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how toFriday, April 16, 2021

The Ultimate Nike Air Max 90 Sizing, Fit & Styling Guide


Last year, the Air Max 90 turned thirty. Unfortunately, Nike was unable to properly celebrate the occasion due to the pandemic (relatable), which is why the Swoosh is making a big deal about the silhouette right now. How? With a slew of exciting drops, including a re-release of the DXM x Nike Air Max 90 ‘Bacon’ on Air Max Day. *Screams internally*

To prepare for the upcoming wave of hype, we’ve created a guide to everything you need to know about the silhouette. Below, you can find a heap of advice from some of the most dedicated AM90 votaries in the world. You'll discover everything you need to know about the sizing and comfort of the Air Max 90 model, and you might even pick up some nifty styling and cleaning tips along the way.


The Ultimate Nike Air Max 90 Sizing, Styling and Fit Guide

Titi Finlay (@ttfinlay)

Sneaker Collector and Social Media Manager based in London, UK


The Air Max 90 is an iconic sneaker with a rich history. Over here in the UK, it’s indivisible with underground music moments (e.g. the rise of garage and rave music in the 1990s), making it all the more appealing to us sneakerheads. I believe it’s the perfect everyday shoe for two reasons: 1) the mesh upper allows you to wear the sneaker without having to worry about creases and 2) they only get better with age. 


Here, I’m wearing the Air Max 90 I designed in collaboration with Nike. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of 20 creatives to co-create a pair of AM90s, and I decided to use the opportunity to celebrate female sneaker culture. As a result, the Power to the Female Air Max 90 was born. The colours I picked for the shoe came from Nike sneakers that were released in men’s sizes only, and the vast white space across the midsole and mudguard represents the space that’s present in the sneaker industry for women.


Styling: As I said, the AM90 is very much an everyday sneaker which is why you’ll usually catch me rocking it with a tonal sweatsuit. I do love to dress it up too – pre-pandemic I would often rock them with an oversized suit to the office. Today, I’m working from home, so I’ve paired them with a grey sweatshirt and joggers. I’ve decided to swap the original laces on the shoe with a slightly aged pair of sail laces to give them a retro look. 


Sizing and fit: It’s definitely a roomy sneaker and some people prefer to go half a size down. Personally, I like to stick to my usual size – for reference, I’m a UK4. I find that the Air Max 90 looks better in bigger sizes, so the bigger the better for me! My fiancé (who is a UK10) and I both have a pair of my AM90s, and you can really see the difference in aesthetic on each size.


Comfort: SO comfortable! The flat-based sole makes for a super-sturdy base for your feet. The tongue is padded and the upper is made from really soft materials so you never have to worry about breaking them in. 

Care: I always spray my sneakers with Liquiproof protector as soon as I take them out of the box (it’s eco-friendly and basically creates a waterproof layer over the shoe to make them easier to clean). I also store my sneakers either in their original box with stuffing or on my sneaker display shelf. We can’t be having sneakers just shoved in a cupboard or at the front door! It’s important to prolong the life of your sneakers as much as possible; I try and take care of them all.


The Ultimate Nike Air Max 90 Sizing, Styling and Fit Guide

Eddie Win (@eddiewinkicks)

Sneaker Youtuber based in New England, USA


In 2020, Nike revamped the Air Max 90 silhouette with premium materials and a sleeker toe box, making it more akin to the original shoe. Ever since, Nike has been dropping OG colourways of the Air Max 90, I’ve been hooked – I've actually added seven new pairs to my collection! My favourite colourway has to be the OG Infrared as I love how the colour pops on the sneaker.


Styling: My style is a mix of retro sportswear and contemporary streetwear. Air Max 90s fit well in this mix: I can wear them with anything from a vintage champion Jersey to a basic white T-shirt. For this reason, I’ve constantly had a pair in my rotation since Nike re-released the Volt colourway.


Sizing and fit: In the past, I've gone up half a size on the Air Max 90s, but the newer releases seem to fit true to size – even if I do have wide feet.


