Verdict from 8 user reviews

11 reasons to buy

  • A large number of reviewers thought the Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL is comfortable to use due to the full-length air cushioning unit at the bottom and the well-padded interiors.
  • A significant number of users say the mesh, and knit material makes this sneaker feel lighter and fresher compared to the previous design.
  • Several observers like the idea of concentrating the Velcro material only on the tongue as “it resulted to a clean and sharp-looking sneaker.”
  • The knit, mesh and synthetic materials used in the upper have contributed a lot to the improved durability of the running sneaker, many reviewers posted.
  • A handful of commenters said the Velcro material at the tongue gets a new look every time a new badge is placed on it.
  • Some users say the darker color palette of this Air Max 97 version makes it easy to style and pair with clothes.
  • While it is classified as a casual sneaker, some users say the design can perform heavy-duty activities in the gym or a few runs around the city park.
  • A few wearers say the mesh and knit upper material worked a lot in keeping interiors breathable compared to the previous all-leather design of the Air Max 97.
  • Pull tabs at tongue and back aided wearers to wear on and off the Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL.
  • A handful of users say the air cushioning and rubber outsole is softer in this version of the Air Max 97 making them flexible to a wide variety of movements.
  • The unique badges allow one to have a different sneaker look every day, some wearers posted.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some users found it hard to cop a pair of the Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL.
  • A few users say the tough synthetic material used in the upper affected the sneaker’s flexibility.

Bottom line

Expressing yourself through a low-top sneaker has never been this exciting with the Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL that allows you to accessorize with a set of branded badges. A re-mastered look of the beloved Nike Air Max 97,  it gets high props from users who feel the improved durability and lighter weight of the sneaker. The mesh and knit upper also has a sharper and cleaner look that makes this a well-executed sneaker design for the 20th year anniversary of the iconic running shoe silhouette.  

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL is a bit wide than previous Air Max 97 variations and comes in medium width but is also suitable for those with a wide foot. Those with narrow foot measurement may opt for a half-size down to ensure a perfect fit.  This low-top sneaker is available in men’s size 6 to 15 with half-sizes for an accurate fit. Women should go 1.5 sizes down to get equal sizes for this sneaker.

With a Velcro tongue where you can place some 15 patch designs created by the brand, imagine all the possibilities of customization and display of personality that can be reflected once you stick a beautifully stitched patch into this unique low-top sneaker. With a dark colorway of black/dark hazel/medium olive that resembles military air-flight themes, the Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL gives you the freedom to customize the look of your kicks just the way you want it.

Pair these low-top running sneakers with some patched jacket or some rugged and tattered jeans to reflect your style. With this playful design for this Nike Air Max 97 variant, it is not only a creatively designed sneaker but allows you to be creative as well.

The modern touches made on the iconic Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL includes a creatively placed Velcro material on the tongue that allows wearers to set unique patch designs to customize the look. The hook-and-loop tongue top will enable you to accessorize with badges that can be placed anywhere in the tongue.

Aside from this unique addition to the iconic silhouette, the Nike Air Max 97 iteration includes an updated upper comprised of synthetic, mesh and knit material for added durability. Also retained in this Air Max iteration is the full-length air bubble midsole that is improved through the years for a softer cushioned sole.

Shoemaking giant Nike dropped the Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 in time for the 20th anniversary of the model in 2017. The Air Max 97 is a trailblazing design for a running shoe as its popularity scored favorably with many sneakerheads through the years with its recognizable metallic cover and full-length signature Nike Air sole unit. Behind the design, the of the revamped sneaker is Nike’s senior designer Dylan Raasch who came up with a low-top design that integrated modern updates which significantly reduced the weight of the shoe.

To recall in the Fall of 1997, the release of the Nike Air Max 97 was often dubbed as ahead of its time with its futuristic look when its designer Christian Tresser presented the design to Nike executives. The shoe was supposed to be the first shoe to use the full-length air bubble-cushioning unit in the midsole. The first colorway was the Silver Bullet which according to Tresser was conceived after taking inspiration from metal components of a mountain bike which he initially called Nike Air Total Max. The design indicated the use of pearlescent effect with a 3M reflective material for that metallic finish to the new running shoe silhouette.

Aside from the Silver Bullet colorway, other favorite colorways for the Air Max 97 silhouette followed like the Obsidian/Royal Blue, Navy/Volt, and the Metallic Gold colorways. In 2016, Nike had a limited launch of the OG Silver Bullet colorway in Milan, Italy with an Italian flag on the tongue. A few months later in 2017, the Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 was released with a single textured jacquard upper and tongue and heel pull-tabs. Also updated was the full-length Air-Sole unit that removed forefoot grooves and other parts of the sole to make the design as lightweight as possible. The Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 were dropped in varying colorways that included the OG colorway Silver Bullet and Metallic Gold with Varsity Red hits.

With renewed interest in the return of Velcro material, Nike resumed selling the Air Max 90, Air Max 95, and the Air Max 97 Ultra ’17 HAL with Velcro material on their parts so that wearers can customize the look of their shoes with the use of the brand’s patches. The three HAL or hook-and-loop designs allows a personalized or customized look like the buyer of the sneaker gets to choose and buy patches and design shoe according to their style preferences. Some 15 patch designs are now being available for those who would want to customize or personalize their sneaker design. The Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL was released in the first quarter of 2018.

  • Each shoe comes with a set of individual attachments including the Nike Swoosh logo and several other embellishments.
  • Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 HAL upper is comprised of knit, mesh, and tough synthetic materials for extra durability.
  • Velcro material is concentrated at the tongue where shoe owners can place brand-made badges.
  • A solid rubber outsole provides traction while reflective piping at the bottom boosts visibility at night.


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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.