When we all think of Nike we think of the iconic swoosh or tick. So when we think of shoes and Nike, only one shoe shines through the rest. The Iconic Air Force 1.
It seems these days that everyone has an Air Force 1 in their wardrobe, and in their rotation of shoes. From the endless colourways and the crazy designs, this silhouette is an absolute classic that everyone should have. So, what’s the history behind this timeless shoe, and, who helped pioneer it?
Beginning with the Air Force 1 Model, the Air Force silhouette went on the create other Air Force shoes; the Air Force 2, Air Force 3, Air Force STS, Air Force 5, Air Force XXV and Air Force 09. The Air Force 1 Model is the most worn model, coming in three options – High, Mid and Low (with the Low being the most popular version). This silhouette was designed by Bruce Kilgore in 1982, but then in 1984, the shoe was planned to be discontinued. But, with a massive surge of Baltimore’s enthusiastic wearers, they encouraged Nike to continue making the shoe.
From this, the Nike Air Force 1s rocketed in popularity. They were considered the shoe of the youth in Harlem, New York. They were so popular the shoes were given the nickname “Uptowns”. Through the 2000s, the rappers started to shed light on the shoe. Nelly and St. Lunatics created a track titled ‘Air Force Ones’, and Kanye created a track called ‘Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been)’ which was based upon the legendary shoe. In 2001, Women’s sizes were released for the shoe, which only added to the popularity.
The influence of rappers didn’t stop here however, Travis Scott first collaborated with Nike to create his take on the Air Force, with his Air Force “Sail” being released in 2018. Now Travis Scott has another AF1 release, a much more recent shoe that dropped on November 16th, 2019, called Travis Scott ‘Cactus Jack’.
The AF1 is so popular, that you can design your own AF1 through the Nike ID online, making you the collaborator/ designer.
This streetwear staple is incredibly influential, with over 1,700 color variations being made, bringing in an estimated £ 617,796, 630 each year.
So, what do you think of the Air Force 1?