Dubbed as the ultimate “Dad shoe”, the Nike Air Monarch IV is the sneaker that is up for a review this week. The Monarch made its debut in 2003 and it was designed as a cross trainer targeting the middle aged dads in search for an all around athletic shoe. Nike decided this way to tap into a market dominated by New Balance up until that time and they surely did not miss. The series became one of the best selling shoes for the brand and three more versions have been released since. Even if among sneakerheads the Air Monarch is sort of a joke there have been quite a few celebrities wearing them lately, with Russell Westbrook and Drake among them. It may be a sign that the sneaker will get some more appreciation from the sneaker community soon. 

How They Fit 

I came across a pair of the Nike Air Monarch IV in 2023 in black, red and white, a colorway that it’s been around for years. Given that I entered fatherhood a few years ago I guess it was meant for me to give these a try one day. Out of the box they look a bit bulky and feel heavy but certainly not bad looking. A size 8.5 weighs just over 14oz which is pretty much skate shoes territory for a low sneaker. Once on foot you can tell why these are so appreciated by many; they are very comfortable from the get go and they get even better after you break them in a bit. They come in regular width but also in wide width. I got the medium width and they fit just fine with my regular Nike size, even if I got slighter wide feet. So they fit true to size and it’s quite hard not to get it right with these in terms of fit, there are so many options available.

Nike Air Monarch IV review 1

Nike Air Monarch black white red 2

Upper 

There are 2 versions of the Nike Air Monarch IV , one with all leather upper and one with mesh and leather. The one we got was the latter which means that there is a slight better air flow. There are a few perforations across the shoe but they do not do much in terms of air flow inside the shoe. What I quickly came to find out during my Nike Air Monarch IV review was that they can get pretty hot, especially during warm summer days. This is also because of the extensive padding in the heel area and tongue, in exchange for the plushy comfort they offer. The shoes feature double stitching all over the upper which add some sort of sophistication to an otherwise dull design. The whole setup however makes it for a durable upper that even protects your feet from whatever may come at you in the yard while you are doing your errands or just having a BBQ. 

Sole Unit 

The Nike Air Monarch IV features a full length Air sole cushioning encapsulated by a re-engineered EVA foam. The latter is not the softest foam Nike has to offer and that makes it so it adds some extra stability while keeping the price low. This shoe is known for being an excellent walking shoe and I can attest to that, despite being originally advertised as a cross training shoe. Its versatility in terms of athletic activities ends in the gym, however , where you can use them for some weight lifting due to their stability. While some tried to review these for running or basketball I did not attempt to do so as they are too heavy and bulky to come even close to any decent performance in these areas. The outsole of the shoe is made of hard rubber with a pattern that is specifically made for an everyday shoe. 

Nike Air Monarch black white red 1

Nike Air Monarch black white red 3

Bottom Line

To conclude my Nike Air Monarch IV review, this is an excellent all around shoe for those looking for comfortable sneakers to wear all day long and they are not too worried about the sneaker hype. They are a practical, comfortable pair of shoes that truly have the potential to go beyond the 45+ age range they currently sell the best for. There have been a few collabs and tweaks made by Nike in recent years that have been well received by the market, jokingly or not. If not convinced, however, the New Balance 608 V5 and the Nike Tech Hera are 2 other sneakers that is worth taking a look, given the accommodation and comfort they provide. 

Nike Air Monarch IV black red white

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