14 best Nike Air Max 90 sneakers

Based on 7,114 reviews - Updated Sep 2018

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Nike Air Max 90 Sneakers

Best Nike Air Max 90 Sneakers
Best Nike Air Max 90 Sneakers - September 2018

March 26, also known as Air Max Day, is a momentous day for sneakerheads and fans of the Swoosh simply for a reason – to celebrate the legendary Air Max line that changed the sneaker world forever upon its birth in 1987. The Air Max Day is Nike's official holiday that commenced on March 26, 2014, or during the Air Max 1's 27th anniversary.

More than three decades ago, renowned Nike designer Tinker Hatfield created the revolutionary Air Max 1 running shoe inspired by the structural architecture design of The Pompidou Center in Paris. His creative mind thought of “exposing” aerospace engineer Frank Rudy’s Nike Air-Sole unit, making the AM1 the first ever Nike shoe with visible Air technology.

One of the most prominent Air Max sneakers of all-time is the Nike Air Max 90 or otherwise known as the AM90. It made its debut in 1990 as the Air Max III, being the third Air Max model, in its original “Hyvent Orange” colorway. The contrasting accents on the original model, in fact, comes more "orange" than anything "red” unlike in the well-known signature "Infrared" colorway. The Nike Air Max 90 sneakers have bigger Air-Sole units than their predecessors as made possible by eliminating the foam between the soles. It is also known as the first Nike to flaunt the infamous Infrared colorway, which is now evident in numerous other Nike silhouettes.

Despite today's never-ending success and fame, the AM90 also has had its share of defeat. It used to be under the radar for almost 12 years until it resurfaced in 2002 when it officially got renamed from Air Max III to Air Max 90. To date, the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers remain a relevant Swoosh model not just for sneakerheads or sneaker collectors and enthusiasts, but also for the general sneaker market. Since its initial release, hundreds of colorways, upgrades, and iterations of the AM90 have already been made available, and it seems that Nike has no plan of stopping anytime soon.

Most Popular Colorways of the Nike Air Max 90 Sneakers

Nike Air Max 90 “Infrared” (1990)

The Infrared AM90 is undoubtedly the most popular and iconic colorway of the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers. It is the colorway that put this Tinker Hatfield-designed Air Max on the map.

In commemoration of the classic runner’s 25th anniversary in 2015, the sports brand giant released a version of the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers in their original form and “Infrared” colorway. The retro AM90 kick follows the traditional tooling in white mesh and black leather with muted gray overlays. On the midsole, heel, and tongue branding are the signature Infrared accents.

Quick Facts about these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • Initial Release Date: May 28, 2015
  • Original Retail Price: $120

Nike Air Max 90 “Reverse Infrared” (2015)

The Reverse Infrared AM90 debuted as part of the many releases of the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers for the silhouette’s 25th anniversary in 2015. Basically, it is the opposite colorway of the most iconic colorway of this classic - the Infrared. The base mesh upper comes in black instead of white, and so are the mudguard, tongue, laces, and midsole. The black leather mudguard of the Infrared, on the other hand, is turned into white for this particular release. The synthetic suede areas remain gray, although a little darker than that on the OG model.

Quick Facts about these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • Initial Release Date: May 26, 2015
  • Original Retail Price: $120

Nike Air Max 90 “Laser Pink” (1990 / 2018)

In 2018, the Swoosh dug into its archive and released one of the AM90’s most iconic colorways from the ‘90s, the “Laser Pink.” Like the original, the retro release features the signature color blocking of Wolf Grey, Laser Pink, and Court Purple for that perfect throwback look for the ladies. White and gray dominate the upper as highlighted with purple Swoosh branding on the sides and heel counter, and pops of pinks on the lacestay and midsole.

Quick Facts about these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • Initial Release Date (Retro): June 4, 2018
  • Original Retail Price: $110
  • Women-exclusive with sizes ranging from 5 to 12

Nike Air Max 90 “Bacon” (2005)

For these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers, Nike collaborated with Dave Ortiz of the Dave's Quality Meat (DQM) - a downtown Manhattan-based, butcher shop-inspired sneaker boutique frequented by seasoned sneakerheads, bikers, and skaters.

