Nike Air Max Infuriate Performance Review

For those of you who have been ignoring the budget models from Nike because the signature lines “perform so well,” you have been missing out. Don’t worry, I was one of you…until the Air Max Infuriate. This was fun…

air max infuriate traction

TRACTION – This is a nice design idea: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Borrowing from the HyperRev 2016, we get the same diamond pattern along the forefoot and heel, and just like the Rev, it sticks to anything, including walls and ceilings (didn’t really try, but it might). But wait, Nike didn’t stop there. Knowing certain parts of the outsole could be better, if that’s possible, it placed deep herringbone on the medial and lateral forefoot for a little extra grab when turning and planting. Just look at that area under your big toe, where most of your quick first steps should come from. That is traction.

Being a budget model, the rubber is a little harder and thicker than most sig models, so outdoors should be easy and last for at least a couple of months. Killer. 

air max infuriate cushioning

CUSHIONING – Normally, Air Max is not thought of as a guard cushioning. It is a little unstable and makes the shoe sit higher than most quick players like. However, the Air Max unit in the Infuriate is bottom loaded; Nike simply replaced the midsole Phylon with an Air unit. The rise is still low and completely the opposite of unstable. There were a couple of times during playing that I felt the compression along the edges, but overall the heel was stable and very, very plush. On top of that unit is the remainder of the Phylon and where most budget models have been using a harder foam, probably for durability, the foam in the Infuriate is softer. It does still take a couple of wears to break into softness, but after just a couple of games the foam feels great. 

The forefoot is more of that same Phylon, and it is more of the same “feels great after break in time.” At first it is stiff and hard, but again, after two or three games and you feel a distinct sinking and compression. You won’t feel slowed down at all, however, because the ride is low. Court feel is a premium factor, and the Infuriate excels in that area without impact protection being completely sacrificed. 

air max infuriate materials

MATERIALS – Simple open mesh with some fuse overlays around the laces is used here, but this mesh is super-soft and comfy. It is like the mesh we got last year on the Nike Zoom Ascention and the Nike Air Versatile this year — soft, flexible, durable, and it molds to your foot with no hot spots. The one difference is the addition of the fuse printed patterns on the upper — it serves no purpose at all, except maybe some durability coverage, but damn does it look nice.

The lacing system is fairly straightforward, even with the Flywire on the bottom four lace holes. Regular foam in the ankle forms and fits for lockdown, while the tongue is thick where it needs to be and thin where it doesn’t (word to Kylie). The top of the tongue takes the lace pressure off, since you need to pull a little tighter for that low-top lockdown, while the body is thinner to allow ventilation.

air max infuriate fit

FIT – Spot-freaking-on. This may be the best fitting shoe I have worn this year. Length in true to size left me with just about an index finger width of space, while the toebox fits right over my foot. This doesn’t hurt at all with the flexibility of the materials. The width is a normal to slightly narrow, so if you are a wide-footer you may want to go up a half, but the Infuriate is easy to find now, so try it on. 

The midfoot, again, is completely locked over the midsole, due to the Flywire (which works) and the Phylon midsole wrapping up past the cushioning unit and over the footbed. There is also a fuse lace cover under the first three laces that keeps the upper from stretching on serious movements (pictured above). Simplicity that works.

The heel is the *ahem* Achilles heel of most lows. With a lack of lacing it is hard on a poorly designed shoe to get locked down without an ankle collar (LeBron XIII Low). No problems with the Air Max Infiuriate, which is kind of infuriating, since the LeBron was twice the price. The last lace hole is set back on the collar to pull the shoe into the heel and the ankle padding and Achilles notch form around the foot for complete lock-in. There is a slight internal heel counter to tie into the midsole for added lockdown.

air max infuriate support

SUPPORT – Yes, low tops can have support, and the Air Max Infuriate is no joke. Most of the upright trust is built from the midsole. The medial and lateral side both have extended sidewalls that come over the footbed, keeping your foot in line and tight on cuts and defense. When you push against them to make a move, the wall of Phylon keeps gives you a serious starting block to get moving. Most “guard” shoes lose that element for freedom of movement, but it is nice to push off and have a solid base to push off of. The forefoot is sucked in by the Flywire but also has a substantial outrigger — not just the thin rubber at the base of the sole — because this one is built up along the sidewall all the way to the foot. Normally, this feels clunky but the rounded sculpting along the midsole promotes compression and won’t cause pressure to be sent back to your toes. 

The heel has even more of the raised Phylon sidewalls around the heel counter and it works. There is an internal counter, but it is nothing more than some cardboard. The real magic is the Phylon, wrapping around the back of the shoe and coming high enough to wrap the heel and keep it tall and straight. By not raising the heel cushioning with the added Max unit, the heel is still stable on landings. 

Transition is a huge bright spot for the Air Max Infuriate. Most shoes with two different cushionings can feel slappy and slow. The Infuriate rides at close to the same height in forefoot and heel. Thus, it feels very natural underfoot while running and cutting. 

air max infuriate

OVERALL – The Nike Max Infuriate first appeared on the Interwebs back in June 2016 and for some reason was delayed until this past December. One reason for this wait until December could have been to place it smack in between the big signature releases, because honestly, it outperforms most shoes priced $50 higher. No, price shouldn’t be a factor in reviews, but when you can get a shoe like this for under $100 ($80 to be exact, although Finish Line has them marked down to $60 in store) it is truly amazing.

