The Nike Air Max 97 has been picking up steam in recent years and they have quickly become one of the most popular Air Max models from Nike. The design feels like its retro reaching for the future and I think that is part of the appeal. The waves are almost trademark to the Air Max 97 and the air bubble is optimal size. Upon the Air Max 97’s rising popularity we’ve received numerous colorways and remixes to keep things fresh. I’ve narrowed down this now expansive collection into the top 20 Air Max 97 releases based on overall aesthetic and popularity. With all this recoloring there’s enough styles to go around for any preference. These entries are inspired by Christian Tresser’s design from the late 90s.
20. Nike Air Max 97 Game Royal Metallic Silver
The Air Max 97 Game Royal metallic in reminiscent of the Harlem globetrotters and was inspired by old school sports jerseys. A few standout features include the metallic silver strip alongside the red, white and blue stripes and the colorful heeltab.
19. Nike Air Max 97 Tiger Camo Olive
The olive base looks so clean on the Air Max 97, the tiger camo threads seep through each wave subtly making this one of the top Air Max 97 camo releases to date.
18. Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 Sepia Stone
The Air Max 97 Sepia Stone is an interesting 97 design, it sticks to just a few lighter tones but somehow manages to make them pop off the 97s body. A few unique remodelings of familiar Air Max 97 textures can be seen throughout. The Ultra 17 Sepia Stone flew under the radar for many but still offers the 97 in one of the best desert tones this far.
17. Nike Air Max 97 Bright Citron
The Bright Citron release might be one of the loudest 97 models we’ve seen, this time swopping the swoosh on the side for NIKE text and includes matching retro Air Max text on the heel tabs and down the laces.
16. Nike Air Max 97 Persian Violet
This nostalgic blend of black, white and purple fit the Air Max 97 mold perfectly.
15. Nike Air Max 97 South Beach
The South Beach Air Max 97 offers one of the more colorful variations available on this sneaker, hot pink and a faded green over white makes for a great spring/summer 97.
14. Nike Air Max 97 Pull Tab Obsidian White
This Air Max 97 release feels more akin to 1997 than most versions on this list. The Pull tab Obsidian White hits all the marks of a throwback style while offering a fresh look for the Air Max 97.
13. Nike Air Max 97 Black White
The classic combo everyone knows and loves translates well on this simplistic Air Max 97 retread.
12. Nike Air Max 97 Reflective Silver
Its not a secret that grey tones look really great on the Air Max 97, with the reflective silver model its back to the basics with a tasteful use of 3M.
11. Nike Air Max 97 Smoky Mauve
What a sweet blend of washed out black, blue and pink. The Air Max 97 smoky mauve stands as one of the best uses of rose tones we’ve seen in the collection.
10. Nike Air Max 97 VaporMax
The Vapormax 97 is one of the rarer releases we’ve seen in this line, other than the remarkable soles this design is directly inspired by the Air Max 97 OG Japan.
9. Nike Air Max 97 Triple Black
The murdered out Air Max 97 is ridiculous.
8. Nike Air Max 97 Have a Nike Day
This is one of the best releases we’ve seen from the “Have a Nike day” lineup. And one of the most creative iterations of the Air Max 97.
7. Nike Air Max 97 UNDEFEATED Black
The Air Max 97 collaborates with LA company UNDFTD for one of the few crossovers we’ve seen on the 97 and one of the best.
6. Nike Air Max 97 Clear Emerald
This color scheme highlights the 97s best features and offers an especially bold option to the Air Max 97 lineage.
5. Nike Air Max 97 Wolf Grey
One of the more basic structures for the 97, but flawlessly executed.
4. Nike Air Max 97 Ultra 17 Skepta
The Ultra 17 Skepta almost changes colors in different lighting, its certainly one of the more unique pairs of 97s.
3. Nike Air Max 97 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon
One of the more popular releases from the revamp of the Air Max 97, the 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon offers the 97 in one of its best suits.
2. Nike Air Max 97 Light Pumice
The Light Pumice Air Max 97 takes on a more modern neutral palette, a perfect combination of the old and new.
1. Nike Air Max 97 OG QS “Silver Bullet”
The Air Max 97 in one of its most iconic forms in the Silver Bullet colorway, many believe this particular design was inspired by Japanese bullet trains, in an interview with original creator Christian Tresser he said he thinks the design resembles water drops into a pond more than Japanese bullet trains.
I think the Air Max 97 will see plenty more makeovers as the year goes on, for updates on the Air Max 97 stay tuned right here for the latest industry news.