Nike Air Max Modern Flyknit Review Facts
Fans of popular footwear manufacturer Nike will tell you two things about their preferred footwear designer. The first is that they excel at creating extremely fashionable shoes above all other features, with excellent performance often being a pleasant secondary benefit. The second thing they will tell you is that Nike is a brand that always pushes the envelope. They have pioneered new designs of footwear that quickly became industry standards. Among these developments are midsole designs, such as their popular Air Max product line, and upper material such as their knit fabric Flyknit. With their Air Max Modern Flyknit, Nike has combined these two popular design features to create a shoe that is extremely lightweight, responsive, and breathable.
As is custom for running shoes, Nike used a hard rubber when constructing the outsoles of the Air Max Modern Flyknit. This material is highly resistant to abrasion, meaning that it can absorb the shock from a runner’s repeated impact with the ground while also warding off durability-compromising wear and tear. The front and rear portions of this shoe’s underfoot are highlighted with a different color material; whether this serves any design purpose other than stylistic flair is uncertain. Other than this, some very slight grooves have been added in a vertical and horizontal pattern, providing a subtle treading that can improve traction without running the risk of accumulating debris.
Nike’s Air Max line of footwear is known for the implementation of a Max Air
unit. This titular design feature adds a pocket of air towards the rear of the midsole, which serves a few beneficial purposes. In addition to providing cushioning for the wearer’s heel, the clever use of air for this cushioning results in a lighter weight for the rest of the shoe. While this small air bubble can cause some customers to be wary of this shoe’s overall durability, the rest of its midsole is made from the standard EVA foam cushioning. This material is also lightweight and highly comfortable but it comes with the additional benefit of being very resilient and responsive to force.
Adopting the now-common knit fabric upper design, Nike’s Flyknit
material was used to adorn the top half of the Air Max Modern Flyknit. This is a style that has come to prominence over the past five years, having been first popularized by Nike and soon adopted by competitors such as Reebok and Adidas. Flyknit is an exceptionally well-designed material made from tightly woven fabric that provides a snug fit similar to that of a sock. The benefits of its inclusion are a much lighter weight for the entire shoe and increased breathability. Although Nike has made many different Flyknit-based footwear offerings, this is the first time they have combined it with their Max Air midsole style.
Although no specific information has been provided by Nike regarding the average weight for a pair of these shoes, customers have remarked that they feel fantastically light. This can be attributed to the clever design features Nike implemented in the Air Max Modern Flyknit’s top and bottom portions. On the upper, the Flyknit covering replaces the more common foam and synthetic materials that would weigh more, while the bottom reduces some heft by utilizing a Max Air
injected midsole for light cushioning. It’s clear that heavier material was still used where absolutely necessary, such as around the heel of the upper and along the outsole, but for the most part, this shoe was designed to be light as a feather.
Thanks to the use of Nike’s popular Flyknit material, air is free to flow throughout the entirety of this shoe’s internal enclosure. For runners who have worn shoes using Adidas’ Primeknit
or Reebok’s Ultraknit materials
, these shoes function in much the same way; through the knit fabric style of construction, several small holes are present in the upper portion of these shoes that allow for ventilation. This breathability is much more impressive than the sort offered by shoes with mesh fabric but it comes at the cost of greater fragility. Additionally, wearers with a tighter fit may have trouble with the circulation of fresh air throughout the inside while it is worn.
Although the primary design goals for Nike
when designing most of their footwear is to ensure a fashionable and functional addition to any runner’s arsenal, comfort will often be emphasized as well. With the Nike Air Max Modern Flyknit, comfort is mostly derived from the upper portion and its Flyknit design. In addition to allowing for a soothing flow of fresh air, the snug fit is designed in the same fashion as a comfortable pair of socks. The bottom half of these shoes provides comfort as well, thanks to its cushioned midsole with Max Air technology. This injected air bubble provides a comfortable cushion for the wearer’s heel, although it does come at the cost of increased fragility.
This is what put Nike on the map and caused them to become the single most popular manufacturer of athletic apparel. Thanks to incredible offerings like the Air Jordan, Nike is known first and foremost for making incredibly stylish products
. However, when observing the Air Max Modern Flyknit, an individual may be led to believe that this isn’t the case. It’s a surprising misstep on the part of Nike; while the overall shape of these shoes is appealing, the colors and overall visual aesthetic are lackluster at best and ugly at worst. Despite having multiple colorways available to choose from, none are particularly appealing to the eyes.
