Verdict from 100+ user reviews

10 reasons to buy

  • The shoe is very comfortable to wear all day, according to some reviews.
  • The mesh upper material of the Air Max 90 Ultra Essential shoes provides breathability.
  • Based on several user reviews, the shoe feels very lightweight.
  • The overall design of the shoe looks appealing and nice, based on the comments of several reviewers.
  • The Air Max 90 Ultra Essential is affordable.
  • Many mention that the shoe gives a nice, perfect fit.
  • Some fans of the original Air Max 90 mention that this shoe is clearly lighter.
  • The plush interior is surely something that any sneaker fan would relish.
  • A handful own more than a pair of these kicks.
  • Some users who are up on their feet most of the time really like the shoe’s cushioning.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few disappointed purchasers mentioned that the shoe is not durable.
  • The upper material of the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential easily gets dirty, according to some.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential has a classic styling with a modern look that continues to impress the Air Max 90 fans. Nike offers diehard fans of the Air Max series an iconic silhouette that comfortably blends style and substance. At an affordable price, the shoe offers a good combination of comfort, support, and flexibility.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The fit of the shoe is basically the same as the original Air Max 90, but it has a more comfortable in-shoe feel because of the new breathable mesh upper and textile lining. It has a nice, perfect fit, thanks to its lace-up closure system. Nike offers the shoe in men’s and women’s sizes.

The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential is a sporty sneaker with a modern look. The shoe is widely used for gym training and some are also happily wearing it as an all-day streetwear. One can achieve the sporty, classy look on this shoe when paired with jeans and shorts.

For a shoe of this heritage and DNA, the silhouette is a top draw in the men's and women's Air Max 90 Ultra Essential. The famous sleek upper design is easily a striking feature of this shoe. With the no-sew overlays supporting the breathable mesh, this is very much like a finely-tuned car that is ready to bolt out of the starting blocks.

Of course, the ever-present visible Air unit in the heel never fails to catch attention. More than just being a distinguishing element, it also serves as an efficient shock-absorbing feature that should help the user feel more comfortable and cushioned.

The Air Max 90 Ultra Essential is an up-to-date version of the Air Max 90. Initially known as the Air Max III, the Air Max 90 was first released in 1990 and was created by the Nike’s renowned designer, Tinker Hatfield. The Air Max 90 is considered the second leading sneaker of the Air Max line. Taking into equation the number and popularity of the shoes under the Air Max line, this is no small feat by a shoe that was not as widely released in its earlier years like several of its Air Max brothers.

Unknown to many, the ridiculous popularity of the shoe that is also known as AM90, is somewhat even more unbelievable considering the fact that Nike actually kept the shoe off the shelf for 12 mind-boggling years. When released for just the 2nd time in 2002, fans of the Air Max line were treated to an ecstatic walk down memory lane courtesy of the sleek silhouette and “Mx Orange” color. It was also during this time that the ’90 was added to its name as the Air Max III was its more popular name.

Throughout the years, the shoe has also incorporated some of Nike’s best and latest technologies. Some of its much sought-after variations include the Nike Air Max 90 Infrared, which was an eye-catching rendition of superior color combination of red, black, white and grey. This model continues to be readily cleaned off the market.

Nike also released another variation that became very popular among runners in the Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse. The Hyperfuse upper made the shoe a little lighter and very breathable, which make the shoe really attractive to many runners.

The Swoosh also expanded the range of the Air Max 90 by offering it and other variations in mid and high cut versions. From a rather modest beginning, this shoe has more than exceeded the iconic status, undoubtedly now part of Nike’s folklore and foundation.

In 2016, the Ultra Essential version of the Air Max 90 came to the fore. It used the original design including the classic visible Nike Max Air heel unit. The modern Air Max 90 comes with an enhanced fit, new upper material, and an improved outsole unit.

  • The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential has a new mesh upper that is breathable and offers enhanced support. The shoe also utilizes the injected EVA cushioning in its midsole and the visible Air Max heel unit that is designed for impact protection.
  • The shoe has a rubber outsole designed for traction and durability.
  • Nike uses no-sew overlays in the upper to deliver lightweight, but adequate support.
  • The ankle collar and the tongue and moderate padding for excellent in-shoe feel.


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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.