5 Years in the Making: Christian Tresser’s Air Max 97 “Gold Bullet” Returns | Wellgosh

Following the re-issue of the cult classic “Silver Bullet”, the Air Max 97 “Gold Bullet” makes a return for the first time since 2018. This streamlined sneaker was designed by Christian Tresser, who based the shape on the futuristic Japanese bullet train and the ripple effect of a water droplet hitting a pond, with added influence from his love of indoor and outdoor football shoes. The metallic colourway was borrowed from 90s mountain bikes, which may have also been the inspiration for the techy hidden lace feature, adding to the sleek shape. The shoe was a massive hit in Italy, so much so that there was a “Made in Italy” Air Max 97, released in 2010 and limited to only 1695 numbered pairs. There was also a slip-on version of the shoe, released in 2001 but was never revisited.

Tresser has been responsible for such Nike classics as the Air Zoom Spiridon (released a season before the AM 97), the 1996 Air Windrunner, the 1996 Air Max Light, the 1996 Footscape and the 1997 Air Max Tailwind. Tresser was also responsible for the Reebok DMX 10 and DMX Daytona, as well as the Salomon ACS PRO Advanced.

Source: Christian Tresser’s Instagram @christiantresser
Source: Christian Tresser’s Instagram @christiantresser

It’s rumoured that in 2007, Nike attempted to fuse the Air Max 97 with the Air Force 1, with the mesh padded tongue, heel strap and translucent full-length Air Max midsole mixed with the upper and chunky sole unit of the AF-1. Unfortunately, the prototype never saw general release with mixed reviews on the result. The sole unit was also applied to the 2008 “Air Max Terra Ninety”, mixing elements from the Nike Air Humara, the Air Max 90 and the Air Max 97. This Frankenstein’s Monster of sport and trail style has been forgotten to Nike’s archive, but we’d be keen to see it retro’d given the rise in popularity of outdoor gear.

The Nike Air Max 97 “Gold Bullet” fuses a breathable mesh upper with metallic gold leather overlays, featuring Varsity Red detailing in the form of an embroidered side swoosh and tongue badge, with a metallic spell out logo on the woven heel tab and gilded laces. This timeless upper sits atop a white midsole, with a full-length Air Max cushion and a black and red rubber outsole for grip. There’s also 3M detailing in the side panels, making a statement at a motive, or keeping you safe on the walk home.

The Air Max 97 is available on the Wellgosh website from the 26/01/2023, so set your alarms or face another 5 year wait!

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