Nike Air Max is one of the multiple technologies used by Nike in its shoe design. The shoe is designed to provide protection from high impact due to activities like long distance running. Air Max shoes often are recognized by the air cushioning unit being visible in the outsole of the shoe.
The MaxAir unit is a urethane plastic capsule containing pressurized gas, which is built into the soles of the shoe to provide cushioning. It extends across the full length of the shoe and is broken into individual sections. This is an evolution of the original Nike Air unit. The individual sections help prevent the air in the unit from shifting and settling into one specific area of the sole, and thus ensure even cushioning throughout the shoe.
Air Max shoes come with two different sock liner options. The "responsive" sock liner is designed to provide support for those who need quick reaction time, and may be best for faster runners. The “cushioned” sock liner is designed with plush material for an even softer feel. This may be preferable for those who put more weight on their feet.
Nike creates the upper body of the shoes using "fuse technology." This process fuses together multiple layers of material -- usually three different layers including leather and mesh -- to create a shoe with as little stitching as possible. This is primarily for appearance, but can also help prevent the shoes from coming apart over time.
The Nike Air Max iD shoes are custom made with the buyer choosing the specific colors. This includes the individual colors of each material fused to make the shoe along with the color of the MaxAir sole unit. A personal identification plate is put on the heels of the shoes, with up to eight letter/number characters imprinted on the back.