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We may not be stepping out as much as we used to, so when it comes to picking up a new pair of shoes these days, it’s all about utility. While sneakerheads will still shell out for new kicks to add to their collection, most people want shoes that can take them from a workout to dinner with ease.
But you don’t have to sacrifice style for practicality. Nike has long been making cool, comfortable kicks that do double duty, as both supportive footwear for sports, and fashion-forward sneakers for your everyday fits. The best examples are seen in Nike’s Air Max line, which has been churning out covet-worthy sneaks since 1987. With the iconic “air pocket” sole and chunky silhouette, Air Max sneakers continue to sell at a rapid pace today, earning stamps of approval from A-list celebs and athletes alike. The sartorial set appreciates the Air Max’s at once aggressive and simple design, while athletes talk up the shoe’s performance features, which flex and mold to their feet for better movement, traction and control.
We’ve picked our four favorite pair of Air Max sneakers that work as well on the court as they do off the court. Here’s what to add to your collection.
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1. Air Max 270 React SE
The Air Max sneaker has always been associated with sports and performance, but this new model transforms it into a lifestyle shoe as well. Inspired by the colors of the world and the unifying power of sports, the design features all the signature Air Max details, along with the Nike Worldwide crest, representing the brand’s goal of bringing sports to everyone.
As a lifestyle shoe, the sneaker is great for jeans, sweats and shorts. If you’re going for a workout and run, you’ll like the lightweight construction and flexible fit that helps you stay moving comfortably and securely.
Nike Air Max 270 React SE, $270, available at Nike
2. Jordan Air Cadence
The success of ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary has sparked a resurgence of interest in not only Michael Jordan, but Michael Jordan’s shoes as well. With entire portions of the series dedicated to the access of the “Air Jordans,” both sneakerheads and casual fans alike have been angling to get their hands (nay, feet) on a pair of Jordan kicks.
We like these ones, which have a streamlined profile for nights out, while boasting a ton of performance features for the basketball court. Among the highlights: a sculpted foam midsole for comfort and support, and a grippy rubber outsole for traction. The signature visible “Nike Air” technology in the heel keep the shoe light for optimal impact cushioning.
Jordan Air Cadence, $110, available at Nike
3. Nike Air Max 1 G
The first-ever pair of Air Max sneakers released was the Air Max 1, and the shoe has been reimagined today as a slick golf shoe. As Nike puts it, the sneaker “transitions seamlessly from the course to the concrete,” and we couldn’t agree more – these aren’t your old man’s golf shoes.
Whereas traditional golf shoes are stiff and clunky-looking, the Air Max 1 G takes design cues from its namesake, with a fluid, streamlined silhouette and clean and simple white sole. The shoe provides a cushy fit for all day comfort, while the tread provides traction no matter the course conditions. There are multiple colors available too. When your round is over, the shoes take you easily to drinks or dinner without feeling like you’ve just stepped off the green.
Nike Air Max 1 G, $130, available at Nike
4. Nike Air Max 90
One of the most iconic silhouettes of all time gets a modern update with this grey and pink colorway. The color blocking gives the retro-inspired styling a fresh twist, and makes the shoe as stylish on the streets as it is for a night out of the town.
The Air Max 90 is the quintessential shoe in the Air Max vault, with the iconic waffle sole, sweeping stitched overlays and chunky look and feel. If there’s one classic pair of Air Max sneakers to add to your rotation, this is it.
Nike Air Max 90, $150, available at Nike
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