Nike Air Max vs Jordans: Which Is Right for You?

Nike has a lot of awesome shoe types, so it can be hard to choose which to buy. Click here for a guide on whether Air Max vs Jordans are right for you!


Nike is an Oregon-based company named after the Greek goddess of victory. The brand offers a wide variety of shoes to choose from; so much so, it can be hard to pick which pair to buy! 

Two of the most popular shoe series from Nike are the Air Maxes and Jordans. Both shoe lines have become household names in the U.S. since the 1980s.

But, how did each of these series get their clout? What activities are each of these shoes good for? 

The debate of Air Max vs Jordans is as old as the shoes themselves.  The most important question, though, is which shoe is right for you? 

Outlined below are the perks of each shoe from running to basketball to walking through town!

The Technicalities

When it comes to Air Max vs Air Jordans, you need to first ask yourself where you want to wear these shoes. 

Both the Air Maxes and Air Jordans are designed with pressurized air in the middle to heel of the shoe. Having the air bubbles in the midsole (right where the arch of your foot is!) helps make the shoe lighter. 

In the Air Maxes, the air bubble works to sustain lots of repeated pounding on the ground. While these shoes are not great for long-distance runs, they work well for short runs and sports. Typically, they are more athletic than Air Jordans.

Air Maxes are stable shoes that can improve your runs, especially if you’re jogging on uneven ground. The idea: you’re running on air. 

On the other hand, Air Jordans are perfect for basketball and other indoor sports! They are designed to wear during indoor basketball, though you could wear them outside if you really want to. The air bubble in these shoes support your legs during activities with lots of jumping. 

Both of these shoes can owe their design expertise to Tinker Hatfield. His inspiration came after seeing the Pompidou Centre in Paris. This building is known for having the pipes and inner workings of the structure displayed on the exterior walls. 

Hatfield used this idea of being transparent with customers to display the architecture of the shoe. That is why you’ll see the air bubble in later versions of each shoe!

It’s All in the Details

While there are several types of Nike shoes, Air Max vs Jordans seems to be the hottest choice between two of their shoes. 

Many customers choose Air Jordans over Air Maxes simply for their history. Though Air Jordans were born from a deal with rookie Michael Jordan and Nike, they have become iconic. 

How did these shoes gain popularity

Jordan signed a deal with Nike, saying he would wear their revolutionary, air-soled shoes. But, the shoes were banned from the NBA, leaving Jordan with a hefty fine for his choice. 

This shoe represents more than great basketball; Air Jordans are a symbol of showing people what you are made of. Jordan didn’t back down or stay quiet when he was being looked over. He defended his name. 

A favorite of sneakerheads, Air Jordans depict hope and resiliency. These shoes show everyone that you have what it takes to fight for what you think is right. 

One of the newer pairs of Jordans has a legacy of their own. The Air Jodan 1’s Bio Hack reimagine a limited-edition shoe from 2005. 

Air Maxes have an exceptional history as well, getting their innovative air bubbles from a former NASA engineer!

One of the distinguishing features of Air Maxes and Jordans is their adaptability. Both series offer several different styles of shoes that will elevate both your look and game.

Each of these lines gain progressive designs each generation while honoring the styles that came before them. Something many shoe companies strive toward. 

Street Style

Each of these shoes holds their own when it comes to unique street style. 

Air Maxes offer a chunky and athletic vibe to any outfit. For women, designers like to pair these sneaks with dresses and feminine pieces. And for men, a laid-back, t-shirt and patterned shorts look is the way to go. 

The classic Air Maxes are a great transition piece when going on a run then straight to dinner. The structure of the shoe holds its shape, meaning you will wear them time and again. 

Depending on what look you’re going for, Air Maxes tend to have a more dramatic slope, adding height. 

Jordans are a staple of street style, going with nearly everything! These shoes go with ripped jeans, skater dresses, or basketball shorts. Plus, they even look cool with glitter and metallic pieces, so you can mix and match your moods. 

Both Air Maxes and Air Jordans have high-top options. The ankle support lets you do more dynamic movements on the court and provides security when on the run!

Though sneakerheads everywhere may cringe, don’t be afraid to get the most out of your shoes! The older and more worn-out the shoe, the cooler your look. 

Plus, when it’s obvious your shoes have had some extra love, you can leave others wondering what your sport of choice is! Running? Basketball? Walking to brunch? Who knows!

Air Max vs Jordans

Before settling on a pair of Air Maxes vs Jordan, think about what activities you want to use your shoes for. 

Are you planning to dunk with the best of ’em? Or are you wanting to show off your dance moves and look cool doing it? 

Both of these shoes are stylish, but the Air Maxes offer the most athletic value. Jordan are the more iconic pick, being a great choice for performing. 

Check out our selection, and ask yourself the next question: to do or do not leave ’em in the box?