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And just when you thought the Nike Air Max could not get any more different, the brand outdid itself. Yes, from designing to branding, colourways, technicalities, and the designer, everything was distinct from the previous forerunners. It wasn’t Tinker Hatfield; it wasn’t Sergio Lozano; it was none other than the young talented Christian Tessar.
Just before the genius designer joined Nike, he helped Reebok solidify their soccer boot catalogue. Well, that means he had a fair idea of the background and wasn’t entirely naive. However, it was still a colossal challenge for him. He was blatantly told by the brand, ‘This shoe is going to make your career. Don’t blow it.’
After the mammoth success of the Nike Air Max 95, the sneaker line had its biggest boom in Japan, Europe and New York. Not to forget, it was also featured in style magazines like ‘The Face’ for exceptional creativity. Being the designer of AM 95, Sergio Lozano incorporated the first visible forefoot air sneakers. This was a full-fledged phenomenon and is known as a style icon even today. Sadly, the Air Max 96 never boomed in the sneaker industry like its siblings. It drowned in no time, and then came the Air Max 97 with a lot of pressure and aspiration to save the brand. We are well aware of the evolution. But how did it happen? Let’s find out.
Air Max is the greatest shoe line in sneaker history, undoubtedly. And guess what? It has become a cultural icon even without any brand ambassador. For any shoe to last this long, it has to look good and feel good. As simple as this sounds, it really wasn’t.
The Nike Air Max 96 wasn’t quite a retail hit, and it dropped just before the Olympics in Atlanta. Although it carried some sneaker culture weight, the AM 96 was a burnout in the Nike lore. And therefore, Nike Air Max 97 needed to incorporate something super ambitious.
In 1997, the world was on the brink of entering a new millennium. To be able to make a place at that time, the Air Max line needed to be ahead of design and technology. The buoyant futurism permeated the fashion industry with svelte curves and metallic chrome hues. They influenced every little thing from cars to bikes and, of course, sneakers. The evolution of AM 97 had to be legendary.
Christian Tesser, the former footballer, was with Rebook for a very long time, performing a stint. He elucidated the company’s boot offerings and already had various sketches for the running category. Before Nike approached him, the Air Max 97 project had already gone through two more designers. There was intense creative pressure by Nike, and so Christian was briefed upon for the next big phase in his career. Stress and tension were lingering around, but it led Tessar to work very hard and create revolutionary runners.
After Nike saw the furry with Air Max 96, the brand clarified that AM 97 wouldn’t just be shoes. It will be a footwear sworn by legends. Runners will wear them, but celebrities will live in them. Nike expected Christian to create innovative runners and outdo his own efforts consistently. And no prizes for guessing, Nike’s expectations were clamorously met.
Image Credit: kicksonfire.com
1997 was certainly a year of reminiscence. Alan Shearer scored goals and created magic in the history of football. Will Smith lost his fingerprints, and Nike released the Air Max 97. A pleasant debut, yes, but by spring 1998, the runners were suspended by the initial AM 98, especially in Japan and Europe. Nike was only trying to maximize profits by having a speedy rotation on the shelves. With the re-release in 2007 (10th anniversary), the AM 97 enjoyed massive popularity again in Italy. And 2017 marked the 20th anniversary with some exciting collaborations and colourways.
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Not to forget, on release, the Air Max 97 cost much more than its predecessors. So, they were tagged as ‘The most expensive sneakers’. But the reasons were completely justified. Wanna know?
Twenty plus years of stardom, the runners have gained massive popularity with their eccentric colourways and styles. The sneakers are one of a kind to make their way in the lifestyle and athletic segment. And why not? These silos have a convoluted cultural heritage. Allow me to unveil some facts about the iconic Air Max 97.
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The Nike Air Max 97 is one of the most popular and expensive runners in the Air Max family. An undeniably attractive and forward-thinking design was not the sole reason to gain immense popularity. There’s lots more!
Powerful and undisputed collaborations played a huge role in making the sneaker series wanted. From raging artist Skepta to big brands like Undefeated, they boosted the sneakers’ luxuriant reputation, making them super desirable. With too many alliances, AM 97’s most notable fame came after the appearance of Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 1/97. The streetwear specialist – Sean brought some innovations to Air Max 97, and thereafter they became the most hyped trainers of modern times.
