Nike Air Max Sequent

While Nike has been a common household name for decades, it’s only with the Air Max Sequent that the popular athletic apparel manufacturer beings to dip their toes into the realm of serious running shoes. With a single layered mesh upper and a construction made from premium materials, Nike makes their move into the territory of Asics and Brooks, transcending the label of simple fashion sneakers. Despite Nike having proven themselves with past running shoes, they have also become infamous for questionable products in the past. Anyone who remembers just how well the Air Jordan works in an actual game of basketball understands this. Is this just another of Nike’s failures or does the Nike Air Max Sequent live up to the hype?

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Highly breathable and supportive upper
  • Excellent forefoot flexibility
  • Fantastic responsiveness in the heel
  • Terrific midsole cushioning
  • Cons
    • Not ideal for use on trails
    • Limited width sizing
    • Questionable durability
    • Slightly narrow fit
    • Key Features
      The outsole to this shoe is made from one solid piece of rubber. This may slightly inhibit the shoe’s flexibility but it does help with stability. A traction pattern has been etched onto the bottom of this rubber portion, meant to dig into the foot’s landing and provide an appropriate amount of grip and control. The most noticeable aspect of the outsole, Nike’s trademark, is a gigantic Max Air unit on the heel. According to Nike, this U-shaped section ensures greater responsiveness on the heel as the runner strikes. While this may, in fact, be the case for many runners, some have stated that the Max Air unit was too stiff for their preference due to overinflation.
      The majority of this Nike shoe’s midsole is taken up by the Max Air Unit. This means that the precious real-estate typically used by footwear manufacturers to house two or three different features was only used for one. Despite this, the traction offered by this portion of the Air Max Sequent was up to most runners’ standards; additionally, the Phylon foam provided decent responsiveness without any foot slippage. Runners found the lightweight EVA material also used in the midsole’s construction to provide solid cushioning suited for longer runs. While seasoned runners may be skeptical at first, the secure fit and competent construction of this middle portion should put them at ease.
      The upper portion of the Nike Air Max Sequent uses two different materials layered on top of each other. The first is Mono Mesh and the second is a synthetic blend of fiber; these two materials are so well combined that they function as a single unit. Despite Nike withholding certain information about their manufacturing process, the build quality is clearly very high. The stitching work along the upper is double laid and highly durable. The synthetic materials used for its construction are also very breathable. Additional beneficial features include a supportive suede underlay and articulated grooves that encourage an excellent fit.
      The Nike Air Max Sequent weighs the average running shoe weight of roughly 10 ounces. As a high-profile manufacturer, it makes sense that Nike paid a lot of attention to the components of this shoe and placed every ounce of material deliberately. The aforementioned Mono Mesh upper is extremely lightweight and nearly molecule-thin. Also worth mentioning is that the U-shaped Max Air unit placed on the heel of the shoe is literally made from air. Nike couldn’t have used lighter material even if they had help from NASA engineers.

