Today, in the year 2019 - Nike marks the 40th anniversary since the unveiling of the Air technology. A type of cushioning system that changed the way we look at midsoles and just regular running shoes in general. First introduced in 1979, the Air Max became a staple in the industry by the mid-’80s. And yes, we see Air Max products everywhere around us. We know the line but we don’t usually get to know the face behind that product.
Well, you can thank Marion Franklin Rudy for that product. An aerospace engineer that grew bored from his career by the late ’60s and started pitching a crazy idea to the most famous companies around the globe. That crazy idea was a sneaker’s midsole filled with tiny but durable air-bags. More than 20 companies rejected his idea, but Nike was intrigued. And after the initial testing, they realized that it works.
Thus the Air Max was born. But for now, let’s take a closer look at the Infuriate Mid model by Nike. What’s so great and not so great about it? What are the pros and cons? Read about it in the review below. Hope you’ll like it.
Rubber seems to be the best possible choice for an outsole, and Nike loves using the best. Rubber is a sturdy but flexible material that’s perfect for performance style of sneakers, and much like with the majority of Nike merchandise there’s a specific design attributed to that design. If you take a closer look at the design of the outsole you’ll notice the distinct Herringbone pattern.
Ridges, patterns, and indentations with all different sizes (and shapes too) compose the surface of the outsole and each section is responsible for the traction in a different way. That’s because our feet step on the ground in a very different way, and that’s especially true when a game of basketball
is involved. The game involves a lot of sliding, jumping and running, so good traction is always welcomed. The traction will be covered in a more detailed manner bellow, but the outsole really plays a huge role not just in the traction, but also to the stability of the entire shoe. And over here, the outsole excels at that too, so don’t worry about it. Just enjoy it.
Here comes the Air Max. Yup. The well known and beloved cushioning is present here (as the name suggests), and not offers a great deal of padding
, it also looks amazing. As it should.
And what amazing padding it is. Located in the heel area of the midsole, the Air Max is clear (meaning colorless) and modeled as one piece of an airbag. It’s located in the heel area, and in fact, it covers the entire heel area of the sneaker. Despite being an average size of air-bag the cushioning, it will give you a bid dose of bounciness, springy and energetic feeling and will definitely make that game of basketball a lot easier.
Yes, the cushioning in the heel is great and extremely helpful, but if there’s one flaw to the midsole is that it lacks any other type of cushioning. There’s no padding in the toe area, in the mid-foot area, in the arch area or anywhere else. There’s no record of any type of sock-liner that could ease the workings of the midsole. Of course, the fact that there’s no visible insole with any type of padding leaves room for you to add such peace if it’s needed. The midsole and especially the design of the upper leave enough space for additional external padding- so it’s up to you. You can add one or just leave it as it is.
Just take a moment to admire the upper. Made out of synthetic leather and textile the upper is light as a feather and offers a nice pleasant fit. Plenty of the customers that left customer reviews mentioned that the sneaker offered a nice fit, a nice grip to the foot and easy entry of the foot without much resistance. But since the synthetic type material used in upper is not known for the strength, Nike had the strength and support covered by adding three important things. A way to compensate and to maintain the comfort from this particular area.
First by positioning a rubber strip around the lower part of the upper (near the midsole), by implementing slight padding in the collar and in the tongue, and by having a secure fastening system that ensures your feet will be tightly secured and tucked in. The strip is the most visible part of the upper’s surface, but if you take a closer look at the fastening system you’ll notice that the eyelets
are actually elastic pieces sown on the upper’s surface and the laces go directly through them. Not through the perforations on the upper’s surface like in the standard fastening systems. There’s a downside of having such eyelets of course. They’re not sturdy and stable enough, and the most common complaints about them are that they tear very easily.
When it comes to comfort, the Air Max
type of cushioning is the real number one provider here. But the fact is the although the comfort is solely attributed to one specific piece (or area), in this particular case comes from almost the entire structure. Every single thing helps with comfort. The upper, the fastening system and of course the padding in the opening and tongue. A performance style of shoe can never get too much padding and you’ll never get tired of having it.
