APK Sponsored Athlete Trevor de Groot Reviews the Nike Air Max Edge as a parkour shoe.
If I had to pick the number one reason why I like the Nike Air Max Edge it would be because of the comfort they provide. I wear these for more then just parkour, working out and any other athletic endeavors I partake in and they are just as comfy for parkour as they are for break dancing, weight training or playing volleyball. Also, to be clear, the model that I review in this write up is the Air Max Edge 11+ model.
Appearance - My Air Max Edges are black, grey and green like in the pictures. However these shoes also available in combinations of red, white, black, yellow and blue. Overall, I’m not a fan of the colors that mine have. I personally prefer my shoes to be white or lighter colors, but I broke that preference for these because they had most of the other things that I was looking for in a parkour shoe and none of the other colors were available when I got them. Despite not liking the colors, I like the angle that the tongue of the shoe makes as it hits the box of the shoe when viewed from the side.
Tech - The Air Max Edges have a mesh toe box, which really helps to air the shoes out. It also makes the shoes considerably lighter then most shoes that do not have mesh. The feature that I like the most about the Air Max Edge is that the grip on the bottom curves around, extending over the front of the toe box. Many training shoes are using this style now and it does a good job of preventing holes just below where the big toe and the second toe sit, especially considering this is an area of the shoe that takes a lot of abuse from parkour specific movements like wall passes.
Grip - The grip on the Air Max Edges was far better when they were new, compared to what they are now. Having said that I have had these for just over a year and the grip is still pretty good. On regular brick walls, with good technique, these shoes provide a fairly consistent grip; I rarely ever slip on walls during wall passes unless the wall is sand blasted, in which case most shoes will slip every so often. In terms of grip on rails they are also very good, provided you wipe the bottoms off first. That’s because the bottoms have a tendency to pick up dust very easily compared to other shoes I’ve worn. Overall, like Cody points out in his review of the Nike Darts. I find the grip on most Nike training shoes is consistent on all of the surfaces that traceurs regularly traverse.
Grip - 8/10
Durability - These shoes are ridiculously durable! Like I said above, I use these for more then just parkour and I’ve had them forbjust over a year and I still train in them regularly. After a year I can honestly say that these shoes don’t look brand new, but there are no noticeable durability issue like holes, extensive wear, frayed stitching or any of that. They’ve been put through wetness, mud, the rigors of my training and extreme heat and they still look like they have a couple months left of use in them. I’m going to miss these shoes because they were very reliable, especially considering most of my parkour shoes last seven or eight months before I feel the need to get new ones. After a year and a bit it has finally got to the point where I feel like a new pair of shoes would be nice. So I recently bought a pair of Nike Air Flex Trainer II's, which I will review soon. However, since these shoes are still kicking (no pun intended), I will gradually faze them out and begin to use my Air Flex’s more.
Durability - 10/10
Comfort - The Air Max Edge’s are extremely comfortable. The extra padding at the lip of the heel is a bonus because it ensures you don’t get blisters. Other Nike training shoes that I’ve worn have given me blisters while I was breaking them in. Speaking of breaking in shoes, these ones don’t need to be worn in, they’re comfy from the first time you wear them. Also, I really enjoyed how the mesh allows air to circulate within your shoe meaning that your feet are kept at a comfortable temperature. The one gripe that I have about the mesh is that sometimes when you’re training in the morning (which I do pretty often) and the grass is full of dew; water will get in the mesh and soak your socks. But that’s expected, since being water proof and breathability aren’t often highly compatible features.
Comfort - 9/10
Padding - The padding on these shoes works pretty well for me. The padding is a bit less then normal shoes, but is definitely not to the point of minimalist shoes. If you do land hard you can still bruise the balls of your feet, but it’s not a regular occurrence. The padding at the heel of the shoe is more substantial than the front of the shoe due to the large air max unit Nike has used for cushioning. I don’t really have any complaints about the air max unit, although I’m glad that the air max unit doesn’t extend along the whole sole, since I like to feel my landings with the balls of my feet. Another thing to note is that I lost the tips of three of my toes on my right foot. This impacts my training in many ways, but the biggest impact is sensitivity in the stubs. Normal toes have big cushiony pads of fat at the tips, but mine lack this. The only thing that separates the sensitive bone in my toes from the ground is a thin layer of skin combined with the padding of whatever shoe I am wearing. I would like to point out that the padding in this shoe provides a good compromise between letting me feel the ground and hurting my sensitive toe tips.
Padding - 8/10
Flexibility - For a cross trainer these shoes are extremely flexible. I can easily bend the toe back to meet the top of the heel. Bending the toes down to touch the bottom of the heel proved to be more difficult, since the shoe fought to maintain the rigidity the makes these shoes so durable. Overall, the Nike Air Max’s are a pretty flexible shoe within their shoe genre. When comparing to other genres, like minimalist shoes, the Air Max’s would definitely lose in the flexibility department. However, they have enough flexibility for training and I would gladly sacrifice that extra flexibility for the durability of the Nike Air Max’s.
Flexibility - 7.5/10
Comparisons - Due to my lack of toe tips I often go with Nike cross trainers since minimalist shoes often hurt the stubs that I have. This means that I have not spent extensive time in Feiyues or any of Vivo Barefoot’s shoes and cannot fairly compare. Some other training shoes that I have worn differentiated in the following ways:
-Nike Trainer1’s have worst grip and the padding at the heel eventually wears down to give you blisters (I ended up using these as more casual shoes then training shoes).
-Adizero Mana’s are far lighter then the Air Max Edge’s but are so thin that they roll extremely easily, causing sprained ankles.
-Nike Free’s fell apart in about three weeks to a month (to the point where I was running on foam), although the Free’s were far lighter.
About The Author - Trevor de Groot has been training parkour since the end of 2008. He is a leader and organizer of parkour in his home city of Hamilton. He is also an APK sponsored athlete. Trevor is known for his willingness to contribute to both his local parkour community and the broader community as a whole. He enjoys combining various movements and is currently extremely interested in developing new movements through the creative process.
Trevor’s youtube channel can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/10TicTac01 and he can be contacted at: email@example.com .