Size and fit

The Nike SF Air Force 1 High is available in two dynamic closure systems. One bears a lacing closure plus two customizable, multipurpose ankle straps. The other scheme has a zipper finish and comes with two sets of utility ropes which can be coiled around the high upper for styling and tailored fit. The latter arrangement allows a quick cinch and fast response to the call of the outdoors.

There are also specific designs for men and women. The high-top profile allows optimal support which is extended from the feet to the whole leg. Different materials are used for the different colorways of the sneaker, providing a durable and stable fit. Those with synthetic upper and ballistic nylon are not very stretchable.

Nike SF Air Force 1 High Style

Keeping up with the coolness of winter is the Nike SF AF-1 High. If the AF1 silhouette came with a bang, the SF AF1 Hi walks into a room without one leaving it unnoticed. The high-top silhouette that goes all the way to the ankles exudes a utilitarian and military appeal, only in a more fashionable and street-ready manner.

Because the sneaker already grabs attention by itself, there’s no need to put much effort into styling these. Pair these seemingly avant-garde sneakers with skinny or tucked-in jeans to look urban chic.

Notable Features

Aside from the Air-Sole technology that provides all-day cushiony goodness, the SF Air Force 1 High is equipped with materials that complement its military-inspired look. The use of nylon on the collar, tongue, and heel, complemented by leather on the forefoot and overlays in most designs, creates a flexible and durable sneaker suitable for more aggressive streetwear.

Nike SF Air Force 1 High History

The concept of the Nike Air Force 1 spurted because of a simple idea—air in a box. Although it wasn’t the first of its kind because of a previous model called the Nike Tailwind, getting air into the sole of the shoe was not an easy feat for Nike. Because the company established its reputation for running, transitioning and expanding to basketball shoes required different demands.

Bruce Kilgore, when he designed the high-top AF1, drew inspiration from Nike Approach, a hiking cleat. It had the same construction as the Approach -- slanted shaft from front to back causing a lower angle on the Achilles. This type of built resulted in having the same support as other flat shoes only with more flexibility.

The outsole of the shoe, on the other hand, sported a different design to cater to the requirements of the basketball players’ activities on the court. It had a circular outsole pattern which is meant to aid basketball players during pivot moves and cuts when running around the hardwood.

The success of the AF1 led to the production of different sneaker models. One of which is the high-top Special Field version, which initially came out in two variations at the end of 2016. Both formats merged the profiles of the Nike Air Force 1 and the SFB Cleat.

   Nike SF AF-1 High “Binary Blue”

After hitting the shelves during the winter season of 2016, the towering Air Force 1 remake arrived in four colorways fitted for women consumers. One of which is the binary blue/black wherein the inky blue shade envelopes the upper and midsole while the outsole bears a black tone.

Unlike other iterations, this Nike SF Air Force 1 High women’s exclusive release displays two identical straps for that uniform snug fit. The other colors that came out during the same period are Nike SF AF-1 black/gum and dessert ochre/black.

   Nike SF Air Force 1 High “Black Gum”

Another silhouette that’s designed for the female squad is the all-black Special Field Air Force 1 Hi that’s completed with a classic gum with Air-sole. This February 2017 drop bears a fresh look that left out the usual lacing and fastening features seen in the earlier profiles. This tweaked version has a brass zipper closure system that takes up the middle section of the shoe.

Instead of the dual adjustable straps which are the most notable elements of the SP AF-1 High models, this Swoosh-less, laceless shoe exhibits thick bungee cords which can be wrapped around the extended collar and looped through a series of pull tabs at the back in multiple ways. Wearers also have the option to shelve the utility ropes and sport this kick boldly like a towering high techwear sneaker.  

A baroque brown/yellow ochre/team red/black colorway in luxe leather with the same style came out a year later, on October 20, 2018. Such release which was labeled as the Beef and Broccoli Pack Black is crafted for the men’s feet.

   Nike SF AF-1 High “Deep Burgundy”

Another updated version of Kilgore’s Nike Air Force 1 made its appearance in the Fall/Winter season of 2017, specifically on December 15, in a Deep Burgundy cover and Gum sole treatment. This modern take on the AF1 is a head-turner as it stands high above the ankle with an addition of two stretchy closure straps that allow the feet to get firmly locked in place.

This Deep Burgundy iteration swaddles the feet with an ultra-premium, full-grain leather exterior with perforations on the toe for ventilation. Showcasing a fascinating contrast to the intense, rich upper shade, the Deep Burgundy SF Air Force 1 High sneakerboot is completed with the addition of a gum rubber outsole, marked with the usual pivot circles reminiscent of the old-school b-ball shoes.

   Nike SF AF-1 High “Blue Tint”

After coming up with a series of dark-toned blanket for the intriguingly high Special Field Air Force 1 models, Nike dresses this striking figure with a heavenly “Blue Tint.” This light colorway, which was revealed on June 13, 2018, tones down the image of the lofty appearing military-inspired footwear. Its customary leather cloak is replaced by textured grey suede that’s finished off by a pale hint of blue on the nylon heel.

The pallid upper is contrasted by a black heel tab and top strap. Its all-terrain, combat-ready guise displays a pair of fresh, white midsoles which makes these kicks ready for the streets. For any style-savvy sneaker enthusiast and fan of military-inspired sneakers this design could end up being extremely desirable.  

   Nike SF AF-1 High “Triple Black”

Succeeding the clean look of the previous drop, Nike went extreme and unveiled a triple black version of the Swoosh’s Special Field sneakerboot fitted for men that’s ready for the wet and cold months. This ultra-high, techwear footwear is constructed with stealth dark leather on the entire upper, hugged by a large Swoosh branding on the lateral and medial panels.

   Nike SF AF-1 High “Thunder Blue”

Right in time for the fall season, another iteration for the shoe-boot hybrid style finds its way into the streets with the circulation of the “Thunder Blue” shade. Appearing in luxe, supple suede and canvas in November 2018, Nike trims down the condescending form of the original design as the newer model beams without the usual Swoosh overlay, offering a minimal presentation on the side walls.

Adding a bit of sophistication to this runway-ready style are the metal detailing on the eyelets and buckle on the top strap. Inside this winter-arranged silhouette is a sherpa lining that grants warmth and comfort to the feet. Its upper is paired with a durable gummy sole.

Additional Info

  • The SF on the sneakers’ model name stands for Special Field.
  • The Nike men’s and women’s SF Air Force 1 High is available in colorways like light bone, sequoia, rattan, ridgerock, burgundy, cedar, and blue tint.
  • A variation of this style billed as the Nike SF Air Force 1 High 1 was released on January 11, 2019, in black/white.


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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.