The Nike Air Max 97 celebrated its 20th birthday in 2017, and what a celebration it was! 2017 was easily the biggest year ever for the iconic Air Max model that debuted full-length visible Air to the world back in 1997. And if you don't already know why, you apparently haven't been paying much attention to the sneaker world lately. From OG colorways to the monumental OFF-WHITE edition, and even a modernized 'Ultra' construction, the wavy runner has never before received as much love as it did this past year.
With so many epic releases for the Air Max 97 in 2017, we thought the silhouette deserved one last celebration: a top ten recap of the very best versions all year. Here are the Stadium Goods picks for the essential Air Max 97's from 2017. If you claim to be an Air Max fan, you better have at least one of these in your collection already. And if not, we've got you covered!
10. WMNS Air Max 97 "Neon"
Style: 921733 003
Link: WMNS Air Max 97 "Neon"
The Air Max 97 borrowed the iconic "Neon" colorway from the Air Max 95 for this awesome release. The only problem: they were exclusively for women! Guys with smaller feet are still in luck though, since you'll be able to fit into some of the larger sizes in stock.
9. Air Max 97 CR7 "Patchwork"
Style: AQ0655 700
Link: Air Max 97 CR7 "Patchwork"
Soccer living legend Cristiano Ronaldo got his very own Air Max 97 in 2017, featuring a golden patchwork upper inspired by his rise to greatness. As the story goes, young Ronaldo was so poor but loved playing football so much, his mother had to continually repair holes on his only pair of shoes so he could keep playing. The "Patchwork" Air Max 97 CR7 was released in very limited quantities only in select cities, making it now one of the most sought-after colorways of the shoe all year.
8. Air Max 97 OG Black/Volt
Style: 921826 004
Link: Air Max 97 OG Black/Volt
One for all the true Air Max 97 aficionados, this long-requested black, volt, and silver edition of the OG construction finally got some love in 2017 after previously only releasing in Japan. If you haven't picked up a pair yet, don't sleep on them any longer, because it could be ages before they return again.
7. Air Max 97 Premium QS "Country Camo" USA
Style: AJ2614 205
Link: Air Max 97 Premium QS "Country Camo" USA
The last big push for the Air Max 97 in 2017 was the "Country Camo" pack released in December, featuring the camouflage patterns of Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, France, and the USA. We're a bit partial to the Stars and Stripes edition in tiger camo.
6. Air Max 97 OG Atlantic Blue
Style: 921826 401
Link: Air Max 97 OG Atlantic Blue
Another long-awaited original colorway, this Atlantic Blue/Voltage Yellow edition was the Air Max 97 release that got many of the shoe's biggest and oldest fans most excited in 2017. Because those collectors have already had plenty of opportunities to pick up the "Silver Bullet" colorway again through the years.
5. Skepta x Air Max 97 UL '17
Style: AJ1988 900
Link: Skepta x Air Max 97 UL '17
Grime/hip-hop artist and well-known Air Max aficionado Skepta got his hands on the Air Max 97 for this special edition referencing another one of his favorite sneakers, the iridescent Air Tuned Max from 1999. Needless to say, the result was a hit.
4. Air Max 97 OG QS "Gold"
Style: 884421 700
Link: Air Max 97 OG QS "Gold"
To the delight of all Air Max 97 fans, the wavy runner went for the gold in 2017 with the return of this beloved original colorway. Returning for the first time since 2010, these were a must-have for new and old lovers of the Air Max 97 alike.
3. Undefeated x Air Max 97
Style: 884421 700 (White), AJ1986 001 (Black), AJ1986 300 (Olive)
Link: UNDFTD x Air Max 97 OG
Leave it to Undefeated to drop one of the most memorable collaborations of the year. One of the select few to get their own take on the Air Max 97 in 2017, the famous So-Cal based retailer combined ballistic mesh and patent leather in clean all-white and all-black colorways with Undefeated branding on the green and red piping. Along with the sneakers came a full set of matching apparel. Then the friends and family olive colorway made the pack even more legendary.
2. OFF-WHITE x Air Max 97
Style: AJ4585 100
Link: OFF-WHITE x Air Max 97
From the most hyped sneaker collaboration in years...OK, maybe ever...came the OFF-WHITE x Nike Air Max 97 by Virgil Abloh. The unique Air Max 97 is stripped down to its essentials in a crisp white upper with all the signature details of THE TEN collection, for one of the very best offerings of the whole set.
1. Air Max 97 OG QS "Silver Bullet"
Style: 884421 001
Link: Air Max 97 OG QS "Silver Bullet"
Even in a year that included the OFF-WHITE collab, nothing can defeat the original "Silver Bullet" colorway when it comes to the Air Max 97. Iconic in every sense of the word, no Air Max collection should be without a pair of the most famous colorway of the landmark runner. Here's to another 20 years of the Air Max 97!