After leaking earlier this summer, Nike’s new Air Max 97 “Nintendo 64” is officially dropping this week, which is sure to please both sneaker heads and nostalgic fans of Nintendo’s iconic console. This Air Max design is not an officially sanctioned Nintendo product, with Nike simply stating that their choice in colors is inspired by the design and features of the 64-bit cartridge console from Nintendo that first released in 1996. No lawsuits, please.
These special Air Max 97s from Nike have a mostly silver upper made of mixed materials and detailing in red, green, and blue, which is meant to be reminiscent of the A, B, and Start buttons on the Nintendo 64 controller, with a yellow Nike Max Air sole that recalls the C button. There’s no dorsal fin coming out of the center of it to help shoppers think of the N64 controllers more… controversial features, but the sneaker design definitely gives off retro vibes for long time Nintendo fans.
Some more gamer-oriented details are “Power” and “Reset” swapped in where the Nike tongue logo usually goes, an ESRB logo on the insole, and a Nintendo-esque font for the Air Max banding on the sneaker’s heel.
This isn’t the first time that Nike has designed a variation of their sneakers after what’s popular in gaming. In 2008, Nike also created a Nike Air Max design dubbed the “BW” that brings to mind Nintendo’s unforgettable 8-bit console. Nike Basketball also partnered with Playstation and NBA All-Star Paul George to create the special PG-2 and PG-2.5 sneaker colorways in 2018. A very limited edition collaboration with the recently released Xbox (and PC) title Crackdown 3 produced only 21 pairs, and are unfortunately way cooler than the game.
The 90’s in one pic, Will Smith wearing his cap backwards, a Nintendo, Nike Air’s & a Mariah Carey CD pic.twitter.com/sKeplb441E
— Life in Moments (@historyinmoment) September 18, 2019
Even though Nike’s new Air Max variation is not a fully official fashion partnership, it does feel like a natural match. These Nintendo 64 themed Nike Air Max 97s are officially called “Atmosphere Grey” and will be available for purchase from Nike and other retailers officially starting Wednesday, September 25th for $170.