We spent 9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

8 reasons to buy

  • Many purchasers give positive comments on the unique colorways of the Nike Air Max 97 SE.
  • The majority of the shoes’ users claim it is incredibly comfortable.
  • Most buyers are satisfied with the overall looks, quality of construction, and design of the special edition version of the AM 97.
  • Some commenters have posted “dope,” “amazing,” and “great shoes” to label their reviews of the running shoe.
  • The full-length Air Max unit at the sole delivers consistent lightweight cushioning.
  • Some people give compliments on the overall look of this shoe.
  • One commenter tags it as a cute sneaker that you can dress up with some fashionable casual clothes or streetwear.
  • The classic design and features of the Nike Air Max 97 SE sneakers evoke nostalgia from users of the silhouette in the late ‘90s.

2 reasons not to buy

  • One user thinks there’s hardly anything new in the Nike Air Max 97 SE’s design, particularly sneaker technology to get them to buy a pair.
  • The $180 sneaker seems to be not a favorite when it comes to pricing as a few people say they find them a bit expensive.

Bottom line

Dressed in premium materials, the Air Max 97 SE or Special Edition shoes by Nike deliver classic running shoe features with modern aesthetics. With premium leather material in the upper, the special edition shoes stand out with wearers receiving compliments and praises despite its minimal styling and subtle colorways. 



A top 6% best sneaker
A top rated Nike sneaker
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this June

Expert Reviews

  • First look | THE AVE

  • First look | Raneem Rizvi

Become an expert

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.

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 for 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. 

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.

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. 

  • The full-length Air-Sole units are prominently displayed.
  • Minimal Swoosh branding can be found all over the shoe.
  • 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.
  • Rubber outsole at the bottom offers reliable grip and traction in the city.
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.