Extremely popular sneakers because of their price range, versatility when it comes to style, and freedom of movement. Almost everyone is guaranteed to have low-top sneakers in their shoe rotation.
Mid-top sneakers extend toward the ankle for a little more support and hold. These lie somewhere in the middle between low-top and high-top sneakers in terms of usage and popularity.
Sneakers with collars that go above the ankles for optimal hold and support are some of the most sought-after models in lifestyle shoes. Most of these shoes take their roots from basketball and have easily or fashionably crossed to mainstream wear.
Good to know
Regardless of cut, it's always good to start with sneakers that can be worn for the daily grind, also called as "beaters" by some, as these are usually cheaper, easy to clean, and still gives that lifestyle "edge" before going for those wallet-thinning models.
Sneakers dominantly take their heritage from running, basketball, skate, tennis, training, hiking, and football. Still retaining a few of their performance-based technologies, these sneakers have transcended their respective niches and have successfully and popularly transformed themselves as staples of fashion footwear.
Sneakers designed for a laidback, "cool" vibe that is built for lifestyle wear right from the get-go.
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Brands are now blending elements of performance and casual appeal in basically every sneaker. One can hardly go wrong with a sports-inspired sneaker or a simple casual shoe.
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Shoes sharing the same inspiration, history, materials, or technologies are routinely assembled under one compilation for the convenience of those who may wish to categorize or label their own collection as such. The classic collections like the Adidas Originals, Air Max 1, Air Force 1, new balance classic sneakers, and the Classic Leather head the pack of frequently asked about collections.
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Nike Air Force 1 High History
The Air Force 1 or AF1 is Nike’s most celebrated, best-selling shoe designed by Bruce Kilgore. Its popularity remained even beyond three decades after the OG high-cut was dropped in 1982. This sneaker that’s made into tons of variations generates an estimated annual revenue of $800 million USD, with an approximate turnover of $28 billion USD in its 35th year. Needless to say, this shoe that’s named after the official aircraft of the US President is the highest-selling sports shoe of all time.
The Nike Air Force I was initially designed as a high-top ball shoe that incorporated the proprietary Air cushioning unit in its midsole. In fact, AF1 is the first sports shoe that utilized this innovative technology of compressed air. This air-filled pocket delivers the needed support and responsiveness while on the court.
Another feature of the AF1 that’s highly noticeable apart from the embedded cushioning system is the lacing ornament found near the forefoot. The original silhouette has a nearly oval-shaped lace medallion engraved with the “AF-1” and “82” label in pewter material. This was referred to as a tiny ornament back in the day until Nike footwear designer Damon Clegg called it his Scottish accent, “doobrie” in 1994. It was later coined deubre by the brand.
Nike was successful in marketing the Air Force 1 during that time which was originally sold at $89 by using limited regional releases to hype up interest in the shoe and increase its market. From the Beaverton headquarters, Nike carved a niche for the AF1 in the East Coast, a densely populated seaboard in the US, by supplying the area with limited pairs.
Retailers in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland were witnesses to the responsive local market as well as the growing clamor for the shoe by consumers coming from different states. This was reflected by the large-scale demand for the limited makeups.
The popularity of this shoe became widespread creating a cult of followers from the hardwood to the hip-hop communities. The AF1 was later endorsed by influential icons elevating its status to a prominent spot, making it one of the coveted shoes in the market particularly between the ‘80s and ‘90s. Nike amplified this by producing regulated drops of the AF1, an effective marketing that kept the model one of the in demand classics until today.
Modifications were made to the AF1 since the early 1990s, with styles ranging from high-top, low-top and mid-top. The high-tops had the most recognizable strap that runs around the ankle, which is removable in some editions while the mid-tops has an ankle strap that’s attached to the shoe and offers a secure fit.
In 2007, Nike unveiled a special collection of the AF1 commemorating the model’s 25th anniversary, aptly named the Air Force 1 ‘07. The model’s distinct deubre or ornamental piece on the forefoot shoelaces was redesigned for this particular product line and was given a more refined rectangular shape. The inscription retained the abbreviation of the Nike model while it eliminated the year of AF1’s original release.
More variations were soon dropped in the coming years that transformed the cover of the Air Force 1 High to vibrant colorways and textural mixture of upper materials. The modern aesthetic upgrades were paired with a durable outsole built to last for a long period of time.
This most recognized silhouette has pervaded sneaker culture for a number of years and continues to be a fashion staple. More iterations are expected to be released in the coming years as this Air Force 1 remains to be a much sought blank canvas for collaboration endeavors and a self-promotional platform by its throngs of fan base.
Nike Air Force 1 High Style
The Nike Air Force 1 High retained the well-adored silhouette of the original version which is redefined with an updated details and array of colorways to keep its iconic status among sneaker fans, enthusiasts, and collectors. This court-inspired profile adds a spark to one’s skinny bottoms, rolled up tight pants, and leggings.
Fit & Sizing
The Nike Air Force 1 High retained the silhouette of the original model which is a basketball shoe. This revamped version offers an adjustable lacing system for a customized, comfortable, and snug fit that may feel a bit tight in the beginning as this high-top shoe is chiefly constructed of leather. This shoe which is available in men’s sizes generally runs narrow and reviewers recommend to get a half size bigger than one’s usual size for a more comfortable fit. The sizing ranges from 6 to 18 US.
Classic style Nike Air Force 1 High continues to gain traction globally among sneaker patrons as it is built with a timeless design that embodies a rich heritage. Its appeal to a huge number of basketball legends, mainstream celebrities, and music icons has inspired communities and people of different races. It is deeply rooted in street wear culture and continues to get upgrades in terms color and material combinations while it continues to grow as a street culture standard
- The creative mind behind AF1, Bruce Kilgore took cues from the façade of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in designing the contours of the sole.
- The original prototype of the Air Force 1 apparently has mesh material and not of full leather.
- This shoe was inspired by Nike Air Approach hiking boots.
- One of the initial wear testers of the Air Force 1 is Nike’s stalwart designer Tinker Hatfield who joined Nike in the early 1980s.
- The AF1 has created a strong force in the market, stemming from the East Coast, since early 1980s. There were several hip-hop icons whose names were linked to the Air Force 1, namely: 3rd Bass Prime Minister Pete Nice, Jay Z, Belizean rapper Shyne, trios The LOX and G-Unit.
- Upon its release in 1982, Nike enlisted six NBA players to introduce the Air Force 1. Later known as the “original six,” the group is comprised of Moses Malone, Mychal Thompson, Bobby Jones, Calvin Natt, Jamaal Wilkes, and Michael Cooper. To endorse and market the new shoe, each of the six players was among the first ones to receive the AF1 in the OG white/gray colorway.
- During the 25th year commemoration of the Air Force 1, Nike created the “Second Coming” campaign that featured new generation of top NBA players Rasheed Wallace, Shawn Marion, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, Jermaine O’Neal, and Tony Parker to endorse the Air Force 1 ’07.
- The Air Force 1 is nicknamed Uptowns, while the 2007 version is also branded Air Force XXV.
- As the model hit its 35th year in the market, it released its all time high silhouette the Special Field Air Force 1 High with a rope accessory inspired by the original AF1 and 2016 Special Field boot designed by Ben Kirschner.