The New York shoe market was dominated by the Air Max 97, and here’s why. Without a doubt, the runners flaunted a futuristic design but were also the king of innovations. The Air Max 97 was the first to showcase a full-length dual-pressure air unit. But hey, that’s not it. It was also the first to have a hidden lacing system with no visible lace loops. While this may not sound like a big deal now but back in 1997, it definitely was.
Unlike the Air Max 95, which also gained colossal fame, the AM 97 were not just running shoes. The former was high performance-oriented sneakers and were dominated by athletes and runners. The same was not the case anymore. The Air Max 97s were not just running shoes. They were more lifestyle sneakers and were ruled by celebrities at red carpet events, holidays, celebrations and more. The runners are the epitome of cultural heritage in Milan.
The silhouettes are a premium in the fashion industry. They were one of the most expensive Air Max sneakers and even otherwise when released. The well-constructed aesthetics, sturdy essence and customized cushioning made the iconic sneakers a fashion statement and a prestigious status.
The making of the sneakers is the prime reason what made them so iconic.
We often hear that Nike Air Max 97 design is built for speed. And why is that? The background here is that Christian Tesser was inspired by Japanese silver bullet trains and the streamlined design. Needless to say, that’s how the debut model was released in Silver accents. The intellectual mind also wanted a speedy and efficient upper on the runners, and his inspiration behind that was completely offbeat. The layered and wavy uppers came to him from the ripples of water in a pond. Nature’s most worshipped resource – water, directed the sneaker upper design. In an interview, Tesser said ‘The water was dropping into a pond. It would drop and radiate out to the air unit.’ And that’s exactly where the eccentric design was inspired.
Tesser was a big fan of mountain biking. It was one sport that inspired him even in his earlier days of being associated with Reebok. In those days, mountain bikes had metal finishes like polished titanium and aluminium, and the accessory equipment was in metallic shades. This was the source of encouragement for the sneaker opener in metallic silver finish. Being an ardent mountain biker, Tesser began sketching the design – progressive material with ripples of water, PSI air pressure callouts, metallic silhouette and hi-tech performance.
Though simple, the runners had a personal touch flaunting a gleaming silver shade. In late 1999, AM 97 was released in a gold variation with a few makeovers. An increased rear taping with a missing seam on the upper was noticed. The new blow moulding technique, fully exposed air cushioning, and advanced upper tooling was maintained. The Air Max 97 was also the first to reveal the hidden lacing system. And without a doubt, the bold and intricate design kept the Swoosh branding subtle and minimal.
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The cult sneaker is globally known for its innovative design and technology. But the big question here arrives – How comfortable are the Nike Air Max 97? Are they true to the size? Let’s find out!
If you are new to the Nike Air Max 97 club, this should interest you.
Minimal aesthetics, futuristic design but comfort level absolutely on point. The runners are made of different materials, which contribute to the comfort, but most importantly, it’s the full-length air max sole. It enhances the level of stability and allows the wearer to live in them all day. If you are considering running a marathon in these sneakers, have no doubts about it!
The runners may not feel so chunky as the Nike Air Max 95, but the grip and solidity provided by the silos are on fleek. The upper wraps the wearer’s feet making them feel cosy, and sits around the ankle with the flapjack. So, you can embrace every step you take.
It’s great news for all the athletes around! The air cushion in the forefoot and the pressured air gives a springy effect. This helps in achieving high-end elasticity and low impact. You can feel like a winner in the game even without you nailing it. And hey, that’s not it. The midsole provides optimal support, which enhances the comfort of the sneaker. Also, the shock absorption of the sneakers is beyond satisfactory.
Have you ever experienced walking on a cloud? Now is the time too!
This could feel slightly tricky. Is Nike Air Max 97 true to size? Though in most cases, yes. However, with exceptionally narrow or wide feet, the runners fit differently.
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Sadly, the sneaker market is divulged with counterfeits. Spotting the bonafide trainers can feel slightly tricky in the midst of it. Here’s a checklist to help you spot the difference between the real vs fake Nike Air Max 97.
Size tag is one of the most reliable signs to spell sneaker authenticity. The sneaker size tag has various details that will help you spot the difference between the two. Look at the mentioned product ID. The counterfeits will have it looking too thick and stout, and whereas the real ones will have the product ID proportionately thin.
The manufacturing date on the fake AM 97 will be improperly font-weighted, and all the numbers mentioned on the date will not be of the same width. Also, the printing of ‘MADE IN VIETNAM’ and ‘FABRIQUE EN VIETNAM’ in the fake sneakers will have the letters in varying fonts. The letters could be thin or thick but inconsistently different.
