Nike Air Max 90 vs. adidas ZX 5000

It’s time for another face-to-face: some weeks ago we compared the Nike Air Max 1 with the New Balance 576, and we saw that both could exceed the expectations of anyone wearing them.

Today it is Nike‘s turn again, but this time against adidas; two differently shaped sneakers that shared the same goal at the time of their release: running.


On the one hand, the Nike Air Max 90 meant a risky salvation for Nike, since the company was going through a rough patch with sinking sales. The incorporation of a visible air unit could mean the complete bankruptcy for the company or its ascent to a whole new level.

On the other hand, adidas was fighting its way to the top of the field of technology applied to sneakers and released its Torsion technology, in this case in the adidas ZX 5000. With this action they managed to stay in the battle the big brands fought in that field.

In what features do these sneakers compete? The easy answer is, as we have mentioned, technology, but we shouldn’t forget that aesthetics is also an important factor in this duel.

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The Nike Air Max 90 Essential shows the classic shape for a vintage running sneaker of the time, wide sole and raised toes, while the adidas ZX 5000 features some more contemporary lines that we could compare to those in a conventional sports sneaker, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular for us.

The key factor is the sole. We make this statement because it is the area where this sneakers battle the most: Air Max technology versus Torsion technology, both try to improve our step but in different ways.


The Air Max sole provides a complete cushioning along the whole sole, and a complete and automatic return to the original shape when the foot is lifted, whereas with the Torsion technology we get force transmission from the back of the foot to the support on the front when it is being raised. The result is a more comfortable stride for every day and an effective one for competition.

This is our comparison, we cannot choose one over the other but which is your choice? Nike Air Max 90 Essential or adidas ZX 5000?

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