The DQM x Nike Air Max 90 “Bacon” won’t be one of the most popular colorways of the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers for no reason. Dave Ortiz took inspiration from bacon as seen on the shoe’s fatty bacon-like colors. A limited-edition Hyperstrike version released in the DQM Manhattan store, which featured the DQM tongue label, a chicken bone design accent on the insoles, and scuff mark details on the toe box. It dropped without any prior announcement and released in minimal quantities (48 pairs to be exact).

Quick Facts about these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • The DQM x Nike Air Max 90 “Bacon” received a wider release, but with a regular Nike tongue label and box.
  • The success of this highly-sought AM90 rendition inspired the Air Max 95/360 "One Time Only Pack" and the Air Max 90 Current Huarache.
  • These Nike low-top sneakers re-released on August 25, 2006.
  • The current resale price of these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers could get as high as $900.

Nike Air Max 90 “Navigation” by Jeff Staple (2004)

Every sneakerhead sure knows Jeff Staple AKA Jeff Ng or jeffstaple. He is a legendary designer who has had several successful collaborations with different major sneaker brands but is more popularly known as the creative mind responsible behind the controversial and (almost) riot-causing Nike SB Dunk Pigeon that launched in 2005.

For these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers, the Swoosh tapped Jeff Staple for a one-of-a-kind rendition of the classic runner silhouette. The Air Max 90 "Navigation" featured an upper donning a graphic print of an aerial map of Manhattan. This Air Max 90 rendition released as part of the Nike x Staple Navigation Pack in 2004 or a year before the iconic Pigeon SB Dunk debut. Aside from the AM90, the three-pack collection also included the Air Burst and Shox NZ. While the Big Apple inspired the AM90, the two other silhouettes took inspirations from two other key cities, London and Tokyo.

Quick Facts about these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • These Nike shoes are also called the Staple x Nike Air Max 90 "Navigation."
  • Two colorways were made available. The “Jetstream/Boulder-Stealth-Dark Copper" in women's sizing, and the "Olive Grey/Dark Blue Grey-Sable Green" in men's.

Nike Air Max 90 “Courier” (2002)

One of the few rare Nike Air Max 90 sneakers is the AM90 Courier, a women exclusive release back in 2002. One feature that made this special edition a unique pair is its full denim upper with intricate detailing. The Air Max panel was embroidered on the upper, while the white Swoosh on the side gave a nice contrast to the shoe’s overall look.

Nike Air Max 90 “Air Pres” PE

During his presidency, George H.W. Bush received a customized pair of Nike Air Max 90 sneakers from the Oregon-based shoe brand giant. The PE release features a presidential-themed colorway comprised of red, white, blue, and an American flag detailing on the tongue. On the tongue and side panels are “Air Pres” brandings in lieu of the typical signature Air Max.

AM90 Recent Colorway and Collaborative Releases

Nike Air Max 90 “Rainforest” (2018)

Released in September 2018 is the Nike Air Max "Rainforest" Pack, which consisted of two iconic AM silhouettes – the AM90 and the AM95. The muted rendition of the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers is dressed in an Oil Grey/ Rainforest color combination with a variety of upper materials including canvas and suede. The midsole is of light cream color, while vibrant orange detailing highlighted the Nike brandings.

Other key details about these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers are as follows:

  • Each pair of the Nike AM90 Rainforest is priced at $140.
  • The shoe is also referred to as the Nike Air Max 90 Premium SE “Rainforest.”
  • The toe box and collar are made of mesh for maximum breathability and added comfort, while the paneling around the mudguard and midfoot is made of suede.
  • The heel patch and eyelets are accented with ribbed corduroy material.
  • Completing the premium look of this AM90 is the Swoosh branding in an olive green chenille material.

Nike Air Max 90 Premium “Air Max” Pack (2018)

The Nike AM90 Premium "Air Max" Pack released on September 06, 2018 via Nike's official website and selected Nike Sportswear retailer for $130 per pair. The pack includes two colorways – one in Bright Crimson/Black colors and the other donned a Black/White colorway. Both shoes are constructed with patent leather material on the upper, bearing an Air Max branding all over as the primary design feature. Completing the look are tonal signature Nike brandings on the tongue, heel, and both lateral and medial sides.

