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Nike Air Max Shoes

Maximum impact protection, period.

Max Air technology delivers maximum impact protection. It's always visible and can absorb more impact forces than other Nike Air systems due to the larger size and volume.

Max Air

    Main Benefits

  • Maximum impact protection
  • Highest air volume of all Nike Air units
  • Always visible
Max Air units

How It Works

All versions of Max Air technology provide maximum impact protection.

foot illustration

By removing foam, it not only makes the Air-Sole unit visible but also reduces a shoe's weight.

heel strike absorbs impact forces

The window also allows the Max Air unit to expand beyond the midsole to absorb impact forces. Max Air technology is ideal for activities with high-impact landings like running or basketball.

What It Does For Athletes

The brutal, repetitive, downward force of sport can wreak havoc on the body — and on performance. Max Air cushioning is specifically engineered to handle these impacts and provide protection.


In running, Max Air cushioning reduces the force of impact by absorbing energy during footstrike.


Max Air technology helps protect basketball players from frequent, tough landings.


Max Air debuted in 1987.

Max Air

It took over ten years to develop, but thanks to the efforts of Tinker Hatfield (the primary designer), Mark Parker (the primary developer and currently Nike's CEO) and many more relentless research and development team members, consumers finally got to see the Air-Sole unit inside their shoes. Selling a million pairs in the first six months, confirmed their work was well worth it.

Mark Parker and Tinker Hatfield

Mark Parker and Tinker Hatfield

"I think the major breakthrough for Air was the Air Max when we made Air visible. For the longest time, we'd ask people what they thought about Air and they had all these different impressions of what Air was. They didn't know. Of course they don't know; they can't even see it."

- Mark Parker

Air Max 180

Air Max 180

Air Max 90

Air Max 90

The Air Max running shoe in 1987 was only the beginning. Soon to follow was Air Max 90 and Air Max 180.

In 2006 Air Max 360 was released. It marked the culmination of nearly 14 years of work to make a midsole made completely of an Air-Sole unit. But as with many Nike creations, you can bet this won't be the last Max Air innovation to hit the streets.

Air Max