Air Max 97

As luxurious as the bullet trains. The Nike Air Max 97 may have various design inspirations, but the introduction of a new Air Max setup worked wonders for this Air Max trainer that was way ahead of its time.

When you talk about Nike Air Max, you’ll always hear the likes of the Air Max 90, Air Max 95, and the Air Max 97 in the conversation. Each of the three sneakers mentioned has a tier of its own, so it’s really a hard time ranking them. But the Nike Air Max 97 is the most advanced of all. As it’s the latest among the three.

Designed by Christian Tresser, the Air Max 97 is the first to feature a full-length visible Air Max setup. And that’s not where the luxury ends. Tresser explained that while urban legends say that the Air Max 97 took inspiration from Japanese bullet trains, it was actually ripples formed in the water where Tresser based the design from.

The most eye-catching aesthetic on the upper are the wavy panels placed on top of one another to create the ripple effect. Mesh make up most of the body, while leather reinforces the rest of the shoe.

Yet another low-cut Air Max trainer, the AM97 also boasted another first for sneaker designs; the hidden eyestay. The wavy upper hides the lace loops within the shoe, only giving a glimpse of the laces atop the plush mesh tongue.

During its debut, the Nike Air Max 97 didn’t waste time catching the attention of the sneaker community. Arriving in a metallic silver makeover dubbed “Silver Bullet” became a classic hit in an era where shiny metallic colours were a trend. The addition of Red accents on the Swoosh logos also made a huge difference as it gave the shoe even more detail. It’s finished off with a see-through full-length Air Max unit and a black and white waffle traction outsole.

Until today, the Nike Air Max 97 continues to release in new and engaging colour schemes. It was also subject to various collabs with other brands such as Off-White, UNDFTD, and more. Even an unofficial rework by MSCHF got the classic silhouette trending because of controversies.

2022 will be the Nike Air Max 97’s 25th anniversary. And it’s only fitting that the AM97 “Metallic Silver/Silver Bullet” makes another return for its Silver Anniversary.

View some of the most recent Nike AM97 releases below:

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