Nike Air Max 90 “One World” (2018)

This special edition of the iconic Air Max shoe initially released as part of the Nike International Collection along with two other favorite Nike silhouettes, the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon and the Nike Air Max Plus. It officially launched on June 14, 2018, which was just in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening in Russia. The three-piece collection celebrated the renowned soccer tournament.

More details about these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers are as follows:

  • The Nike Air Max 90 “One World” features a clean white base with an iridescent Swoosh and mosaic of international flags.
  • The official name of these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers is “Nike Air Max 90 NIC QS” (AO5119-100).
  • Other retailers refer to these as the Nike Air Max 90 NIC Qs "International Flag Pack" or simply as Nike Air Max 90 International Flag.
  • Each pair of this AM90 iteration originally retails for $140.

atmos x Nike Air Max 90 “We Love Nike” (2018)

atmos is a Japanese streetwear and sneaker boutique with shops in Tokyo and Osaka in Japan and an international outlet in New York City. The atmos x Nike Air Max 90 “We Love Nike” is part of atmos "We Love Nike" Pack that released on May 26, 2018, in the EU and on June 2, 2018, in the US. Along with the Air Max 1 and the Air Max 95, this rendition of the AM90 launched as an homage to every sneakerhead and their vast collections of Swoosh kicks. 

More details about these Nike Air Max 90 Sneakers are as follows:

  • The AM90 “We Love Nike” edition comes from sizes 4 to 15, half sizes included in between, in D Standard width.
  • These Nike Air Max 90 sneakers feature an Infrared-inspired aesthetic with a black suede base and unique shoebox graphic print on the mid-panel and mudguard.
  • This AM90 collab shoe also features snakeskin detailing on the side Swooshes, sturdy white midsole, and crimson accents on the lace structure.
  • The Air Max 90 “We Love Nike” is priced $140 per pair.

Off-White x Nike Air Max 90 (2017)

Off-White is a Milan-based streetwear and luxury fashion label founded by American fashion designer Virgil Abloh in 2012. In 2017, it announced an exclusive collaboration with Nike called "The Ten" Collection. The collection is divided into two groups – the "REVEALING" and "GHOSTING." Part of the "REVEALING" grouping is the Off-White x Nike Air Max 90, along with other iconic Swoosh silhouettes with the likes of AJ1, Air Presto, Air VaporMax, and Blazer MidThe Zoom Fly SPAF1 Low, React Hyperdunk 2017, AM97, and Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, on the other hand, are all part of the “GHOSTING” group, which are all designed with translucent uppers.

Below are some essential details about the Off-White x Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • Colorways of these AM90 sneakers include “Ice” (November 2017), “Black” (October 2018, $160), “Desert Ore” (October 2018, $160), and “University Red”(December 2018, $160).
  • The Off-White x Nike Air Max 90 sneakers are also available in kids sizing.
  • The upper is built with leather and suede combination, stitched panels, and one-of-a-kind tongue and heel patch.
  • Off-White’s signature text branding is displayed on the sides.

Released Versions of the Nike Air Max 90 Sneakers

Nike Air Max 90 Essential

The Essential edition of the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers released in 2016. Although a modernized version, it retains the classic design lines of the original AM90 despite the use of lighter and improved materials. The Nike AM90 Essential flaunts aesthetics and features that are visually almost too similar to the 1990 original version. However, with this rendition, the suede material on the top bid goodbye, and the Air-Sole unit is much smaller and compressed.

Recently released colorways of these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Sport Turquoise”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Lucid Green”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Cargo Khaki”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “High Contrast”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Medium Olive”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Light Bone”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Tough Red”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Wolf Grey”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Legion Green”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential “Midnight Navy”

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential

These Nike Air Max 90 sneakers are one of the many updated renditions of the ever-classic AM90s. Dubbed officially as the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential, the contemporary silhouette still embraces its classic origins despite the updated materials. It utilizes a new mesh material on the upper with no-sew overlays for lighter weight and enhanced support and breathability.