The Air Max Infuriate is a shoe for ANY player — small, quick guards, small forwards who fly, and traction whores. The only slight problem may be for players needing a little more forefoot cushioning, or bigger players who need more shoe overall (although I am a pretty big guy). I wish the Air Max Infuriate had made it’s way to my feet before 2017 — it would have been Top 7, maybe higher. Honestly, if Nike keeps producing budget models like this, it may see some signature athletes drop their shoes and lace up a pair. Don’t be fooled by price — the Air Max Infuriate won’t make anyone angry. 

 

WATCH NOW


38 Comments

  1. Surprising review!

    It’s nice that you don’t miss out the budget and lesser known models, really good news for us. Keep it up, hoping to see more in the future

    1. Sorry, I didn’t. I hated the look on those and just trying on couldn’t really get a good fit or feel. For a low the materials were too stiff.

  2. Great review, I was very interested in these, but like you covered on the FIT portion, was worried about lockdown, these are definitely next on my pick-up list though.

  3. Love the pop up reviews of shoes that people do not expect, as there are some true gems out there that debunk the idea that more expensive means better. If there were an honest push of these sort of shoes from Nike, I may have a bit more respect for the company. However, we know how they try and force the two hundred dollar shoe upon people through their favorite websites with falsehoods and ridiculous claims leading the charge, due to the push of a certain player’s name. This sort of shoe, if it were leather or suede, even high quality nubuck, is what made Nike really great back in the late eighties and nineties and I do not think that sort of honesty is coming back, thus the delay.

    Great review.

    1. Waiting on an Air Swift and TRUE Maestro 2 retro. Those are 2 of my top shoes ever and they had no names attached, unless you count the Scottie killing Ewing in them.

      1. I am not waiting on anything coming back out from Nike anymore, not they way they are treating their product. It is like going to Vegas to hear imitators/impersonators, instead of hearing the real thing.

        1. Great review Duke. Didn’t expect this review and glad to hear it’s a good performer.

          I concur on the retros. I loved the Maestro 1 and 2s and the Swifts back in the day, but I refuse to buy any of the retros because Nike is constantly cutting corners and ruining some part of the shoe. I’ll just keep it modern for now.

  4. I have been waiting for this review. I am so excited to cop these. Definite bargain. Although, I might add in a shock doctor insole to these.

    1. 2 hall of fame badges always gives me the chills. Best price I’ve seen all year. Nike better keep it up. I was about to switch to Adidas since they’re doing very well, but these are much better.

  5. Well I am hype to cop these! Just makes me puzzled though, if Nike was able to make such quality shoes for their budget model, why they’re dropping the ball on their Sigs…

    1. Overthrowing and trying to blown our minds with tech instead of doing what works. But that sells. If the lebron line never advanced past the 2, which is a killer performer, would people still buy it? Nah, consumers are fickle, and we want the new. But sometimes, the old works great.

    1. How? You playing on a construction site with bricks and nails? I played in A TON OF air max shoes for years and unless the bubble is stabbed or gets old and cracks, you are good.

  6. Nive review- these kind of shoes usually get ignored by reviewers, so its good to see the super-budgets some some attention. Besides the upper, these seem like a throwback shoe, tech wise. I would say that some forefoot zoom would be appreciated, but you can’t feel the zoom on the majority of Nikes these days. All it takes sometimes is a softer phylon, but on too many models they insist on using the hardest phylon possible.

  7. Long time fan of weartesters! First time posting tho.. Just bought these shoes over in Sweden for about 50 bucks. Thank you for all your hard work at weartesters, this goes for all you guys. It makes all the diffrence for me as someone who can´t spend endless amounts of cash on sneakers knowing how to make an informed decision. So thanks!

  8. I just copped this at Nike store nearby and it looked great in person.
    Good to know that your perspective about this kicks is positive enough! Lolll

  9. Been playing in Boost models for the past year and since the Crazy Explosive give me feet fatigue I recently switched back to a pair of Hyperposite sleeping in my shoe box. The Airmax still performs great and I really think Nike should continue the full length Airmax line. Never owned Hyperposite 2 so I dont know if these are an upgrade or a failure that made Nike abandon the line. or maybe they think KD sig already filled the place.

  10. Thanks a lot for the detailed review Bryan> Was in a real fix trying to decide between 3 pairs. Infuriate was the top of my list, but your review gave me some much needed peace of mind; I went ahead and bought it. 🙂
    Great review, by the way. The way you covered each aspect reassured me plenty and made me realize dimensions of thought regarding shoes I hadn’t even conceived of before.
    Thanks a lot again. 🙂

  11. Bryan or anyone who’s copped these: What’s the sole durability like? I’m guessing it’s not XDR but will it hold up outside? How would you say it compares to the Hyperlive?

    1. Holds up extremely well, but I’ve only played a few times outside in them. The rubber is good, thick, black rubber like old school 90s nikes.

  12. Son tan cómodas como llevar un calcetín. Lo único que le mejoraría es un poco más de amortiguacíon delante para que fueran unas super zapatillas.

    They are as comfortable as wearing a sock. The only thing that would improve them is a little more cushion in front so that they were super shoes.

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