Nike Air Max Torch 4
The upper of this design is surprisingly breathable and utilizes a blend of mesh materials and synthetic overlays to keep your feet locked in place. It boasts ample padding along the tongue and heel collar, and the break-in period is relatively non-existent. I was originally drawn to the sleek and modern design of this shoe, as well as the affordable price point. The high durability and comfortable midsole was a nice added bonus as well.
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into what makes the Nike Men’s Air Max Torch 4 a surprisingly great pair of daily trainers.
Cushioned upper offers excellent lockdown
Short break-in period
Stiff heel counter for added stability
Great for running as well as weight lifting
Air pods feel light and bouncy underfoot
Not very breathable
Not ideal for long-distance running
The midsole of this Nike shoe is broken down into two different layers that are made to help even out your gait cycle as well as provide a super comfortable ride. The bulk of the midsole is composed of Nike’s Phylon foam, which is a little more lighter and responsive than traditional EVA foam. This foam is found primarily in the forefoot and helps add a little bit of extra stability without the use of hard plastic or TPU materials. I tend to overpronate, and found this midsole material adapted to my gait cycle to keep it nice and even.
On the heel counter, Nike uses a thick layer of Max Air cushioning that is slightly more rigid than the Phylon cushioning. The stiffer material in the heel is perfect for heel strikers and adds another layer of stability to this lightweight and easy-going trainer. This midsole doesn’t provide that soft step-in feel like other trainers, but it works overtime to keep your stride bright and bouncy.
Technically, this shoe is listed to be a trail running shoe. However, I found that the lugs are modest, and can easily transition not only to sidewalks but also to the gym as well. The outsole boasts a slightly tacky finish that really allows you to grip the ground under your feet. I feel that it is perfect for running on slick sidewalks, muddy trails, or nice and easy treadmill runs.
The outsole is made from BRS 1000 rubber, which is the same outsole material found in more expensive Nike trainers such as the Air Zoom Pegasus. This means that you will get the same level of durability and performance as some of the higher-end Nike trainers without the expensive price point.
The upper of this design walks that fine line between comfort and stability. It boasts a highly padded heel collar and tongue to wrap your feet in comfort. It is constructed from a blend of breathable mesh materials with synthetic overlays to really lock your feet in place. Plus, the stiffer heel counter provides you with just a little extra stability and is perfect for heel strikers.
One of the downsides to this plush and cushioned upper is that it isn’t very breathable. While it boasts a few mesh panels to help move hot air up and away from your foot, it isn’t quite enough to keep your feet cool and dry. It’s perfect for running in cooler weather, but you may be left with hot feet and soggy socks when the temperatures start to climb. It wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, but it is something worth noting.
Whether you are working out indoors or outdoors, the Nike Air Max Torch 4 can easily transition to a wide variety of workouts. Initially, I bought this shoe to take for modest trail runs and trips around the neighborhood, but found that I also work in the gym as well. The lightweight design and stability features are great for lifting weights or engaging in CrossFit. You can wear these shoes on any and all cardio machines at the gym.
It’s important to note, however, that these shoes are a little stiffer than I expected. However, they are the type of shoe that only gets better and better the more that you wear them. After a few short miles, the midsole and outsole became more nimble, and they quickly turned into my go-to workout shoe, whether I was running or weight lifting.
Overall, the Nike Air Torch 4 fits true to size. If you are a 9 in other Nike shoes, the same can be said for this daily trainer. What I love most about the fit of this shoe is that the dynamic lacing system allows users to tinker a bit with the lockdown for a comfortable yet secure fit to their unique foot shape. It also boasts a wide toe box that allows toes to naturally spay, and prevents jamming inside of the shoe.
If you have never worn Nike’s before, I suggest taking ample measurements of your feet and comparing it to Nike’s detailed sizing chart. Unlike other trainers with a more dialed-in design, the cut of this trainer is made to accommodate a wide variety of users.
I often suggest heading to your local shoe store to give them a spin before you slap down your credit card, but the consistent sizing and wider frame make this shoe a good fit for most users.
I don’t know about you, but shopping for training shoes is an elegant dance of comparing performance features to the overall style. I was originally drawn to the sleek and modern style of this shoe (as well as the variable rainbow of color options), and was pleasantly surprised that it hit all of the marks that I look for in a good training shoe.
The profile of this shoe lives somewhere in between a low top and a high top as if it is a shoe that cannot make up its mind. I did notice that it scraped my ankle bone slightly, but it wasn’t annoying enough to cause any blisters. The slightly higher design of this shoe not only looks modern, but it performs quite well when you need a little extra ankle support (especially when squatting!).
The cherry on the top of this cake is the affordable price point. While the Air Max Torch boasts many of the higher-end materials found in some of Nike’s more expensive shoes, the price tag lands this shoe in the budget-friendly category. It’s important to note, however, that the lower pierce point comes at a cost, so to speak.
Compared to other Nikes, this shoe is slightly less durable and the outsole wears quicker than similar trainers out there on the market. I also noticed that the mesh around the toe box wears a little thin over time. While the upper wore down quickly, I still refused to retire these shoes due to the overall comfort and performance. Despite the limited durability, I still feel that these shoes are well worth the price tag.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
The Air Max Torch 4 has a completely redesigned upper, to the point where it vaguely resembles previous versions. The updates to the upper include more synthetic overlays for added stability and a higher profile to provide you with more support in your ankles. It also boasts more padding in the heel counter and has more breathable mesh panels than the Air Max Torch 3.
The good news is that there isn’t much of a price difference between the newer model and the older model, so you won’t be tempted to opt for an older version to save a little bit of money!
It’s light and nimble while providing just the right amount of cushioning and low-end stability. If you want a shoe that dabbles in just about everything while still coming in at a super affordable price point, this shoe is certainly worth checking out!