Key features of the Nike AM90 Ultra Essential are as follows:

  • One-piece seamless mesh upper
  • Hyperfuse overlays on the mudguard and toecap
  • Retooled minimalist and lighter sole unit
  • Air Max branding on the lateral sides and tongue
  • Nike Air branding on the heel

Recently released colorways of these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential “Blue Legend”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential “Infrared”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential “Black Anthracite”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential “Laser Blue”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential “Action Red”

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe

The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe is another modernized and streamlined iteration of one of the ‘90s favorite Nike sneakers. Initially released in 2015, this Nike shoe has received lots of positive responses from the sneaker market because of its superb breathability and much lighter weight than its predecessors.

The Nike AM90 Ultra Breathe, otherwise referred to as the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR or Nike AM90 Ultra BR, utilizes an engineered “Breathe” mesh upper for excellent foot ventilation and lightweight ride. It is further detailed with signature brandings on the sides, tongue, and heel. The sole unit is revamped as well into an “Ultra” sole, in which excess outsole materials are stripped away, for improved cushioning and lighter weight.

Four women-exclusive colorways were initially released in 2015 for this Nike low-tops. Below are some of the released colorways for these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:   

  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR “Full Volt”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR “Hyper Violet”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR “Light Retro/Lava Glow”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR “Pure Platinum”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR “Triple Black”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR “Hyper Orange”
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra BR “Summit White”

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0

The AM 90 from Nike is indeed a classic kick that never goes out of style despite being around in the sneaker community for decades. It has this typical ‘90s sneakers vibe – chunky and sporty. However, as the sneaker market modernize and progress in time, so are the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers.

In 2016, the Air Max 90 received another upgrade from Nike to suit the demands of the current sneaker market. The classic silhouette was revamped into a much lighter build with superior comfort and introduced as the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0. The upper consisted of a no-sew breathable mesh material, tonal synthetics, and leather paneling. The sole unit was updated as well with Nike’s Ultra technology for a softer and lighter ride. The Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 debuted in five classic colorways.

Released colorways of these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers include the following:

  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 “Flax” (2017) - $120
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 “Doernbecher” (2017) - $130
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 “Militia Green” (2017) - $165
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 “Tonal Grey” (2017) - $120
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 “Blue Fox” (2017) - $120

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit

One of the present iterations of the AM90 comes with a Flyknit upper dubbed officially as the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit. This new version makes a great addition to countless collections of Nike Air Max 90 sneakers considering its up-to-date and top notch Nike technologies combined with the AM90’s classic aesthetics.

The Flyknit version of the AM90 Ultra 2.0 silhouette launched on March 2, 2017, in six colorways. Each pair features Nike’s very own Flyknit technology on the upper and the Ultra 2.0 upgraded midsole, which results to a highly comfortable and lightweight Swoosh low-top sneaker. Added comfort is made possible, thanks to the inclusion of Memory Foam insoles and refined collar. Hyperfuse overlays are present on the mudguard and Swoosh brandings for the much-needed reinforcements. The AM90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit generally runs true to size with sizes available men, women, and grade school in Standard/Medium widths.

Some of the released colorways of these Nike Air Max 90 sneakers include the following:

  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Multicolor” (2017) - $160
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Infrared” (2017) - $160
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Concord” (2017) - $160
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Black & White” or “Oreo” (2017) - $160
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Metallic Black Gold” (2017) - $200
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Pure Platinum” (2017) - $160
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Cool Grey” (2017) - $160
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Bright Crimson” (2017) - $160
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Racer Pink” (2017) - $160
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit “Hyper Turquoise” (2017) - $160

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Ease

With countless colorways and iterations, of course, the AM90 silhouette won't be excluded from the list of Nike slip-on sneakers with its Ultra 2.0 Ease rendition. It is made exclusively for the ladies and released initially in “Triple White” colorway for $140 each pair on May 3, 2017.

Listed below are the key features of these women’s Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • The AM90 Ultra 2.0 Ease features a perforated neoprene bootie construction for a snug yet well-ventilated fit.
  • Nike’s Ultra 2.0 technology is incorporated in the midsole for a lighter and cozier ride.
  • Signature brandings are seen on the tongue, heel, and side panels.

Other iterations of the AM90 sneakers:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Air Max 90 named as such?

The Nike Air Max 90 sneakers are initially called Nike Air Max III, considering that it is the third installment in the Nike Air Max line. The highly sought Air Max model was just renamed in the year 2000 as “Nike Air Max 90” when Nike had it re-issued and decided to include its original release year in the official shoe name.

