The low-top variant, conceived by Christian Tresser, has long been touted as being influenced by Japan's silver bullet trains. While this is somewhat correct, the 97 design was also inspired by Tresser's observations of rippling in ponds. Explaining the shoe's design inspiration, Tresser once said,
"Mountain bike components and mountain bikes at the time had metal on metal finishes like aluminium and polished titanium".
During the 1990s, most sports equipment and accessories were made of titanium and silver, which went nicely with the Air Max 97's undulating upper. Despite making a top that looked different from other Nike runner shoes, the full-length transparent airbag outsole was the shoe's most distinguishing feature.
In years ahead, Tresser's design was overshadowed by Nike's swift momentum shift with subsequent Air Max concepts, but the pair were a huge hit in Italy initially on in its lifespan.
To mark the sneaker’s 10th anniversary, Nike retroed the shoe around Italy and NikeTown locations with significant Italian footfall. Acknowledging this response, for its 20th anniversary in 2017, the label reissued its "Silver Bullet" colorway from the past.
Over the past 24 years, Nike has partnered with creators such as Undefeated and Off-White. As the model approaches its 25th anniversary, Nike is gearing up for various partnerships, special editions, and individual releases to live up to the 1997 concept.
As the label has just released its Nike Air Max 97 Terrascape Blue Teal, released on June 1, for $170, let's dive into some of its widely loved colorways from the previous years.
Here are five captivating colorways of Nike Air Max 97 released over the years
1) Nike Air Max 97 Country Camo USA
The Country Camo USA colorway of the silhouette was put to market on December 21, 2017. The military fatigue prints entirely drove these $180 shoes. They were sold via Nike's online stores and various select sellers.
This Air Max 97 was dressed in camouflage motivated by the U.S. armed forces, and they were introduced as a part of the silhouette's 20th anniversary.
These shoes arrived with a detachable flag overlay of red, white, and blue. These decorations were meant to be combined with multiple badges for a unique and custom style.
Fitted with black midsoles, these shoes were completed with a full-length transparent Air Max 97 sole unit, clearly visible underneath.
2) Off White x Nike Air Max 97 Black
Virgil Abloh and his lifestyle wear luxury label, Off White, have had a long-standing partnership with Nike, and following this, the duo released their trailblazer version of AM97 on October 18, 2018. Priced at $190, these chic shoes were delivered via the e-commerce stores of Nike and other select retailers.
The distinctive altered upper of the Off White x Nike Air Max 97 “Black” was wrapped in black overlays adorned with translucent attributes. The Swoosh logos on the medial side rails, "AIR" markings on the heels, and Nike Sportswear tabs on the collars.
Furthermore, the Off White labelings were added on the lateral side panels, alongside the fashion label’s characteristic blue zip tie hanging tag that complimented the aesthetics of the kicks perfectly.
3) Nike Air Max 97 Off Noir
The year 2022 brought some amazing colorways of the AM97 style. One of them was recently dropped on April 21, 2022. These pairs were added to the 97 catalogue with a price tag of $200.
The product description of the shoe on Nike’s official website says,
“As a sophisticated shade, Off Noir allows the Air Max 97's classic silhouette to stand out without shining. Through this exercise in exploring a Black and White color palette, every detail of the "Off Noir" Air Max 97 is elevated and exposed. Its reflective waves, mudguard, and bullet train-inspired shape are all shown in a new light by staying dark.”
This Nike Air Max 97 was constructed of mesh and superior quality nubuck. It was wrapped in a couple of distinct hues of black all across the uppers. The shoe boasted subtle labeling on the side rails and white markings on the tongues, footbeds, and heels. Moreover, the 3M reflective reinforcements, white rubber midsoles, and black rubber outsole finished the look.
4) Nike Air Max 97 White Bullet
These next pairs also belong to the 2022 releases. They were made public on May 1, 2022. The White Bullet iteration was marked at $170, and it was sold via Nike and other select stores.
The model in this colorway started with a gray grid mesh on top, complemented with white leather used for overlays. The laces, midsole, and inner lining were all painted white. The swooshes on the side rails and tongue tags were drawn with red. Lastly, the black heels and a mix of black and red on the rubber soles make it perfect.
5) Nike Air Max 97 Washed Denim
Released most recently on May 1, 2022, these shoes were priced at $175, and they were sold by the shoe company’s online store and a few select sellers.
Acid wash denim has piqued Nike's interest in recent months, with the brand using the fabric in everything from the Blazer Mid to the Air Jordan 1 Low. The AM97 silhouettes also jumped into the celebrations with this processed material paired with red and white accents.
The color blocking begins with a white-finished top row, with cream cabling running side by side. It's made with a patriotic spirit, as the color scheme effectively mimics the American flag.
The logo, the Air unit, and the partially displayed canvas wedged between the aforementioned neutral shades and the denim-constructed mudguard all shine in red.
The shoe was finished off with 3M luminous embellishments, white swooshes on the sidewalls, white midsoles with a red Air Max unit, and a full white rubber outsole.