With an impending capsule of Nike Sportswear footwear launches, Nike looks to be referring to nations in the Far East and the early 2000s. Nike nods to South Korea with an unique pair of Air Max 97s, after the croc-skin wrapped Air Trainer 1 “TYO 03.”

The colors and details show Korean influence

The top is an attractive blend of pure platinum and wolf grey, with light blue accents throughout the shoe. The outsole and Air bag are all white, contributing to the angelic and delicate feel. However, the heel-tabs are embroidered with, the Korean phonetic spelling of Nike, and the year 2002. It’s unclear what Nike has in mind, but other Asian nations might be included in a broader assortment of footwear launches.


The colors of the NIKE AIR MAX 97 “2002” are inspired by the colors of the Korean hanbok. South Korea’s influence on Asian culture and Kpop made this a smart choice by Nike. If you look closely, you can see that the NIKE AIR MAX 97 “2002” also has a lot of elements from traditional Korean hanboks.