The biggest complaint that has been made towards Nike’s Flyknit line of running shoes is that the thin fabric material is less durable than foam or synthetic uppers. The biggest complaint made towards Nike’s Max Air unit is that the use of an air pocket for cushioning drastically decreases the resilience of its midsole due to the risk of popping. When these two features are combined, the end result is one of the most fragile running shoes made by Nike. This shouldn’t be a problem for runners who don’t weigh very much and take proper care of their shoes, but the average customer will likely find themselves needing to replace the Air Max
Modern Flyknit sooner than they may anticipate.
The majority of this running shoe’s protective capabilities can be found on its underside. Although Nike has implemented their novel design concepts for the upper and middle portions of the Air Max Modern Flyknit, the underfoot is an area that has remained relatively untouched. This shoe’s outsole is designed in much the same way that running shoe outsoles have been designed for years, with an abrasion resistant hard rubber material. Aside from this, the protective capabilities of the remaining portions of this shoe are questionable, what with the thinner Flyknit upper and a more fragile Max Air midsole cushion.
In running shoes, the one aspect of their design that has the most significant impact on its responsiveness is its midsole. It’s because of this that the most effective and popular running shoes will use EVA material for their midsoles since it offers an appealing energy dispersal that vastly improves the shoe’s response time. Nike has also implemented EVA material for the midsole of their Air Max Modern Flyknit, but they have also supplemented it with an Air Max bubble. This pocket of air is less responsive than EVA since it can’t compress to the same degree; however, the reduction in weight that it provides more than compensates for this.
In the pursuit of a lighter and more responsive shoe, Nike didn’t place a great deal of focus on providing supportive features in their Air Max Modern Flyknit. As a result, runners shouldn’t expect the same level of support as they may receive from a support-oriented shoe. The Flyknit material used for the upper is too thin to provide gait correction, but a bit of extra material around the heel collar helps to provide some rearfoot support. The predominantly EVA midsole also provides some supportive features, although the Max Air bubble isn’t as effective in this aspect.
Thanks to a sturdy and abrasion-resistant outsole, the underside of the Nike Air Max Modern Flyknit is capable of handling the vast majority of typical running environments. This includes harder surfaces such as asphalt and cement, but it can also provide a decent run on softer surfaces such as a field or dirt path. Caution must be exercised when attempting to run on hard dirt or any other harsh surface like it, since the Max Air bubble is less resilient to impact than standard EVA midsoles. Also, it goes without saying that any sort of trail running is completely out of the question when wearing these shoes.
As these shoes have been replaced with newer additions, finding particular sizes and colorways for the Nike Air Max Modern Flyknit has become tougher and tougher. Because of this, some hard-to-find models of these running shoes go for inflated prices online. Unlike many limited edition Nike shoes that have these higher prices due to limited demand and high appeal, there is little justification for this increased price. Customers may want to choose a different shoe if they can’t find a suitable size or color for these at a price lower than three digits.
Traction was not a major concern for Nike when they designed the Air Max Modern Flyknit. Because of that, runners shouldn’t expect much from these shoes in this department. However, the well-made outsole does come through in this aspect for the most part, thanks to its use of shallow ridges that can function as rudimentary treading. Just enough grip is provided to accommodate traditional running environments without weighing down the wearer and reducing their top speeds.
The Flyknit upper found on these Nike running shoes is significantly more flexible than those commonly found on running shoes without a knit fabric design. This is supplemented in part with the Max Air midsole unit, which provides an additional pliability in this area of the shoe. Based on the general consensus of wearers, the result is a decent mix of flexibility and stability in the final product.
While the knit fabric upper of the Nike Air Max Modern Flyknit provides flexibility, it manages to provide higher stability as well. This is due to the snug, sock-like fit it provides to the wearer’s feet; without the risk of internal slippage, greater control is guaranteed. This is supplemented by a strong and well-made outsole with a shallow tread pattern that helps to provide additional stability through traction.
Most running shoes will have a difference in midfoot cushioning between the toe and heel, resulting in a slight elevation for the wearer’s foot toward the rear. The Nike Air Max Modern Flyknit is no exception to this rule. The benefit of this particular design style is that the wearer can strike the ground with their heel as hard as they like with the majority of their force of impact being absorbed by extra rearfoot cushioning. This is a terrific design feature for individuals with a tendency toward stress-related injuries such as shin splints since the extra impact absorption will prevent their legs from feeling the brunt of each stride’s impact.
- Flyknit knit fabric upper
- Max Air midsole unit
- Slight horizontal/vertical treading along the outsole
- Lightweight construction
- Multiple colorways available
Nike’s combination of Max Air and Flyknit technologies make this one of the most unique running shoes on the market as well as one of the lightest casual runners. However, the tradeoff for these appealing features is a lackluster durability and somewhat garish sense of style. Because of this, the Nike Air Max Modern Flyknit is a shoe that will only appeal to diehard Nike fans.