Did you know that Nike sells a staggering 25 pairs of shoes each second? One of the most popular and iconic Nike shoes of all time is the Nike Air Max 97 and with good reason. This sleek shoe provides a great mix of comfort, performance, and appearance that makes it a no-brainer for any sneakerhead.
When it comes to Nike shoes, the Air Max has its place in the annals of sneaker history but there are a number of facts that many people don’t know or appreciate about these great Nike shoes. The good news is that you’ve found the perfect article to learn everything there is to know about these iconic sneakers from the 90s.
Keep reading this article to learn more about the Air Max 97 sneakers today!
1. Nike Air Max 97 Origins
Each pair of shoes has its own origins, but none are as interesting and unique as the origins of the Air Max 97 sneakers. As noted by the 97 in the name, these shoes were invented and released in 1997. The designer drew inspiration from the Nike shoes in the Back to the Future movie series as well as the famous bullet trains that take passengers across Japan.
You can see the design features in these sneakers and how they compare to the elegant and sleek lines on the bullet trains. These sneakers were also the first on the market from Nike to feature an air pocket that stretches the entire length of the shoe. This design feature is meant to provide the best comfort and athletic performance possible to the person wearing them.
Nike didn’t skimp when it comes to the build materials for these shoes. They make liberal use of mesh fabric to decrease the weight of the shoes as well as plastic to provide more support in the sole. Athletes loved these shoes because they provided more than enough support during athletic competitions for their needs.
2. Italians Love the Air Max 97
It might sound like a random place for enshrining this iconic shoe, but the Air Max 97 is royalty when it comes to sneakers in Italy. It even has its own nickname in this European country, where it is affectionately referred to as “La Silver”.
Nike was quick to identify the love for these great sneakers in Italy, and it resulted in a series of the Air Max 97 that was labeled as “Made in Italy” just for the Italian market. It’s safe to say that Italians love the sleek look that these Nike sneakers provide to the wearer.
3. It’s a Nike Sneaker Landmark
Nike is well-known for the air cushions that they put in a large number of their shoes, but it’s easy to get lost on the path of design and trace back those origins. All roads lead back to the Air Max shoes, as Nike sought to create a shoe that looked great and weighed less while still providing the best levels of comfort.
The Nike Air Max 97 shoes were the first shoe to have a fully visible air pocket on the bottom of the shoe. Other shoes had air pockets in the sole or in the heel of the shoe, but no sneakers had air pockets in both. The Air Max 97 broke the mold and used an air pocket in both parts of the shoe.
These shoes also made waves with their lacing system, which was a huge break from the traditional laces that other sneakers used. You couldn’t see the lace loops on these shoes, which might not be a big deal in today’s market. In the 1990s, these Nike sneakers were the pinnacle of style and performance.
It was also Nike’s first big foray into the world of performance running shoes. Prior to the Air Max 97 shoes, Nike put more emphasis on fashion shoes rather than shoes that are tailored for athletic performance. The success of the Air Max line led to Nike putting more money into shoes that would perform at peak levels.
4. Air Max 97 Collaborations
The Air Max 97 was also quite popular due to the sheer number of collaborations with athletes, artists, and fashion icons. Odds are that you’ll need to spend big bucks to get a mint pair of the original Air Max 97 shoes, but there are more recent collaborations that are easier to get your feet on.
As recently as 2017, Nike released a revamped model of the Air Max 97 known as the Air Max 97 SK. It uses a sleek, one-piece upper that uses a mix of mesh and neoprene to create a rare and brilliant look. It also allows for the wearer’s feet to breathe easily no matter what you’re doing.
Sean Wotherspoon is another person that Nike collaborated with on a special Air Max model of shoe. Wotherspoon has a number of rare Nike sneakers from the 1990s, and his collaboration drew inspiration from his collection. This collab uses a white upper that uses leather for added durability.
5. The Air Max 97 Is Easy to Style
One fear that many new sneakerheads have is how to style their new sneakers. This isn’t an issue at all since you’re wearing the classic design of the Air Max 97. Sneakerheads love this sneaker because it is one of the easiest to style with a variety of clothing options.
The versatility makes it easy to dress your Air Max sneakers up or down for the event that you’re planning on attending. It’s easy to pair them with a nice pair of jeans and a button-down shirt or with a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. It all comes down to your personal style.
Find Your Own Pair of Air Max 97 Shoes Today
There is never a bad time to add a pair of Air Max 97 Nike sneakers to your wardrobe since they’re classic shoes that are equally at home on the court or out at the club. They drew style inspiration from the bullet trains in Japan, and they’re the first Nike shoes to feature air pockets down the length of the shoe. They’re also easy to style no matter where you’re going.
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