Nike Air Max 97 - the sneaker with futuristic silhouette
In its year of release 1997 this sneaker caused a sensation. Its unique and futuristic design is still in vogue today. The designer Christian Tresser has developed with this shoe for Nike a trend-setting model, which convinces not only by its unusual optics, but also by its functionality. A well cushioned shoe with a visible air cushion sole that has helped many athletes to perform at their best.
After more than 20 years, the model is still regarded as a streetwear icon, it is currently even experiencing a real hype. Nike has always introduced new Colorways and variants to the market. In addition to the classic designs in silver and gold, the sneakers are also available in current trend colours and special editions.
History of the Silver Bullet
It was an exciting year when the Nike Air Max 97 was released. It was exactly ten years ago that Nike had launched the cult shoe Air Max 1 on the market. Even today he is considered to be a pioneer for all modern performance running shoes.
In 1997 the Titanic sank in the cinema, the clone sheep Dolly was presented to the public and the comet Hale-Bopp caused excitement all over the world. To these futuristic events the design of the Nike Air Max 97 fits quite well.
In the nineties, the design was regarded as very bold and avant-garde; in his original design, the designer Christian Tresser had even dispensed with the characteristic Nike Swoosh. He believed that the expressiveness and individuality of the shoe would be sufficient to make this model synonymous with the Nike brand. He should be right!
The Nike Air Max 97 at the pulse of time
The final version showed a small swoosh on the heel of the shoe. The design of this classic sneaker is still unmistakably associated with the Nike brand. No logo is needed to recognize the shoe. The wavy shaft and the visible air cushions quickly found acceptance in the pop culture of that time. The shoe became a sought-after cult object in the USA and Europe.
The Nike Air Max 97 combines two visual contradictions: on the one hand it has a chunky silhouette, on the other hand it has slender, streamlined lines. This combination and the metallic reflective upper material ensured that the model stood out clearly on the shoe shelves. The sneaker is one of those models that already polarized in its year of publication. There are still people who don't like this shoe, but it has at least as many fans.
Inspiration for Christian Tresser: raindrops and mountain bikes
According to his own statements, shoe designer Christian Tresser was not inspired by the comet Hale-Bobb, nor by the Japanese high-speed trains Shinkansen, which were among the sensational technical innovations of that time, when developing the Nike Air Max 97. It was rather a natural event and the frame of a mountain bike that gave him the idea for the design.
The waves of water created when a raindrop hits a puddle were the inspiration for the wavy upper material. The idea for the silver reflective surface came to Tresser when he was looking at the frame of a mountain bike. In the nineties it was common practice in the mountain bike scene to wrap reflective Scotchlite-Tape 3M in silver around the frame of the bikes.
Nike actually later promoted the shoe as "inspired by Japanese high-speed trains," but in fact Tresser never confirmed this inspiration himself. But it sounded good, so you could say: "as fast as a Shinkansen".
The Air Max 97 celebrated its greatest success initially in Italy
The Nike Air Max 97 naturally became popular all over the world, but its greatest success in the nineties was first celebrated in Italy. Italians have always had a preference for futuristic designs, and the avant-garde art of futurism comes from Italy. The land of fashion and motorsport immediately took the aerodynamic design of the sneaker to heart. For at least ten years the shoe was a bestseller in the Italian retail trade. Various "made in Italy" special editions appeared, such as a luxurious leather version in black.
Buy Nike Air Max 97
The Nike Air Max 97 was launched in 1997 at a retail price of over DM 300. This made it one of the most expensive sports shoes on the German market to date. 300 DM was very much for then conditions, the shoes were considered a luxury product, which only few could afford.
It is still one of Nike's premium sneakers in the upper price segment. However, nowadays there are single reduced models also cheap. Especially online the choice is big, here you can find a cheaper model for example in the sale.
Limited special editions
Much more expensive are the limited special editions. The CR7 version in gold, which Nike had developed for Christian Ronaldo, for example, is coveted by collectors. The Nike Air Max 97 Undefeated-Collabs from 2017 also belongs to the limited special editions for which collectors even pay four-digit sums. This also applies to the luxury air Max 97 with Swarovski crystals, which also appeared in 2017.
How do Nike Air Max 97 turn out?
Do you already have an Air Max 1 or another model from the Air Max range? Then this does not necessarily mean that you can buy the Nike Air Max 97 in the same size. Nike itself claims the fit to be slim and tight, but due to the unusual shape the model is about half a size smaller than other Nike shoes.
The cult sneaker as a fashion accessory
The Nike Air Max 97 is combined by women and men to sporty and casual outfits. At Instagram and Pinterest you'll find plenty of inspiration for outfits with this classic shoe for every occasion. Fashion-conscious women in particular have discovered the shoe for themselves in recent years. The Nike Air Max 97 is worn as a fashion accessory and combined with streetwear outfits as well as glamorous looks for the evening.