Air Max 98: Is it Really Worth The Hype? Find Out!

The Nike Air Max 98 was first released in the ’90s and was billed as the perfect training shoe. This actually wasn’t far from the truth — at the time, the Air Max 98 was indeed one of the best athletic shoes on the market.

This reputation has only been enhanced over time as more and more sneakerheads come to love this classic shoe, re-releasing it time and again with new materials and colorways to suit every taste and style. Let’s take a look at why this shoe deserves all the hype it gets!

The History

The original Air Max 98 came out in 1998. Since then, it has taken on a life of its own. The design has inspired countless variations, including a high-fashion version from Chanel, as well as two recent collaborations with Swoosh mainstay Supreme.

But over time, it’s become clear that these remakes might not be able to live up to their source material; even if they resemble an original design or sport an OG moniker for good measure, they can never truly compare to what is often one of Nike’s most celebrated sneaker designs. But really, there are few designs that do stand up to close scrutiny — and even fewer pairs that get better with age as these sneakers do.

The Comfort

Comfort and cushioning were two of Nike’s primary concerns when designing its retro lineup for 2017. The Air Max 98, a running shoe that was originally released in 1998 and is considered by many sneakerheads to be one of the best-looking shoes of all time, got an updated look with a completely remastered outsole.

Though it may not seem like much at first glance, what Nike did here goes far beyond just replacing old material—they took the opportunity to revamp its cushioning system entirely, eliminating some materials and adding others. The result is something that offers both better traction on slick surfaces as well as superior comfort on rougher terrain.

This shoe is a great example of how Nike has taken its latest technologies and used them to enhance classic designs that have become cultural icons. Originally released in 1998, it was not only one of Nike’s most popular shoes but also one of their most cutting-edge—so it’s no surprise that they would bring their latest innovations to a shoe like it.

Of course, there are more examples than just what we mentioned here—the Reebok Furylite and New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz each use cutting-edge tech to update old classics.

The Build

The first time I tried on a pair of Nike Air Max 98 I was 15 years old and it changed my life. Honestly, there have been a few moments in my life where I saw something and thought I have to have that, but when I slipped those bad boys on for the first time, it was an instant attraction.

Fast forward to now and I can tell you that all these years later, these kicks are still serving me well. Why? Because they’re built like tanks. First introduced in the ’90s as a part of Nike’s Air Force line, these sneakers were (and continue to be) essentially walking billboards covered with reflective mirroring, neon colors, and shiny reflective trim.

The air max line has come a long way since its inception, but many aspects of that original design have remained. The shoe’s upper is made of mostly synthetic materials such as textiles and synthetic leather, but with a thick foam padding to make it as comfortable as possible.

The midsole is also entirely foam-based, not too stiff and not too soft, with small air bubbles throughout to add extra cushioning underfoot. And underneath all that you’ll find solid rubber outsoles with deep flex grooves for added flexibility and traction on various surfaces.

Credits: Air Max 98 Review By South Beach

The Enduring Design of The air max also boasts a very clean and subtle design which makes it look extremely modern even decades after its creation. In fact, although there are certainly flashier models available in Nike’s extensive range, I have yet to see anything from them that can top my Air Max 98 in terms of pure aesthetics.

This is probably because it doesn’t have any gaudy elements or weird patterns like some of their other sneakers do. It is simply a solid shoe with a quality build and strong aesthetics, what else could you ask for?

Another reason why these shoes still rock today—and why they will continue to rock for many years to come—is because they are incredibly versatile.

The Versatility

The Nike Air Max 98 is one of those old-school models that look just as good today as it did back in 1998. The model has since taken on different iterations, with slight modifications and tweaks to give them their own unique look.

But all of them have kept true to that OG aesthetic — a must for any pair of retro sneakers. As far as versatility goes, these kicks have you covered.

Worn with black socks? Looks clean. Toss on some colored laces and go wild! Throw on some chunky high-tops? You’re golden.

The Durability

The Nike Air Max 98 keeps getting better with age, much like a fine wine. The toe box, in particular, is made from premium materials that don’t degrade like lesser sneakers might. This means your kicks will stay looking good for as long as you want them to look good. It’s also worth noting that there are plenty of customization options available for these shoes so if you really want to keep them pristine over time then it’s fairly easy to do so.

air max 98

While it’s impossible to tell how long a shoe will last before you wear it, there are some things you can do to extend its life. When storing your shoes, keep them in their original boxes and in a cool, dry place.

The Best Ways to Wear The Air Max 98

Make no mistake, these shoes are built for running and they’re equipped with features to handle hard track workouts. But with proper care and a little imagination, you can wear them almost anywhere. For example, grab some quality ankle socks and lace up your favorite pair of ’98s to match any outfit in your closet.

Wear them on vacation or while doing errands around town—the comfort level is hard to match in a shoe like this! If you’re feeling extra sporty, choose from one of many vibrant colorways like Deep Red or Black/Anthracite for some real pop on sunny days when you want to stand out.

You can even wear these shoes for your next casual Friday at work or an impromptu social gathering on a Saturday night. Wearing dressier versions of the ’98s will add a bold look to any outfit and is perfect if you’re dressing up while still feeling athletic. What’s better than having one shoe that can do it all? Grab some comfy new socks, whether they’re knee-high, crew style, or ankle-length, and be on your way to wearing these kicks as often as possible!

I love wearing my shoes almost everywhere! I’ve used them to play pick-up games in a park, so they’re not just limited to running. Nike shoes always fit great and they never fall apart on me, so I’d recommend trying these shoes out.

Just be careful not to wear them outside of sports activities or you may ruin their color. If you do run in this outside of athletics make sure you clean them really well afterward—otherwise, your feet might smell over time!

Overall, I think any guy can find a way to incorporate these classic kicks into his everyday wardrobe. They’re versatile enough that they can go with just about anything while also providing comfort that’s unparalleled.

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