And you know what else you won’t get tired of? The support. Frankly here in this particular model, the support
is not only plentiful but also found in places you wouldn’t normally think of. Like the padding in the opening and in the tongue for instance. Or the mid-top design of the opening. Look, every performance style model, and especially those how are designed for playing basketball are in need of support that comes from the top. The ankles must be supported by any means necessary and by adding a great structure to that particular area, you’re not only protecting the foot you’re also supporting it. So yeah, the mid-top design really works wonders here. So, when it comes to the mid-top or the low-top version of Infuriate, always go for the mid-top style. Especially If you’re on that basketball court several days of the week.
Rubber is a very durable material, but sadly the synthetic texture used in the upper is not. However, when it comes to the star of the entire structure, the Air Max cushioning we’re happy to report that it’s a cushioning system that’s filled with endurance and durability. Some of the comments in the comment section even mentioned that the Air Max set in the heel area lasts more than average, so that’s one of the things that you should really take off your mind.
The flexibility is a mixed bag of pros and cons. Yes, the use of synthetic material in the upper is always a good choice when it comes to flexibility. And since this is a performance style of a sneaker, you can bet that the flexibility will be quite high in that area. The thin and very low rubber outsole offers some flexibility, but the fact that there’s a big plastic strip attached on the side of the upper really poses a setback in the flexibility department.
It makes the functionality of that area a lot more rigid and stiff and takes away much of the flexibility. However, in the pros department, we must mention that other than the Air Mix in the heel, the lacks any other type of padding in the midsole. The lack of padding in the center of the Infuriate allows the flexibility to be more pronounced in that area, as there’s nothing to interfere with the flexibility. There’s slight padding in the collar and in the tongue, but the midsole has almost none other than the Air Max
in the heel.
That padding in the collar and in the tongue does way much heavy lifting than you can imagine. Think about it. Although it may seem insignificant, the fact is that the stability comes from the top of the Infuriate as much as it comes from the bottom. And although the bottom part of the structure has the rubber outsole and the Air Max type of cushioning, the upper has slight padding in the collar and the tongue and it seems quite enough. The fragile structure of the upper is balanced and made much stronger thanks to the stability that comes from the top area padding. Every bit counts.
Over here in this particular model, the sheer nature and design of the upper allow the airflow to fluctuate uninterrupted. All the time every time. The upper made out of synthetic and textile provide a great set of aeration, leaving your feet dry, ventilated and odor free at all times. So, go ahead and enjoy a game of basketball
with your buddies. Your feet will definitely get sweaty but the entire structure will be left ventilated at the end of that game.
Yes, the rubber is an excellent provider of traction, but the fact that the rubber outsole has a fantastic Herringbone pattern with pronounced and quality indentations ensures that the traction will be on point on almost every surface. Concrete, wooden basketball court, even hard and wet and rainy asphalt will pose no challenge for the outsole, so you can enjoy your game in peace, without any interruptions.
One of the biggest praises about this particular fit is the praise directed at its fit. Sure the comfort and stability are on point as well, but the fit is important none the less and over here is very much taken care of. Yes, the sneaker has slight padding in the top part of the structure and the presence of Air Max in the bottom part, but the fit of the structure is not compromised at all. The foot is able to get in and to be taken out without any resistance, despite all the padding and the fact that this is a mid-top style of a shoe. The foot when is inserted is left with a relaxed and comfy feeling, as there’s recorded evidence of cramming the toes, no evidence of pinching or any type of inconvenience. The toes are able to move freely and the flexibility of the upper allows the entire structure to move with the movement of the foot.
The Infuriate Mid by Nike has a price tag of 100 dollars. It’s a mid-level price range and since this is a performance style of a sneaker, the price is very reasonable.
If you look past the price and consider the specifications mentioned earlier in this review, you’ll find that it does come in 7 different color options to choose from. In most of the cases, all of the color options are on the darker side of the color spectrum, and a lighter version is much needed, but in all of the Air Mix cushioning will remain translucent.
Made with lots of care and attention to detail, the Infuriate Mid is a shoe that exurbs with effortless style. The upper has been kept clean and simple while the design is done in a very practical yet stylish manner. The big swosh on the upper surface is there to remind you just who it is that you’re wearing but this particular pair doesn’t need a reminder. You’ll know.
The Infuriate Mid is a great purchase. A performance style sneaker with the well-loved Air Max style of cushioning in the heel, this is a shoe with very few flaws. One of those flaws is the lack of other cushioning in the midsole and the poorly designed and easily breakable eyelets. But if you look past that you’ll find a comfy, supportive and amazing sneaker that will become your BFF on the court.