Verdict from 15 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Reviewers said the Nike Martine Rose Air Monarch IV with distinctive bulges all over makes it one of the uniquely-styled dad sneakers by Nike.
  • A considerable sum of users lauded the full-length Nike Air unit for its shock absorption benefits.
  • As detailed by one wearer, the mesh sockliner is like the smooth material found in the Air Jordan 1.
  • This style from Nike’s training-inspired collection is crafted with a true-to-size fit like the regular Air Monarchs.  
  • Some lady users liked that aside from the OG white/navy and black colorways, it comes with a lovely soft pink variation.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Observed by some wearers, the bumps on the tongue, midfoot, and toe make the shoe less flexible.
  • A couple of broad-footed reviewers said this Nike Air Monarch x Martine Rose sneaker doesn’t come in wide widths.
  • Reviewers thought the $250 price tag of this shoe is quite steep versus the $60 cost of the leather-made Air Monarchs.

Bottom line

Nike x Martine Rose pushed the boundaries of dad sneaker fashion when it created an unconventional, seemingly lampoon version of the Air Monarch 4 training shoe with bulges all over. It isn’t for the faint of heart but can excite those who are in for extremely edgy, oddly-shaped kicks.

The bumps which aren’t at all discreetly placed easily catch attention, making this style from Nike’s sneaker collection sensational. Though it is steeply priced, this collab edition is comfy and well-cushioned due to the heel-to-toe Air bubble embedded in the midsole.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

Having a smooth inner lining, amply padded collar, and remarkably cushioned midsole are some of the benefits offered by the Nike x Martine Rose Air Monarch sneakers. However, the lumps can make certain sections of the shoes like the tongue and sides quite stiff. The bumps aren’t hollow but made up of PU inserts causing them to protrude. These don’t have functional purposes.

The ventilation holes on the toe part of the Air Monarch 4 are mimicked in the Martine Rose x Nike Air Monarch but for aesthetics only since the dots are merely painted on. This shoe appeals to those with standard foot measurements since it is true-to-size and done in medium width. The men’s sizes range from 3.5 to 15, while it’s 5 to 16.5 in women’s.

Nike x Martine Rose collection of head-turning dad sneakers consists of synthetic leather (i.e., the OG White/ Midnight Navy/ Black/ Metallic Silver colorway) and patent leather (Medium Soft Pink/ Black and Black/Medium Soft  Pink) options. This statement kick puts an attention-grabbing spin to your workout or gym clothes.

The excessive curves and bulges on the Martine Rose x Nike Air Monarch is the noticeable feature that makes this low-top sneaker extraordinarily different from the Air Monarch training shoe variations. It borrows the heel-to-toe Air cushioning unit found in the Air Monarch 3 offering impact absorption and comfort.

Nike and London-based menswear designer Martine Rose broke the mold and dropped a one-of-a-kind dad sneaker, a reinterpreted version of the Nike Air Monarch, a cross-training shoe from the 1990s. The collaborative work covered in leather has exaggerated bulges on the upper, giving the illusion of a distorted look. Aside from style, what made this shoe even crazier as told by Air Monarch’s loyalists is its initial retail cost of $250 as compared to the other Air Monarchs which are $50 to $60.

Nike didn’t scrimp on comfort when it designed the first Nike Air Monarch, and such element was the biggest selling factor of the old-school trainer. Such shoe mainly had a suitably-cushioned collar and tongue. Nike updated the original silhouette and dropped the reworked version, the Nike Air Monarch II with a few tweaks on its internal makeup. The brand also added a pivot point and traction patterns in the outsole which offer stability during quick turns.

Subsequently, other versions popped out such as the Air Monarch III and Air Monarch IV. The third version had a full-length Nike Air bubble embedded in the midsole and a pronounced herringbone outsole traction. These were adopted in the fourth iteration with the addition of perforations.

Martine Rose, known for her unique and oversized fashion designs, went extreme when she conceptualized the deformed-looking Air Monarch IV, her first collaboration with the Oregon-based brand. The eye-grabbing, bulbous protrusions on the vamp, midfoot, and heel are made of PU inserts. Before ending up with such seemingly distorted form, Martine paired up a size 18 upper over a size 9 midsole.   

  • The Nike Air Monarch x Martine Rose was released on January 12, 2019.
  • Martine’s callout appears on the lateral side.
  • Appearing on the tongue is the Nike Air Monarch branding.
  • Made of a lightweight Phylon midsole.


How Nike x Martine Rose Air Monarch IV ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 12% sneakers
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Bottom 15% Nike sneakers
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Bottom 11% low sneakers
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The current trend of Nike x Martine Rose Air Monarch IV.
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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.