He can jump but can he run! – Air Max 97 Chicago

This sneaker’s red, white and black color scheme seems oddly familiar. That’s because red, white and black are the colors of the Chicago Bulls. In sneaker terms, this is significant, because Michael Jordan’s stint at the Chicago Bulls resulted in red, white, and black featuring on some of his most iconic silhouettes to date. We decided to bring this famous Chicago look to one of Nike’s other best-sellers though, the Air Max 97. 

The upper features a white mesh base, with leather stripes colored in black and red. This is not too dissimilar to the Air Max 95, which features similar stripes. But the difference is that the Air Max 97’s stripes don’t stop at the toe and heel of the shoe, but rather go all the way around the upper. The Nike Swoosh’s on the lateral side and the tongue come in black, and the heel and tongue tags are red. The midsole flaunts a full-length Air unit, with a tinted red Air unit, and is encased in a red foam. The silhouette is completed with a pristine white outsole. 

Red, white, and black sneakers are iconic thanks to their connection with the Air Jordan line, but why use the color scheme on an Air Max sneaker? For a start, Tinker Hatfield was heavily involved in both the Air Jordan line as well as the Air Max line. He designed the Air Jordan’s 3 through 15 before working on a couple of the newer models, but he also produced the first visible Air unit in 1987. Whilst the Air Max 97 was designed by Christian Tresser, without Tinker Hatfield, Air Max may not have been a thing. Plus, throughout the ’90s, Air Jordan’s were all the rage in the basketball sneaker world, while models like the Air Max 97 were huge in the running world. Therefore, we thought a cross-over sneaker was required.  

As well as this, Nike and Jordan’s top basketball athletes have often been given some lifestyle sneakers on the side of their signature line. Just this year, LeBron James has been given his own colorway of the Air Max 95, and athletes like KD and Russell Westbrook have both received their own lifestyle shoes. Sadly  Michael Jordan was never treated to such a luxury during his run in the NBA. Hopefully, our Air Max 97 gives you a glimpse of what it would have looked like if he had.