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Nike Air Max 97 Shoes

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Walking on Air with the Nike Air Max 97

First released in 1997, the Nike Air Max 97 has stood the test of time. Rumored to be inspired by the bullet trains in Japan, this groundbreaking sneaker was initially influenced by metallic finishes on mountain bikes. Despite the futuristic vibes, designer Christian Tresser also drew inspiration from the simple wavy lines created from a raindrop falling into a puddle. In 2004, Nike teamed up with San Francisco’s True and created a colorway that moved away from metallic shades and featured a speckled design with earthy tones. Collaborations with Sony PlayStation, Shady Records, and Undefeated followed in subsequent years. The original “Silver Bullet” colorway was re-released in 2017 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the AM97’s initial debut.

New Tech, More Air

Despite flying under the radar when it first hit the shelves—it was sandwiched between the Air Max 96 and the Air Max 98—the AM97 was actually the first Air Max to utilize a hidden lacing system. This new technology was often overshadowed by the shoe’s futuristic appearance, but this concealed component was a key feature of Christian Tresser’s innovative design. The Air Max 97 was also the first to show off full-length Air in the sole, which was quickly integrated into other Nike models including the Air Max 98 and the VaporMax.

Something For Everyone

Featuring a variety of colorways and textures, the Nike Air Max 97 truly has a design for everyone. From classic black to looks inspired by mixed metals and confetti to uppers featuring suede and velvet, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. A sleek, aerodynamic silhouette sits on top of a full-length Air unit so you always feel like you’re walking—or running—on air. The Air Max 97’s hidden lacing system contributes to the streamlined shape, and Nike’s iconic Swoosh always appears on the side to complete the look.