Nike Air Max Tavas Review

by Purposeful Footwear - Last Updated: February 17, 2019

The Nike Air Max line of shoes has been around for quite some time, and is an indisputable favorite among lots of sneaker heads. A few months back, I was given the opportunity to review one of the earlier models of the Air Max line-up named the Tavas.

Image of the Nike Mens Air Max Tavas Running Shoe

Boasting a sporty casual look, it wasn’t hard to find the right outfits to match this handsome sneaker, so I was able to use it on the daily for a few months. I also went out in search of reviews and information to help come up with a solid review that would help readers really understand what the Tavas is all about.

After having spent some time using the shoe myself, and after finding out what many other users have to say about it, I can definitely recommend the Nike Air Max Tavas to anyone who wants a footwear companion that can easily transition from work, to play, and even to fitness.

Are you thinking of shelling out a pretty penny for that good looking Tavas sneaker? Here’s everything you need to know about this footwear design before you finally make that purchase.

Killer Good Looks Perfect for Any Occasion

Through the years, Nike has evolved to become more than just an athletics footwear manufacturer. The company has taken on a completely new angle in recent years, combining both form and function to generate designs that don’t only perform well but look great on and off the court or track.

The Tavas design under the Nike Air Max line-up plays within the same arena, giving you superb aesthetics that you can proudly wear even when you’re not in action. Ultimately though, the shoe is advertised as a running shoe which works best out on the track as a durable, lightweight, and efficient footwear selection for those who like to wear out their treads.

Image of the Nike Men's Air Max Tavas Running Shoes Maroon/Red/Black 9.5 M US

The design doesn’t look too different from other Nike shoes on the market. In fact, to an untrained eye, the Nike Air Max Tavas could be easily mistaken for the Air Max 1 Ultra Essential Running Shoes or even the Kaishi, especially with the darker, solid black colorways. Of course, the unique Max Air unit along the heel does give away the Tavas though.

Another thing that makes the Tavas distinct from other running shoes – or Nike shoes for that matter – is the no-sew overlays it uses to achieve its seamless, streamlined look. Over the uppers, you’ll see different patches of different textured fabrics covering the mesh. These areas are completely stitch-free, giving the shoe greater aesthetic appeal that adds a touch of seamless, sporty-casual style.

Satisfying Comfort is Unfortunately Inconsistent

Don’t get me wrong – the Tavas can be very comfortable in certain areas of the foot. The heel and forefoot, for instance, are very amply padded giving you a soft responsiveness that’s just a dream to run in. The uppers are seamless even on the inside, so there aren’t any stray threads or stitches that could dig into your skin and cause blisters.

The issue with comfort ultimately lies in the mid foot region. The shoe seems to pinch slightly too narrow around the middle area, sacrificing space and impinging the feet uncomfortably especially over extended periods of time. This is further highlighted by the fact that the toe box is particularly roomy. So the feeling of a tight fit around the mid-foot region becomes extra pronounced.

Image of the Nike Mens Air Max Tavas Running Shoe

While the shoe does break-in after a while, I have to point out that they don’t loosen up quite enough to rectify this problem. This makes it seem that the shoes were designed specifically for individuals with narrow feet, as it might be difficult to find the right space to accommodate your mid foot region if you’ve got slightly wider feet.

Responsive Soles for an Effortless Bounce

Who doesn’t love running in a pair of optimally responsive shoes? I took the Nike Air Max Tavas out on a run a bunch of times to see how they fared on the track. The one thing I can say is that they do offer quite a bit of bounce which makes even high speed running effortless and minimally tiring.

Image of the Nike Mens Air Max Tavas Running Shoe

The design owes this to its Max Air cushion that sits inside the heel portion of the sole. Nike takes pride in this technology, and incorporates it into all Air Max designs including a few that aren’t even in the line-up. Basically, the feature stores momentum, giving you extra oomph for toe-off so you can save energy and get more power out of each step.

Aside from the Max Air cushion, the shoes also use a highly flexible rubber sole that bends and moves in coordination with your step. This helps make running and walking feel extra natural so you don’t have to exert extra energy just to get your feet moving against the resistance of a stubborn sole.

Image of the Nike Mens Air Max Tavas Running Shoe

Underneath the shoe, a smart tread pattern keeps your feet firmly planted even on wet terrain. The widely spaced embossed rectangular areas in combination with widely spaced lines along the mid-foot region work together to provide superb grip during running. Along the sole, the rubber material changes texture completely, featuring a dense matte region with fine grids for a more stable heel strike.

A Hard-Wearing Design That Really Lasts

Probably my favorite thing about the Nike Air Max Tavas is the fact that they really do last. Unlike other, ultra-lightweight running shoes, the Tavas does have some structure and density to it. So you can depend that it will survive much longer than other flimsy designs.

Image of the Nike Mens Air Max Tavas Running Shoe

The upper and sole construction is seamless and strong, giving you a hard-wearing silhouette that’s both responsive to movements and resistant to too much bending. The materials are also top notch, staying pretty much the same even after months of use.

If there’s anything that isn’t as durable, it would have to be the no-sew overlays that tend to peel off after some time. Sure, that doesn’t really affect the shoes’ performance as the overlays are strictly decorative in nature. But then again, for someone who likes having a pair of good shoes for the sake of owning them, peeled off designs and overlays can be a problem.

A Colorway for Everyone

It would be unlike the Nike brand to have the Tavas in just a single color. So you can be sure to find the right colorway to suit your preferences when you scour the market for different variations. There are lots of fun color combos to choose from, but the most popular has to be the solid black variant which retails for several dollars more than any other colorway.

Image of the Nike Mens Air Max Tavas Running Shoe

The Tavas are also available in kid’s variations, with little to no difference aside from the shape and fit of the shoe. Colorways for children are also slightly different, leveraging more fun color combinations to appeal to younger taste.

Pros of the Nike Air Max Tavas

  • Lightweight build and construction makes the shoes ideal not only for running, but for average everyday use.
  • Superb aesthetics can take you from the track to any other occasion, suiting virtually any outfit you might want to wear.
  • Impressive durability keeps the shoe essentially the same even after long months of use.
  • Satisfying comfort keeps your feet properly cradled especially around the heel and forefoot.
  • Max Air cushions inside the soles reduce fatigue and help improve your use of energy for a bouncier to off.
  • Soles can keep your feet stable even during high speed running.

Cons of the Nike Air Max Tavas

  • Mid-foot region isn’t as comfortable as the rest of the interior.
  • No-sew overlays tend to peel off after some time.

The Verdict

So, would I recommend that you go out to buy a pair of the Air Max Tavas? Of course! The shoes are great for more than just running, giving you an all-around, everyday footwear choice that you can wear virtually anywhere. The Tavas design can give you sky high satisfaction at the gym, on the track, in the office, and even at the mall, so you can go through your day with just one pair of reliable Nike shoes day in and day out.

Of course, it’s not a perfect shoe. At the end of the day, issues with the mid-foot region of the insole can be problematic for people with either high or low arches. But then again, that’s not something that a good pair of insole inserts can fix.

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