Comfort: When Nike updated the Air Max 90 in 2020, they made the shoe much more comfortable. I appreciate the new cushioning as it means I can rely on this shoe and wear them day in, day out; hence, the Air Max 90s are always part of my sneaker rotation. 


Care: I like my Air Max 90s to look fresh and vibrant, which is why I never wear the same pair for too long. My logic is that If I keep wearing different pairs, they’ll all remain intact for longer. 


The Ultimate Nike Air Max 90 Sizing, Styling and Fit Guide

Diana Karen Mireles (@dianakmir)

Sneaker and Lifestyle Blogger based in Los Angeles, USA


The Air Max 90 was first released in 1990 and was originally known as the Air Max III up until 2000 when it was retro'd and renamed the Air Max 90 after the year it released. Legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield first introduced the ‘Infrared’ colourway which now has become the most iconic colourway to date. The Air Max 90 is a part of Tinker's Air Max legacy which is infamous for being the first with the exposed air bubble. What I love most about this silhouette are the shape and overall structure. The overlays and how you're able to colour block different panels to create different colourways. It also happens to be my favourite Air Max silhouette.


My very first pair of Air Max 90 were the 2010 ‘Infrared’. I remember purchasing them at the Nike Running store at the Grove in Los Angeles. That's when my obsession with Air Max's sparked. It was like love at first sight. After those, I remember getting GR pairs and then going for the ‘Volt’ colourway in 2012 with $100 that my dad gave me for Christmas. It's so cool being able to reminisce on my favourite silhouette. My grail would have to be either the Bacon, Atmos Duck Camo or Atmos Black Tiger.


Styling: You can really style Air Max 90s anyway you want. The shoe is such a classic that you can either dress it up or dress it down. Whether you wear them with oversized pants and tee or with a girly dress during the summer, you're bound to still look fresh.


Sizing & Fit: I would say the Air Max 90 are true to size. I'm usually a women's 8.5 and these fit me perfectly. Not tight, not loose. Definitely go with your true size.

I find Air Max 90s to be one of the more comfortable AM silhouettes. When compared to others, these are definitely up top on comfort. With it being the 30th anniversary of the AM90, a lot of different colourways have been coming out this year and I've of course been picking up pairs and honestly, they seem to have gotten more comfortable than older pairs. 


Care: Similar to my other shoes, I find it better to just wear them and not clean them after every use. I like when my shoes get naturally dirty because it gives them character. Personally I find Air Max look better when they're dirty and worn in (they also get more comfortable the more you wear them). The mesh tends to start getting dirty before the rest of the shoe and although it kind of bugs me at first, I learn to love it during all its stages of life. 


The Ultimate Nike Air Max 90 Sizing, Styling and Fit Guide

Jess Gavigan (@juicegee)

Co-owner of Small Feet Big Kicks and Unisex Mode based in London, UK


Obviously the AM90 was introduced in 1990 and following on from the AM1 the design was innovative because of it's enhanced air unit and launched with the bold OG Infrared colourway. Over the years the shoe has changed slightly in terms of the air unit (airbag) size, the design and the materials all with running performance in mind. 

The latest innovation for the AM90 is the 'recraft' to celebrate the 30th anniversary, the silhouette was altered slightly to make it more streamlined and bring it back to its more OG form, the most noticeable change is the toebox shape and the lowered mudguard. 

I will always have a place in my heart for 90's as they were the first sneakers I bought for myself, the design is timeless and the comfort is 10/10. 

My first ever pair of AM90's were a White/Black/Obsidian pair from the kids section of my high-street sports shop - I still have them kicking about somewhere but they're definitely beaters now as I've had them for like 13 years. 

The grails AM90's I have in my collection are the Valentines 02', Infrareds 05' & the King of the Mountain 08's. What I still want are the AM90 x DQM 'Bacon' 04', the AM90 x Dizzee Rascal 09' and the 'Courier Denim'.