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      The high breathability of the Nike Air Max Sequent is provided through a number of features. The first major contributor of ventilation is the highly praised Mono Mesh upper. The airflow of this particular component has been described as second to none in conditions ranging from high and humid heat to cold and damp rainstorms. The next major contributor is the lightweight EVA cushioning, which avoids adding air pockets that could trap heat. Finally, the entire shape of the shoe’s design works beautifully to keep a runner’s feet cool and dry. As is typical of Nike, runners can run freely without risk of sweat or hot flashes.
      When compared to other shoes, the Nike Air Max Sequent has a slightly narrower fit. Fortunately, this fit isn’t so narrow that it gets in the way of comfort. The removable foam cushioned insole can alleviate some of the narrowness and is a perfect example of Nike providing comfort where it counts. The soft fabric lining is another comfortable feature of these shoes which helps to keep foot temperature low and prevents discomfort during long runs. The tip of this shoe has a round shape due to a well-padded toe box, further reinforcing the high quality of this Nike shoe’s overall fit. No matter what striking style a runner prefers, the Air Max Sequent provides fantastic comfort through consistent gait forgiveness and adequate cushioning.
      Style comes first for Nike; this is a well-known fact and it is reflected in the design and marketing of the Air Max Sequent. It may not mean as much for diehard runners who care more about results than aesthetics but the fact remains. Nike is known for their great looking sneakers and this Air Max model is a reflection of that ethos. Small touches like discrete eyelets and varied color schemes drive this point home. As a result, these shoes are popular even among non-runners who simply want something stylish to wear while out on the town.
      The rubber outsole of this Nike running shoe is hardy enough to survive hundreds of miles and should satisfy the majority of runner. However, the Max Air Unit located on the heel is vulnerable to breakage due to its prominence on the surface of the shoe, as well as its thinner wall construction. Unfortunately, any tear or pop to this unit will render the rest of the shoe essentially useless. Because of this, runners will need to carefully consider the type of runs and running environments that they wish to use these shoes on in order to avoid an early retirement for the Air Max Sequent.
      In the pursuit of providing a fast and fashionable running shoe, Nike tends to let overall foot protection take a backseat in their designs. The Air Max Sequent has a layout that reflects this design philosophy but there are some amenities present that will provide some defenses to a runner’s feet. For example, the outsole is made of a sturdy piece of rubber that will effectively absorb and distribute shock from impact with the ground. Furthermore, the Max Air unit in the heel of the midsole provides further energy diffusion which helps to insulate runners from the potential of sustaining a stress-related running injury. Despite all this, however, runners should not expect these shoes to keep them safe in rough environments such as a hiking trail.
      The injected Phylon material used for the Air Max Sequent’s midsole manages to provide excellent responsiveness on top of excellent comfort. The foam works to absorb energy from ground impact without detracting from energy return or feedback. Responsiveness is also improved through the Max Air Unit in the midsole as well as the snug fitting upper; these two features allow for more naturalistic foot movement through the entirety of a runner’s gait cycle. The end result of these design features is a running shoe that enables runners to move much faster without losing comfort or control.
      It’s clear that great attention was placed on providing solid support for the foot while wearing the Nike Air Max Sequent. According to most wearers of this shoe, the shock attenuation and support is particularly impressive near the heel, thanks primarily to the Max Air Unit. The result of this design decision is a shoe that should be very appealing for heel strikers. The articulated construction of this Nike shoe further enhances forefoot flexibility while maintaining the shoe’s overall support system. Finally, Nike bucks the trend of typical lace-up closures feeling inadequate by ensuring that their laces truly provide a tight and supportive fit.
      The Nike Air Max Sequent is best suited for use on flat and smooth surfaces such as a road or pavement. The traction from the rubber waffle-style outsole is excellent for these environments and the durability ensures a long-lasting grip. This running shoe will also work on some very light and well-groomed trails, but this may cause accelerated wear and necessitate sooner replacement.
      Nike’s pricing for their products follows a similar trend to their hype and marketing. When first released, rabid fans and hypebeasts will snatch up most of the available models for a premium price. However, once the hype dies down, the prices tend to go down as well. Since this cycle has already played itself out for the Air Max Sequent, it is now at a perfectly reasonable price point. It’s a good buy at this discounted rate, especially if you plan on using these as casual sneakers in addition to performance runners.
      While the waffle-style outsole design is helpful at maintaining a decent amount of traction for certain running environments, this Nike shoe is by no means capable of handling all forms of running terrain. Due to the lighter weight, runners shouldn’t expect the same level of grip that they would from a heavier trail shoe. Still, enough traction is included in this single design aspect to provide an excellent running experience on tracks, roads, and treadmills.
      Thanks to the lighter weight and use of thinner material, the Nike Air Max Sequent has a small degree of flexibility. This is just enough for the average runner to feel enough freedom that the shoe isn’t uncomfortably rigid but isn’t enough to become a detriment to the shoe’s stability. One way that this shoe could have been more flexible is if Nike used segmented rubber material for its outsole; however, the use of one single piece is beneficial in other ways.
      While these Nike runners don’t have the kind of weight needed to make a hardcore stability shoe, the Air Max Sequent does an admirable job within its limitations. Most of the stability experienced in these shoes is due to the shock absorbing and energy diffusing properties of its midsole and outsole. However, those with pronation problems won’t find the kind of features they need in this shoe.
      The heel-to-toe drop of the Nike Air Max Sequent is around 12mm. This is on the higher end of the spectrum regarding heel elevation on running shoes. Most of this extra elevation can be attributed to the Max Air unit which provides a lightweight form of shock absorption. As a result, the standard running style of heel striking is well-supported through the design of this Nike product. However, due to the fact that this shoe offers more elevation that even some other highly elevated models of footwear, runners may need some time to acclimate themselves before truly feeling the full benefits of this shoe.
      Key Features

      • Mono Mesh upper provides breathability and comfort

      • Injected Phylon midsole with in-heel Max Air unit

      • Rubber outsole with waffle-style traction pattern

      • Low weight for faster speeds

      • Trademark Nike style

      Bottom Line
      Chances are extremely good that you have owned a pair of Nike shoes in your lifetime. They are far and away one of the world’s most recognizable brands and it didn’t happen by accident. Nike is known for producing quality products with high-end features that also happen to look very stylish on your feet, which is clear to see on the Air Max Sequent. While many runners may be wary of the exposed Max Air unit, the truth is that it’s been a feature of Nike shoes since the late 70’s. All that Nike has done differently is that they’ve started prominently displaying it. Ultimately, the responsive midsole and single-layered mesh help to cement this as one of Nike’s hits rather than one of their misses.
      Where to Buy
      By Brian Price
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 28. 2021

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