Nike Air Max Thea Running Shoes Reviewed

7.8 score
[Editors rating (7.6) + Users rating (8.4)] / 2 = (WalkJogRun) score (7.8)/10

Editor rating: 7.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 10 user ratings
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Nike Air Max Thea Running Shoes Reviewed Review Facts

The Nike Air Max family of shoes is continually growing, offering its wearers fantastic comfort, functionality and style. They are a very popular range and the Nike Air Max Thea is no exception. The Nike Air Max Thea is a unique offering from the range, that has been specifically designed for women. The Air Max Thea has a minimalistic design so that it will appeal to the fashion conscious women, able to be paired with any outfit as a leisure shoe. The Thea also has some features which ensure it functions well as a running shoe too, as you would expect from the Nike Air Max range. Given the huge popularity of the Thea, Nike went on to release a men's version of the minimalist shoes to follow in its footsteps, this is called the Nike Air Max Tavas.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Minimilistic design

Phylon midsole

Lightweight, breathable upper

Lightweight design


Narrow fit

May need to buy a size up as they run slightly small


The Nike Air Max Thea makes use of a combined outsole and midsole made up of Phylon. This helps to minimize the weight of the shoe, without compromising on comfort or durability. Whilst, the outsole of the shoe does hold up to regular use, some users have stated that it can feel a little flimsy underfoot.
The Thea has rubber pods included on the heel and toe of the outsole to increase the durability where it is most needed. The outsole also has a waffle tread pattern to give greater traction on a wide range of surfaces.


As mentioned above, the Thea has a combined Phylon outsole and midsole. This helps to keep the Thea very light. As well as being lightweight, the Phylon material is also flexible and very comfortable, ensuring that the shoe is a pleasure to wear. The Thea also has a visible Air Max unit which increases cushioning in the midsole. This unit helps to absorb any impacts to help avoid injury and further increase comfort for the wearer.


The upper of the Thea mainly consists of a textile-based material, with leather and synthetic overlays to provide some additional support where it is needed most. These overlays are along the sides and at the toe of the shoe.
To enhance breathability of the Thea, there are sections of mesh incorporated into the upper at the forefoot of the shoe. For a similar reason, there are also perforations added at the heel of the shoe.
Some users have said that the upper of the Thea can feel quite stiff and may take a while to effectively break in. This is likely to be due to the synthetic overlays.


The Thea is definitely a lightweight running shoe, mainly thanks to its clever use of materials. Combining the outsole and midsole is a simple way to ensure that the shoe stays lightweight, whilst not jeopardizing its performance and comfort. This combined outsole/midsole is formed of molded Phylon, which is also a very lightweight material. By minimizing the leather and synthetic sections of the upper to small overlays and constructing large sections using mesh, the weight of the shoe is further reduced.
A size 8 Thea, in medium B width, weighs approximately 8 oz.


As mentioned previously, when discussing the upper of the shoe, the Thea incorporates features which ensure that it is breathable. For a start, the upper of the Thea is constructed to include sections of a mesh material, which ensure that air can circulate effectively around the foot. The Thea is also lined in a light, airy mesh material to optimize ventilation within the shoe.
Additionally, the Thea has perforations made in the heel, which allow air to flow through the back of the shoe. This helps to maintain ventilation around the heel, which is an area that is prone to becoming extra sweaty during running or walking.


The Nike Air Max range of shoes are well known for being very comfortable, mainly thanks to the addition of the innovative Nike Air Max cushioning, which gives the shoes their name. The Thea is no exception when it comes to comfort. The Air Max cushioning ensures that the Thea is capable of providing all-day comfort to the wearer. The Phylon midsole also provides excellent cushioning underfoot, without being too bulky or heavy. One negative point regarding comfort is that many users state that the fit of the Thea is very narrow, which can leave the feet feeling uncomfortable during use. This means that the Thea is unlikely to be suitable for those with wide feet or a high instep.


