Apparel - March 22, 2021

Max Value: Get the Most with Air Max

This article is part 3 of 4 in the series: Air Max Day

The continued popularity of Nike’s Air Max line results from a balance of design and value. No matter if your silhouette of choice is the Air Max 1, the AM270, or any model in between, there’s a perfect pair to match your budget. Below, you’ll find some of the most popular Air Maxes of 2020 for under $200. In addition to the Air Maxes, we’ve also included styling options for under $150 to complete your look. From head to toe, you can expect max value for your Air Max Day—or any day—fit.   

A friendly reminder: Depending on your size and purchase date, the exact price of your specific shoe and fit may differ slightly from those listed below. But whatever the actual number, it’ll be affordable.

Nike Air Max 270 Black White

The Nike Air Max 270 Black White provides superb value for a great shoe. Comprising an all-black mesh upper accented with white Swooshes, a black Air Unit, and white midsole, this Air Max is perfect for dressing up or down, depending on the occasion. And at an average sale price of $110, you’ll have money left over to splurge for a night out to show off your Air Maxes.

Nike x Stranger Things Hawkins High Sweatpant Green / Nike x Drake NOCTA T-Shirt White 

Maximize your look with a lowkey color palette of green and white that ties nicely with the AM270. Sporting Nike branding and “Hawkins Phys. Ed” printed on the legs, these sweatpants from the 2019 Nike Stranger Things collection are a great way to display your knowledge of ’80s retro pop culture. 

Staying with the minimalist, pop culture vibe, Drake’s Nike sub-label, NOCTA, offers a clean take on staple pieces. The white Nike x Drake NOCTA tee includes the phrase “FORZA NOCTA” on the shirt’s front. Roughly translated as “night force,” this t-shirt will keep you looking right from morning to night and back to the morning again.    

Nike Air Max 2 Light atmos

Making its debut in the mid-1990s, the Nike Air Max 2 Light made a return in 2019 with Japanese sneaker mainstay atmos. The Nike Air Max 2 Light atmos draws its inspiration from vintage Nike apparel with its neon patchwork upper. Different Nike logos are prominent throughout the design, ranging from the classic Swoosh to a mix of typeface insignias. If you are looking for an affordable route to obtaining an Air Max collaboration, the atmos Air Max 2 Lights are a great option.

Nike x atmos NRG Vintage Patchwork Track Pant Black/Hyper Jade

Take a trip back to the early ’90s with the Nike x atmos Track Pants’ throwback design. The Tokyo-based brand atmos remixes these vintage pants with subtle details and an embroidered graphic at the leg. Retailing for $90, these pants are now selling for an average price of $54. There’s no better way to show off the multicolor atmos AM2 than with these all-black track pants.

Nike Air Max 97 Triple White Wolf Grey

This Nike Air Max 97 “OG” edition comes in white, wolf grey, and black colorway. Made to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the AM97 silhouette, the triple white colorway strips the model of color, letting the design shine. As we get into spring and then summer, this is a must, and affordable, Air Max for your warm-weather rotation.

Nike Air Max 90 Mars Landing

The Nike Air Max 90 Mars Landing gives your feet the best opportunity for interplanetary exploration. Dropping in March 2019, these AM90s received a much larger release than their galactic predecessors, the 2014 Nike Air Max Lunar90 SP Moon Landing. Featuring the Mars Stone and Magma Orange colorway, these AM90s come with an orange upper and Nike Swoosh, black midsole, and a grey sole. The entire upper is constructed from 3M that gives the shoe a reflective effect. The Nike Air Max 90 Mars Landing takes your collection to a whole new world without breaking the bank.

Juice WRLD x Vlone 999 T-Shirt Black / LAKH Twelve Pockets Cotton Cargo Pants Olive

The LAKH cargo pants pull off something hard to do—functional and stylish cargo pants. From the diagonal pocket flaps, the extra, smaller pocket, to the olive colorway, these pants check all the boxes, including price. Completing the design, the pants’ cuffs feature rip-cords so that you’ll be able to show off whichever Air Max you decide to wear. 

The streetwear brand VLONE, best known for its elongated “V” logo on simple tees and sweats, released a clothing line in collaboration with the late rapper Juice Wrld’s merch line, 999 Club. The shirt features the “V” with “999” descending the letter’s stem on the back, with the title of Juice Wrld’s posthumous album, Legends Never Die, printed on the front. Sometimes, it’s true—legends do live forever.

