Size and fit

The Nike AirMax 97 SE is a comfy sneaker known for its roomy interior and lightweight cushioning from the foam sole with a full-length air unit. It comes in sizes for women and for men.

Nike Air Max 97 SE Style

The premium design of the Nike Air Max 97 SE makes it a great addition to one’s sneaker collection. Its sleek, classic looks make it a perfect nostalgia piece to pair with contemporary clothing. The high-quality leather overlays make for a beautiful highlight of one’s outfit. 

Most men prefer wearing the Nike Air Max 97 SE shoes in dressier clothes like above the ankle or cropped pants, track pants, joggers, and denim or cotton shorts. Women choose to wear these kicks with joggers, denim skirts, and skimpy shorts. Tops for men and women are usually dressier clothes and casual streetwear. The vintage-inspired shoe has a subtle look that makes people take a second look with its textile and leather overlays. 

Notable Features

The most prominent features of this classic running shoe are the layered textile and premium leather materials in the ripple-effect design lines in the upper. Also very noticeable in the footwear design is the full-length Air-Sole unit with often contrasting colors to highlight the design further.

Nike Air Max 97 SE History

The Swoosh brand has been consistent in rolling out several dozens of air-cushioned shoes annually since the technology was introduced in 1977. The first Air Max shoe, however, would come out a decade later in 1987 as a running shoe. As its name implies, the Nike Air Max 97 was released in 1997 and was designed by Christian Tresser.

The design of the shoes especially the ripple-effect line patterns were inspired by Japanese bullet trains and metal finishes of mountain bikes. The main highlight of the model also includes the hidden laces that are seen as something new at that time. 

While Americans seem to have a love-hate relationship with the Air Max 97, Italians seem to love the design since its initial drop that designers like Dolce & Gabbana fashion show staged in 1998. For a time the popularity of the Air Max 97 slowly dropped after its release with only a few re-issues through collaborations with Sony PlayStation, Shady Records, and True of San Francisco.

Several successful releases only prospered during the 20th anniversary of the Nike Air Max line where the Nike Air Max 97 was featured in several collaborations with stellar designers like Off White’s Virgil Abloh, Undefeated, Skepta, and many others. 

Since then, many partnership designs, unique colorways, and retail collaborations were offered to the public. The Nike Air Max 97 SE or Special Edition was released in 2018 in various special colorways and materials for men and women. The design celebrates the heritage running shoe’s classic features by using premium leather, textiles, and other materials in special colorways. 

Additional Info

  • Pull tabs at the heel and tongue allows easy entry and exit while padding in the collar and tongue gives a boost in comfort and fit.
  • Depending on some of its colorways, the upper consists of textile, leather, and synthetic materials that usually vary depending on the colorways.
  • Some of the favorite colorways of the Nike Air Max 97 SE shoes include mahogany mink, particle beige, dark russet, light taupe, blue hero, bright citron, and velvet brown.
  • Other bestselling variants of the Air Max 97 SE includes the Nike Air Max 97 Reflective and Nike Air Max 97 Metallic sneakers.
  • The rubber outsole at the bottom offers reliable grip and traction in the city.

Facts / Specs

Base model: Nike Air Max 97
Style: Dad, Retro, Sporty, Chunky
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: Nike Air Max, Nike Air, Nike Air Max 97
Closure: Laces
Designed by: Christian Tresser

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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.