Nike Air Max Advantage

Taking its name from the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike has become known as the most elite shoe manufacturer in the world. Opening up shop as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, the company changed its name to Nike in 1971. Though it is the youngest of the major brands, Nike has become the most dominant in sales of apparel, gear, accessories and, of course, shoes. The Nike Air Max Advantage is just one more weapon in Nike’s vast, ever-expanding arsenal of powerful training shoes.

With an open mesh upper, traditional lace-up closure, and padded footbed with soft ankle collar, the newest Air Max shoe is cushioned and balanced. The 10mm drop and the lightweight construction make for smoother transitions from toe-off to heel strike. With the Air Max Advantage, 30 years of Max Air technology has been optimized to create a supportive, comfortable, stylish ride.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Open mesh upper 
  • Lightweight
  • Visible heel Max Air unit
  • Responsive cushioning 
  • World’s #30 best Nike running shoe
  • Full range of colors 
  • Cons
    • Limited terrain versatility
    • Narrow shoe, may need to size up
    • Rubber outsole can be noisy
    • Key Features
      The Nike Air Max Advantage has rubber pods on the outsole for enhanced cushioning and durable traction on any surface. The Max Air unit located in the heel of the shoe has a clear window to show the added cushioning effect. The Advantage also features grooves built in to the outsole for a more comfortable and smooth transition from heel to toe. Available in black or white, the rubber pods are individually shaped and stylish, adding to the overall design.
      Nike has kept a thicker midsole for the Air Max Advantage, increasing the cushion. The lightweight padded footbed wraps around the heel, holding it in place inside the shoe and hugging the achilles and ankle. This reduces friction and blistering when appropriately sized. The IU midsole has a lightweight cushioning that balances the Max Air unit, giving it a smooth transition.
      The Nike Air Max Advantage features an open mesh upper with thin, synthetic overlays, giving the shoe a breathable and lightweight fit. The traditional lace-up closure provides an adjustable fit and secures the shoe comfortably to the foot. A padded tongue adds extra comfort to the upper and reduces the possibility of friction in that area.
      With the breathable mesh upper and Max Air unit, the Nike Air Max Advantage is considered a lightweight, cushioned shoe, weighing in just around 11 ounces for men. The technology Nike employs throughout the shoe keeps the weight down while optimizing the runner’s efficiency. Specifically, the Max Air unit is filled with 12 psi of air providing cushion and bounce without increasing the weight.
      As with any trainer, breathability is a necessity. The foot should stay cool and dry to avoid moisture, friction, sliding, or foot injuries. The Nike Air Max Advantage has an open mesh upper that provides a breathable fit and thin synthetic overlays to keep the weight down and keep the foot cool. The tongue of the shoe is made with the same material and is secured with the traditional lace up closure for an adjustable, breathable fit.
      The Nike Air Max Advantage is designed specifically for comfort. It has open mesh uppers with a thin synthetic overlay to keep the shoe lightweight. The rubber outsole pods add an extra element of cushion to pair with the lightweight foam padding of the midsole and the Max Air unit in the heel. The padding wraps the heel in place over the footbed, creating an ankle collar that hugs the achilles and the heel, reducing friction and the resultant blistering. The grooves in the rubber outsole give smooth transitions from toe-off to heel strike. To go with the cushioned insole is the padded tongue, adding to the overall comfort of the shoe and the fit of the upper.
      Nike is known for its style as well as its innovations. The breathable mesh upper gives the Nike Air Max Advantage a sleek appearance. The Max Air unit with the clear window adds a current, fashionable look to the normally solid heel. The logo on the tongue of the shoe has a specialized sheen that adds to reflectivity and the style. The rubber pods on the outsole give the base a scalloped look which breaks the monotony of the solid white foot and looks more streamlined. This model can be purchased in a solid color or a single color with a complimentary color swoosh and a white or black base. There aren’t any featured designs but the solids and complement colors do create a stylish, current look that appeals to today’s runners.
      When planning for training, a runner generally looks for a good shoe that will last for around three to five hundred miles. Most shoes will hold up for at least the lower of that range. This shoe should hover right around the middle before failure. There is some concern for the insole lacking durability and being flimsy. Also, the outsole can be noisy but it’s unclear whether that is a construction issue or a component malfunction.
      With the combination of the outsole pods, enhanced cushioning, and the lightweight foam-padded footbed, the Nike Air Max Advantage has more give to the footfall than the average shoe. That impact resistance cuts down on the knee and joint fatigue as well as injuries. The individual pods in the outsole also enhance the traction from the rubber base, allowing better traction and control on runs which reduces the opportunity for trips and falls. The Max Air unit protects on impact as well by absorbing the impact shock from footfall and heel strikes. The design covers the entire foot, protecting from dirt and debris and avoiding injuries from friction and rubbing.
      A lightweight, neutral cushioned shoe, the Nike Air Max Advantage has an average drop giving a natural ride with a lightweight feel. With the extra cushion, the amount of fatigue is significantly reduced and runners can enjoy many different routes for longer distances. The Max Air unit also reduces shock impact when heel striking so the ride is smoother but still allows for a flexible response.
      The Nike Air Max Advantage uses the traditional medial post stability design in conjunction with a breathable mesh upper and thin synthetic overlay. The upper fits firmly and, when laced appropriately, supports the upper portion of the foot securely with little movement. The rubber outsole pods and enhanced cushioning give a solid base while the Max Air unit holds air at 12 psi, giving a slight bounce to the heel while still supporting the bulk of the step, especially with heel strikers. The thick midsole with its lightweight foam padding includes an ankle collar that wraps the heel in place over the footbed and hugs the Achilles and ankle, holding it firmly into the shoe. The Air Max Advantage offers a neutral support for medium to high arches.
      While Nike does make shoes for all terrains, the Nike Air Max Advantage is primarily a road racing shoe. The rubber on the base is not excessively thick which keep the overall weight down and this creates less traction with gravel or trails. The outsole pods, on the other hand, are individually formed so they do allow for less side to side slippage so a running track or treadmill would be well within a range of this trainer.
      Because the Nike name is famous worldwide, you expect their shoes to all be in the higher end price-wise. Even with the Max Air unit and the successful Air Max line, Nike still has kept the Nike Air Max Advantage at a reasonable price point. The specialized design and reworked upper construction keep materials at a consistent expense so no additional cost is charged to the buyer. Nike is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition so the price reflects sustainability measures implemented as a part of their commitment to the future of the Earth.