Nike Air Max 97 UNDFTD Black Militia Green (2020)

Nike teamed up with LA-based brand and sneaker boutique Undefeated releasing various editions of the Air Max 97 in 2020, including the Black Militia Green colorway. If you’re thinking about adding a new Air Max to your collection, you can’t go wrong with the ever-classic 97 with its XL air unit and futuristic design. Aside from its legendary silhouette, the Air Max 97 UNDFTD Black Militia Green features a slick military green colorway, and the sneaker store’s title etched around the upper. While most other Undefeated 97s are going for much more, you can take home this Air Max from these powerhouse collaborators at a more affordable price point and keep your disposable income undefeated with the Air Max 97 UNDFTD Black Militia Green.

FEAR OF GOD ESSENTIALS Polar Fleece Hoodie Dark Slate/Stretch Limo/Black / LAKH Knitted Ball Shorts Tan

Spring weather is unpredictable—scorching hot one day, freezing the next. To make sure you’re prepared for fluctuating forecasts, go with a time-honored fit—hoodie and shorts. However, you can upgrade this look for less than you’d think with the combination of a FEAR OF GOD ESSENTIALS Polar Fleece Hoodie and LAKH knitted shorts. The polar fleece hoodie is even more uncomplicated than the minimalist hoodies in the ESSENTIALS line, reducing the large center logo to a discreet chest placement. The shorts complete this unpretentious look with LAKH’s characteristic straightforward design. Both items deliver maximum value while keeping you comfortable.

Nike Air Max Plus White

An Air Max in a classic, clean, all-white colorway is magical. The Nike Air Max Plus White provides the perfect foundation for whatever you might be wearing–they go with everything. Even better, The Air Max Plus White is a more budget-friendly alternative to the Supreme x Nike Air Max Plus White. Trading close to retail, these Air Maxes deserve a place in your rotation.

OFF-WHITE x Nike Women’s Sports Bra Opti Yellow / Nike x sacai Leggings Black

The OFF-WHITE x Nike sports bra released as part of the OFF-WHITE x Nike Sports men’s and women’s activewear collaboration. The bra features a Swoosh pulled from Nike’s archives beneath a spray-painted “OFF” on the front, and “WOMAN” spray-painted over several versions of OFF-WHITE and Nike’s logos across the back. 

Chitose Abe’s take on Nike’s Epic Lux leggings combines the knit fabric and sweat-wicking comfort of the original with sacai’s hybridization motif for a touch of sophistication. Versatile, comfortable, and designer, the Nike x sacai leggings are the perfect complement to your all-white Air Max shoes.

Nike Air Max 1 LV8 Obsidian

The Nike Air Max 1 LV8 Obsidian released earlier this year, providing multiple meanings of “elevated.” Dressed in the ever-versatile Obsidian colorway—navy, grey, and white—the Air Max 1 LV8 offers a polish to AM1 thanks to the use of premium materials. The navy mudguards and accenting across the upper contrasts nicely with the grey overlays and white mesh vamp. Finally, the shoes will elevate you above the traditional AM1 model because the LV8 sole is thicker, letting you stand taller.

Nike x Pigalle Hoodie Dark Grey Heather / FTP Thank You Tee White / FEAR OF GOD ESSENTIALS New Era Fitted Cap (FW20) Navy/White

For around $150, this trio of pieces is every bit as classic as an Air Max 1. Since 2014, Nike and the Parisian brand Pigalle have partnered to celebrate basketball’s global cultural impact. The Nike x Pigalle hoodie honors this partnership with Pigalle founder Stephane Ashpool’s credo “The Power of Sport to Move the World’ on the back. 

In an uncharacteristic moment of sincerity, iconoclast streetwear label FTP released its Thank You tee in honor of its tenth anniversary. The plain white tee has the FTP logo on the left chest, paired with a handwritten note—”Thank you for 10 years!”—by label founder Zac Clark on the right chest. 

Complete this look with the FEAR OF GOD ESSENTIALS fitted cap. Featuring the instantly recognizable old English “F,” the hat is the perfect piece to balance max value with max style from the bottom of your Air Max to the top of your head.

Nike Air Max 1 Lemonade (2020)

In 2006, Nike dropped its Powerwall collection featuring 56 pairs of limited edition Air Maxes. Of this collection, the Nike Air Max 1 Lemonade became a cult classic due to its rarity and striking look. Fourteen years later, Nike re-squeezed the original Nike Air Max 1 Lemonade. Its upper features “Air” printed in bubble graphics wrapping around the shoe’s side panels and heel. These graphics are paired with an entirely yellow upper that would match your coldest glass of lemonade. While these Air Max 1s might not be as cheap as a glass of lemonade, they are still an easy route to owning Air Max history for a bargain.

