1997 was a big year of scientific discovery for mankind – scientists would successfully clone Dolly the sheep from one single adult cell, but much more importantly, the geniuses at Nike would make the impossible possible, and take the Air Max 97 from concept to reality.
The brainchild of Christian Tresser (the footwear designer also behind the Nike Spiridon), the Air Max 97 was introduced to the world in a mindblowing metallic silver colourway inspired by the monochromatic silver sheen of mountain bikes. It was as if Nike were in contact with aliens, and they’d handed down this future technology to us. It would be a shoe of firsts. The first ever full-length air cushion featured in an Air Max sole. It debuted the use of Nike Air Max 270 Damen 360-degree reflective 3M piping on a sneaker, mimicking the radiating ripples formed by water droplets disrupting the surface of water (and not Japanese bullet trains as many believe). It introduced functional details like concealed lacing systems, and breathable full mesh uppers to the world of athletic footwear.
This cult sneaker would become known globally as the ‘Silver Bullets’, ‘Silvers’, or ‘Le Silver’. It was a design so revolutionary at the time, it made the Nike execs in the boardroom at its unveiling feel uncomfortable. The future was here, but it was too different. Fortunately, the public would be more receptive of the shoe that seemed closer to liquid metal than a sneaker. It was a runaway success, particularly in Italy where it was adopted by graffiti writers, club goers and fashionista’s alike. Graffiti taggers Nike Air Max Command Donna loved it for it’s cyberpunk utilitarian feel pairing it with North Face outerwear, clubbers were thankful for it’s all-day (and night) comfort, whilst for the fashion crowd it’s minimalist aesthetic made it the perfect complement to pieces by fashion’s bad boys like Martin Margiela and Helmut Lang. From New York to Tokyo, if you weren’t wearing 97’s you most definitely weren’t it.
In 2017 for the 20th anniversary of its release, the Air Max 97 was rereleased. Since then, it’s been a canvas for many of your favourite designers most sought after collaborations with the Swoosh. Off-White, Undefeated, CLOT, Skepta and Sean Wotherspoon all made use of the Air Max 97.
So how do the modern iterations of the Nike Cortez Dames Air Max 97 fit, and just how comfortable is the 22 year old technology compared to your other crepes? We’ve found four avid Nike Air Max 95 Dame sneakerheads who’ll give you the lowdown in the Ultimate Air Max 97 Sizing and Fit Guide.
It was 100% the futuristic silhouette which caught my attention – I’d never seen such a modern looking shoe with so much history behind it! Back in the day, I really wanted a pair but I couldn’t afford them, so I had to wait until I could earn my own money. That feeling when I bought my very first pair of AM97 was just incredible. To spend so much money on just one shoe was a totally new and different experience for me.
I always wear mine with some eye-catching and futuristic colours and outfits. Why? Because I always feel like I’m a person from the future when I wear these shoes. Also, you have to wear wider stuff Nike Air Huarache Femme with these shoes because they have an urban aesthetic and don’t look as cool with skinny jeans.