Who designed the iconic Nike Air Max 90 sneakers?

Like most Nike sneakers made during the ‘90s era, the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers are designed by renowned Nike designer Tinker Hatfield.

Tinker Hatfield, who is also popularly referred to as “The Architect,” is also the man behind several iconic Air Jordan sneakers, including Air Jordan 3 to 15, Air Jordan XXAir Jordan XXIII, Air Jordan XXV, and Air Jordan XX9. He also designed the Nike Air Trainer and the Nike Air Max 1. Hatfield joined Nike in 1981, but only ventured into shoe design in 1985.

How do the AM90 sneakers fit?

Most Nike Air Max 90 sneakers fairly run TTS (true to size). However, older versions may tend to fit about a half size narrow or small because of their bulkier ankle area as both the tongue and collar are adequately padded. Thus opting for a half size larger than your usual size would give you a more comfortable and safe fit.  

When shopping online, you may rely on various user reviews and the brand's or retailer's sizing and fit guides to obtain an accurate fit.

How do you style Nike Air Max 90 Sneakers?

The Nike Air Max 90 sneakers are versatile and classic, plus their stylish construction comes in countless color combinations. Because of these factors, this iconic Air Max model can easily be styled and worn with ease.

A quick guide to styling Nike Air Max 90 sneakers:

  • One thing that you should consider when wearing this Air Max shoe is how you want to wear it.  It is a versatile piece which is an advantage as it can be worn with a variety of outfits. You can aim from a dressy casual look to an athleisure get-up.
  • Take inspirations from celebrities, fashion/style icons, social media for ideas on how to put your outfit all together.
  • Be confident! Regardless of how you chose to style your Nike Air Max 90 sneakers, confidence is the key to rock them effortlessly.
  • It is also essential to keep your Nike Air Max 90 sneakers clean and protected, most especially the white ones as they get dirty quickly. Use sneaker protectors to maintain the quality of your kicks.
  • Do not be afraid to experiment and try out different outfit combinations.

How much does a pair of Nike AM90 costs?

Nike Air Max 90 sneakers are generally affordable and priced around $110 for each pair. They have different versions, though, so prices may vary depending on materials or release type. Customized pairs via NikeID, on the other hand, costs $130.

AM90 sneakers made of premium materials and equipped with modern Nike technologies are a little more expensive than the regular ones. Same goes with those versions or special editions that released in limited quantities and period, including Nike Air Max 90 collaborations. Below is a quick price guide (in adult sizing) of Nike Air Max 90 sneakers to give you an idea:

  • Nike Air Max 90 - $110 to $120
  • Nike Air Max 90 Essential - $110
  • Nike Air Max 90 Premium - $120 to $130
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 - $130
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 SE - $130
  • Nike Air Max 90 Premium SE - $140
  • Nike Air Max 90/1 - $140
  • Nike Air Max 90 Big Logo - $150

Previously released Nike Air Max 90 sneakers (especially AM90 collabs shoes) that are no longer available at Nike and partner retailers are now mostly considered collector’s items. They can be challenging to find, but some are being sold in the resale market at extremely high prices. The Nike Air Max 90 Hurley Phantom 4D and the Nike Air Max 90 Warhawk, for example, are still available for more or less $2000 for each pair.

Are Nike Air Max 90 sneakers available in women’s sizing?

Yes. Nike Air Max 90 sneakers that are made for the ladies include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Nike Air Max 90 EZ
  • Nike Air Max 90
  • Nike Air Max 90 iD (customizable)
  • Nike Air Max 90 Premium
  • Nike Air Max 90/1
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Ease
  • Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit
  • Nike Air Max Ultra SE

Which well-known celebrities and influential personalities are known fanatics of this classic silhouette?

AM90 sneakers are undoubtedly one of the most popular shoes ever created. Because of their classic style, comfort, and overall performance, even celebrities can't help but strut their pairs of the Nike Air Max 90 sneakers. Several stars with the likes of Kanye West, John Mayer, George W. Bush, Kerser, The Game, Nate Robinson, and Joe Budden among many others have been spotted strutting their pairs of these classic Nike sneakers.

This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a Corescore.
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