NIKE Air Monarch IV

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While the name for cross-trainers has changed over the years, one thing is for sure, Nike quality on them has remained best in the field as they have with many of their shoe lines. While not really intended for running or climbing with their build, Nike shoes have often been a favorite do to their high standards, support and their longevity. The Air Monarch IV is no different. This shoe has all the features you come to expect from a Nike line, from its outsole to it’s upper, this shoe outperforms most of the competition with flying colors. With so much to cover, we will just go right into telling you all about what you can expect from this gym styled shoe.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Imported quality materials
  • Leather overlays for airflow
  • Air-sole for support
  • Solid rubber outsole for durability
  • Variety of width options
  • Heavy
  • Squeaky midsole over long term heavy usage
  • Rubber may pull away at front from upper under heavy use


The outsole of this shoe is made of thick rubber with heavy lean into traction. This design was mainly focused for use in a gym or on light running or walking rather than high-level running and endurance training. That being said, while the rubber itself on this one does not tend to run thin nor gain any holes, it seems that the outsole may separate from the upper part of the shoe near the toes under heavy usage. This is due to some issue in the manufacturing of the shoe and can cause issues for those intending to use it for a lot of exercise or heavy daily running over lighter exercise and simple day to day tasks. If you are looking for a high octane running shoe or climbing shoe this probably won’t be a good option.


The midsole seems to be developed through a blend of old and new technology to provide constant even support and cushioning with every step. While this proves to be the case for almost all who have purchased and used the shoe, it is also a majority complaint that due to the blend of Nike Air ride and the foam used, the shoe actually begins to squeak after a lot of use has been put in. This could be a no-go for some, but even after the squeaking starts up, the wearers say that the support continues to work just as well. So the question when looking into this one is whether a tiny squeak is enough to give up the comfort and support this shoe continuously offers. On our side of things, a little sound doesn’t really bother us, as long as the shoe is doing what it was built to do and keeps our feet from aching, we won’t toss them out of the running!


Nike Air Monarch VI sports mostly leather on the upper shoe, and aside from the rubber at the front, the upper itself appears to be exceptionally durable. With just the right amount of airflow, this shoe is comfortable in every aspect. For those who prefer the traditional over the newfangled styles of holding the shoe on, this pair has the good old reliable lace-up variety sneaker on top. This means you can decide just how much lace is needed from just above your toes to the top of the shoe's tongue to hold your foot in without being restrictive or painful. While most of the time we enjoy the thought of pull on and go, the old lace-up shoes do have their benefits in perfect comfort and support that simply can’t be replaced with elastic bands.


This is where the shoe obviously steps out of your running shoe lane to firmly stand as a trainer or lifestyle shoe instead. You want lightweight when your running because a heavier shoe will put a strain on your legs, feet, and ankles. Unfortunately, weight is what you find here at about 15 ounces per shoe. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, this was not designed to be a running shoe, although many still prefer to use them for it. In the end, it is up to you whether this shoe is still on the pallet for your running or exercise routines, or if this is where you stop and go to look at some of our other articles for shoes more specifically designed with running in mind.


While many of the shoes we put up here boast of their mesh design for this, Nike still has great breathability without switching to a mesh. Instead, they have a patented design for layering their leather to allow good airflow while not giving up on the support or look of the shoe. Having the all leather layers also means that they have more to offer in other areas as well, such as style. For breathability, this shoe is great for indoor use, but if you are thinking to head outside into the heat, they may prove to be lacking in keeping your feet cool in the heat.


One of the biggest boasting rights for Nike lies in the fact that everyone agrees they don’t just look good- they feel good too. When you get a Nike you are assured that it will be comfortable and supported in the activities your shoe was designed for- and even in some activities that it wasn’t designed for. That being said they used their padded air midsole design to assure maximum comfort in wearing this line. For those that have gotten them, they claim that these shoes are quite possibly the most comfortable shoe they have ever owned.


We are talking Nike here, and when you talk about this company, style is big. Some of the naysayers feel this shoe comes off as a bit ‘dad-ish’, but most who are satisfied with their purchase have all said that the number of different colors and styles for this line remains strong. This is one of the qualities that has the most support when discussing this product, which says something. Before taking the word of a few, why not hold out till you can check out every look this shoe offers? From our research, we were able to find four distinct looks, and none of them could be called ‘dad-ish’ in our records.


