Verdict from +100 user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • Heaps of buyers who have missed out on the early releases of the Nike Air Max 97 sneakers are euphoric with the return of this old soul.   
  • Many deem this street style sneaker a great summer pick up as it doesn’t keep the feet excessively warm.  
  • As declared by lots of admirers, this sneaker from Nike does not take long before their feet got acquainted with the shape and contour of this sneaker. 
  • A large percentage of purchasers state that they felt comfortable while strapped in this sneaker. 
  • Thrilled wearers declare that they could easily style this sneaker up and wear it multiple times in a week. 
  • Its full-length Air sole impresses a considerable sum of users as it helps in cushioning the feet from impact.  
  • Numerous AM 97 supporters who continue to be amazed at the sturdy build of this profile consider it a good value for money.  
  • Some wearers love the amount of sophistication its design offers. 
  • Several users can attest that it isn’t as heavy as it appears to be. 

2 reasons not to buy

  • The Air Max 97 men’s and women’s shoes run a bit wider than the standard width, expressed by several users. 
  • This sneaker from the Air Max lineup needs a rather long break-in time.

Bottom line

Nike’s old-time charmer, the Air Max 97, continues to attract buyers with its appeal. The rippling lines on its cover give it a striking character. Though it takes a bit of time to get adjusted to its mold, buyers vouched that this shoe delivers the right amount of comfort and cushioning.

It runs slightly wide, but the majority who went for their standard size are satisfied with the fit. It may be loaded with detailing but it isn’t heavy on feet as well as on the pocket given its desirability.  

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The Nike Air Max 97 sneakers are available in men’s and women’s sizes. It is built with a ghillie lacing system that offers a personalized fit. The proprietary cushioning rests atop a solid rubber outsole designed with a refashioned waffle tread. 

Nike seems to have a perpetual goal in reinventing the Nike Air Max 97 by dressing it up with a wide range of colors from space-age metallic shades and monochromatic tones to multihued colors and prints. Below are some styling tips for both genders using the commonly sought-after colors of AM 97. 

  Nike Air Max 97 outfit ideas for women 

  Nike Air Max 97 Rose Gold 

If the Nike Air Max 97 metallic gold shade is too loud for your style, you might find the Nike Air Max 97 rose gold colorway more desirable with its modest and utterly feminine appearance. Wear this with a pink shirt and white overalls or a light-colored tee with a ruby red print plus a denim jacket, and black leggings for a look you can wear for a quick brunch with friends or a weekend spree. You can have this with black treggings and a short black blouse for a sporty yet stylish vibe you can bring to your next casual business meeting or intercity travel.   

  Nike Air Max 97 Red 

Flash a stunning ensemble by pairing a black fitted V-neck blouse, a long, black double-breasted blazer, and black leggings with a head-turning Nike Air Max 97 red or bright citron sneaker. Or you can sport a pair of slim-fitted, cropped jeans, a white tee, and a black moto leather jacket for a casual flair.  

  Nike Air Max 97 Pink  

Rock the women’s styled Nike Air Max 97s like the Pink Whites with pale grey joggers, light brown or navy blue capris, or pin-rolled white denim pants for a ladylike, refined look. This modest shade goes with a gorgeous range of trendy knee-length florals, midi tye-dyed skirts, and V-neck wrap dresses in a pastel palette.   

  Nike Air Max 97 style guide for men 

  Nike Air Max 97 Black 

For a punch of style that won’t give you a drab look on your next lunch date or after game dinner with friends, try mixing this retro 90’s look with black tapered jeans, jet black tailored trousers, or capris along with a crisp, buttoned-up long sleeve polo and a long, black coat.  

  Nike Air Max 97 White 

Athletic-looking white sneakers like the Nike Air 97 versions give you an elegant flair when donned with navy vertical-striped tapered bottoms, muted-toned polo, and a figure-hugging navy blazer. If you want your look to pop without going over the top, try teaming this up with black chinos, bright-colored crew-neck polo, and a black overcoat.  

  Nike Air Max 97 Blue  

If you want to give your everyday work ensemble a sharp yet sporty allure, throw on this shoe with a pair of charcoal dress pants, a white dress shirt, overlapped by a muted grey overcoat, and finished off with a double-breasted dark brown blazer.  

  Nike Air Max 97 Grey  

Spruce up your typical daily apparel with a sportier twist by fusing white khaki, a pale blue long sleeve shirt, and a Nike Air Max 97 Wolf Grey. For a more brazen look, you might want to take a shot in mixing charcoal wool dress pants, a grey felted wool bomber jacket and a beige wool blazer. For a seriously stylish form, go with black pin-rolled jeans, a black crew-neck sweater, and a loud red windbreaker.  

The return of the Air Max 97 in a slew of colors continues to entice droves of sneaker fans. What makes this a knockout in style and comfort is that it isn’t loaded with boring details and substandard materials. Even the unicolor variations offer killer swag with the fusion of plush leather, streaks of mesh, and arresting reflective detailing around the top that pops when hit by light. The Air unit that spreads out at the bottom delivers comfort and relief to the feet with its responsive properties.  

Nike’s visible Air-sole cushioning has radically departed from the original design of the 1987 Air Max 1 running shoe as the Swoosh label continues to push design boundaries. Of all the core models that popped in the earlier days, one that stood out as fashion-forward and impressive is the Air Max 97, the first sneaker in the Air Max line that demonstrated a full-length Air bubble. 

  The original Nike Air Max 97 

Nike seemed to have taken giant strides in 1997 with the Air Max 97 blueprint that carried layers of sleek, wavy lines, alternatively done in leather, mesh, and reflective 3M. Its design is as ingenious as Japan’s high-speed bullet train; the imagery referred to by the Swoosh label to be the inspiration behind the shoe. Or as dynamic as the metallic composition and reflective detailing on mountain bikes, which are reportedly the design influences of creator Christian Tresser when he drafted this progressive Air Max 95 successor.  

