Nike Air Monarch IV

Nike may not only be the most popular name in sports and fitness apparel, equipment and footwear but also with their trademark ‘Swoosh’ symbol, easily the most visually recognizable feature. Their brand name has become synonymous with high-quality products and with a net worth of over $25 billion, we at RunnerClick can safely say that the folks over at Nike really do know what they’re doing.

We have countless reviews of Nike products on our website but today we’re going to take a look at the fourth iteration of the Air Monarch. The original version of this shoe came into being because Nike was searching for a way to create a white leather shoe that appeals to their older male audience and is not only comfortable but classic as well. We think they’ve achieved that and with the Air Monarch’s loyal following, consumers seem to believe us. These shoes don’t come without their drawbacks, however, as we’ll get into further in the Durability and Midsole sections of our review below. Let’s take a look!

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons

-Great option for folks with wide feet

-Helped with some reviewers plantar fasciitis

-Fit true to size

-Comfortable enough to be worn as an everyday shoe

-Relatively low price


-Outsole doesn’t seem durable

-Not very breathable

-Shoe squeaks

-Laces could be longer

Key Features
The Air Monarch IV features a non-marking solid rubber outsole. This material helps to provide traction not only on the polished floors of a gym but also outside on the pavement as well. The pattern on the outsole of this shoe is varied which helps it to perform well and provide traction on the slippery floor of a gym. The biggest concern consumers had in regards to this shoe is in the durability of the outsole. It seems as if there was a huge oversight in the construction of the outsole and that many folks ran into issues with it peeling away from the upper of the shoe.
The midsole of this product is made with Phylon material. This is a super lightweight, low-profile option that performs well in the Air Monarch IV. It’s made from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam pellets that become compressed and heat-expanded then cooled and formed into a mold. This foam midsole really helps to support the feet on every stride. As the name of the shoe implies, the midsole also features Nike’s Air Sole technology. This is a brand-specific innovation that provides wearers with a lightweight and cushioned ride. One major issue that folks seemed to run into a lot with these shoes is that there is an annoying squeaking sound coming from the midsole after wearing them for just a few days. This can be remedied by throwing some talcum powder into the shoes but not everyone will have that at their disposal or will even want to use it inside their kicks. The squeaking does seem to be an issue across the board, with many reviewers making note of this annoying sound. From our research, it seems that the squeaking midsole has been an issue with the Air Monarch style for a while and not just a problem that came with the IV.
The upper of the Air Monarch IV is made predominately from leather. This material choice makes the shoe a little stiffer and not as breathable as it would have been had the upper being comprised of a mesh material. Because this is not marketed as a running shoe, however, the leather is a durable choice. Although, there are perforations on the material that are supposed to help keep the foot cool. There is a traditional lacing system with round laces and a slot on the tongue for them to be laced through. This system helps to ensure that the padded tongue stays in place and that it won’t slip side-to-side while being worn. The Air Monarch IV also features a fabric lining on the inside of the shoe that is very comfortable, making these a great choice for folks who can wear sneakers to work.
The Nike Air Monarch IV weighs in at 425 grams or nearly 15 ounces. This is not a lightweight shoe by any stretch of the imagination. But we must remember that these are not marketed to be such or to be worn while running, as these are actually a lifestyle/training shoe. Though they’re not meant to be lightweight, most reviewers commented on how light these actually feel on foot.
As mentioned above, the upper of this shoe is made from leather. While not traditionally considered to be a ‘breathable’ material, there are perforations in the material on the upper that are designed to allow some air flow in and out. That said, however, there doesn’t seem to be much actual airflow happening with the Air Monarch IV. Most reviews mentioned that these shoes are hot and don’t allow your feet to breath at all. You may want to consider the climate where you’ll be wearing these shoes if you do decide to purchase them. Folks from Texas, for example, wouldn’t recommend the Air Monarch IV if the main purpose behind purchasing them is to wear them outside.
The Nike Air Monarch IV is a very comfortable shoe. The tongue is padded which helps add some comfort to the top of the foot. The midsole is thick enough to add comfort without adding too much extra bulk to this already heavy shoe. Most of the reviews we read in our research praised the Air Monarch IV for being one of the most comfortable shoes they’ve ever worn.
This is the classic ‘Dad’ shoe of the 1990’s. If you were born in the 80’s or early 90’s, you definitely witnessed your father wearing a pair of the original Air Monarch shoes or ones nearly identical to them. While the style won’t necessarily appeal to everyone, there is a reason that Nike is still making the Air Monarch after all of these years – they work and there’s a market for them. This is a perfect time to invest in a pair of these shoes, too, because there seems to be a huge trend happening right now where the major footwear companies are releasing throwbacks to their vintage shoes – the Air Monarch IV being one of them. Folks who scoff at the bright shoe trend of the 2010’s will love the fact that these come in only neutral colors. The colorway options are white/silver/navy, all black or white/black.

