Air Max 97
UNDFTD celebrate the 97's Italian impact
- Nike x UNDFTD
- Sail Patent Leather & Mesh Upper
- Red & Green Piping
- UNDFTD Motif across
- Full Length Air Unit
- UNDFTD 5 Tally Pull Tab Detailing in Red
- Air Max Heel Branding
Made in celebration of 'La Silver', the shoe of Italy. The UNDFTD Air Max 97 combines patent sail leather with black mesh and red & green piping. Red & Green, the colours of Italy, and the stripes synonymous with Florentine brand Gucci make the 97 an eye-catcher, the red layer is embellished with an UNDEFEATED motif. The midsole panel that houses the sail embroidered Swoosh is white whilst white ridges are present in the superior segment of the silhouettes upper. As usual the 97 features a full-length translucent midsole, the tongue pull tab is embellished with UNDFTD's 5 tally mark whilst the heel collar pull tab features 'air max' branding.
Silhouette Explored — History
Designed by Christian Tresser. A silhouette very much ahead of its time, the 97 is divisive with its fair share of critics, it took awhile before people caught on and could fully appreciate the qualities of the 97, but the 97 now holds a place of reverence within the sneaker community. The signature chrome waves that make up the 97 are derived from capillary waves, the ripple observed in water when movement occurs, the layers were actually similar to the gradient effect present in the Air Max 95 but are more pronounced. The lines in between each layer are 3M providing a glistening effect for the wearer. The never-seen before full-length Air cushioning unit in the midsole was an evolution of both the Air Max 180 and the Air Max 93. Whilst the concealed lacing system was up there with the Puma DISC system & the InstaPump Fury, as transformative shoe fastening systems. Tresser referenced Mountain bike construction as the inspiration behind the material construction, with the metallic hues a consistent theme in Tresser's work for Nike (Air Zoom Spiridon, R9 Mercurial). A number of people know the 97 in relation to the Silver Bullet train, a reflection of the 97's sleek curved form and projectile presence. Unlike other Nike models, the 97 features reductive branding, with a small embroidered Swoosh present on a panel on both the medial and lateral sidewall above the midsole.
The 97 entered in a period just before the new millennium, with society obsessed with the prospect of the future, particularly with visual presentation and new visual mediums, the Air Max 97 reflected this. In major Italian cities such as Milan & Rome the shoe has become somewhat of a cultural icon, with several sources providing contradictory reasoning - the 97 became a favourite of graffiti crews in Rome & Milan, whilst other accounts suggest they appeared on the '98 Giorgio Armani runway or cite their popularity as a consequence of Neapolitan nightlife. Regardless of the reasoning the silhouette is very much Italy's sneaker of choice, with it gaining the nickname 'La Silver'.