Air Max 90 vs Air Max 90 SE [6 Special Editions Included]

Written By Mahia

Being an enthusiast of Nike’s sneakers, you might wanna style with its exposed Air unit containing shoes. In that case, the Air Max 90 can fulfill your demands with a lengthy Air Unit.


But this sneaker has several special editions abbreviated as Air Max 90 SE.

In this write-up, I’ll disclose what are the specialties of these SE and how they differ from the original AM 90.

So, stay tuned!

Overview of Nike Air Max 90

With large visible Air Units and large heels, Nike Air Max appeared in the sneakers world in 1990. It was created by Nike’s renowned designer Tinker Hatfield.

The OG color of this informal staple was Infrared or Radiant Red. And this lightweight piece became so popular among 90’s young fashionistas.

Besides, Laser Blue, Eggplant,  Hot Coral, and Spruce Lime shaded AM 90 were also released to draw the attention of modern folks.

With the wedge-shaped midsole and taller profile, Air Max 90 adds around 3cm of height to one’s original height. You will get adequate comfort in this set, which originates from the thick PU midsole, suede, mesh, and synthetics combined upper. Similar to most other Air Max, the price is expensive, around $140.

Though it was introduced as a performance running shoe, this style-friendly shoe’s functioning is not so satisfactory on the runway. For a detailed explanation, browse Are Nike Air Max good for running?

Rather, people tend to this pair when exploring the street or getting ready for casual meetups.

What’s the Difference between Air Max 90 and Air Max 90 SE?

The terminology SE denotes Special Edition shoes in the sneaker business. So, the difference between Air Max 90 & Air Max 90 SE is simple. Air Max 90 stands for the original or regular pairs, and the SE refers to the special versions only.

Different special editions come with different materials, designs, functionalities, and color options.

Thus, bringing all SE under a particular category and making generalized differences between AM 90 & AM 90 SE is tricky.

On top of that, the price range, outsole, and quality of most SE & the typical 90 are almost similar. For instance, both styles include waffle rubber outsole for decent traction.

So you cannot separate them on the basis of materials quality, durability, and traction.

That’s why I’m gonna describe some noteworthy Air Max SE styles. Then you can easily compare SE and the OG AM 90.

Here are some Air Max 90 SE & their features compared to the Original Air Max 90 :

1. California Nike Air Max 90 SE

This mid-budget pair retails for $140. The white and yellowish color contrast of this sneaker provides a late spring vibe. Through this unique style, Nike pays tribute to the inventor of Air cushioning cornerstone, Frank Rudy.


A tag hangs with the laces where the word ‘CALIFORNIA NIKE AIR’ is printed. Moreover, Est. 1990 is embossed on the air unit.

There is another shoe of the exact same type & price to honor Frank Rudy. The only difference in that sneaker is the Air Barometer Gauge hangtag. Its building material is almost identical to the conventional AM 90 i.e. blend of suede, mesh, and leather.


2. Nike Air Max 90 Siempre Familia (Women’s)

Concentrating on Mexican culture and tradition, the Siempre Familia was released on April 1, 2022. Nike proclaims that its SEs are made as the intersection of art, music, and culture.

See what you will get into this pair:

– Black faux-horsehair upper.
– Suede stitched overlay.
– Green Swoosh logo.
– Brown velvet inner lining.
– Embroidered white lines on the toe box.
– The green jeweled eye.
– Padded collar with the lightweight Air Unit.


The price of this pair is reasonable, only $130. If you wanna take part in any cultural festival or street painting, this specific design can be a great pick.

3. Nike Air Max 90 SE Hemp

The designers make use of durable textile upper & hemp accents while fabricating this sneaker. This sneaker holds a signature look with its snail-trail stitching. Besides, you can notice seals stamped “NIKE MOVING CO” on the interior and on the tongue.

The deco Stichting and the seal represent Nike’s ongoing journey in the footwear industry and people’s continuous movement toward Nike.


However, other features, such as grip, available size, and collar height, are all equivalent to Air Max 90 OG. The style is only available for men and demands a relatively low price, 120 US dollars.


It is a football-inspired set that is built with a textile upper and rubber-suede accent. This smart pair takes away only $120 from the user’s wallet. Variations that have made the sneaker exceptional from others include –

  • Crowned ball logo on the tongue and insole.
  • Khaki print.
  • The football club or F.C. attitude.

However, a large portion of consumers complain about the sizing of this pair. This shoe nicely fits narrow and average feet owners but seems very compact on wider feet.

5. Air Max 90 OG ‘Sun Club’

Nike designed this shoe with the catchphrase ‘Strap a little sunshine to your feet.’

The manufacturer uses 20% sustainable recycled materials while making this exclusive footwear. As a result, they take a step ahead towards zero waste. However, the price is reasonable, just $120.


This eye-soothing and breathable sneaker is perfect for walking by the beach on warm summer days and enjoying the ocean views. Just as the sun shines in summer, the colorways of these shoes will enliven your mind.

6. Nike Air Max 90 Emerald

Nike dropped this highly anticipated sneaker to celebrate the 35-year anniversary of Air Max’s debut.

The base is formed with white-shaded airy mesh. Overall, it provides a true to size fitting and outstanding comfort. At the time of launch, its price was $140, but now it is reduced to $110.


You will see the green ‘XXXV’ embroidered pattern near the injection molded nylon plastic. This label symbolizes the emerald anniversary of the exposed Air Unit.


Looking for something exclusive which will tone up your outfit style with a signature appearance?

Then you better choose a pair from the six special versions that I have mentioned. For summer-friendly footwear, opt for the SE Hemp or Sun Club design. Both of them are pretty lightweight and have excellent breathability.

If you’re a curious woman who wants to enjoy a Xoloescuincle (Hairless Mexican dog) inspired texture-based sneaker, go for the Nike Air Max 90 Siempre Familia.

AM 90 SOCIAL F.C. can be your perfect companion while you’re in quest of a khaki printed sneaker with a football club stance.

If you want shoes dedicated to a specific person or day, California or Emerald AM 90 can be a significant part of your daily dress-up.

However, the ordinary variant of Air Max 90 won’t disappoint you in terms of the finest materials, longevity, and grip. So, you can pick the plain AM 90 if you prefer something classical.

But keep in mind that none of these have Air Max non-slip and waterproof features. They are just a part of your casual lifestyle staple.


The best thing about Air Max 90 and its special edition is their equivalent user-friendly performance and air cushioning. Both are worth the price and hype; hence, investing in any of them isn’t a waste of money.

So, which Air Max 90 you’re gonna add to your closet? Share your opinions and experience with me via the comment section.


About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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