Nike Air VaporMax Plus

9.4
9.4 score
[Editors rating (9.4)] = Runnerclick score (9.4)/10

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Editor rating: 9.4 / 10
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Nike Air VaporMax Plus Review Facts
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Lately, Nike has been pretty big on developing hybrid sneakers and the Nike Air VaporMax Plus is no exception. As in all hybrid models, the VaporMax Plus takes the best of two sneakers and combines them, resulting in an even better shoe. For this particular sneaker, Nike combined the Nike Air Max Plus upper with the Nike Vapormax cushioning unit. These two shoes come together to result in an extremely air-filled and eye-catching pair of kicks. The aggressive-looking TPU exoskeleton that appears on the Air Max Plus is a big part of what gives this shoe its head-turning appeal; that and the impressive colorways. The outsole/midsole Tuned Air units are specifically designed to deliver a responsive ride and have been made to help you walk on air successfully. They are a unique pair of shoes for sure and although they aren’t for everyone, they will definitely fit the bill for many Nike Air sneaker fans out there.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Cutting edge Tuned Air technology delivers a bouncy ride
  • TPU exoskeletal cage provides extra stability
  • Comfortable neoprene upper for an adaptable fit
  • Minimal break-in time
  • The lacing system works with the TPU cage to deliver a snug fit
  • Available in lots of great colorways 
Cons
  • Not very breathable
  • Hefty price tag
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Nike Air VaporMax Plus is definitely unique. This hybrid sneaker has an identical outsole to that of one if the two shoes it was patterned after: the Nike VaporMax. The outsole features Air-Sole technology throughout the entire length of the sneaker. Unlike previous models of Air Max sneakers, which focused on filling the sole with as much air as possible, the VaporMax focuses on using less air more efficiently instead. The tread pattern is made up of precisely placed air pod units, based on research results, to deliver the exact amount of air needed to support a runner’s stride. These treads behave like small pistons so as each lug gets pushed down into the air unit, the pressure is increased and as you step off the pressure releases, resulting in a springy responsive ride. Nike refers to these air pods as “Tuned Air” or "TN" for short. The translucent air sole of the sneaker is designed to almost appear as if you are floating off the ground, adding another unique feature to the shoe. Of course, some colorways are not translucent but they still look pretty unique.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Unlike the Nike Air VaporMax, which did not have a midsole, the Air Vapormax Plus offers additional cushioning and support through an EVA midsole which works in conjunction with the Tuned Air outsole. Together, they form more of an outsole/midsole combination. Unlike the VaporMax FlyKnit which was lower to the ground without the extra midsole material, the VaporMax Plus lifts you up a little higher off the ground. The air pod system and the cushiony EVA foam will help to deliver a springy experience as you walk or run. The midsole of this sneaker also features a similar midsole to the Nike Air Max Plus with its supportive whale-inspired arch.
Upper
Upper

Upper

Along with this sneakers’ incredibly distinctive outsole/midsole appearance, the upper is also unique in appearance. Originally, the VaporMax sneaker’s design was inspired by sunsets on Florida beaches. That may seem a little odd, but if you go back and look at some of the original colorways, you’ll see it. The upper of the Air VaporMax Plus most closely resembles one of the sneakers it was modeled after: the Nike Air Max Plus. The iconic exoskeleton cage is what gives this shoes’ upper its memorable appearance. This cage is made up of a flexible TPU material that surrounds the upper. The cage also doubles as part of the lacing system and serves as lace loops to provide a more secure fit. Underneath this distinctive-looking cage is a neoprene upper which not only delivers comfort but also conforms easily to your foot. The back of the heel features a nylon pull tab for easy on and off along with a reinforced heel cup which provides additional support and stability. At the very rear of the sneaker, you will find the trademark yellow hexagon emblem. Typically it would say “Tn Air” but on this shoe, it reads “Vm Air”.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Although they may look like they might be chunky and heavy on the feet, the Air VaporMax Plus is surprisingly light, considering its bulk. Because these are only modeled after running sneakers and not really meant to be performance shoes, you won’t have to worry about them being super lightweight. The neoprene weighs more than a typical mesh upper and the TPU cage adds some weight as well. The men’s version weighs in under 12 ounces which is not too bad for a trendy lifestyle sneaker.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Because the upper on this sneaker is not made up of mesh-like many other sneakers on the market today, it does not score as highly on the breathability scale as others. The neoprene material used to make up most of the sneakers’ upper does not allow for a great amount of airflow into and out of the foot chamber.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

A great number of consumers have commented on how comfortable the Air VaporMax Plus is right out of the box. The neoprene upper conforms easily to your foot to give you an adaptable fit. Not only that, but the midsole and outsole give you the feeling like you are walking on air. Some users are of the opinion that these sneakers are too bulky on the foot but most people sang the praises of their fit and comfort. It was suggested by one consumer that if you do not want to see your big toe protruding into the upper, you may want to go up a half size. Otherwise, most consumers said they fit comfortably true to size.
Style
Style

