Verdict from 2 experts and 63 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • The Nike Air Max Wavy feels really good on feet, several users declare. They claim that these basketball shoes deliver a comfortable fit.
  • According to one reviewer, the ankle support and stability are the standout features of these mid-top basketball shoes. Players have similar praise about the Zoom Kobe 1 Protro.
  • A Nike Air Max Wavy owner says that these shoes are lightweight.
  • These Nike basketball shoes have sufficient cushioning, a tester declares.
  • Many commenters think that the Nike Air Max Wavy looks nice.

5 reasons not to buy

  • These mid-top Nike basketball shoes fit a little tight around the toes, an owner gripes.
  • Several commenters distaste the Nike Air Max Wavy’s style.
  • The Air Max Wavy creases easily according to a few wearers.
  • A tester complains that these Nike basketball shoes deliver a slappy feel. He says that the heel-to-toe transition is definitely lacking.
  • Like the Kyrie 5, a few are reporting that these basketball shoes get a little hot inside.

Bottom line

Initially released in 2010 as a pocket-friendly budget model, the Nike Air Max Wavy makes a surprise return in 2018 as a higher priced retro.

Although most reviews only tackle the sneaker’s polarizing design, one tester was quite detailed with his performance assessment and finds that these shoes are decent on-court performers especially for its original price of $80. For $110 though, competitive ballers needing a high-performance basketball shoe can continue shopping around.

Overall, these retro Nike basketball shoes deliver a 90's-inspired style that older sneakerheads and collectors may enjoy.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Good to know

The Nike Air Max Wavy combines functionality with legendary style. These mid-top basketball shoes feature a Foamposite-like upper, the iconic Air Max unit for excellent cushioning, and a multidirectional traction pattern that provides optimal grip when you need it most.

Cushion. For lightweight cushioning, Nike equipped the Air Max Wavy with a foam midsole and a visible Air Max bubble. At the heel, the Nike Air Max unit provides adequate cushioning to keep your every step comfortable and supported.

Traction. The Nike Air Max Wavy has a rubber outsole that includes a multidirectional herringbone pattern for excellent traction.

The outsole is also equipped with lateral outriggers that keep the foot stable when performing quick cuts.

Length and Width. These Nike basketball shoes reportedly run true to size but is a bit narrow at the forefoot. Online shoppers are advised to stick with their real size when ordering the Nike Air Max Wavy.

Lockdown. The Air Max Wavy features a quick lace system with wide lace stays that ensures midfoot to forefoot lockdown. The shoe’s high profile and cushioned collar also ensure that the heel and ankle are locked in place.

The Nike Air Max Wavy’s Foamposite-like upper is constructed with a combination of synthetic leather and nubuck suede. A mesh textile tongue enhances comfort and breathability.

These Nike basketball shoes also have pull tabs located at the tongue and heel for easy on and off.

These mid-top basketball shoes are reminiscent of the Nike Zoom FP, Nike Air Garnett 3, and Air Foamposite. The Air Max Wavy’s Foamposite-like upper features a wavy detailing at the lateral side that wraps over the midsole.

Other details include Nike branding on the heel, Swoosh logos on the ankle collar and tongue, a visible Max Air unit, and lateral outriggers in the shape of basketballs.

These retro Nike basketball shoes come in several color combinations.

Original colorways:

  • Arctic Blast/Black-White
  • Black/Eggplant
  • Black/Gorge Green/White
  • Black/Red
  • Black/Victory Green
  • Copper/Black ‘Copper’
  • Midnight Navy/Photo Blue
  • Silver/Black-White
  • White/Black-Sport Red

Retro releases:

  • Black/Black ‘Triple Black’
  • Black/Metallic Gold/White
  • Midnight Navy/Photo Blue


How Nike Air Max Wavy ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 44% basketball shoes
All basketball shoes
Top 47% Nike basketball shoes
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Top 23% nike air basketball shoes
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The current trend of Nike Air Max Wavy.
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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.