Overall this shoe is actually pretty durable. The thicker rubber can hold up to almost any surface, and the stitching is very solid on the upper. The only concerns we could locate were that some had an issue with the area where the rubber comes up over the front of the shoe, the shoe seems to peel here. While this is usually found to occur under heavy use that the shoe was not entirely intended for, it still needs to be mentioned along with the squeaky midsole. The latter, however, is not really a call out to it falling apart- just makes them noisy, the midsole remains comfortable and supportive even after it starts to squeak. Considering that using them in the heat can run counter to the lower breathability of the leather, and the midsole is made of tine melted rubber pallets- we can’t help but imagine the two have something to do with one another.


Protection is something that Nike often maximizes on, and the Air Monarch IV is no different. The thick leather protects your feet easily on hard pavement, smooth floors and on hiking trails equally, providing traction and not allowing much, if any, sharper objects to injure you. Add to it that the leather upper shoe prevents most day to day problems from causing you harm and won’t let your feet gain abrasions and you'll see the shoe definitely holds to the company reputation.


This is where this product excels. With their innovative air technology and the cushion used, this shoe responds by cushioning your feet against impact and bounces back to continue to support and ready itself for your next step. No matter how long you go for, these shoes will keep your foot safe and comfortable while taking the harsher side of walking out of it. There just isn’t anything bad to say about the responsiveness of this one! If you can stand a little rubber squeaking, don’t turn up your nose, or you may be passing up comfort for your feet that you just won’t find anywhere else.


This shoe seems to be greatly supportive in the overall of things. After all, it wouldn’t be comfortable if your feet weren’t being given the support they need, and they definitely hit the mark for comfort. It is not only supportive of your typical consumer, but due to the room that it’s leather design allows for, if you have a foot problem, such as swelling, or you have had surgery, these give you the space you need to not have your feet feeling crushed by a tight ‘hugging sensation. Of course, if you prefer or need that because they are lace-ups that can be tightened or loosened as you need, you can tighten them up to give that extra feeling of being held in place. These shoes are well built for support of all kinds, and with the extra traction, you will have the comfort of knowing you won’t slip and fall either.


While not originally designed for running or outdoor activity, these shoes are made with heavy durable and thick soles with great traction. This means you can use them for just about any activity regardless of the terrain. You won’t run into problems like lack of support, or responsiveness and beyond getting hot feet, they will continue to remain comfortable. The biggest issue you may run into with outdoor ‘hot’ activities or heavy use in general, is that durability where the rubber comes up over the toes a little. You may end up wearing the glue out and the shoe will begin to separate. That being said, if all you are planning is the everyday activity of grocery shopping, going to the park or just running out on errands and the occasional nature hike, these are definitely great shoes for it!


Surprisingly for the brand, the price on these are not going to make you pass up on a pair of old reliable type shoes! Instead of feeling like your gouging your wallet for every last penny, you’ll find they average between $30 and $40 wherever you look. Some sizes might come out more, but from what we were able to find, that isn’t very often. With such a great price, you wouldn’t think you were checking out a pair of Nike’s!


The traction on these definitely run in the ‘can’t do much better’ area. Because of how thick the rubber is and the weaving design on their soles, you can use them just about anywhere without worrying if you’ll slip. Nike’s reputation was built on traction in a lot of ways, and they seem to stick to that well-earned rep no matter what line you look into.


These are a decently flexible shoe, and that ties in with both the Upper design as well as the responsiveness. Of course, being all leather on the upper means you won’t get as much give as you would with some of the softer materials and that is due to the flexibility of the materials used and the added use of the rubber supports in the midsole. They aren’t completely rigid, but again these were designed for indoor sports and everyday use over marathon running and rock climbing.


These are an extremely stable shoe altogether. They grip well, form to your steps, and provide all the needed support a shoe should give you. The only lack in stability is how the rubber can separate under high usage. Otherwise, the leather stays together and the rubber itself doesn’t lend to issues when moving nor will it crack or break easily.


This is one of those features that serve no purpose outside comfort for the wearer, that being said, comfort is one of the high aspects of whether or not a shoe is what you are looking for. This one’s drop is standard for a trainer and has a 10mm drop from heel to toe. So, if trainers are your usual comfort zone, this one is your shoe!

Key Features

-Extremely comfortable midsole design
-Great traction
-Great price
-Reliable brand
-Good style
-Great Trainer/Lifestyle design
-All leather upper

Bottom Line

If what you need is an everyday shoe for running out on errands, doing light exercising at a gym, or walking, these shoes are perfect. If you need something that can take high endurance routines and stand up to hot environments while keeping your feet dry, you need to keep looking. These shoes are excellent when they are used as designed, and ok for everything else, but at their surprisingly lower price for a Nike, definitely worth a look into.