Summary

We spent 7.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The fuse and synthetic materials on the upper strongly hold the shape of Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential.
  • Reviewers highly recommend this shoe that looks awesome with its modern upgrades.
  • Many users claim that this is a timeless classic that offers long-lasting comfort.
  • Its thick-heeled midsole offers the extra height complemented by an excellent bounce.
  • The Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential shoes have a thick outsole with sturdy grids that will last for a very long time.
  • This sneaker may look robust, especially online, but according to user reviews, it’s lightweight.
  • A very comfortable sneaker with the presence of the Ortholite insole, Dual Density midsole, and the added cushioning from the air bubble in the heel.
  • A user review mentions that the Ultra 2.0 Essential edition of the Air Max 90 has good arch support, which is excellent when using the shoe all day.

2 reasons not to buy

  • An unsatisfied reviewer says the upgrades used in this Air Max 90 edition made the sneaker look cheap as its upper gives the impression that it’s like plastic-made.
  • A handful of reviewers notice the creases on the sides of the shoe when bending the forefoot.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential is a stripped-down version of the classic Air Max 90. One can swing with this shoe all day long as it offers physical comfort and foot stability coming from the construction of the midsole, Air cushioning unit, and soft footbed.

This version is very lightweight with a few limitations regarding aesthetics but durable and versatile at a very decent cost.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated sneaker
A top rated Nike sneaker
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this May

Expert Reviews

  • First look | Landau Store

  • First look | Unbox Reviews

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Modern technologies are used in the construction of the upper of the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential, making this version sleek looking and breathable. The plastic eyestays fused to the upper offer different options in lacing up this shoe for a personalized fit. This men’s casual sneaker is generally true to size which is not too snug or too loose.

The men's Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential is not for high-mileage running, but a great looking casual shoe that indeed offers lightness, comfort, and novelty into one’s variety of wardrobe. The upper is a combination of mesh and synthetic materials, taped and fused together that mightily holds the shape of the shoe. The neutral style options under this edition give a hint of sophistication to its rather sporty profile.

Nike’s iconic figure is raised to a higher standard with the release of the Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential, punctuated by a more optimized and cosmopolitan look. This sneaker built initially for men, took on several upgrades, replacing the prominent suede bumper with a breathable textile upper and hollowing out excess material on the outsole. It remains to be a go-to shoe even without its Infrared accents in a much lighter form.

The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential speaks about the power of sneaker innovation with the modern upgrades made on the very popular Air Max 90. This edition has trimmed down the layers of suede and leather on the toe cap, eyestay, and Swoosh branding seen in the OG AM90. It also converted the traditional mesh used on the vintage upper with a more breathable version. These elements make this sneaker one of the ultra-lightweight renderings done to the classic AM90.

Nike outran its contenders in the sneaker industry when it took significant steps in improving some of the old-school techniques like sewing overlays and melding the upper to the sole through stitching. The brand wisely came up with new skills, techniques, and methods that led to the birth of proprietary technologies such as the Hyperfuse, Vac Tech, and Tape.

Nike benefitted from its discovery of such engineering concepts in coming up with tons of variations using modern equipment. It resulted in a lesser processing time, a decrease in the volume of materials used, and a drop in excess resources.

The Hyperfuse technology, introduced in 2010 with the drop of the Nike Hyperfuse ball shoe blends as well in some of the iconic shoes in Nike’s rich sneaker folio. The Nike Air Max 90, a well-loved silhouette in the Air Max hierarchy, was one of the first profiles that received the advantages of such technology which brought forth the release of the Air Max 90 Hyperfuse.

When vacuum packing became a hit, Nike took note of it and came out with the Vac Tech system, which utilizes a vacuum-inspired compression to produce a unibody upper. The good news about this is that apparently, it makes sneakers long-lasting and water-resistant.

The vintage Air Max 90 was again a top choice among Nike’s classic models that was given an overhaul using this seamless, Thermo-molded method. The first line of sneakers that had the Vach Tech consists of the Air Max 90, Air Force 1, and Nike Dunk and was dropped in 2011.

In 2013, the Tape technology, another seamless method that gives sneakers a sleek character, was introduced to Nike’s classic front-liners: the Air Max 1, Air Max 95, and no less, the Air Max 90. These sneakers were given a very crisp cover and taped seams with the absence of stitches and overlays.

After the initial taste of these technologies, the Air Max 90 received another retouch. This time it’s the use of the Ultra tooling. Like other various advanced systems, the Ultra feature cuts down a lot of weight from the shoe, particularly in the sole, offering lighter and comfortable feel.

Combining these several techniques, it paved the way for the unveiling of the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential, which is one of the lightest varieties of the Air Max 90 at the time of its release. The upper is a mélange of Hyperfuse and Tape methods that makes the shoe ultimately breathable. Succeeding this version is the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential, which looks almost identical to the earlier iteration with just minor changes in the upper details like the mudguard and foam strip materials.

The Air Max 90 is the third offspring of the Air Max family that was dropped in 1990 and originally named the Air Max III. This profile was rebranded as the Air Max 90 when it was retroed many years later. Initially introduced as a running shoe, it became widely recognized for its Infrared colorway and noticeable Air unit in the midsole and remains to be a favorite Air Max figure in the sneaker world.

  • The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Essential shoes have an almost seamless upper complemented by a stitched-on synthetic leather mudguard that reinforces the structure of the shoe.
  • The midsole is assembled with a dual-density technology that provides stability and support.
  • In the heel area of the midsole are windows that reveal the Air cushioning unit.
  • The window in the heel is a concept formulated by one of Nike’s design pillars Tinker Hatfield.
  • He derived with the idea of displaying the patented Air-Sole system that’s embedded in the midsole from the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France, commonly known as Centre Pompidou. 
Author
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.

daniel@runrepeat.com