Air Max 97

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With 20 years in the books, it's safe to consider the Air Max 97 one of Nike's greatest legacy models. Designer Christian Tresser found inspiration in the Japanese high speed bullet train when designing the futuristic silhouette. The model updates Tinker Hatfield's concept of visual air (debuted on the Air Max 1), as the AM 97 debuted the full-length air unit. Its Metallic Silver upper is constructed with a combination of leather and mesh, which rests atop of the sole unit, while reflective 3M detailing adds another dynamic to the look. And with this release, all eyes returned to the Air Max line, after the Air Max 97's two predecessors fell short of the mark set by the Air Max 95. However, the eye-catching shoe made a major splash in Europe – most notably in Italy. In the 20 years since, we've seen the Air Max 97 adapt with the times, but by and large was unsung compared to the collective embrace around the Air Max 1, Air Max 90, and Air Max 95. We simply didn't see the model release nearly as often as other noteworthy Air Maxes. But quickstrike releases like the Air Max 97 360 "One Time Only" and 2001's Lux collection displayed potential for the model to become a major lifestyle shoe. Save for the occasional release, the sneaker world didn't see Tresser's design truly receive its roses until 2017, with the celebration of its 20th anniversary. Nike ushered in the festivities with retro releases of the Metallic Silver and, soon after, the Metallic Gold colorway. Since then, we've seen the Swoosh brand experiment with textures and even collaborate with the likes of U.K. Grime artist Skepta (the Air Max 97, and all runners for that matter, are greatly embraced in the U.K.).

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