Just because a shoe is released as a “budget model”, doesn’t mean that they are a bad on court performer. There are plenty of “second tier” models that outperform a brand’s signature model, and if you are a hooper, you’ve got to love finding those hidden performance gems.
The Nike Air Max Impact 3 is one of those shoes. The Nike Air Max Impact 3 might not get a lot of attention because there’s no signature athlete attached to them, but I dare say that these outperform most signature shoes, and they immediately made our best budget basketball shoe list. If you’re going to pass on these simply because of the cheaper price and lack of notoriety, then you’re missing out on a great performer.
Nike Air Max Impact 3
Release Date: 2021
Style Code: DC3725-100
Herringbone all day. The traction on the Nike Air Max Impact 3 was excellent. On indoor courts, they bit the floor really well and even produced a screech every once in a while. I didn’t play on a very clean court either. Outdoors, they offered a ton of grip as well and were very durable. I have used these extensively outside and there’s little sign of wear. I would highly recommend these for blacktops and concrete. Though there are white and black sections, they performed just the same, though the black section is slightly firmer.
One of the first things I do when I get a shoe in is to get a feel for the cushion, especially if it’s foam. I pressed the Phylon on these and I was blown away by how soft they were. I had to do it repeatedly over the next few minutes all over the shoe because I couldn’t believe what I was feeling. And they just get better and better every time I put them on. In fact, I’m always surprised by how comfortable these feel under foot, especially considering that it’s a budget model. If I had to compare it to anything it would be to a plush slab of Cushlon. It’s definitely more on the soft side of things, but there’s still a bit of bounce that you can feel.
As far as the Air Max unit goes, I couldn’t really feel it at all, but my legs weren’t dead after games so that let me know it was doing its job. Compression lines are also abundant on the shoe, which is always a plus for me. The cushion is by far the most surprising aspect of this shoe.
It’s exactly what you’d expect from shoes nowadays: a lot of mesh and synthetic felt overlays. There are a few plastic reinforcements on some eyestays but that’s about it. The tongue is thin and not heavily padded. But, for the price point, there’s nothing really surprising here. If anything the build is very similar to the Nike LeBron Witness 6, even sporting the same linear mesh pattern. Fuse is also used on higher wear areas as well as for branding.
The fit is close to the Nike Giannis Immortality. Narrow footers can go down half a size. But be wary of the rubber pieces that come up on both sides as they can damage the pinky toe. These are definitely wide-footer friendly, though. Wide footers can go true to size. There’s some space for the toes to move and the mesh gets looser with wear. So, true to size for normal to wide-footers and possibly a half size down for narrow-footers.
Support was amazing. I almost tripped and rolled my ankle a couple of times and they caught me just fine. The rubber that comes up on both sides really helps the foot stay on the foot bed, plus you sit within the midsole. If that wasn’t enough, there are heel wings to avoid excessive heel movement. The Air Max unit didn’t cause any instability issues, most likely due to its size. There’s also a really beefy outrigger in the forefoot and a smaller one in the heel. There’s absolutely everything you need and then some. You can play at peace with these.
The Nike Air Max Impact 3 is one of the best Nike basketball shoes you can get, especially if you’re looking to spend less than $100. The traction worked in all conditions. The cushion was just flat out surprising and can hold up for hours of play. The materials do their job while fit and support work together to leave you with no worries while you play. Even without considering the price, these are certified bad boys.
How to Buy the Nike Air Max Impact 3
The Nike Air Max Impact 3 is available now in multiple colorways at Nike in most countries.