The Nike Air Max Torch 4 gets high praise from all angles as one of the best Nike running shoes on the market. But does it really have what it takes to satisfy discriminating users? I did some digging to learn more about this highly sought-after running shoe design. After everything I learned, I have to say – I am impressed.
Featuring a lightweight construction, impressive durability, and seamless comfort through and through, the Air Max Torch 4 might just be the perfect running buddy. So if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you need to grab yourself a pair of the Torch 4’s, my complete review should tell you why you should let go of the hesitation.
The Classic Nike Aesthetic
These days, most Nike running shoes feature that sleek, streamlined look that clings closely to your foot to create a slim silhouette. But the Air Max Torch 4 features a more classic aesthetic that’s reminiscent of older Nike releases.
Resembling the Nike Air Monarch IV, the Torch 4 has a chunkier appeal compared to models like the Flex 2017 RN. The thicker outsoles combined with the aggressively textured mesh uppers make the entire shoe look a lot bulkier. Over the uppers are several fabric overlays that are purely aesthetic in purpose. This gives the shoe its striking and somewhat busy appearance.
Along the heel, you’ll find the Max Air heel compartment. The small unit is hollow, designed to give extra bounce and responsiveness to your step so you can enjoy a more effortless run. Lastly, over the front of the uppers, thick round laces add to the shoes chunky aesthetic, making it look even bulkier on the overall.
All in all – it’s not a bad looking shoe. But there are still more buyers who find the shoes’ appearance to be less than appealing. For most, it just lacks the stylish appeal that other running shoes are known and loved for.
A Comfortable Shoe Through and Through
Probably one of the main considerations people have when choosing a running shoe is comfort. If your shoes don’t offer the right feel during use, you might find yourself limping halfway through your route. This is why the Torch 4 still gets a lot of praise despite its awkward build and appearance.
The shoe offers superb comfort all around, cradling your feet in a soft and pliable interior. What’s more, the shoe is also a great pick for people with milder cases of flat feet, as the arches are designed to be slightly more accommodating of special feet conditions. Around the collar and tongue, plush padding keeps your foot in the proper place, hugging snugly around your ankles without causing irritation or friction.
The uppers are soft and flexible, allowing just enough movement so your feet don’t feel restricted. In terms of breathability, the shoes are some of the best, able to reduce sweat production and maintain a cool, dry climate inside the shoes at all times.
Great Support for Avid Runners
Ever lose your balance while on a run? Shoes that don’t provide the right support put you at risk of several different kinds of injuries that commonly target the ankles. With a proper pair of running shoes, you can curb the chances of injury and prevent contractures, discomfort, and chronic foot pain to boot.
Torch 4 is one of the best designed Nike running shoes when it comes to support. The shoes feature impressive arch support that properly holds your arches at the proper height. They also work well for individuals with slightly fallen arches, allowing you to bear and shift your weight effortlessly and comfortably.
Unlike other running shoes from Nike that tend to feature that low profile design, the Torch 4 doesn’t sacrifice support for aesthetic appeal. That is, the shoes boast a shaft that snugly cradles the bony prominences of the ankles. This provides just enough restraint to prevent inversion and eversion that could lead to injuries. Plus, the design also applies some psychological restraint which makes it easier for users to adjust their step in order to avoid an injury.
An Effective Sole Tread Pattern
If you’re like any other runner, you probably enjoy changing up the scenery every now and again. So, it’s possible that you might sometimes find yourself running on smooth pavement sometimes, and on rough terrain other times. That said, it’s ideal that you come equipped with a shoe that can take on those different running conditions.
Featuring a sole tread pattern that’s designed for running, the Torch 4 can keep a steady grip on a variety of surfaces to give you a stable step. Small square and rectangular protrusions jut out from the soles, and feature just enough spacing to give you significant grip even on tough, rugged terrain.
The sole tread patterns are so aggressive in fact, that you can see how they cut away from the sole when you look at the shoe from the sides. The material is also particularly durable, able to maintain their shape, density, and integrity even after months of daily wear and tear.
A Responsive Design for Optimal Energy Efficiency
The Nike Air Max line of shoes was named so because of the inclusion of a Max Air cushion. This component is found inside the heel, and features a hollow space with increased air pressure, thus giving more bounce to your step.
With the Torch 4, the tech has proven to be highly beneficial, giving the shoe a springier feel upon heel strike. This makes the Torch 4 a lot easier to run in, allowing you to save energy by banking on your momentum as your foot lands on the ground.
Another reason why the Torch 4 does so well when it comes to energy efficiency is its upward curving forefoot section. Towards the front of the shoe, the entire structure curves upwards. This makes it a whole lot easier for you to transition weight-bearing from your heel to your toes so you can lift your foot off more effortlessly as you run.
Don’t Expect a Lifetime of Durability
Probably the only real issue with the Nike Air Max Torch 4 is the fact that it isn’t necessarily the most durable shoe out there. The design, unfortunately, doesn’t last very long, with some users complaining the shoe can only hold up to a few months of use before becoming totally worn out.
For the most part, the sole construction is where the issue lies. The insoles aren’t as durable as many would have preferred, and they do lose their density and structure after a short while. The uppers are also particularly easy to wear out because they’re thin and flimsy, made from light breathable material that doesn’t really hold up well against wear and tear.
In terms of aesthetics, the shoe is pretty hard to maintain. That’s mostly because of the overlays that stick to the construction with nothing more than adhesive. When the glue wears away from exposure to moisture and constant movement, they can peel away giving the shoe a worn-out appearance that can make them seem unappealing.
Pros of the Nike Air Max Torch 4
- Comfortable construction makes the shoes a dream to use, allowing you to run for longer.
- Impressive support accommodates even slightly fallen arches, giving you ample protection against injury, pain, and discomfort.
- Great traction works on a variety of terrain so you can take your shoes out on any run without losing your step.
- Max Air cushion sole component adds substantial response, making it a great choice for those who want to maximize their energy.
Cons of the Nike Air Max Torch 4
- Not exactly the best-looking shoe there is, taking on a bulkier appearance than most other Nike running shoes.
- Durability might not be the most reliable, leaving you to buy a new pair just a few months after constant use.
The Bottom Line
The Nike Air Max Torch 4 can definitely be a great running shoe for buyers who want a comfortable, supportive shoe that does great on a variety of terrain. Premium running performance was the main goal of the design, so what you get is a shoe that lets you focus on your run minus the need to worry about injury, discomfort, and potential accidents.
Of course, there is a drawback to the entire design. Failing in the durability department, the shoe might need a replacement soon after you break it out of the box. Nonetheless, it does make a great companion if you don’t mind having to repurchase a new pair after a few months of use.