      Read also about vegan runners shoes.
      The rubber outsole pods that enhance cushioning at the base of the Nike Air Max Advantage serve another purpose as well. They provide a durable traction on any surface, significantly reducing any side to side slippage if traveling on a wet roadway. Having a midsole with a lightweight, padded cushion effect also keeps the foot firmly entrenched into the base of the shoe, reducing any potential slippage.
      Since the Nike Air Max Advantage features such a generous amount of cushion, there is a good deal of flexibility in both the outsole and the midsole. The rubber outsole pods are individually molded so that each section of the forefoot can flex as the foot flexes. When toeing off, the shoe adapts to the natural bend and flexes exactly where the foot does naturally. The open mesh upper is also very flexible as it is breathable with a lightweight fit. The lace-up closure does adjust the fit to the comfort of the wearer but the mesh will adjust for any swelling while on the run, allowing for added comfort over even longer distances.
      The installation of the Max Air unit in the heel of the Nike Air Max Advantage adds to the stability of the shoe. Because it is an enhanced air pocket, the distribution of weight sits naturally against the construct. The rubber outsole pods enhance the cushioning but also distribute the weight evenly on each individual pod.

      The construction of the mesh upper uses medial posts but also fits closely to the foot with thin synthetic overlays. This keeps the upper breathable but also holds the foot more securely into the shoe with a top foot lace-up closure, forcing the weight of the foot into the base and adding to the overall stability.
      The Nike Air Max Advantage has a medium drop of 10mm. This is an average drop but allows for a neutral ride with a natural feel. With such a light shoe, this shoe is known for smoother, fast runs but is also very cushioned by design.
      Key Features
      • Max Air unit to absorb impact shock through the heel
      • Breathable mesh upper with lightweight synthetic overlays keep the foot cool
      • Rubber outsole pods enhance cushioning but also increase traction
      • Smooth, cushioned ride
      • Foam padded footbed includes an ankle collar to hug the Achilles as well as the ankle
      Bottom Line
      When Nike opened its doors as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, it is very unlikely they could have predicted the level of success they have come to be known for or the premium quality of shoes they would be producing for all sports, worldwide. In the years since, Nike has expanded its expertise to all areas of sport to include apparel, accessories, and adopted spokespeople from all areas of sport. As such experts, they continue to produce model after model of high quality, technologically advanced shoes for each specific sport and for cross-training.

      With so much experience in a shorter time than their competitors, Nike has created a sustainable process to continue to meet their customers’ demands. One of those demands was a simple running shoe with cushion and stability and in response, Nike developed the Nike Air Max Advantage.

      This shoe has a padded tongue, a cushioned insole, rubber outsole pods, and the visible heel Air Sole unit that Nike has become known for. These elements cradle the foot and give a flexible response from toe-off to heel strike. The shoe itself remains lightweight with the breathable mesh upper and has a secure, adjustable fit with the traditional lace-up closure. The Air Max Advantage does exactly what was requested of it at a reasonable price.
      Where to Buy
      By Jennifer Frazier
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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