Nike Air Max 2021 Fully Reviewed and Compared

Nike is the quintessential fashionable running shoe. This is a brand that is a pro at the combination of function and fashion, and the Nike Air Max 2017 are certainly not an exception to this long-standing tradition. This is a great athletic shoe, but it is also an all-around great shoe. If you are a runner who likes to get attention at the finish line and while running errands around town, this is a stylish choice for you.

This is an overall great series and runners commented that although the previous model was great, Nike upped the ante and made improvements to this addition that runners didn't even know they needed, but loved once they got! The inner material was switched out to a more breathable material and more cushioning was added throughout. This not only reduced friction, (which can lead to the dreaded blisters!) but it also added much-needed comfort.

Whether you are logging miles, running errands around town, or taking a class at the gym, the Air Max 2017 is a shoe that can make anyone happy. The shoe offers adequate arch support, and while it won't be the ideal shoe for the overpronator, it is ideal for the neutral runner.

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Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Over ten color patterns and combinations
  • Very versatile shoe
  • Rated high for comfort
  • Cons
    • Expensive
    • Runs small
    • Higher heel drop (13 mm)
    • Key Features
      While there are some key changes to this iteration of the Air Max, don't expect to find them in the outsole. The outsole of this shoe is constructed using a plastic-like material. Many outsoles use a more durable rubber material for the outsole, and some runners questioned why Nike would use a plastic outsole instead.

      The underfoot is lined with small nubs and a waffle design. These additions add traction and protection. In addition to the traction that these additions add to the outsole, they already come with deep flex grooves to add extra flexibility.

      While most shoes use rubber as a key ingredient in their outsoles (either a blown or carbon rubber) this particular model uses a plastic material which gives it more traction and flexibility.
      The first iteration of this model was designed using Flywire cords. When Nike updated this model, it added a molded foam to the midsole to improve the fit and add extra comfort and support. The Cushlon foam that Nike uses in its midsole increases the flexibility of this shoe. This is a nice addition because the outsole of the shoe is denser and provides less stretch, the Cushlon balances the two elements out. This molded foam can really be felt in the heel of the shoe and the midfoot. It provides the runner with security and added comfort. This foam adds extra durability and responsiveness.
      The Air Max 2017 is made using a breathable mesh called Flymesh. Not only does this provide a more breathable ride, but it also provides extra support and structure. It cuts down on added friction and irritation because it helps keep the foot in place with very little unwanted movement.

      In addition to the structured upper, the Air Max comes with a molded foam heel grip to keep the foot in place. You will also find reflective elements on the upper to keep you safe while running in the dark.

      Some runners suggested switching out the laces of this model because they found that they became untied too easily and frequently.
      These babies are certainly on the heavier side of the running shoe scale. They have a lot going on underfoot that could add to this weight. They have flex grooves and numerous nubs to add traction and flexibility. The average running shoe today weighs in at 11.4 ounces, so these Nike running shoes are over that, coming in at 13.4 ounces.
      The Flymesh upper of this shoe makes it highly breathable. Runners reported that while the upper provides a snug fit, their feet were able to remain cool even on long jogs, hikes, or walks, and even on hot days. The top is perforated to add to the well ventilated upper.
      For many athletes, comfort is one of the most important factors to consider. This shoe received high markers from reviewers for comfort. Runners commented that this is a great shoe that can go the distance, but it is also suggested as great shoes for those who stand for long hours each day.

      The tongue design of this shoe makes for extra snugness and the upper really wraps the foot in support. The tongue of these shoes is thicker which means that it will move around less while running and give you a more secure feel.
      With over ten different color combinations (bright crimson and black, deep royal blue and hyper cobalt, and paramount blue, white and electro green) to choose from, there is a choice for every taste.

      The buoyant bottom and sleek design make these a fashionable choice for the finish line or the grocery store. The medial and lateral side of the shoe is aesthetically the same, adding to an overall classic look. Nike has a reputation for being a fashion-forward brand, and these shoes do not disappoint.

