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Nike Air Force 1 Sneakers
In the fast-paced world of sneakers, only a few models last. And based on the most enduring sneaker styles they almost always display a simple and minimal design. These true classics go beyond trends and graduate to being wardrobe staples. Additionally, these long-lasting sneakers oftentimes have the ability to get both sneaker fanatics and the masses' approval. Enduring shoe models that tend to sell well are the white leather styles, and for Nike, one exceptional sneaker belongs in this category – the Nike Air Force 1.
First introduced in 1982 as the "Air in a box," the sneaker world was at that time still clueless of how Nike Air Force 1 sneakers would soon become iconic and alter the game. The shoe's clean, crisp lines and beefy midsoles have captivated the consumer's attention and continued to tickle their fancy even after thirty years of being in the game. Since its inception as the first hoops shoe with the Nike Air technology, it has come a long way and has popularly taken over the hardwood, the streets, and the core of hip-hop culture. It also packs with it a rich history and over 2,000 variations to date. Dive into this in-depth exploration of the sneaker icon if you want to know more.
The DNA of Nike Air Force 1 shoes
Although sold today in three different silhouettes and countless variations, there is a combination of signature attributes that only Air Force 1 shoes possess. These tiny details are what make the AF1 distinct and recognizable from its siblings and other shoes with almost identical features.
Chunky midsoles with subtle linear pattern design
Prior to the Air Force 1's beefy midsoles, hoop sneakers displayed a rather slim midsole profile. Thanks in part to the addition of Nike's Air technology to the shoe, its noticeably thicker design presented a fresh look and caught the attention of on-lookers. Finished off with a faint linear pattern, stitching detail, and AIR branding, the Nike Air Force 1 had hit the jackpot in creating its iconic midsole design.
Overlays that wrap around the toebox, eyestays, and heel area
These overlays provide not only strong reinforcements but also partitions in the shoe's upper that allow freedom in the artistic play of contrasting colors and textures. Regularly topped off with the iconic Swoosh logo, the combination of all these design elements could exclusively be associated to Nike Air Force 1 shoes.
Perforation detailing in the toebox
This design element could arguably be the first detail that most consumers notice on the AF1. Aside from providing enhanced breathability these holes also elevate the shoe’s overall design by adding stylish textures in contrast to the clean lines.
Signature outsole design with two pivot points
This circular outsole tread pattern called the "pivot points" was the first of its kind and had become equated to Nike Air Force 1 sneakers. Before the AF1 was introduced, most basketball shoes featured the classic herringbone pattern. But Kilgore wanted to innovate, so he used the players' "pivot move" as an inspiration. This cutting-edge outsole design made the AF1 a hoops kick through and through.
Sizing Guide: How do AF1s fit?
Due to innovation and consumers' hectic lifestyles, online shopping has risen in popularity. Shopaholics and people who are always on the go are constantly tempted by the convenience and appealing advertisements that online shopping presents. But just like anything and everything shopping online also comes with its advantages. Take for instance the horrific reviews we've read and seen online of an item such as shoes received in the wrong size. To stay in context, we've gathered essential information about the general sizing of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers to help connoisseurs and first-time purchasers.
This portion presents a comprehensive sizing guide on Nike Air Force 1 shoes. Bear in mind that each sneaker model could have a different fit from previous releases due to a difference in material or other small design detail. Moreover, each foot is shaped and sized uniquely which could be the reason why you could be having a different experience and fit from the person next to you.
Nike's adult sizing is based on U.S. standard shoe sizes with a difference of one between men and women's sizes. According to their size chart, men's shoe sizes are one size bigger compared to the women's sizes.
Check out some Nike Air Force 1 sneakers below grouped according to users’ sizing feedback.
True to size:
Narrow in the toe area:
- Nike Air Force 1 Low Retro
- Nike Air Force 1 Low Camo
Classifications of AF1 sneakers
The aesthetic of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers remains generally unchanged since its introduction in the 80s. Almost all releases still don the basic DNA of the original AF1's simple and retro yet classic design. But with thousands of different models to choose from, knowing the main distinctions among different Nike Air Force 1 shoes could be helpful in deciding for your next sneaker purchase.
This part examines the different AF1 models to assist you in an informed purchase. It is divided into two categories: design-based distinctions and famous series or packs.
This first group presents the different design elements of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers.
