14.01.23FeaturesNike Air MaxPartnership
ARTICLE BY Gabe Filippa

Take It to the Air Max: A High-Speed History of the ‘Silver Bullet’


The ‘Silver Bullet’ is one of the most legendary colourways in existence. First arriving via the Nike Air Max 97 in the late 1990s, the breakneck design soon tore across multiple models in the Swoosh canon, including the cult classic Nike Tuned. To celebrate the upcoming release of the ‘Silver Bullet 2.0’ at Foot Locker, we took a look back at some of the defining moments for the fastest colourway in the galaxy.

nike air max 97 silver bullet

The Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’ (1997)

Let’s not beat around the bush: the Nike Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’ is one of the most iconic sneakers in history. Originally released in the late 1990s, the colourway enjoyed broad global appeal but reached meteoric heights in Italy, where the model was laced by the region’s restless subcultures.

Lauded for its futuristic, alien-like characteristics, Christian Tresser’s ‘Silver Bullet’ took cues from the industrial language of mountain bikes and the image of a water droplet radiating outwards. It was a blueprint that resulted in a tour de force for the young designer and a home run for the Swoosh (in fact, Nike were so perplexed by the shoe’s success in Italy that they commissioned a book to get to the bottom of it!).

Affectionately dubbed ‘Le Silver’ locally, the ‘Silver Bullet’ soon beamed its influence internationally, finding like-minded sneakerheads across the globe.

The OG colourway now belongs to Air Max folklore, frequently re-released for silver-haired fans of the original and newcomers alike.

Shop all the latest Air Max 97 colourways by hitting the button below!

nike air force 1 silver bullet,

Nike Air Force 1 (2008)

While the Nike Air Force 1 has countless iconic colourways at its disposal, it was certainly nice to see the ‘Silver Bullet’ tear it up with the famous 1980s hooper. Manufactured with sizzling red bottoms and plenty of 3M, we only wish the ‘Silver Bullet’ could shoot through time and space to 1980s NYC!

Looking to take flight with the AF-1 in 2023? Hit the button below to shop all the latest colourways.

Nike Air Max 97 Italy Exclusive (2016)

Nike Air Max 97 Italy Exclusive (2016)

Nike paid homage to Italy’s deep fascination with the Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’ back in 2016, releasing a region-exclusive colourway complete with tri-coloured pull tags. Funnily enough, it’s still one of the hardest ‘Silver Bullet’ releases to track down.

Shop all the latest Aussie-exclusive Air Max at Foot Locker.

nike air max plus silver bullet
Foot Locker EU

Nike Tuned ‘Silver Bullet’ (2017)

Still the baddest member of Nike’s royal Air Max bloodline, the Nike Tuned received its very own ‘Silver Bullet’ colourway in 2017. Rendering Sean McDowell’s swaying Florida palm trees in the unmistakable metallic silver, it was hard to fault the TN’s version of the ‘Silver Bullet’, the silhouette providing the perfect canvas for the ultra-fast aesthetic.

Emphasising the anatomical characteristics of the model with bone-like TPU ‘ribs’, the colourway was also blasted with ‘University Red’ Swooshes and Nike Air branding on the tongues.

Need to add a new member to your TN rotation? The Nike Tuned ‘Silver Bullet 2.0’ is in-store now at Foot Locker Australia - while stocks last!

Nike Air Max 97 LX ‘Swarovski’

Air Max 97 LX ‘Swarovski’ (2017)

Never did the ‘Silver Bullet’ look so luxe! Released in 2017 to celebrate the model’s 20th anniversary, this extravagant makeover was fused with crystal fabric that refracted light, providing a shimmering, incandescent effect.

Get your sneaker glow-up by hitting the button below!

Nike Air Max 97/BW ‘Persian Bullet’ 2018

Nike Air Max 97/BW ‘Persian Bullet’ (2018)

Now this is how you combine two superlative sneaker models – and colourways! A mashup of the Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’ and the cult classic Nike Air Max BW’s ‘Persian Violet’, the Air Max 97/BW ‘Persian Bullet’ flew onto shelves in 2018.

Notoriously hard to nail, this is a hybrid model that ticks all the boxes.

Keep an eye on all the latest hybrid sneakers at Foot Locker.

nike air max plus wolf grey

Nike Tuned ‘Wolf Grey’ (2018)

Whilst not strictly a ‘Silver Bullet’ colourway, the Nike Tuned ‘Wolf Grey’ nevertheless articulates the long legacy of the silvery composition on the model. Composed in smokey hues, colourways like the ‘Wolf Grey’ allow all of Sean McDowell’s OG design blueprints to shine through more vividly. And the 2018 release is still a staple for TN-heads worldwide.

Shop all the latest and greatest Nike Tuned at Foot Locker – the home of the TN.

,nike air vapormax 2018

Nike Air VaporMax (2018)

One of the cleanest ‘Silver Bullet’ colourways in recent years, the Nike Air VaporMax Plus pedalled into the zeitgeist in 2018. A model that dominated the market during the late 2010s, the VaporMax treated the ‘Silver Bullet’ with the utmost respect, leaving the perennial design largely untouched. Built with the new gargantuan cushioning system, this was surely one of the rare cases of the bigger, the better!

Take your sneaker rotation to the (Air) Max at Foot Locker.

nike tuned silver bullet 2.0

Nike Tuned ‘Silver Bullet 2.0’

Nike are revisiting the classic ‘Silver Bullet’ for the 25th anniversary of the Nike Tuned, and the upcoming ‘Silver Bullet 2.0’ leans even more heavily on the metallic aesthetic. Removing the blast of ‘Team Red’ accents characteristic of the OG Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’, the latest colourway goes all-in on the mountain bike-esque blueprints, with the only aesthetic break provided by the iconic gold TN badges.

Hit the button below to get your hands on the breakneck Nike Tuned ‘Silver Bullet 2.0’.

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