An Icon Returns: Air Max 97 “Silver Bullet”

Christian Tresser’s Nike Air Max 97 is an amalgamation of the designer’s interests, observations, and surroundings. For example, the wavy patterns found on the sneaker’s upper are inspired by how water droplets radiate outward as they make contact with ponds. And more famously, the sneaker's inaugural colorway, the “Silver Bullet,” was influenced by the popular high-speed trains of Japan – that’s how the story goes, anyway.

Japanese bullet trains were certainly a point of reference for the Air Max 97’s original colorway, but it wasn’t the only one according to its designer. The shimmering finish on the “Silver Bullet” was largely influenced by the metallic mountain bike components of the ‘90s, like aluminum and polished titanium. 

Regardless of its contentious backstory, the Air Max 97 “Silver Bullet” is easily one of the greatest colorways that the Air Max line has ever produced, and it’s set to hit shelves again later this month.

This upcoming rerelease stays true to the original with “Metallic Silver” mesh uppers and matching leather overlays. The tonal base is broken up by white leather piping and “Varsity Red” Swooshes, which appear on the sneaker’s lateral and medial sides, as well as the tongues.

The upper sits atop foam midsole units done in white, which house the model’s signature full-length Max Air units. This colorway is finished with standard rubber outsoles done in black and white.

Looking to own this piece of Air Max history? The Nike Air Max 97 “Silver Bullet” will be available on and DTLR stores on November 11th in men’s, women’s, and grade-school sizes.