Sneakers - April 4, 2019

StockX Wear Test: 30 Days in the Air Max 720

Our UK correspondent Hannah grabbed a pair of the new Nike Air Max 720s to see what 38mm of Air does for your feet.

Our UK correspondent Hannah grabbed a pair of the new Nike Air Max 720s to see what 38mm of Air does for your feet.

Any new silhouette that stakes a claim or breaks a mould can be a dubious purchase for a lot of sneaker lovers. How will it work in my rotation? Will it execute on foot? In both comfort and aesthetic? With Nikes latest Air Max model coming with the tallest damn air unit we’ve ever seen at 38mm, the 720 is the ideal candidate to take an in-depth wear test with, giving you a detailed head-start before making any decisions.

After reaching out on Instagram stories and asking what people would want to see from the Air Max 720 and how it would fit into peoples lives, a few of you got in touch and made it clear that the 720s should be tested as what they are, a lifestyle shoe, in daily situations. So I kept to those guidelines and used them for everyday tasks, whether quick trips out or full days shopping, walking etc.

Off the bat, this experience of receiving the Nike Air Max 720 and putting it through its paces is very reminiscent of when Nike released the Air Vapormax in August 2017. It’s a slightly alien-like silhouette with an air unit unlike anything we’d ever seen, and at the time I worked in retail so I took it as a perfect opportunity to really see what this new and exciting use of innovation could add as my daily wearers. Granted, the Vapormax is made for runners but after a couple of weeks standing on my feet most of the day, I wasn’t overly enjoying the experience and felt they lacked leeway in the full-length air unit. And with the prices of new Air Maxes reaching upwards of £150, I couldn’t justify keeping them.

Side note: I gave in again a few months later and picked up the NikeLab College Navy/Night Purple colourway and found them much more comfortable

So this time around, when Nike dropped their newest breed of Air, I wondered if I was going to get the same experience as the Vapormax or would it convince me to keep a place by the front door, in my weekend bag and amongst my Air Max rotation. They’d need to do this if I’m going to drop another pretty penny on Air.

For my 30-day wear test, I went for the women’s Northern Lights colourway (size UK 6) and begin taking notes on-the-go as soon as they arrived.

Field Notes

Day 1

First impressions of the 720 on foot were underwhelming, I’d expected a much softer step when looking at that vast volume of Air. I also felt the height of that 38mm unit at the back towering over every other aspect of the shoe, making my toes feel pinched in the capped toe box.

Day 3

At day three I’m using the 720s regularly to run errands and beginning to pinpoint the areas of discord – tight on the forefoot and no real transition from heel to toe. I decided to loosen the laces fully to allow more room.

Day 7

After a week, the first small signs of consumption are beginning to show as that 38mm bubble right at the back of the heel begins to awaken.

Day 14

At this point, I’ve been wearing the 720s at every occasion possible including a three -mile walk around a local reservoir. Now the comfort underfoot is much more noticeable and even throughout the sole, with less emphasis of that downward tilt. I can feel a bounce in each step, originating from the back, that I can’t say I’ve had in any other pair of Air Max’s. Although the upper on the 720 is quite rigid to touch, I wouldn’t recommend it for this kind of wet terrain.

Day 20

Day 20 came to a bit of a plateau as they started to feel more natural with no major changes in the overall on-foot ride. No signs of discomfort in the toe box anymore, although I am convinced at this point a half size up would have given a truer experience of the 720.

Day 30

Towards the end of the wear test around day 23, I took the pair away for a week on a family trip to a forest holiday type get-up, think lots of trees, lots of walking, lots of activities. I wore them constantly and this is when the silhouette started to show its true colours for me – the air unit is now in full effect and the grip on the outsole is surprisingly adequate for non-urban terrain.

As an overview, the 720 wear test is a 30-day journey that went full circle, with a disappointing start coming around to really experiencing the activation of the technology. It’s important to note that when testing a women’s model you can sometimes find a lack of performance; people of lighter weight sometimes don’t mobilize components the same way an average male would – as with other silhouettes that have a focus on its underfoot technology (Vapormax, 270, 4D, Lebron 16 etc). To round off this wear test and answer the statement, what 38mm of Air does for your feet… undeniably it gives you a serious bounce to your day, to the point where you have to get accustomed to it after that first 10-14 days of wearing-in. I expect this to be a different experience for those who wear a larger size and put more pressure on that air unit.

Day 1 vs. Day 30

And as for me and the 720, I expect to continue to use my pair for those same daily tasks – this is a pair that I’ll be keeping to hand, I can’t see them going back in their box any time soon. No doubt we will see a train of new men’s and women’s colourways release as with all heavy hitting Air Max models – I’ll be keeping my eye out for a darker colourway, something similar to the Total Eclipse or Throwback Future.

If you’re looking to add the 720 to your rotation, here are some final thoughts and tips.

Further notes

  • The size of the air unit really adds an extra few centimetres to your height
  • Go and try on a pair to get the right size and a feel for the 720 air unit
  • Don’t be put off by the simplistic grip pattern on the outsole, I had no issues on various surfaces
  • This silhouette is not for performance, so don’t be throwing it in your gym bag; that heavy bounce could easily cause instability.