and small items. 
  • Its tactical mudguard can repel water. 
  • Its Air cushioning unit provides a bouncy ride and softens the impact. 

Limitation of the Air Max 90 Surplus: Its laminated gusseted tongue isn’t as water-repellant as the Gore-Tex material. Heavy volumes of water can still seep through the sides of the tongue. If you want a pair that will outlast the inclement weather conditions, check out our listing of sneakers under the Gore-Tex section.


How Nike Air Max 90 Surplus ranks compared to all other shoes
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.