Model: Air Max 97 "No Bubble"
Release Date: 2022
Editor's Notes: What’s the most iconic part of a pair of Nike Air Max sneakers? Well, I feel that’s pretty obvious, don’t you? That’d undoubtedly be their once revolutionary Air bubbles.
While sneaker technology has come leaps and bounds since the early to late 90s when many of Nike’s most iconic Air Max sneakers touched the market, their legacy remains just as strong. Put it this way; if you were to describe or draw a pair of Air Max, whether that be the 90, 95, or 97, you need only mention how many bubbles feature on the silhouette.
A quick glance around the perimeter of the 97, and you’ll find three sets of bubbles - two longer-length ones that sit at the lateral and medial sides, with a shorter version that sits at the rear. These, as well as the sneaker’s Japanese bullet train-inspired upper design, are the defining characteristics that have made the shoe such a celebrated icon over the last two and a half decades.
Well, as we stride through the tail end of the summer, those eta-defining bubbles are getting a contemporary makeover. Essentially, Nike removes the element that makes Air so captivating – its visibility.
The “No Bubble” 97 sees visible Air hidden under a lick of white paint, turning the sole unit into a chunky, textured block. Additional changes have been made at the upper, including a lace toggle and mixed fabrication upper that sees the typically leather and synthetic border switched out for black hairy suede.
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