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As we briefly mentioned earlier, there seems to be a lot of questions about the durability of the Air Monarch IV. Most of the complaints we ran into are because the supposedly durable rubber outsole of the shoe is actually anything but. We can’t be sure if it’s the result of a poor product or perhaps just a one-off or the product of a badly made batch of shoes, but in more than one case, the outsole peeled away from the upper of the shoe. This, of course, renders the shoe almost entirely useless. In some cases, this happened just a few weeks after purchasing. It seems that the lifespan of these shoes, if the outsole manages to hold up, is only a few months at best. This may not be an issue for folks who have the money to continue purchasing new shoes every few months, but those on a budget may want to search elsewhere.
The outsole of this shoe extends to the toe box area which helps to provide a little extra protection for the wearer. The outsole is also made from a solid rubber material that helps to add protection on both polished floors and pavement as well.

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As we touched on, the Air Monarch IV features Nike Air technology. This is a brand-specific innovation that utilizes pressurized air to create a durable and flexible membrane that provides wearers with a lightweight and cushioned ride. The air compresses with every stride you take and then will immediately return back to its original shape and volume, ready for your next step.
The Nike Air Monarch IV is a great option for folks who like their shoes to offer a little bit more in terms of support. The durable leather upper features overlays that help to add an air of snugness. These are going to be the perfect trainers for you if you require arch support. The Air Monarch IV is also a great option if you require the use of orthotics. Some reviewers even mentioned that they didn’t need to use their orthotics anymore after purchasing these shoes. There doesn’t seem to be any problem in terms of space inside the shoe to add orthotics if you do decide to go that route.
These shoes are made for the gym so they’re perfect for those polished floors you’d find in a fitness center and also work just as well as on pavement for everyday wear. We wouldn’t suggest taking these out for a run and definitely not out on any trails. These are marketed as a gym and lifestyle shoe so they translate nicely to a work environment or to do errands in.
The MSRP for the Nike Air Monarch IV is $65, though consumers will find prices as low as $50 on Amazon. That said, some size and color options are as much as $150 on Amazon so it is important to do your own due diligence here.
While you’re definitely not going to want to be taking your Air Monarch IV out on any slippery trails or cliffsides, they actually do provide quite a bit of traction. These are the perfect shoe to wear if you’re going to be inside on any polished floors (think tennis or basketball courts). The pivot point found on the outsole of the shoe encourages quick transitions and lessens impact on your knees during any pivoting movements you might be pulling out during your basketball game.
Thanks to the flex grooves found on the outsole, the Air Monarch IV feels like a very flexible shoe. These flex grooves are horizontal indentations on the forefoot of the outsole. Their sole purpose is to promote natural forefoot flexion at the ball of the foot.
The ‘drop’ of a shoe refers to the difference in height between the forefoot and the heel of the shoe. The heel-to-toe drop for these shoes is 10mm. This is about what one would expect from a lifestyle/gym shoe.
Key Features
-Leather upper for added durability and support
-Phylon material midsole
-Flex grooves on the outsole for added flexibility
-Full-length Nike Air-Sole unit in the midsole for comfort
-Perforations in the upper for airflow
Bottom Line
The Nike Air Monarch IV is a great lifestyle/gym shoe option at an incredibly affordable price. They perform well for training in the gym, wearing to work when you’re on your feet all day or just wearing them to run errands. The Air-Sole unit in the midsole makes them comfortable enough to wear all day without running into any issues. The solid rubber found in the outsole is perfect for folks who want to wear these on the polished floor of a basketball court or even on the courts outside. Where these shoes fall flat is the durability. We came across many reviews that questioned the durability of the product during our research, stating that the sole unit was coming apart from the upper. Another issue we came across was the squeaky midsole. This seemed to be an issue across the board with most folks saying that they had this problem. At this low price point, though, it may be worth investing in a pair and trying them out for yourself.
Where to Buy
By Abbie Copeland
Last updated:
Where to buy
Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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