Nike Air Max 2018 Review Facts
The Nike Air Max 2016 is a road running shoe made with a significant emphasis on providing excellent comfort. In addition to a great deal of cushioning, these shoes are also firm & supportive; a combination made possible due to Flywire cable technology. Nike obviously understands how important it is to have a highly breathable running shoe and they show it through this shoe’s design. Although not quite as breathable as some other Nike Flyknit offerings, the amount of airflow present here blows other running shoes out of the water. Overall, the Air Max 2016 is an incredibly stylish and functional running shoe with many factors in its favor.
The outsole is a key aspect of the overall design of this particular shoe. Flex grooves along the outsole ensure complete freedom of motion. Additionally, the use of its ‘waffle’ technology provides more than adequate traction for multiple forms of terrain
. However, the Air Max
2016 is meant primarily to be used on a road; its impressive outsole does not outweigh the limitations of other design factors. That said, runners can expect a truly impressive competence on the road when running in these Nike shoes
While the outsole is important to the competence of these shoe's design, the midsole is even more so. Air Max
technology at this midpoint of the shoe allows transitions from heel to toe to be buttery smooth. The air bubbles embedded in the material provide a bouncy, airy sensation that's easy to appreciate. Another benefit to their Swiss-cheese design is that the Air Max 2016 invokes feelings of soft cushion
, almost as if you are walking on a cloud. As a result of these features, some customers who are more accustomed to a minimalist shoe style that allows them to feel the ground with their feet may be put off these shoes.
Although there may only be a few minor differences in this model than the previous, the Air Max 2016 still has features that set it streets ahead of any other running shoe. The all-encompassing mesh material used in conjunction with Flywire
cables provide a one-two punch of breathability
and support. Although some shoes will use sock liners or a high collar to provide similar levels of support, Nike’s proprietary Flywire cabled laces effectively provide a snug, adaptive fit for the foot without sacrificing breathability or adding additional weight. One unfortunate downside about these shoes’ upper is that the polyester material used for the mesh isn’t as durable as runners may want.
Unfortunately, runners looking for a lightweight shoe will be better off giving these shoes a pass. Despite having a largely mesh-based upper which would ordinarily lead to a lightweight shoe
, that is just not the case with the Air Max 2016. These are instead on the heavier side of the average running shoe due mainly to all the cushioning that was added in. This results in a shoe that weighs in at 12 ounces.
Other than their unmatched style, Nike is perhaps best known for their highly breathable shoes. It’s true that not all Nike shoes have this focus; however, the ones that do accomplish this goal to such an extreme that it is almost beyond comparison. Nike's Flyknit mesh technology, while supportive and very well cushioned, offer a terrific amount of airflow throughout the entirety of the interior. Some of the additional cushioning layers hinder this ventilation to a small degree, but it’s still top-notch.
An amazing level of comfort is achieved when wearing these shoes thanks to the Max Air Unit, which provides a cushioning sensation like no other. As previously stated, wearing these shoes will induce the feeling of walking on air. Their sculpted Cushlon midsole technology ensures that any shock from ground impact is minimized to an impressive degree. Although this is comfortable, some runners may be turned off by the alarming amount of separation felt between their feet and the ground.
The Air Max 2016 has a few different color schemes for customers to choose from but not as many as some other Nike products. Similar words can be said regarding the overall style of the shoe; great, but not as great as some other Nike products. Some may see the Flywire cables as an eyesore but these are still some of the most fashionable running shoes on the market. Even the worst Nike shoe is better than some of the best offerings from other manufacturers, so the fact that this isn’t the most fashionable Nike shoe doesn’t mean they are ugly in any conceivable way.
The addition of multiple protective cushion layers obviously contributes some degree of durability to these shoes, albeit not a significant amount. The Air Max 2016 holds itself together well but the upper mesh can be susceptible to wear and tear over time. Another durability concern associated with these Nike shoes stem from the midsole; the bubbles infused into the material have a tendency to burst, according to heavyset runners. This may not be an issue for lighter runners, but other potential drawbacks may become issues further down the line.
This shoe has a greater amount of layers than the usual Nike running shoe. This provides a positive effect on the Air Max 2016’s protection as a side benefit to the additional comfort factor. The more lightweight and ventilated upper does hinder foot protection a bit but some defense is still offered in this area. Other than that, the total protective ability of these shoes is nothing to write home about. This can be concerning, considering just how heavy they end up being, but that’s just the way it worked out with the design.
