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The shoe no one asked for

Sometimes Nike releases a shoe that just doesn’t seem to have a place or a purpose, or a reason. They’ve done it before with the Air Max 200 and they’ve definitely done it with the Air Max Excee. 

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The Nike Air Max Excee may as well be a fake Air Max 90

Ironically the only definition of Excee I can find is an Australian slang term for overpriced. The shoe is essentially a knock-off of the legendary Air Max 90, but actually at a cheaper price point at £100 direct from Nike (cheaper in places that see its value). 

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While I’m a fan of properly made, stylish shoes accessible for everyone, the £20 difference between the 90 and the Excee is quite considerable when you miss out on the comfort, quality, and durability of the shoe you’re wearing. 

The Air Max Excee has no story and no place in the line up

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Normally in these reviews, I start with a  bit of background on the style, history, or positioning of a sneaker in the market. Sadly, Nike has been lazy and it shows. There’s no reason I can see for making the shoe. 

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On the retail page, Nike has claimed that with “[e]longated lines and distorted proportions” the Excee is somehow celebrating the Air Max 90. The only noticeable differences I see are they’ve exposed the air pocket at the heel (not a breakthrough), flipped the mud-guard around the air pocket (maybe by accident?), and upturned the toe to ever-so-slightly change the silhouette.

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It feels like a toy version of a sneaker

The result is an Air Max 90 that looks like it was bought at a market with an upside-down logo. Obviously I’m not a huge fan of the sneaker, but it’s not just that it looks like a fake AM90. The Air Max Excee feels fake. 

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The air pocket is smaller than the 90, more like the AM1, and it’s the first Air Max I’ve worn where I haven’t noticed the cushioning from it. It’s actually quite a stiff shoe as well, meaning that the “Allday everyday comfort” that they promise on the inner sole of the shoe, is a lie. 

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I spent two whole days working in these. That’s usually not a problem with my regular shoes, even cheaper Vans Old Skools. In these, all parts of my foot that could hurt, hurt. The fit is a little tight and the synthetic leather is basically fixed so the sneaker doesn’t wear in. 

The saving grace of the Nike Air Max Excee lies in its colorways

I picked up the White Indigo Volt Crimson colorway and was actually quite excited by it. The whole look gave me Toy Story vibes, which I thought could add some honesty to the 90s retro look. 

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To be fair, out of the box they deliver on that. With green plastic detailing and purple stitching, the silhouette looked like an AM90 collectors edition. 

Doesn’t give you the room to breath

Because of the corner-cutting, cheap upper materials, the Air Max Excee is not breathable either. The thick paddings on the tongue and under the mesh mean nothing escapes. I’m not too sure why you bother to even have a mesh if you put so much material under it. 

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The upper construction soaks up water really quickly and has a hard time letting it out again thanks to that lack of breathability. Even with repeated fresh newspaper stuffed in the sneaker, it took me three days to properly dry them after weather testing. 

The Air Max Excee love a stain

With super absorbent mesh, it's not a surprise the Air Max Excee also absorbs pretty much any stain you throw at them. More over, they're hard to clean and again,t take ages to dry when you do. 

Nike Air Max Excee Upper Stain Review

Nike Air Max Excee Stain Review Cleaning

With durability like this at least the AM Excee won’t be around for long

The biggest letdown of the whole shoe however is the durability of the materials. The suede element of the upper instantly starts falling apart with some abrasion. The mesh also begins to fray. If you take a look at the Air Max 90 review, it takes the beating a lot better than this. 

Nike Air Max Excee Worn Upper Material Review

It’s this that really gets to me about a shoe like this. By all means, give consumers a lower price point to buy into Air Max. But when you have to buy another pair within a year because they’re falling apart and your feet hurt you’re not saving money. 

Facts / Specs

Style: Dad, Retro, Sporty, Chunky
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: Nike Air Max, Nike Air
Closure: Laces
Material: Leather, Suede, Mesh, Rubber Sole / Fabric
Technology: Air Cushion

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Author
Doug Turner
Doug Turner

Doug is a Scottish documentary and fashion photographer and filmmaker. Stumbling into the sneaker game later than usual, he started out behind a camera through long hiking expeditions around the world. Seeking a cleaner aesthetic, Doug now works mostly in fashion and sport, opting for outdoor locations rather than a studio.