Styling: The way I style my kicks really depends on my mood, and for me, sneakers go with everything so that's never an issue.  My whole thing is 'STAY COZY' so usually you'll find me in some kind of oversized joggers/tracksuit situation, but if I'm going for a more smart casual look, then I'll wear a straight leg trouser (like Carhartt pants) with a hoodie and a long smart jacket. In the summer though, it's straight-up legs out so a dress and 90's, or cycling shorts and oversized tee with 90's. I like wearing monochrome day-to-day because it's easy, but if I want a pop of colour I’ll pick some colourful 90's and have an accent from the sneakers in my outfit to balance it out (usually my bags - I love colour co-ordinating). 


Sizing & Fit: I've always found Air Max 90's fit true-to-size. The only thing I'd say is if you have small feet like me then you can probably cop a pair of grade school or kids kicks. I always need to go a half size up if I'm buying GS as the general fit is more narrow and smaller, but yeah for a Women's shoe then 'true to size' usually works.

Compared to other Air Max models I'd say comfort wise the AM90 is a high contender. They aren't as heavy and chunky as an AM95, are a bit wider and have a bit more spring than the AM1. The AM90 is a good middle ground shoe like an AM93 - not too chunky, and enough cushioning on the inner to support your foot. The air unit is big enough that you still feel bouncy & light on your feet but maybe not as much as you would an AM97, AM270 or even the more recent AM720. For me the AM90 is a bit more subtle, it's an iconic design (and I'm old school so that's my vibe) and a bit more practical to walk around in. I'd give them a general 8.5/10 on comfort! 

Compared to other shoes in general comfort-wise, well you just can't really compare! For me the air unit is everything and I'm a Nike girl through and through so I'm always naturally drawn towards Air Max. Most other shoes just aren't as bouncy/cushioned/comfortable, and when you're running around London all day that's a priority. ������ 


Care: I don't have a specific way to care for my 90's, I do the same for all my kicks. If I just need a quick tidy up (getting rid of that post-rave/festival grime and muck ha!) then I draw for some Jason Markk Quick Wipes - easy to use, super effective and you can take them on the go. If I need to do a deep clean then I get a few pairs at a time and use the Jason Markk shoe cleaner with a hard brush or a toothbrush for the more delicate fabrics. JM has taken out some of the maddest stains so I swear by it!


The Ultimate Nike Air Max 90 Sizing, Styling and Fit Guide

Florina (@florinav)

Sneaker blogger at SNKREMPIRE based in Austria


The Nike Air Max 90 silhouette is really iconic. Since the first release in 1987 it has been one of the most-liked Nike silhouettes among sneakerheads. What I like most about the Air Max 90 is the classic design which stayed popular for such a long time now. Also, I liked that they released quite a few of the original colourways just a few weeks ago, which I picked up for myself too.

My first pair of Air Max 90’s were a beige pair, not a limited edition but I liked it a lot though and I still have it somewhere in my collection. The pair is still in good condition and I sometimes still wear them. I was very happy that I could get hands on one of the Off White x Nike Air Max 90’s Desert, this is also my favourite pair of 90’s at the moment. But my grail pair of 90’s would be the first white colourway of the Off White x Nike 90’s.


Styling: The Air Max 90’s are such classic sneakers for me and they really can be worn in so many different ways. Personally, I dress more in an everyday style so my go-to outfit would be pairing the 90s with some pants, a tee and either a blazer or a hoodie. If I want to dress them more I will pair them with a dress or fancy pants.


Sizing & Fit: In my opinion, the Air Max 90 fit true-to-size and are amongst one of the most comfortable Nike silhouettes, I can wear them all day long. In Nike sneakers, I take a US6.5 or US7 depending on what sizes are available, but both fit great. I’d recommend buying your regular Nike size, it should definitely fit. I think Nike shoes, in general, do fit a bit tight so a half size up is usually fine too.