The Nike Air Max Thea is quite unique in its style, in the sense that it is one of very few running trainers designed only for women. Because it has been designed to be worn as a leisure shoe as well as an athletic running shoe, the design has been kept quite minimal. This ensures that the shoe has an understated style, which will work with any outfit you choose. The color choices have also been kept simple, with a monochromatic color design and only the Nike swoosh logo being in an accented color. Colors available include black/white, white/gold, and grey/pink. There are also some more vibrant colorways available if your feeling adventurous!


When it comes to durability, the Thea has mixed reviews from users. The Phylon outsole and midsole have good durability and ensure that the sole of the shoe withstands day to day use. The upper of the Thea also has positive reviews, stating that the leather overlay sections help to reinforce the strength of the upper. However, some users state that after a while, the fabric of the collar can tear, exposing some hard plastic which can cause rubbing and blisters around the ankle.


The Nike Air Max cushioning technology, for which the Thea has its name, provides protection underfoot against any impacts that the wearer may experience. The leather and synthetic overlays, help to reinforce the upper of the Thea, providing a little extra protection then the mesh alone would give.


The Thea is definitely not the most responsive running shoe available on the market at the moment. The Nike Air Max technology does provide a little boost underfoot to the wearer when needed. However, if you are after an ultra responsive running shoe, this will not be the one for you. There is little in the way of responsive technology added to the Thea, although this does help to keep the cost of the shoe down.


Again, reviews regarding the support of the Thea seem to be fairly mixed. Users praise the supportive cushioning provided by the Phylon midsole and the Air Max technology. The shoe also has a solarsoft sockliner to enhance support and impact protection. However, several users state that the Thea does not provide adequate arch support for them, so if this is something that you specifically need in a shoe then this may present an issue.


As the Thea has a combined outsole/midsole to reduce its weight, this is much less hardwearing than some of the thicker, bulkier soles. This means that the Thea should not be used on any rigorous terrains, which may cause damage to the sole. The Thea is ideal to be used on well developed running and walking surfaces and also as an indoor shoe, for example at the gym or in day to day wear.


The price of the Thea is very reasonable for a Nike running shoe. This is likely because there is little technology incorporated into the shoe. This is a basic running shoe, which is likely to appeal to an occasional runner, rather than a marathon runner. It is also popular as a leisure shoe, due to its stylish design and curb appeal.


The Thea has a waffle tread pattern on the outsole to improve traction on wet or dry surfaces to help to avoid slips. The outsole is not really suitable for any non-developed surfaces and so the Thea does not provide much grip on these. For day to day use on standard surfaces, the grip provided by the Thea is more than adequate.


The flexibility of the Thea is good. The Phylon midsole allows flexible movement underfoot to help to keep a natural stride. The use of mesh panels in the upper of the shoe allows some freedom of movement at the top of the foot as well. One negative point users made about flexibility is that the narrow fit of the Thea can restrict movement of the foot in some cases.


There is little in the way of features to enhance stability in the Nike Air Max Thea. The sole of the shoe, being a combined outsole/midsole is fairly thin and lightweight and while it provides adequate support and comfort to the wearer, users state it does not really give a great sense of stability to the foot. The narrow fit of the shoe, whilst being a negative point in other categories, does help to make the foot feel more stable within the shoe.


The specific heel to toe drop measurement for the Thea has not been provided. However, when wearing the Thea, it does not appear to have a very large drop. The cushioning within the shoe is fairly lightweight, so it does not seem to significantly affect the drop of the shoe.

Key Features

• Combined Phylon outsole and midsole
• Nike Air Max Unit for added cushioning
• Minimalistic design
• Rubber in toe and heel for added durability

Bottom Line

The Nike Air Max Thea is a welcomed addition to the much loved Nike Air Max range. The difference with the Thea is that it has been specifically designed as a running shoe for women only. Much focus has been placed on the style of the shoe, sporting a minimalistic design which means that the shoe is very versatile in how it can be used. The reasonable price of the Thea will make it very appealing to women looking for either a running shoe or just a shoe for day to day use. The Thea has little in the way of advanced running technology, however, it is a practical, comfortable and lightweight running shoe.
The Thea has received some negative reviews with regards to its narrow fit and some quality issues, however, it still remains a hugely popular choice with women on the market for a new running shoe.