Your feet will be thankful for the incredible responsiveness provided by the Nike Air Max 2016. The spring action enabled by the midsole enables is simply unparalleled. This Air Max technology is what the shoe is known for and named after, so it should come as no surprise that it’s such a draw. It functions a bit like an inflated basketball; when your feet hit the ground, the material bounces that energy back. The end result is a level of responsiveness that is insanely high in spite of the shoe’s heavier weight.
The support offered by these shoes is middle of the road. It isn’t bad but it also isn’t exceptionally good. The primary design goals for the Air Max 2016 was to ensure ample cushioning and responsiveness, with support taking a backseat. This extra cushioning can be supportive in a way, but no care has been placed to provide specialized support for key areas of the foot. Because of this, individuals who are prone to running injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis may have some difficulty with these Nike running shoes despite the high level of comfort. With a bit of ingenuity, a compromise can be made by replacing the insole with a more orthotic one.
These Nike running shoes are made for the sole purpose of running on roads and tracks. They are best suited for solid and flat terrain, meaning you will not be able to reap the full benefits from features such as the Air Max technology otherwise. Because of its high cushion factor and heavyweight, these shoes may give the impression that they are suitable for trail running. However, the outsole doesn’t offer enough traction for this purpose, the midsole doesn’t offer enough support, and the upper doesn’t offer enough durability. Because of these three strikes, it is highly discouraged that runners use these shoes on any surface rougher than asphalt.
Nike is known for many positive things, but one not-so-positive thing associated with their products is a higher than average price. Despite this, their popularity has endured even through financial recessions because the majority of satisfied Nike customers wear their products in casual settings. This isn’t to downplay the brand’s popularity among athletes; after all, many Olympians have been seen running in Nike gear. However, the high price tag for the Air Max 2016, in particular, is indicative more of its ‘hypebeast’ status than it is of any particular athletic ability. The only real selling point to justify dropping a decent amount of change on these shoes is that they offer terrific comfort, responsiveness, and traction on roads and tracks.
Thanks to the flex grooves and waffle-style treading on the Air Max 2016’s outsole, a very impressive amount of traction is present in these running shoes. Both of these features enable excellent traction, but it’s the waffle pattern in particular that really brings it home. Much like how a waffle absorbs syrup through its many recesses, these shoes absorb pebbles, gravel, sand, and other common road hazards in a manner that ensures a constant smooth ride throughout the duration of a running session. The flex grooves offer some benefits to the traction as well, but they are more geared for flexibility and responsiveness. Nike claims that these shoes provide excellent traction on multiple terrains and they may be right. However, other factors of these shoes’ design detract from any real effect that can be experienced in this regard, meaning you won’t want to take these shoes on a hiking trip.
Here is where Nike’s flex grooves truly shine. This small feature added to the midsole of these shoes contribute greatly to the overall flexibility. With strategic placement towards the front and middle of the foot, these deep grooves allow for a proper bending motion in the most important areas of a runner’s stride. This is where the majority of the Air Max 2016’s flexibility lies, although it is far from the only feature that does this. The whole Max Air midsole unit that spans the length of the shoe is very flexible as well. This is due in part to it not being solid, but more of a bubble. As a result, it can bend and form as needed to accommodate the natural movement of your foot.
For individuals looking for a shoe that can correct their pronation issues, the Nike Air Max 2016 will not provide the stability you need. While they do offer some stability, it is far from enough to accommodate serious over-pronation issues. Nothing is particularly noteworthy about the stability in the midsole either, as it was designed primarily for comfort and responsiveness. The upper portion provides some stability thanks to the Flyknit providing a tight fit. However, the end result is a shoe that doesn’t have enough stability to classify it as a stability shoe.
About 13 mm of elevation is present in the midsoles and outsoles of these Nike running shoes. This heel drop is just a bit above average for other running shoes of its kind, meaning that you should expect to be running on your heels primarily. This heel-striking is comfortable for many runners, but it will turn offroad running enthusiasts that are more acclimated to a minimalist style of footwear. Furthermore, the pressure to the knees is compounded with this running style, although the high amount of cushioning helps to mitigate this.
- Max Air enhances flexibility and provides more air to the foot’s underside
- Plush foam provides ample comfort
- Mesh upper facilitates high breathability
- Outsole’s use of flex grooves and Waffle style treading ensure solid road traction
- Reflective features provide visibility in low light
- Flywire cables ensure a snug fit
The Nike Air Max 2016 is a road running shoe that excels in comfort and support. They also look great on your feet with a clean and simple aesthetic. Style aside, these are made first and foremost for running and they perform admirably in this regard. The breathability is up to par even with the higher weight. They also offer a comfortable ride for heel strikers, coupled with decent flexibility in the forefoot. All in all, the Air Max 2016 is a welcome addition to the Nike family and to a comfort-obsessed road runner’s wardrobe.