The most obvious and noticeable difference is the Swoosh size. The fake one will have the Swoosh logo looking too thick. On the contrary, the genuine Nike’s will have a slimmer Swoosh. Secondly, the fake ones will have the Swoosh looking too short and boxy, and the authentic ones will have the logo looking big.
Whether it’s real or fake, both are going to have the tongue flaunting the Swoosh logo. The fake trainers will have the Swoosh too thick, and the legit ones will be thinner. Also, when you look at the tongue stitches closely, you will find the counterfeits lacking in quality. It won’t be consistent and will be improperly weighted on the sides. You will find the stitch very thick on the top and getting thinner on the sides. On the other hand, the stitch on the authentic sneakers will be long and properly weighted.
You are much aware of the Nike Air Max 97 flaunting a branding on the shoe tab. That’s another point of distinction. The text on the rear tab will be improperly positioned in the fake trainers, and it won’t be in the middle of the tab. But the genuine ones will have the text rightly placed in the middle of the tab. Also, the spacing in the fake sneakers will be inconsistent and front weighted.
You don’t have to look closely. At one glance, you can point out the difference in the toe box of the real and fake trainers. The counterfeit will have the toe box looking obnoxiously overinflated. However, the real one will have it deflated and thin.
Turn the sneakers upside down and have a look at the bubble on the sole. You will find a Swoosh logo embossed on it. The logo will be improperly positioned and not right in the centre of the fake shoes. But genuine sneakers will have the Swoosh precisely placed in the middle of the bubble.
The 3M reflective material on the Air Max 97 sneakers is an important point of distinction. The fake ones will have either poor or no shine. But the real ones will have a classic shine to them.
Last but not least. The Nike Air Max shoebox must have a label on one side featuring details like the style name and number, barcode, shoe size, shoe colour and county of manufacturing. Well, some of the label details of the shoebox and the inside of the sneaker are the same. So, it goes without saying that it must match. The style number of 9 digits must have the first 6 representing the style and the last 3 indicating the colourway. You can also scan the barcode with a scanner to find all the necessary details.
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Air Max 97 has come out in every magical colour. So styling them with an outfit of your choice is like a cakewalk. Being a sports athlete and designer Christian Tesser certainly understands the sneaker game. He has crafted the runners in such a way that you will have the whole neighbourhood raving about you.
Well, if it’s a relaxed summer afternoon, these runners can help you look smashing and be comfortable at the same time. Pull out your most comfortable sweatpants from your wardrobe and pair them with your basic t-shirt. The chunky sneakers will leave everyone ranting about your attire without you doing much. If it’s a winter afternoon, all you need to do is layer up with a Nike Tech Fleece or a sports jacket. Well, that’s enough to do the work.
If you want to keep it baggy on the top, brace up your favourite sweatshirt and pair them with fitted leggings. Allow your bold runners to stand out, and keep the socks muted.
Denims, denims! Isn’t that everyone’s favourite? A pair of light jeans – simple, distressed or ripped. I would prefer the latter. Team that up with a bold logo t-shirt. A white and blue combination is miraculous. Layer it up with a bomber jacket. The shine will also complement beautifully with the reflective material of the trainers. If you wanna keep it subtle, a denim jacket is always an amazing option.
These eye-candy trainers will look even more poised with a fitted skirt and buttoned blouse. Accessorize it with a premium leather belt and a bold buckle. You are all set to rock the dance floor with fire.
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The Air Max 97 involves multiple materials, and that’s why I am here to explain a simple procedure that would work on everything. They are enormously popular as lifestyle sneakers, so undoubtedly, you would love to live in them. If you are a die-hard sneaker fan, you must do everything to keep it dazzling and sparkling.
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1. Nike Air Max 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon (All Accessories and Dustbag): The name says it all! Sean Wotherspoon runners are accessorized with additional laces and a dustbag for user convenience. The stunning silos flaunt a killer combination of Air Max 97 upper and Air Max 1 sole unit (midsole and outsole). Draped in a unique colourful corduroy upper accompanied with frayed edges, the trainers get you all the attention with every step you take. What’s even more classic is the hues of velour from toe to heel area.