Eric Emanuel EE Retro Crown Red Sox Hat Navy/Red / KAWS x UNIQLO XX Pocket Tee White / Nike x Stranger Things Hawkins High Sweatpant Green

In his second collaboration with New Era, Eric Emanuel added his design touch to a series of retro crown fitted baseball caps, including the Boston Red Sox. The classic navy cap, the red “B” in Tuscan font, and Emanuel’s “EE” logo on the side of the hat make for a perfect blend of old and new. 

Keeping in the classic mode, the KAWS x UNIQLO XX tee offers his unique take on the staple white pocket tee. An otherwise ordinary white tee includes KAWS’s X-ed-out eyes on the front pocket. A simple design by a world-famous artist on an everyday wear item, that’s max value. 

The Hawkins High sweatpants make our list again because they’re versatile enough to pair with various Air Max styles and colorways. Plus, they’re available at such a great price that you could buy two and have enough left over for more Air Maxes.

Nike Air Max 90 Laser Blue (2020)

Any talk about the Air Max 90 model’s legacy must include the Air Max 90 Laser Blue. Alongside the famous Infrared colorway, the Nike Air Max 90 Laser Blue debuted in 1990, helping to introduce this latest silhouette to the Air Max catalog. Crafted by Tinker Hatfield, the Air Max 90 incorporates luxe and athletic details, such as synthetic leather mudguards and DuraMesh toe boxes. With hits of Laser Blue, the sneaker stood out on the wearer’s feet, delivering a new standard for running shoes of the era. 

Futura Laboratories x UNIQLO Logo Hooded Sweatshirt Navy / Nike x Stüssy Increase The Peace Tee White / Travis Scott CJ System II Beanie White

Part of the pleasure of developing your style is mixing legacy and current kings. For example, the graffiti artist FUTURA has a storied career as an artist, designer, and collaborator with partners including BMW, OFF-WHITE, the Clash, and UNIQLO, among others. The FUTURA Laboratories x UNIQLO sweatshirt is a great piece to show your deep cultural knowledge while staying on-trend and on budget.  

The godfather of streetwear, Stüssy, has maintained its reputation since 1980. It’s one of those brands that everyone should have a piece or two in their closet. Stüssy’s recent output with Nike has produced a wide range of must-haves, from sneakers to sweatpants and everything in between. Their “Increase The Peace” tee is a modest way to flex with an always important message.  

Finally, we have Travis Scott, whose brand ubiquity feels as if he’s been a part of global culture for the last three decades. With so much of his merch seeing inflated resale prices, the Travis Scott CJ System II beanie is a piece that is kind to your bank account. Pair his Cactus Jack beanie with the hoodie, tee, and Air Maxes, and you’ll be building a fit that is as authentic as it is dope.

Nike Air Max 90 Reverse Duck Camo (2020)

This final Air Max stretches the budget—the average sale price is $252—but it more than justifies its cost in cultural value. Released for Air Max Day 2020, the Reverse Duck Camo 90s are a spin on the 2013 atmos 90s. What makes the Reverse Duck so striking is the use of infrared juxtaposed with a camo print across the upper. Half of the shoe wants to blend in; half of the shoe wants all the attention. Get an Air Max that can do it all for the right price—even if the price is a little high—this Air Max Day.

max value

FTP x Babylon Liberty Tee White / Travis Scott x McDonald’s All American ’92 Nylon Pants Black

Here’s a cost-conscious match to the boldness of the Reverse Duck Camo Air Max. FTP’s provocative posturing is paired with LA brand Babylon’s similar worldview in a tee collab from 2020. Across the shirt’s front, The FTP logo is breaking through a TV screen with the caption “Liberty and Justice is Ours! Babylon x FTP.” Is this a comment on media saturation and mindless screen consumption? Who knows, but it looks cool. 

The unassuming track pant undergoes the Travis Scott treatment as a part of his massive McDonald’s collab. Featuring a color scheme, branding, and design touches reminiscent of 1992, the Travis Scott x McDonald’s All American ‘92 nylon pants hit all the right nostalgia notes. It’s also hard not to consider these pants as a nod to Travis Scott’s year of birth and the last time McDonald’s offered a branded, celebrity meal, the 1992 McJordan burger.