Verdict from 7 experts and 100+ user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • A majority of users lauded the Nike Air Monarch IV as a very comfortable training shoe; they used it for daily walking, moderate exercise, jogging, working and running errands.
  • Many of the buyers became repeat customers because they trusted the quality of the product.
  • A lot of people marveled at the fair price of the trainer.
  • The shoe ran true to size, according to most users.
  • The purchasers were happy with the variety of width options.
  • More than a few wearers found the “dad shoe” style of the trainer to be appealing.

2 reasons not to buy

  • One of the biggest issues that people had with the Air Monarch IV was the squeaky noise produced by the midsole after some time of use.
  • Several users mentioned that the outsole peeled away from the front of the shoe after a few weeks of wearing the shoe.

Bottom line

Many training enthusiasts highly complimented the Nike Air Monarch IV for its comfort, especially for regular activities during the day. They were also pleased that it came in different widths to accommodate various foot types. On the downside, the buyers were disgruntled by the squeaky noise that the shoe developed over time.

On the whole, the product offered sufficient quality for a moderate price which made it a go-to shoe for plenty of buyers.

Tip: see the best workout training shoes.

Good to know

Nike is known for offering shoes and apparel that cater to a wide range of people: from professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts to casual wearers. The Air Monarch IV is meant to fit somewhere in between, fusing style and performance. It is an iconic Nike workout shoe which has gained the reputation of “the king of dad shoes” with its cumbersome design and the 90s appeal.

At the same time, it is ready to support the wearer during a light workout, a walk, or a Sunday backyard barbecue. While some people may laugh at the shoe’s old-fashioned style, it’s been one of Nike’s best-selling models for years.  

A non-marking solid rubber makes up the outsole of the Air Monarch IV. This type of material won’t leave residue on the gym or polished floors when walking across it. The outsole extends to the toe box for additional protection.

In terms of performance, the multi-pattern outsole makes the shoe suitable for use on both gym surfaces and city pavements. The pivot point at the ball of the foot allows the foot to perform quick transitions and change directions smoothly. The outsole also features flex grooves to allow unhindered movement and bending of the foot.

The midsole of the Air Monarch IV is made of a full-length Phylon, which is a type of rubber that is lightweight and reactive. Phylon is made from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam pellets that have been compressed, treated with heat to expand, and then cooled in a mold to get the right shape. EVA is a popular material used in shoes for its durability.

As the name implies, the shoe uses Nike’s proprietary Air-Sole Technology. This unit is embedded into the enitre length of the Phylon midsole. The unit has pressurized air inside it which allows it to absorb impact and immediately return to its original state, ready for the next strike.

The materials used in the upper unit of the Nike Air Monarch IV vary depending on the color option. Two of the versions (Black/Black and White/Metallic Silver/Midnight Navy) are made with synthetic leather only, while the other two (White/Black/Varsity Red and White/Cool Grey/Anthracite/White) have mesh on the quarter panels and synthetic leather in the rest of the shoe.  

Synthetic leather makes up the entire surface of the Air Monarch IV’s upper. This material makes the shoe stiffer than traditional running or training shoes that use mesh. It has perforations scattered in various parts of the shoe to keep the foot chamber aerated. The fresh in-shoe experience is also enhanced by the mesh tongue and breathable interior lining.

It features a traditional lacing system with rounded laces that also go through a slot on the tongue. This design secures the padded tongue in place and prevents it from slipping to the sides or bunching upfront while walking, running or training.

The heel pull tab makes it easy to put on or take off the shoe. The fabric lining on the inside adds a layer of comfort.


How Nike Air Monarch IV ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 6% workout training shoes
All workout training shoes
Top 12% Nike training shoes
All Nike training shoes
Top 8% cross-training training shoes
All cross-training training shoes


The current trend of Nike Air Monarch IV.
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Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.