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The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe was created for the women’s feet, offering comfort from the top of the shoe down to the sole. This sneaker generally runs true to size and available in women’s sizes from 5 to 12 US. This shoe is built with a medium width measurement.

The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe is one of the ultra-lightweight editions made on the classic profile that’s been loved since the 1990s. This revamped model, originally made for the women comes in eye candy colors, even more vibrant than its famous Infrared colorway.

This breathable shoe with a one-piece upper puts a positive glow to one’s casual wear as its style stands out in the crowd. It is ideal with any length of skirt and pants and more alluring when worn without socks.

Ultra-lightweight and breathable. These two words sum up the standout characteristics of the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe. Nike exposed the core elements of this much-adored silhouette by stripping off layers from its covering and replacing it with wider mesh holes that ultimately increase ventilation to the shoe. This is reinforced by moisture-wicking interiors, stretchable laces, soft heel counters, and natural motion tooling with its lesser weighing outsole design.  

One of the most retroed versions in the Air Max line is the Nike Air Max 90, formerly called the Air Max III. 26 years later, after it was first unveiled to the public, this classic favorite gets its lightest profile with the launch of the Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe. This sneaker joins two other models that were disclosed in 2016 under the category, Breathe Collection. The other popular shoes are the Nike Roshe One and Nike Air Huarache Ultra Breathe.

The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe got its shape from the 1990 version, originally called the Air Max III. And the idea of the Air Max refers to the Air unit in the sole conceptualized by aeronautic engineer Franklin Rudy way, way back in the 1970s to provide athletes the needed cushioning during running. It was considered one of the greatest discoveries by Nike that in 1977, the brand had it patented conferring sole ownership to such invention.

The Air unit is made up of compressed inert gases in a polyurethane bag which was applied to Nike’s running shoes such as the Air Tailwind and Air Mariah. Until Nike’s top-notch designer Tinker Hatfield thought of revealing the impressive technology by carving out a window in the heel area. This led to the birth of the Nike Air Max 1 in 1987, the first shoe that showcased the visible Air unit. A lighter version in terms of weight was dropped by Nike in 1989 which was named the Air Max II or Air Max Light.

It paved the way for the release of another version in 1990 with an almost heart-shaped design on the midsole done in striking Hyvent Orange that reveals the proprietary Air cushioning device. This was called the Air Max III, which was later named the Air Max 90 as this particular silhouette became a staple for retro releases. Needless to say, this is one of the most iconic models in the Air Max hierarchy.

In 2002, its accent color was renamed Mx Orange with exclusive releases in Australia. The Air Max 90 got its famous Infrared labeling with the drop of the 2003 version sporting the said colorway in Europe and in Asia.

The popularity of this shoe was even heightened when it was included in the History of Air Collection in 2005, coinciding the unveiling of the Infrared iteration to the US market. This profile gained prominence in the coming years with different variations in color and design were made to the upper. This includes leather, suede, canvas, tape, Hyperfuse, and Engineered Mesh.

The Nike Air Max 90 reached its celebrity status in the sneaker culture that the shoe’s timeless profile became a much-sought blank canvas for tons of materials and combination of contrasting shades built for different lifestyles. From a runner, it is deconstructed to a much-adored sneaker that strikingly blends with an extensive line of casual clothing.

The Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe dropped in 2016 is one of the modern upgrades on the old runner that weighs a lot lighter and offers more ventilation. It has kept the familiar silhouette of the original edition, which includes the “hole-in-the-wall” design in the heel area in an entirely revamped form.

  • The removable insole is made of Ortholite with anti-microbial features keeping the feet fresh and dry most of the time.
  • The eyelets, the Swoosh branding on side panels, and heel logo are made of synthetic materials.
  • The polyurethane sole is cored out reducing a lot of weight from the shoe. The forefoot region in the outsole has slits that reveal the mesh lining under the footbed.
  • The durable rubber material is used in high-wear areas of the outsole.
  • The trademark Waffle-patterned sole is utilized in the forefoot area.
  • The Waffle tread design of the outsole was conceptualized by Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman in his quest to provide track racers with a grippy sole. He formulated the blueprint of the outsole from the grids of an actual waffle maker.


How Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe ranks compared to all other shoes
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Top 33% Nike sneakers
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The current trend of Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe.
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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.