Style

This sneaker definitely breaks the style mold. The VaporMax Plus is a brand new silhouette for Nike and mixes vintage style with newer style. The upper resembles its long-ago predecessor the Air Max Plus, complete with its TPU cage. However, the outsole and midsole boast Nike’s Tuned Air technology with precision-placed air pods that look like nothing else out there. This sneaker comes in a variety of colorways and many consumers have made remarks referring to how nice-looking they are. These runner-inspired lifestyle sneakers are definitely unique in their appearance meaning that they won’t be for everyone, but they are creating a lot of buzz, that’s for sure.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Nike Air VaporMax is not engineered to be a super-tough performance sneaker. It does not feature a durable rubber outsole to protect the shoe, and your feet, from underfoot debris and hazards. It does, however, features precision-placed Tuned Air pods that are designed to deliver a lightweight and bouncy ride. The material that makes up the air pods is fairly durable for everyday wear but is not suited for off-roading and treacherous conditions. The upper is a lot more durable, compared to the air pods, and will last you for quite some time if you wear them as lifestyle sneakers.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The Tuned Air pods on the sole of the shoe are fashioned with treads and the combination of the two will keep you protected from shock and jarring motions. The extremely responsive air pods work in conjunction with the small EVA midsole to deliver a lightweight ride likened to walking on air. Your joints will definitely remain protected from shock and injury in these shoes. The heel cup and TPU cage surrounding the upper will keep your feet supported and protected as well.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Nike has said that nobody can do air as they can. The scientists at Nike have worked on the science of the Nike Air platform for years and with each sneaker model they put out, they tweak and perfect their design. Over the years, Nike has installed air pods, air pillows, 360 air features, and more. With the Nike Air VaporMax Plus, you will see a one-of-a-kind air technology, perhaps one of the reasons Nike updated its “Tn Air” to “Vm air” in the yellow hexagon at the back of the shoe. The science behind the Tune Air pods at the bottom of the shoe involves a lot of physics. As you press into the air pods, the traction works against the force and responds equally as you release the pressure. This results in an extremely responsive ride. These air pods work in conjunction with the small midsole to deliver cushioning and response.
Support
Support

Support

The bulk of the support offered through this sneaker lies in the upper. The neoprene material that spans the entirety of your foot is extremely adaptable to any foot shape. The soft forgiving material will conform to your foot and wrap it with support. On top of this, the TPU cage surrounding the midfoot also delivers support. Not only does it keep your foot snug and secure, but it also serves as part of the lacing system. This means when you tighten the laces, you also tighten the TPU cage to your foot for added support.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Nike Air VaporMax Plus is ideally suited for everyday wear. The makeup of the shoes’ outsole and midsole combination would not work well on trails or rough terrain. Although they are designed after running sneakers, they are not really performance shoes. You would be able to play a pickup game of basketball or go for a short jog but they are engineered for style and comfort for the everyday. So unless you live in the rocky cliffs or on an ice dam, they should work well to wear to and from work and out with friends.
Price
Price

Price

This is where things get a little sticky with this sneaker model. There are a large number of sneaker aficionados and collectors out there who would happily pay full price for these trendy sneakers but the price may not work for every consumers’ wallet. Depending on which colorway you are after, these shoes will cost you at least $190. Although this is a pretty hefty price tag for lifestyle sneakers, many consumers have said the price is totally worth it because they are attractive and extremely comfortable.
Traction
Traction

Traction

As stated earlier, these sneakers are not engineered to be off-roading shoes or for extreme conditions. The outsole does not feature grippy rubber lugs. Instead, the outsole/midsole combination is made up of specially designed air pods with textured lugs made of the same material. These lugs are designed to grip the ground and push up into the air pods to deliver a responsive feel but they are not meant to grip the ground in extreme weather conditions.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Nike Air VaporMax Plus has a lot going for it, but flexibility is not one of them. They aren’t extremely stiff, but they are not the most flexible sneakers out there due to their engineering. The Tuned Air pods on the sole of the sneaker do not take up the whole bottom of the shoe and there is space in between for the shoe to flex. However, the midsole material and neoprene upper do not allow for a great amount of flexibility. With that said, these are lifestyle sneakers, so you don’t really have to worry about flexibility as much as if you were training for a race.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The engineering of the VaporMax Plus gives this sneaker high marks in the stability department. Although they are not marketed to be “stability sneakers”, they do have a lot of stabilizing properties. The Tuned Air technology may seem counterintuitive but it supports your weight and responds easily. The upper features supportive neoprene material surrounded by a TPU cage. This cage works with the upper and forms to your foot for an adaptive and supportive fit. The cage is also part of the shoes’ lacing system and tightens around your foot as you tighten the laces, providing great stability. The heel cup is firm yet flexible and stabilizes your heel within the shoe. Many users have said that this sneaker feels much more stable than the original VaporMax.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Unlike the VaporMax Flyknit version, this sneaker has more of a midsole, bringing you higher off the ground. These sneakers have a neutral drop but will feel light on the foot of anyone thanks to the air pods.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Unique Tuned Air technology works with your foot as you apply pressure to deliver a bouncy ride
- TPU cage surrounding the midfoot area provides support and stability as well as style
- Neoprene upper adapts to your foot shape comfortably and supports you as you walk
- The lacing system works with TPU cage to tighten around your foot for added comfort and stability
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt about it, the Nike Air VaporMax Plus is a uniquely aggressive looking sneaker. As a hybrid, this sneaker takes the best of two sneaker models and combines them to result in a Tuned Air, exoskeleton-laden new silhouette. Many users have said that these sneakers are not only great to look at, but they feel amazing when you walk; like you are walking on air - which you kind of are. They are not designed to deliver optimal running or training performance. Rather, they are modeled to look like running sneakers but their functionality is more so for everyday use as lifestyle shoes. Really, these shoes are geared for the sneaker-lover who likes to don the latest and greatest in terms of style and air technology. They are by no means an understated pair of shoes, you’ll definitely turn heads in them. This fact, combined with the fact that they are pretty pricey, makes them not the best option for everyone. But if you are looking for a comfortable pair of cutting-edge air technology sneakers then these will hit the mark.