Best Feature: Sturdy
2. Nike Air Max 97 Off-White: The off-white runners are everything you have ever dreamt of! Constructed with a translucent upper, The AM 97 trainers also feature a semi-revealing material to tie in the theme. Besides all the premium materials, the red-zip tie, green lace tips and branding on the tongue look super alluring. What steals the show is the black branding throughout the sneakers. So, let the classic model in your shoedrobe right away because it’s a must-have pair.
Best Feature: Versatile
3. Nike Air Max 97 Off-White Menta: Hold your horses because these classy looking sneakers are breathtaking! Dressed in wolf grey upper, the trainers flaunt a multicolour Nike ‘Swoosh’ with a smokey grey midsole and a translucent sole. The tonal zigzag stitch throughout and signature text attract a cult-like following. Everything about these coveted trainers is so attractive that even non-sneaker lovers drool over them.
Best Feature: Vibrant looking
4. Nike Air Max 97 Off-White Black: The retro runner features a translucent textile upper with a black midsole and outsole. The shoes are constructed with a white Swoosh and ‘AIR’ adorned on the lateral side, looking super ravishing. You will also find Virgil’s signature text printed with the quarter panel on the medial side. A clean black look with bold branding makes the trainers irresistible.
Best Feature: Spooky vibes
5. Nike Air Max 97 Cristiano Ronaldo Metallic Gold: The collaborative Cristiano Ronaldo low-top runner is everything beautiful. It is dressed in metallic gold throughout and features a patchwork upper making the runners look stunning. The sneaker detailing is inspired by his childhood tales and therefore has an interesting style. The full-length gold max air unit provides enhanced cushioning, and CR7 branding on the heel pull-tab looks interesting.
Best Feature: Snug-fit
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6. Nike Air Max 97 Off-White Elemental Rose Serena “Queen”: Call it the rosy runner; it can swiftly ace any of your outfits from your wardrobe. The colour scheme is as pleasant as it could get, flaunting hues of white, elemental rose, black and barely rose. This limited version is also highlighted with a distinct colour pitch of purple, fuchsia and gold on the midsole accompanied by a new volt zip tie. Spot the ‘AIR’ embossed on the heel and black accents on the Swoosh. Also, the integrated lacing mechanism is immiscible.
Best Feature: Chic looking
7. Nike Air Max 97 Kashima Antlers: The runners are a tribute to the Kashima Antlers professional football association in Japan and so are super desirable. The black and white elephant print upper is crafted with perfection, making the sneaker look irresistible. The Kashima Antlers branding on the tongue and heel pull-tab attracts the much-desired attention. Oh yes, the full-length air unit in translucent teal completes the premium look.
Best Feature: Light in weight
Image Credits: thedropdate.com
1 Nike Air Max 97 First Use Summit White DB0246-001: If you search for Nike’s modernized technology, grab these runners right away. They are well crafted with suede only to make sure they fit your feet like gloves. The silos are also seen following a toned down theme, sincerely, with air bubbles and rubber outsoles to keep you grounded at all times.
Best Feature: Snug fit
Resale value: $152
2. Nike Air Max 97 Puerto Rico Metallic Silver DH2319-001: Gorgeous, breathtaking and ever-stunning. The silverish colour theme can have all the eyes gazing at your feet. Besides the look, the runners have gained a cult-like following for being high-performance sneakers. They are the comfiest pair you could own. The cushioned trainers also flaunt the signatory air bubbles through the transparent midsoles underfoot.
Best Feature: Super comfortable
Resale value: $105
Image Credits: sneakerdistrict.com
3. Nike Air Max 97 EOI Corduroy Grey DA8857-001: Corduroy has been doing the rounds in the sneaker realm, and this stunning silo is scoring high there. The futuristic theme of synthetic material and corduroy walls have created a storm and have everyone drooling over them. The gloomy grey upper is wrapped beautifully with hot flashes of green and red in the lace loops, branding and underfoot. Also, the multicolour Air Max embroidery on the back tab finishes off the iconic design gracefully.
Best Feature: Classic and evergreen
Resale value: $68
Image Credits: www.sneakerhello.com
4. Nike Air Max 97 Reflective Logo White DH0006-100: Ain’t there no sneakerhead who’s going gaga over these trainers. They are incredibly reflective, fashionable and super alluring. What’s attractive is the Nike logos featuring all around the mudguards with some detailing on the midsoles and Swoosh. The volt green laces make it hard for the runners to go unnoticeable even in low lighting.