According to Silhouette Types
Initially introduced to the hoop court as a high-top kick, Nike Air Force 1 shoes were eventually made available in all silhouette types. Given the shoe’s fame and longevity, releasing it in low-top, mid-top, and high-top profiles were inevitable. Get to know each silhouette’s characteristics below.
Low-top (collar is lower than the ankle)
The low-top silhouette is the most popular and most celebrated out of the three. It features all the classic design elements of the Air Force 1 lineage and serves as the foundation of the other two silhouettes. Typically referred to as simply the ‘Nike Air Force 1,’ this profile has been the most reinterpreted and most preferred by consumers due to its simplicity and versatility. Check out some of its iterations below.
Mid-top (collar sits on the ankle)
Aside from the difference in height, the mid comes with a fixed ankle strap, offering more ankle support and protection compared to the low-top design. Unlike other mid-top sneakers, the Nike Air Force 1 Mid's collar design took after the original Air Force 1 and displayed a slanted collar angled lower towards the rear part. This unique detail was first seen on the original Nike Air Force 1 shoes.
Note that Nike Air Force 1 sneakers with official names that include the abbreviation ‘SF,' which means Special Forces, have a more exaggerated height than normal AF1s. Nike SF Air Force 1 sneakers with mid silhouettes appear to look like a high-top when compared to regular mid-top shoes. Here are examples of AF1 shoes with a mid-top profile.
High-top (collar stretches past the ankle)
The original Nike Air Force 1 debuted in this silhouette. The designer took inspiration from one of the brand’s hiking boots called the Nike Approach, which also featured a slanted collar. Unlike the mid’s connected strap, the high-top Air Force 1s come with a removable Velcro ankle strap.
Just like Nike SF Air Force 1s with a mid-top silhouette, high-top AF1s with SF in their official names exhibit an exaggerated height in comparison to the standard high-tops. Nike SF Air Force 1 Hi sneakers look almost like combat boots rather than a high-top sneaker, and it features two ankle straps.
- Nike Air Force 1 07 High LV8
- Nike Air Force 1 High 07 NBA
- Nike Air Force 1 Hi Just Don
According to Upper Materials
Nike Air Force 1 sneakers crafted from leather materials are the most popular type in the market. But as with any other enduring sneaker model, different iterations are made continuously available to provide consumers with as many options as possible.
A shoe's upper material is commonly the deciding factor for most consumers as it has a significant effect on how long the shoe will last and how comfortable it will feel on feet. Below are some of the materials used on Nike Air Force 1 shoes by far.
The first ever Nike Air Force 1 sneaker model was crafted from leather material. With the success of this leather-crafted AF1 shoe and being that traditions and habits are hard to break most of the collection's releases were also made from leather. Maybe because of its durability and ability to shape after the wearer's feet the most popular Air Force 1 models come with leather uppers. Here are some Nike Air Force 1 sneakers crafted from sturdy leather.
- Nike Air Force 1 UltraForce Leather
- Nike Air Force 1 LV8 Leather
With roots ingrained in the sports of basketball, it is understandable that the Nike AF1s are seldom designed with canvas for its upper. However, in the spirit of variety and satisfying the market's needs, there are a few models available with a canvas upper. Generally, sneakers crafted from canvas provide excellent ventilation and lightweight. Note that although these Nike Air Force 1 sneakers have a predominantly canvas upper there are still leather reinforcements provided. Below are examples of Nike Air Force 1s with canvas uppers.
- Nike Air Force 1 Low Canvas
- Nike Air Force 1 High 07 Canvas
- Nike Air Force 1 Mid 07 Canvas
Just like almost every other retro sneaker the AF1 also received a modern update in the form of the brand's latest upper technology called the Flyknit. Most Nike Air Force 1 sneakers with a Flyknit upper also utilize the brand's FlyWire lacing system. This combination of modern features applied on the AF1 offer long-time fans with a sock-like fit that's breathable, lightweight, and supportive. Take a look at a couple of Flyknit AF1s below.
A close relative of leather, suede provides the same durability and support as its counterpart but offers a more premium look and feel to the shoe that enhances its overall aesthetic and value. Known for its short bristled look, suede exudes a lush appearance that instantly appeals to most fashion-savvy consumers. Check out these stylish Nike Air Force 1 sneakers crafted from suede.
- Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8 Suede
- Nike Air Force 1 07 Premium Suede
Famous Series or Packs
This second group discusses various series and packs that the AF1 has been released in. Each pack consists of several Nike Air Force 1 shoes that belong in the same range and share similar design elements.
