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Pairing one of the most iconic Air Max silhouettes with one of the world's greatest athletes is a natural fit. Already a favourite of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Air Max 97 undergoes a luxurious upgrade that patches together the incredible story of the superstar's modest beginnings and his road to glory.
A golden patchwork adorns the upper, representing the rags-to-riches journey of a boy born to play. Yet his family could only afford two pairs of shoes for Cristiano—one for school, one for football. Each time he'd wear a hole into his shoe, his mother would patch it up so he could continue chasing greatness.
For footwear designer Ben Kirschner, these 'patched shoes' are the heart of Ronaldo's story. "I imagined (his mum) pulling from materials that she had simply to patch the shoe up. So we took these materials and cut them up into different pieces, put them in a random pot, and whichever one you grabbed was then stitched on. Each patch represents a different experience that made Cristiano who he was. Every time he came home, he got a new patch, so we wanted each patch to represent a different moment in time".
As Ronaldo's preferred colour, the gold colourway honours his superlative style, past triumphs and ceaseless pursuit of the next piece of footballing glory. The now-iconic CR7 logo on the heel tab mimics his favourite gold chain and nods to his refined personal aesthetic. Green and red Swooshes hark back to his native Portugal and the two club shirts that helped make him the legend he is today.
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