You know that piece of clothing you are convinced will never go out of style? And then, 10 years later, you're actually still wearing it? Call it a trend-defying unicorn, a once-in-a-blue-moon sartorial success, or simply the best damn item you've ever bought. For me, those are Nike Air Max sneakers. Besides the fact that they're just good-looking kicks, there are nine classic iterations, meaning as soon as you grow tired of one, there is always another silhouette in countless colorways to choose from next.
The Air Max '97, in particular, is one of the most coveted — revered, even — by sneakerheads everywhere. Part of the appeal is their exclusivity — you can't get 'em unless you troll eBay or other resale sites for a dead-stock (or even used) pair. And while that definitely makes them alluring and heightens their appeal (because, really, who doesn't want what they can't have?), I fell in love with the sneakers for their design: They're sleek, they're futuristic (especially in the silver and gold colorways), and they're inspired by Japanese bullet trains. In short, they're just well-made, beautiful sneakers that speak to the zeitgeist of the late nineties (a decade we're all looking to for aesthetic inspiration as of late). Plus, nearly 10 years after their release, they're just as cool as (if not cooler than) they were originally.
The word isn't out as to whether or not these sneaks will be re-released, but some sneaker writers are going as far as to say they shouldn't ever have a reissue. Not because they're not good, but because they're so good that they should remain a coveted, sought-after, special sneaker. The Air Max '95 — my second favorite of the bunch — was re-released last year, and the meaning of the sneaker has definitely evolved. But, as with the '95s, an evolved re-release of the '97s wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing — just different. Unfortunately, I can't give you the usual slideshow with links to buy the beloved sneakers, but the good news is there are plenty of Instagrammers who rock '97s like the best of them. Take a peek at some of the raddest ones out in the wild below, and to quench your Air Max thirst, click here to shop the (almost as awesome) '95s.