What are the best Nike Air Max 97 colourways of all time?

A sleek & iconic trainer, the Air Max 97 is a timeless classic. But which colourway wins the award for best ever?

The Nike Air Max 97 is a revolutionary design from Nike, this silhouette was designed to harness comfort and unbeatable style together in one. Debuting in 1997, this shoe is one of the brand’s most iconic releases and is arguably one of the top-recognised running shoes of all time.

Inspired by Japanese bullet trains, the design is sleek and features an original ripple effect. Originally intended for performance running the Air Max 97 has a foam midsole and rubber outsole, creating the perfect blend of comfort and durability. 

As it is such an iconic trainer, there is much debate as to which colourways are the greatest in the Air Max 97 range. Adding to the intrigue most colourways are unisex, this is a shoe that is truly made for everyone. Discover a plethora of creative colourways below.

10. Nike Air Max 97 Neon Seoul

Average Sale Price: $155

Style code: CI1503-001

Where to Buy? StockX

About: The Nike Air Max 97 Neon Seoul colourway is inspired by the neon lights that glow around the city of Seoul. These beauties were designed by graphic designer Gwang Shin as a contender for the “Nike On Air” contest in April 2018. The black leather upper offers a sleek finish while the red, white and blue accents add that dash of colour. The chosen colours bring brightness and excitement to the shoe whilst paying homage to the South Korean national flag. The translucent red swoosh is contemporary and aims to match the modern, urban feel of Seoul. The design is intended to show flavours of the city that are well known and loved.

9. Nike Air Max 97 MSCHF x INRI Jesus Shoes

Average Sale Price: $1,292

Style code: 921826-101JSUS

Where to Buy? StockX

About: A hugely sought-after colourway, the Air Max 97 MSCHF x INRI Jesus drop sold out within 8 minutes of release. This collaboration between Brooklyn-based creative label MSCHF and Nike is named Jesus, often referred to as INRI (Iesus Nazaraeus Rex Ludaeorum). The sole of this shoe contains 60cc of water which was originally sourced from the River Jordan and then blessed. The idea is that this allows wearer to ‘walk on Holy Water’, theoretically anyway. An absolutely ingenious idea, we think so! The design also makes biblical references with a cross adorning the upper and a Matthew 14:55 inscription on the toe box. Another interesting feature is the seal that decorates the shoebox, the inspiration for this design is the official Papal Seal. There is also a angel on the box that pays tribute to artist Albrecht Durer’s 1514 engraving, Melencolia I.

8. Nike Air Max 97 Have a Nike Day

Average Sale Price: $190

Style code: BQ9130-500

Where to Buy? StockX

About: One of the best “Have a Nike Day” releases, this colourway features taping similar to other drops from this collection. Not one for the faint hearted, the multiple colours used throughout the design are unique, bold and bright. These are bound to catch the eye of the more creative among us. The lilac compliments the turquoise hue very nicely, with everything tied together by black and white accents. Added to the Air max 97 colourway collection in 2019, it’s boldness and individuality will surely keep it amongst the best releases for some time. Cop this sneaker to add a powerhouse statement to your outfits, with plain clothes being the best way to draw attention to your creps.

7. Nike Air Max 97 Black White Anthricite

Average Sale Price: $106

Style code: 921826-015

Where to Buy? StockX

About: Although a simple looking colourway, the Black/White/Anthracite release is fabricated using a number of textures. This gives it a contemporary edge and a sleekness that we find intriguing. The upper is made out of both mesh and leather providing an interesting combination of fabrics, this adds depth to a staple classic look. The white swoosh branding on the side and on the tongue provides welcome contrast. The sole is simple yet effective, with a mixture of black and transparent rubber giving a nice dimension to the look. It’s the perfect choice for those wanting a sneaker that wears well with anything.

6. Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 Skepta

Average Sale Price: $227

Style code: AJ1988-900

Where to Buy? StockX

About: Designed by British-Nigerian artist Skepta and released in 2017, the Ultra 17 Skepta is without doubt one of the most unique colourways. Featuring an iridescent upper this sneaker takes inspiration from Marrakech, the capital city of Morocco. A truly emotion-fuelled collaboration, Skepta holds the Air Max 97 silhouette very close to his heart so this sneaker is the product of real appreciation. Featuring interesting textures inspired by his exploration of the markets in Morocco this shoe is authentic, culturally significant and a real treat to add to any collection.

5. Nike Air Max 97 Have a Nike Day Indigo Storm

Average Sale Price: $206

Style code: BQ9130-400

Where to Buy? StockX

About: This colourway features various different hues of blue, creating a vibrant and attention grabbing shoe. The tonal blue upper is constructed from mesh nubuck and canvas in different shades of blue. Our favourite bit of the design is the “Have A Nike Day” taping that wraps around the entire sneaker, proudly displaying the shoe’s heritage. The white embroidered swoosh branding is classic and simple, but stands out nicely from the darker blue tones on the middle of the shoe. The white midsole also gives a nice clean contrast, and bridges the gap between the blue fabric and the blue sole. For any lovers of the colour blue, this one’s unmissable.

