3 Best Nike Air Max Sneakers, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Sheena on
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Float through your day with the real OGs of sneakers. The quite impressive lineup of iconic Nike Air Max kicks are seen within the community of sneakerheads as wardrobe staples, selling in the tens of millions of pairs worldwide. If there’s a new release of this Swoosh collection, you probably need one.

Since the first release of the first-ever Air Max in 1987, Nike has kept the momentum going of producing great-looking kicks in numerous colorways. From retro and futuristic to super-posh workhorse dad shoes and minimalist designs, there’s a massive collection of Air Maxes for everyone’s style.

With tons of options available, finding the perfect pair of Nike Air Max sneakers can be daunting. We’re here to help you by streamlining your search. Use our filtering system to quickly see our top rankings. Also, check out our top picks in different categories.

How we test sneakers

To make our in-depth reviews, we bring all the Air Maxes to the RunRepeat shoe lab for a thorough go-over. We categorize and qualify the specific materials used and various commercial features found on each footwear. We then give the shoes to our testers to do their performance tests.

We finalize our top rankings by doing these:

  • Procure the sneakers for our lab and field tests. We use our own funds to ensure 100% impartiality of our comprehensive reviews.
  • Our in-house sneakerheads assess the overall ratings of each model based on its performance during the tests, highlighting the shoe’s actual fit, comfort, support, weight, durability, lacing system, and more.
  • Collect more insights from hundreds of customer reviews and expert feedback.

In the end, we give all the pairs of Nike Air Max sneakers their respective ratings. Based on the gathered data above, each model on this list is assigned a CoreScore from 0 to 100.

Best Nike Air Max sneakers overall

Nike Air Max 97
Nike Air Max 97


4.5 / 5 from 32,938 users


  • Good all-season sneaker
  • Good for sockless wear
  • An identifiable piece of fashion history
  • Fits true to size
  • Near indestructible
  • Lightweight
  • Feels as athletic as it looks
  • Great even for winter


  • Takes some time to wear in
  • Attaches to stains easily

What makes it the best overall?

What else can be said about the Nike Air Max 97 that hasn't been said before, the shoe has literally had books written about it. It's an athletic, versatile, and comfy sneaker that looks incredible in so many colorways. There's a reason it's been one of Nike's most popular sneakers for decades. Like others in its family, this is a silhouette that will stay relevant for years to come and work with most wardrobes.
Read our full review of Nike Air Max 97 here

Best value

Nike Air Max 2090
Nike Air Max 2090


4.5 / 5 from 10,597 users


  • Elastic sock-liner fits like a glove
  • Durable material
  • Flexible, easy to wear in
  • Well-cushioned
  • Flashy Air Max unit
  • Versatile colorways


  • Futuristic style is a miss
  • Hard to clean
  • Not breathable

What makes it the best value?

The Nike Air Max 2090 is a sneaker that was born to be great. As a predecessor of the original Air Max 90 there's plenty of comfort in there to get excited about. Maybe the sneaker's biggest downfall is that it's up against the incredibly designed Air Max shoes that are also being released at the moment.
Read our full review of Nike Air Max 2090 here

Sheena is a wordsmith turned sneaker addict. Her sneaker fixation intensified as her passion for writing grew. A hands-on mom of two sweet yet spunky kids (plus three dogs and two cats), she finds solitude in leafing through shoe catalogs to find the next "it" sneaker. Scrutinizing hugely popular and underrated kicks is her favorite pastime.