The story of Nike Air Max 97 isn’t complete without mentioning the shoe sole composition. For the first time, a running shoe received a foamless sole consisting of pressurized air that spanned throughout the midsole granting cushioning where it’s needed. Different PSI (pounds per square inch) values are seen on the medial, lateral, and rearmost portions of the outsole yielding varying amounts of air pressure that serve as impact protection on the heel.  

  Crossover from an athletic shoe to a streetstyle sneaker  

The ultra-modern, metallic aesthetic of the Air Max 97, particularly the Silver Bullet colorway, was a magnet for attention for fanatics and cynics. The news about the AM 97 traveled like a speedy train that on the same year of its launch it straightaway gained traction among style-savvy wearers overseas who adored its utilitarian get-up, mainly the Italians. 

While the shoe was fitted for running, its transition to becoming a lifestyle sneaker didn’t happen too long. From the Roman and Milanese graffiti scenes, the sneaker found its way to the runways. Just about a year from its launch, influential designer Giorgio Armani was seen sporting the Silver Bullet when he emerged on the catwalk at the Milan Fashion Week. This futuristic shoe graced the ramp once again one season later when it became part of the Dolce and Gabbana show.  

  Popular Air Max 97 variations 

The Nike Air Max 97 continues to gain momentum in the sneaker world with its reissues becoming a staple in Nike’s release calendar. The Swoosh has been cranking out remakes of the classic silhouette starting its 20th anniversary in 2017, with lightweight versions appearing on the store shelves, such as the Air Max 97 Ultra SI, Air Max 97 SE, Air Max 97 LX, Air Max 97 Premium, among others. Below is a quick rundown of the most popular Air Max 97 remakes that have sped back into die-hards’ sneaker rotations.  

  Nike Air Max 97 “Metallic Gold”  

On its 20th anniversary, the Air Max 97 was seen in Metallic Gold/ Varsity Red-White-Black. Arguably this color is the next fan-favorite outside the OG Silver Bullet which flashed 3M wavy paneling and a hint of red on the Swoosh, heel pull tab, and outsole. The initial retail cost of this silver-turned-gold AM 97 was $160 that surfaced on May 18, 2017, in men’s and women’s sizes. 

  Nike Air Max 97 “Triple White”  

Nike decided to put out a blinding white interpretation of the Air Max 97 sensation, set with a clean, sophisticated form. The Nike Air Max 97 Triple White or Summit White women’s shoe cascaded on August 3, 2017, like a clean blanket for the feet. As a nod to the original model, this sneaker has mini Swoosh embroideries in Wolf Grey on the sidewalls and tongue, while the customary 3M reflective layering perfects the immaculate design.   

  Nike Air Max 97 “Metallic Hematite”   

Veering away from the usual bright and reflective adaptations of the retro Air Max 97, the Swoosh label brings out the Nike Air Max 97 in triple black or all-black colorway which isn’t charcoal deep. Launched on January 6, 2018, this Nike Air Max 97 edition that bears a metallic grey cover and blacked-out midsole is identified as the Metallic Hematite/ Anthracite-Metallic Hematite-Dark Grey colorway.  

  Nike Air Max 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon   

An avid, LA-based vintage shoe collector Sean Wotherspoon was fortunate to have his Nike Air Max 1/97 SW creation launched during the 2018 Air Max Day celebration. AM fans chose Sean’s sole-swapped Nike Air Max 1 and Nike Air Max 97 design entry for the 2017 VoteForward campaign. The event is an annual competition wherein artists get to showcase their renditions of the Air Max grails. The voter-approved concept is featured on Air Max Day the succeeding year. Sean dressed up the Nike Air Max 97 with pink, blue, grey, and light yellow corduroy and used the Air Max 1 midsole in place of the full-length Air bubble.  

  Nike Air Max 97 “South Beach”  

Miami’s colors are splashed on the wavy pattern that takes up the top of the South Beach Nike Air Max 97 with hits of Pink Blast and Kinetic Green. Its vibrant colors, balanced out by the white leather backdrop and midsole, can’t be missed out in a sea of sneakers. Even the full-length Air unit peaks out with a bold green shade.  

  Footlocker x Nike Air Max 97 “Black/ Metallic Gold”  

Nike teamed up with footwear retailer Footlocker and together dropped an exclusive rendition of the Air Max 97 on November 19, 2018. This Nike Air Max 97 black version is decked out mainly in stealth black, from the mesh underlays to the layers of leather swiveled around the upper. Even the rope laces looped through its ghillies are treated in black, while hits of gold that break the shadowy landscape are seen on the Swoosh embroideries placed on the sides and tongue.  

  Nike Air Max 95 vs. Nike Air Max 97

The two-year difference does not seem to have that much of a difference for the Nike Air Max 95 and 97, but looking at each detail will tell you that each stands on its own. Recognizing that both exude an extremely futuristic design, it is ironic for both that the AM 95 draws inspiration from the human anatomy while the AM 97 birthed from raindrops and the Japanese bullet train.

The Air Max tech is utilized on both, hence their names, this is also where the discrepancy lies. The 95 was the first to sport the Air cushions on both heel and forefoot, which molds to the curves of the foot. A first of its kind, the Nike Air Max 97 also boasts of technology as it features a reinvented Air bubble. The full-length Air unit that covers the entire feet only matches the progressive design.

  • It comes with heel and tongue tabs for a more natural ankle up. 
  • Mini Swoosh labels rest on the tongue and midfoot.  
  • The Air sole unit is filled with pressurized air for responsive cushioning.  


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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.