Best Feature: Vibrant looking
Resale value: $ 132
Image Credits: nitter.poast.org
5. Nike Air Max 97 Black Red DH1083-001: Super royal aesthetics and forever trendy, the runners are a beast on your feet. Looking dapper while dressed in a classic colour combination of black and white, you will find a miniature red Swoosh grabbing all the attention. The air unit is coated with textured panels, looking smooth in the same dark theme.
Best Feature: Royal vibes
Resale value: $ 160
Nike Air Max 97 has marked two decades of street style dominance, but the craze is only increasing by the day. Celebrities have become the new sneaker influencers, like magpies to a shiny trinket.
Image Credits: fashionbombdaily.com
In the whole AM 97 sneaker lore, Nike Air Max 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon was like a tornado in the Air Max kingdom. The multi-striped sneakers made quirky waves amongst the celebrities. American singer Chris Brown sprung fire on the stage with his performance and attire. He rocked the AM1/97 by teaming them up with ripped jeans and a vibrant hoodie.
Image Credits: fashionbombdaily.com
The rapper who needs no introduction – Travis Scott, sported an uber-cool look wearing the same runners to a red carpet event.
Image Credits: fashionbombdaily.com
Odell Beckham Jr is known for his game and his fashion sense. He’s been a style icon for the longest time, and his looks are drool-worthy. He flaunted the runners with a Gucci hoodie and patchworked destroyed jeans.
Image Credits: fashionbombdaily.com
Lebron James wore the beauty on his way to a basketball game. A leather studded jacket, blue knitted beanie and acid wash jeans. If looks could kill, several were dead right then. The AM 1/97 were definitely treasured by the basketeers.
Image Credits: fashionbombdaily.com
Kevin Durant was spotted signing autographs wearing the multi-coloured beast and a Nike colour-blocked sweatsuit.
Image Credits: complex.com
American actress Frances McDormand has won not just two Academy awards but also several fashion awards. She spotted an all-black look and allowed her silver AM 97 runners to grab all the attention.
Image Credits: spotern.com
Kyle Kuzma’s Instagram handle has been doing the rounds for his on-court achievements, and he is swiftly fashion-savvy without putting in any effort. He was spotted in his earthy-toned runners and matched them with his jacket. He kept his whole attire very soothing and calming. He also flaunted the Skepta x Nike Air Max 97/BW and walked by looking drop-dead gorgeous.
Image Credits: sneakerbardetroit.com
Another basketball player, Paul George, also shows immense love toward the Air Max 97 land. He was spotted wearing Nike from head to toe and in the same colour palette. He looked dashing, and so did his off-white x Nike Air Max 97 Menta.
Image Credits: sneakerbardetroit.com
Collin Sexton has often worn the AM 97 runners on and off the court. He looked dapper in a black bomber jacket, grey fitted joggers, and stunning sneakers. Hey, did we spot the same AM 1/97 SW on Tristan Thompson as well? Looks like the runners have swept the basketball players off their feet.
The 23-year-old Rae Sremmurd rapper – Swae Lee raved about his trendy AM 97 sneakers on his Instagram handle. He pulled off the three print (zebra, leopard, cow) runners like a swagger and claimed no one else could do it like him. Well, he was pretty confident about why Nike had bestowed the treasure on him.
Image Credits: footwearnews.com
Bella Hadid has made enough fashion statements with her prestigious trainers all this while. She flaunted her Air Max 97 triple white sneakers wearing a Gmbh Ande zip pullover, Prada logo cuff coat and Gmbh white seher lounge pants. That was a classic all-white look and fashion game on point. She was spotted yet again, but this time in the AM 97 OG silver bullet runners. Hadid wore a baby pink Ovelia transtoto button-up top over a printed cropped shirt and high waisted frayed jeans. Even in this casual attire, she looked super glamorous.
Image Credits: fashionbombdaily.com, footwearnews.com
And that’s not it! These lifestyle sneakers are spotted by many more A-listers – Big Boi, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Karrueche Tran, Yara Shahidi and more! Well, you don’t need any more reasons to get these runners in your shoedrobe right away!
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And that’s a wrap to the Nike Air Max 97 complete guide. Being a sneakerholic, wasn’t your invested time completely worth it?
Unquestionably, the Air Max 97 created a stir in the sneaker realm. They are the talk of the town and scoring high in sports and streetwear lore.
Fast Sole is the first to reach out to all Nike lovers. Get a brief sense of the size, comfort, and more about the Air Max 97 silos. Stay in touch with us and be the first to grab all the info!
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