Compared to other Air Max silhouettes they are really comfy too. Personally, I prefer the AM1 over the AM90, but both are super comfortable. In general, all Nike Air Max models are super soft and can be worn for long periods of time. Compared to other shoes I always prefer Nike models because they always feel great on-feet.


Care: I just do a regular clean using sneaker specific cleaning products as with all my other sneakers. If there’s just a little spot on them, I’ll use some sneaker wipes to clean them instead. For sneaker cleaning and protecting I always use the products from Crep Protect.


The Ultimate Nike Air Max 90 Sizing, Styling and Fit Guide

Aleksandra Gasior (@aleksandrags)

Fashion Content Creator based in Poland


The Air Max 90 was among the first Nike sneakers created not only to have an Air unit in the midsole but also to have it clearly visible as part of the design. I think that changed the sneaker game forever as we now have so many models inspired by that. What made AM90 so different was also the bold idea of the mudguard panel which partially covered the swoosh and challenged the sneaker designs then.

What I love about this sneaker is that it is a versatile classic. It was introduced 30 years ago and is still deeply loved in the streetwear community.

 My First 90's were the Nike Air Max 90 White Volt released in 2012, but my grails would be the Atmos ‘Duck Hunter Camo’ and Candy Cane Christmas 2015.


Styling: I usually pair my AM90 with old-school jeans and t-shirt in the same colour as the sneakers. Recently, my favourite combination for every day is to wear AM90’s with sweatpants, a classic hoodie and gold jewellery! I love it!


Sizing & Fit: To me, the Air Max 90 fit true to size. You might be okay with buying a pair 0.5 size smaller but I tend to stay the same size as in my AM1, AM720 or AM95. If you’re looking to buy a pair, make sure you check what fabric they’re made of as for example suede or Flyknit pairs tend to get looser with time.

For me, the Air Max 90s are one of the comfiest Air Maxes out there. They are well-cushioned, soft and have just the right amount of bounce to them – perfect for those challenging long days on your feet. Comfort-wise they remind me of Air Jordan 10 Retro because they are surprisingly good when you put them on. If I were to compare them to other sneakers, I’d say they are not as soft as Ultra Boosts or Yeezy 350 but they do keep your feet stabilized.


Care: I always apply Crep Protect’s Sneaker Protector before leaving the house, it treats the shoes with an invisible protective layer giving them waterproof properties as well as protecting them against dirt. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time, so I clean my shoes with special shoe-cleaning wipes from Crep Protect. If the AM90 has suede elements, I’ll clean it with a special suede rubber.


The Ultimate Nike Air Max 90 Sizing, Styling and Fit Guide

Daiana Veron (@daianaveron)

Fashion Content Creator based in Charleston, USA


The Nike Air Max 90 was first released in 1990 in the original colourway of ‘Infrared’. The Air Max 90 was designed by Nike architect Tinker Hatfield. This silhouette was all about highlighting the bigger airbag of the shoe. My favourite part of this silhouette is its sleekness. The sleek design of the AM90 really makes it so easy to style.

My first pair of AM 90 was the 2014 triple black colourway. One of my favourite pairs for AM 90 is the 2009 Safari White. However, I think the AM90/AM1 mash-up is my favourite remake of the shoe.


Styling: The best part about the Air Max 90 is that there are so many ways to style them. I normally wear them with a baggier style pant like a cargo or boyfriend jean. The shoe is so sleek that I love to add some shape to the outfit by wearing a relaxed fit pant. 


Sizing & Fit: The Air Max 90 runs more on the narrow side so you have to be mindful if you have a wide foot. In my personal experience, the Air Max 90 runs true to size. If you have a wide foot you might find them a little tight, I suggest going half size up for some extra room.

Overall the AM90 are pretty lightweight but the Air Max 270 react are probably my favourite Air Max when it comes down to comfort.


Care: Shoes are definitely meant to be worn and enjoyed so my care is pretty minimal. Soapy water, soft bristle brush and a clean rag will do the trick.


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