With masks a part of our “new normal,” it can be hard to convey your feelings in public. Nike’s new Air Max 97 silhouette, however, is its most expressive yet. Inspired by the digital world of texting and emojis, the “Airmoji” sneaker features removable Nike icons that make it easy for the wearer to customize their shoes to their mood.
Since the demand for the brand’s Dunk silhouette increased last year, Nike has tried its best to get the retro sneaker to as many people as possible. But with the drop of its Airmoji shoe, the Swoosh is switching directions — simultaneously juggling past models and present concepts. Of course, texting isn’t a new phenomenon, but the interest in personal and customizable sneakers has skyrocketed. And with its interchangeable emojis, Nike’s newest Air Max 97 is practically a mood ring for your feet.
Heart eyes emoji — To ensure your chosen “Airmoji” stands out, the sneaker’s makeup keeps it simple. A clean white upper, made of breathable mesh and accompanying leather overlays, covers most of the shoe. It’s contrasted by a black accent on a singular mid-foot overlay, and a purple mini Swoosh seen on both sides of the sneaker.
Swooshes usually seen on the shoe’s tongue have instead been replaced with four dots — a nod to the graphic that pops up when someone is typing — which act as a podium for the five detachable Airmojis that come with the sneaker. In blue, green, and yellow shades, Nike’s emojis depict anger, surprise, happiness, flirtation, and what looks like a grimace. All Airmojis reinstate branding by hosting a red Swoosh graphic on their upper corners.
The footbed of the Air Max 97 explores this digital theme a bit more. Traditional Nike branding has been altered to look like a messaging bubble, even incorporating a blue reminiscent of Apple’s iMessage. Hits of neon green, perhaps a nod to Android, decorate the heel’s Air Max wording and midsole’s Air units.
Nike FTW — Nike’s expressive Air Max 97 “Airmoji” is now available through select retailers, so don’t worry about chasing them down on SNKRS. For $180, you can score the silhouette at Champs, Footlocker, or Finish Line, and create an outfit based on your daily mood. Now, you can let everyone know when you take an L (or secure a coveted W) on SNKRS, on your own sneakers.