The Nike Air Max 97 ‘Cracked Gold’ is an Aged OG
It can be argued that long before the trend of distressed sneakers and pre-yellowed uppers, cracked material was the standard indicator of faux patina. This new Nike Air Max 97 explores the hypothetical concept of what could happen if a pair of the OG ‘Metallic Gold’ was left out and blemished by the elements (please don’t do this with an actual pair of OG 97s – store them properly!). The result is cracked synthetic uppers – something of a symbolic acknowledgement that the AM97 has been around the sun almost 25 times now.
The original metallic colourways of the AM97 were made from lightweight synthetic leather panels running alongside parallel strips of reflective material, which proved to be one of its signature design cues. This cracked edition surmises the gilt finish is merely skin deep, and sufficient tarnishing reveals a black underlay beneath the flaky gold surface. Is this a philosophical exposition on the temporary lifespan of Air Max sneakers? Perhaps it can be considered as Schrödinger’s Sneaker: as the shoes are both perfectly wearable and completely cracked, they’re alive and dead at the same time.
Or maybe, just maybe, it’s not that deep. Nike probably just wanted to make a gold Air Max 97 with cracked uppers. They’re due to release some time later this year.