      However, there is one small detail to consider. Along the outside of the outsole, the words "Air Max" are written, and some runners said this gave the shoe a tacky look.
      Even after an extensive amount of miles, this shoe shows little wear to the outsole or the upper material. This is very important because the shoes are very expensive. If you are paying close to two hundred dollars for your athletic shoes, you should expect that they will stand up to some wear and tear.
      For the runner who likes to run in the evening to avoid the heat of the day or for the runner who can't make the time during the daylight hours for their daily run, the Nike Air Max 2017 comes equipt with quality reflective material along the upper and outsole in order to keep runners safe at night.

      Outside of the protection these shoes offer in the evening, they will also work hard to protect your body from undue harm by providing adequate shock absorption, reducing stress on joints and possible injury.

      The dual foam of the midsole adds to extra responsiveness in this shoe. While it does have a denser and firmer outsole, runners reported that they could feel the road beneath their feet, and had good lateral movement as well.
      The attached tongue design gives the shoe a snug and supportive feel through the upper and the laces. This helped to keep the foot secure and reduced friction and movement during activity. One of the updates to the Air Max 2017 from the older versions of this shoe is that it provides added support and a thicker material throughout, while the older materials had a lighter, less durable feel to them. Although this material is thicker than its predecessor, it is perforated which gives it added breathability.

      Runners reported that their feet did not feel stifled at all in these shoes.
      These are classic shoes designed for your basic athletic and everyday wear.

      Whether you are taking them on suburban or urban roads, or just running errands around town these are classic shoes for your everyday life.

      They are great on the road and runners loved them as cross trainers in the gym.

      Before the numerous nubs found in the underfoot of the outsole, they can also be taken on groomed trails and light off-roading excursions.
      This shoe has a lot of people asking the question, "Is this shoe worth the money?"

      At a near two hundred dollar price tag, this shoe will be out of reach for many runners. While some are happy to invest the money in a quality athletic shoe, some need to be more frugal and consider a budget.

      For those who are unable or unwilling to shell out big bucks on a running shoe, the Nike Air Max 2017 is not your perfect choice.

      Another thing to consider when it comes to the price on this model is that the earlier models of this shoe were created using the exact same midsole and outsoles; however, you can get these older versions for much, much cheaper.

      Some would argue that the shoe isn't worth the price and you would be better off buying an older version and saving some money.
      While these aren't the shoes to take on intense off-road adventures, they do have added traction that will keep you safe on uneven or slick surfaces.

      The outsole of these shoes is covered in small nubs on the underfoot. These nubs and waffle design on the underfoot are the driving force behind the added traction.
      The Cushlon foam of the midsole gives this shoe an added touch of flexibility. This is a good balance because the outsole is quite thick and can feel more stable than flexible. The outsole is designed using deep flex grooves which also add flexibility.
      This is a shoe that is suggested for the neutral runner. It offered decent stability, but it is not designed with the technology to provide relief or support for the overpronator or the runner with very unique arch support needs.

      The outsole of these shoes is dense and it does reduce stress to joints by absorbing shock.
      This is not a natural feeling, minimalistic shoe. A try minimalist shoe has a zero drop, but even shoes with a drop as high as 4 mm can still be considered minimalist.

      The Nike Air Max 2017 has a heel drop of 13 mm. This shoe is for the runner who is a heel striking runner and needs extra cushioning and shock absorption in each of their strides.
      Key Features
      - Cushlon Foam in the midsole provides extra flexibility and springiness
      - Full-length Air Max Cushioning
      - Flymesh upper offers extra breathable feel, eliminating hot spots and irritation
      - Amazingly versatile shoe - works great as a light running shoe, a cross trainer, or a shoe to keep you comfortable if you stand a great deal during the day
      Bottom Line
      Nike puts out quality products and you can certainly trust them.

      The Nike Air Max 2017 is no exception to this rule. This isn't a shoe that you can use for speed work or even your long grueling runs of your marathon plan; rather, this is a great overall athletic shoe that you can wear to the gym, for a light jog, or on a hike on a groomed path.

      The price is high, and while the color selection is good, the details can be a bit off-putting.
      Where to Buy
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Stacey O'Connor
      Last updated:
      Brian Price
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 28. 2021

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