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Nike Pegasus Premium Could Be the Modern Day Air Max 97

When it launched in 1997, the Nike Air Max 97 was the most innovative pair of sneakers on the planet. They were the first sneakers to use a full-length visible Air unit and arrived in a ‘Silver Bullet’ design modelled after the ripples of water in a pond (not Japanese bullet trains). To quote designer Christian Tresser at the time, “Water would drop and radiate out to the Air unit.” He also used his love of mountain bikes and their metal components inspired by the silver piped upper that contrasts the Air unit underfoot (source).

The sneaker was a technical innovation, but like the best Air Max 90s of all time, it’s withstood the test of time. Moving from a performance running shoe to a nostalgic reference to innovation.

It remains a sought-after model today. Collaborative pairs such as the Virgil Abloh designed ‘The Ten’ fetch over $1,000 AUD on the secondary market. Meanwhile, retro releases of the ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ bullet are still being offered and we always find ourselves going back for seconds and thirds whenever they land on shelves.

With the release of the Nike Pegasus Premium (due in 2025), the brand appears to be going back to its Nike Air roots. They’ve added full-length Zoom Air underfoot and combined it with other leading innovations, including a ZoomX midsole and ReactX foam in the heel for responsiveness. Is Nike on track to create a modern-day Air Max 97? It looks like they’re heading down that path and we’re here for it!

RELATED: Nike Air Max Dn Review: The Future of Nike Air?

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Nike Air Pegasus Premium | Image: Nike

Designers, engineers, and scientists at the Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation (Air MI) and Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL) designed a cushioning unit to give runners a responsive and comfortable underfoot experience focused on returning the most energy back into their legs. You’re looking at a full-length sculpted Air Zoom unit, a full-length ZoomX midsole above, and ReactX foam in the heel.

We’ll have to reserve performance judgments until we get a chance to put them on foot, however, something can be said for the debut ‘Airscape’ colourway. In our opinion, this is a homerun silhouette.

The colourway shows off the full-length Zoom Air in a bright orange while a reflective material has been added to the upper. Here, there’s a sharp white line that runs through the middle of the sneaker, a clear nod to the Air Max 97. Finally, a circular knit has been chosen underneath for its fit and breathability.

Nike has stated the Air Pegasus Premium ($TBC) will arrive first in the ‘Airscape’ colourway in 2025 at, on the Nike app, and at select running specialty stores. They’ve also stated more colourways will follow and we look forward to sharing more details as they emerge. In the meantime, you can shop the full Nike Pegasus running line-up at via the link below.

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