4. Nike Air Max 97 UNDFTD White

Average Sale Price: $403

Style code: AJ1986-100

Where to Buy? StockX

About: Nike combined with LA-based sneaker brand UNDFTD in 2017 to design a crep which would be indulged by all sneakerheads. The white upper features glossy leather which brings a clean & sleek finish to the party, this shoe screams ‘Wear Me’ for all occasions. The green and red wave that surrounds the entire shoe is certainly the focal point of this colourway, proudly displaying UNDEFEATED’s logo on a repeated loop. This colourway is definitely a classy variation on the Nike Air Max 97, suitable for dressy occasions and whatever else you need them for. Add them to your collection for the epitome of smart-casual.

3. Nike Air Max 97 Off White

Average Sale Price: $894

Style code: AJ4585-100

Where to Buy? StockX

About: This collaboration with Off-White allowed creative director Virgil Abloh to work his own flavour into the iconic silhouette. The reconstructed, transparent upper allows for a greater breathability than the original design and adds unique textures. Multiple parts of the shoe are fabricated from different materials, giving this shoe a contemporary edge. The red Nike branding on the tongue is subtle yet perfectly placed. This colourway was a part of “The 10” collection and was released in the second set, under the alias of the “Ghosting” Pack. A fashion forward design, this colourway is for those ultra trendy sneakerheads who want to show appreciation to the bold statement that this shoe really is.

2. Nike Air Max 97 Silver Bullet

About: Released in 2016 the Silver bullet colourway features a palette of silver and metallic greys which work well to create a very modern, industrial style shoe. The red swoosh contrasts nicely against the grey material, allowing passers by to instantly recognise the shoe as a proud Nike creation. Incorporating different hues of grey adds texture to an already beautifully crafted shape, creating a shoe full of dimension and depth. Although it’s a simple colourway the Silver Bullet is an unmistakeable nod to the Japanese Bullet train, which inspired the creation of the Nike Air Max 97. Perfect for all occasions this silhouette is extremely versatile and a subtle option to pair with your fits.

Average Sale Price: $1283

Style code: 884421-001

Where to Buy? StockX

1. Nike Air Max 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon

Average Sale Price: $1,223

Style code: AJ4219-400

Where to Buy? StockX

About: Originally landing as part of Air Max Day 2018, Sean Wotherspoon created a truly unique colourway and a clear fan favourite/ Not only is it a colourful play on the silhouette’s design, but it created an entirely new shoe by incorporating the sole from the Air Max 1.

A truly avant-garde colourway and the ultimate grail for many modern sneakerheads.

The upper consists of corduroy in 4 different colours ranging from yellow to grey, this contrasts well with the dark green mudguard.  The sole also mirrors these four different shades, and an extra small swoosh adorns the toe box. This hybrid shoe was built to provide a completely new and original twist on the Nike Air Max 97.

Honourable mention: Nike Air Max 97 Essentials

The three staple colourways available from Nike are all great choices. The three options under consideration are White/Black/Wolf Grey, Black/White/Black and Black/White. The simplicity of these colour schemes allows for a great versatility, which means they go well with anything and are perfect for a multitude of occasions.

Where to Buy? Nike

In summary, the greatest colourway has to be the Air Max 97/1 Sean Wotherspoon. The variety of colours used, paired with the incorporation of a second swoosh makes this shoe truly one of a kind. It also boasts a range of interesting materials, including a corduroy upper. This colourway offers an artistic, textured edge that is sure to turn heads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wear Air Max 97 with jeans?

Yes, thanks to the versatility of the Air Max 97 silhouette they do go well with jeans. If you’re after a sleek, polished look a pair of skinny or slim-fit jeans will do the trick. Otherwise, if you’re after a more laid-back approach you can opt for a looser wide-leg style. Styling this trainer silhouette really is all down to personal preference and tastes, but ultimately these trainers do go well with jeans which makes them a great every-day shoe.

When did Air Max 97 release?

Alluding to the silhouette’s very name, the first ever Air Max 97 was released in 1997. It was designed by Nike legend Christian Tresser. A variety of colourways have been released over the years, creating a stunning array of choice.

How does the Nike Air Max 97 fit?

This silhouette hugs your foot closer than other Air Max styles. This is because of the webbed lacing system that allows you to pull the upper towards your feet and fix the shoe nicely in place. If you have regular width feet, you will be fine to stick true to size. However if your feet are on the wider side it would be best to purchase half a size up to ensure your feet aren’t too cramped.

Do Air Max 97 make you taller?

With a heel height of around 3cm, the Air Max 97 will definitely make you appear taller. Paired with the unbeatable comfort of the sole, you’ve got yourself a winner. Buy a pair and you’ll be reaching new heights.