Nike SF Air Force 1
This series first debuted during the 35th anniversary of the OG AF1 and was created by Ben Kirschner. The Nike Special Field Air Force 1s combine design elements from the Special Field Boot and the OG Air Force 1. It is basically the AF1 with military-inspired details and materials.
- Materials used on these sneakers are intentionally more durable than regular Nike Air Force 1 sneakers. SF AF 1s are often crafted from full ballistic nylon, suede, or full-grain leather materials.
- Being inspired by a pair of combat boots, the silhouettes of these shoes display taller height than regular sneakers. The mid-top models look more like a high-top while high-top ones look like full-pledged boots.
- Nike Air Force 1 sneakers that fall under this series feature more design details than the regular ones. Details such as multiple Velcro straps, zippers, an extended tongue, and heel pull loops can be seen on Nike SF Air Force 1 sneakers.
Nike Air Force 1 07
The Nike Air Force 1 07 series is basically the reissue of the original AF1 sneakers. The shoes included in this pack retains the classic and authentic silhouette of its predecessor but is now crafted from updated materials and could have a slight difference in sizing compared to the OG release. Also, the Nike Air Force 1 07 sneakers’ colorways display retro hues that were seen during the AF1’s earlier years.
Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8
Building on the Nike Air Force 1 07’s modern tooling, sneakers in this category received aesthetic enhancements and “elevated” style. From allover prints to color blocking and stylish textures, sneakers in the Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8 range provide consumers with contemporary pairs that could add oomph to their ensembles.
Notable colorways and collaborations of Nike Air Force 1 shoes
One of the many reasons why Nike Air Force 1 sneakers are long-lasting is because of the constant and countless iterations being re-released time and time. Unique colorways and collaborative pieces help keep its legacy alive and somewhat serve as a reinvention and reintroduction of the shoe to newer generations of sneaker fans. Here are some of the most popular colorways and collaborative pieces of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers.
Nike Air Force 1 Low “Easter Egg”
Released in 2006, this Air Force 1 model comes bathed in a fun combination of pastel colors. Released when BAPE was super famous, the shoe is said to be inspired by BAPE's play of striking hues for its colorways. This colorful sneaker has been re-released multiple times in the past with the latest in 2018. The 2018 version is called the Nike Air Force 1 Easter 18, and it features Easter egg branding on its tongue.
Nike Air Force 1 Low “LA”
As the shoe’s name suggests, this pair’s colorway takes after the city of Los Angeles’ official colors: Canyon Gold and Deep Purple. This colorway has also been released several times since its introduction in 2001. The 2016 version is the most coveted release so far as it displays a more wearable simple design with a predominantly white upper and accents of Canyon Gold and a tiny hint of Deep Purple.
Nike Air Force 1 “Flax Wheat”
One of the Swoosh brand’s well-loved colorway is the Flax Wheat or simply called ‘Wheat.’ Inspired by Timberland’s famous boots, Nike created their own version and always proves to be a hit every time they apply it on a sneaker model. For Nike Air Force 1 sneakers, the wheat colored upper almost always extends all the way to the outsole by incorporating a gum rubber sole.
Nike Air Force 1 “White on White”
AF1s in this colorway are considered one of the best-selling shoes of all time. It is also this colorway that Nike Air Force sneakers are most recognized in. The simple and plain color gave focus to the clean, crisp lines on its upper, which most consumers adored. Sneaker historians remain undecided on this colorway's official debut date, but it doesn't matter to most enthusiasts as the white Air Force 1 had already made its impact and secured its name in pop culture.
Nike Air Force 1 “Black on Black”
Just like its white counterpart, the black Nike Air Force 1 shoe is considered a strong contender when it comes to sales figures. The black on black color scheme is the second best selling colorway in the history of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers. Mainly coveted for its versatility and simplicity, black AF1s offered consumers with a more mysterious and stain-camouflaging option for every day.
Supreme x Nike Air Force 1
Arguably the biggest streetwear brand, Supreme has done partnerships with almost every giant sports brand in existence. Supreme and Nike, in particular, have had a long and impressive history of teaming up and it's almost certain that every collaborative release would always sell out in hours. Check out some of the famous sneaker models that Supreme and Nike have created below.
- Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 “Camo”
- Supreme x Nike Air Force 1 “World Famous”
Playstation x Nike Air Force 1
Playstation and Nike Air Force 1's first collaborative piece debuted in 2006. This sneaker's upper is crafted from patent leather, which exuded an eye-grabbing finish. Fast-forward to 2018 the two brands teamed up again to release a Quickstrike version, This time the shoe exhibited a more elegant demeanor that took design cues from the innovative design of the PlayStation 4. It is crafted from matte premium leather with hints of patent leather and a translucent outsole for better aesthetics.
Comme des Garcons x Nike Air Force 1
The Swoosh Company and Comme des Garcons have acquainted and reacquainted a couple of times in the past through collaborative pieces. One of Nike’s sneakers that got imprinted by the Japanese brand is the Nike Air Force 1. Their 2016 collaboration featured the original design of the AF1 with an additional forefoot strap clad in CDG’s heart logo.
A year later, a three-way partnership ensued this time tagging along streetwear brand Supreme. This sneaker model featured eyes on the rear part of the upper, which garnered divided opinions amongst consumers. However, it was still a massive success as it instantly sold out.
Travis Scott x Nike Air Force 1
The partnership between Travis and Nike Air Force 1 sneakers was first announced in late 2017. The shoe was released as part of the AF-100 Collection which celebrated the OG AF1's 35th anniversary. The Air Force 1 Low ‘Travis Scott' plays around with the classic white on white colorway by way of multicolored reflective details, removable Swoosh logos, and detachable tongue patches that give a nod to Scott's label called Cactus Jack Records.
Rumors of another AF1 collaboration with Scott have been circling the interwebs so keeping up with the latest sneaker news is recommended if you wish to get your hands on a pair of the next Travis Scott x Nike Air Force 1.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to clean white Nike Air Force 1 sneakers?
The most popular Air Force 1 colorway remains high in demand due to its simplicity, versatility, and established reputation in the sneaker world. You can keep those white kicks looking pristine longer by following the steps below. Keep in mind that washing your sneakers as soon as they get dirty help to prevent permanent staining and minimize the difficulty in removing them.
Step 1: Clean the uppers
The original white Air Force 1 sneakers’ upper is crafted from leather with some mesh patches. Start by making a solution of warm water and sneaker shampoo or detergent. Take a leather brush and dip it into the solution and gently scrub the upper in circular motions to get rid of dirt and stains. Lastly, wipe everything away with a damp cloth.
Step 2: Don’t forget about the soles
First, clap the outsoles of the shoes together to get rid of any loose dirt and mud on the sole then wipe away bulks of soil with a damp cloth. For stuck dirt and mud in the creases of your Nike Air Force 1 sneakers, take a toothbrush and scrub the area clean.
Step 3: Remove scuffs, if any
To get rid of scuffs the easiest way is to get toothpaste and a toothbrush and scrub it until it goes away.
Step 4: Make sure ankle straps and shoelaces are also clean
To clean the outer part of the ankle straps of your mid- or high-top Nike Air Force 1 sneakers, apply the same process as Step 1. For the Velcro part, you can brush it using a dry toothbrush. Lastly, for the shoelaces, soak it in detergent and warm water solution for 30 minutes then scrub dirt and stains with a toothbrush. Or you can always replace it by purchasing a new pair of shoelaces.
Can Nike Air Force 1 shoes go into the washing machine?
Some consumers have sworn that the AF1s are safe for machine wash cleansing, but experts do not recommend it as it can ruin the shoe's fibers and shape and shorten its lifespan. To properly care for your Nike Air Force 1 sneakers please refer to the steps above.
How to customize a pair of Air Force 1s?
There are two ways in which you can freely customize your Nike Air Force 1 sneakers: you can choose between the DIY route or through Nike's official customization program called the NikeiD. The DIY option is best recommended for artists and for people who can draw or paint. Although there are tutorials online on how you can personalize your AF1s, non-artists are at higher risk of sabotaging their pair. Hence to avoid messing your sneaker up and wasting money you just spent, it is best to go to NikeiD's official website and do your customizing there.
In the website, you can choose from low-, mid-, and high-top silhouettes and create your own colorways or apply letters and numbers to create your one of a kind Nike Air Force 1 sneaker.
Can these sneakers be used for basketball? How about skateboarding?
Although rooted in the sport of basketball, Nike Air Force 1 sneakers are marketed as a lifestyle shoe today. Yes, some consumers still use it to play ball while others in skateboarding, but its leather uppers pose to be an issue for today's modern consumer, as it feels heavier than most knit-crafted sports shoes today. Also, sneaker enthusiasts refuse to ruin an otherwise perfect pair of Nike Air Force 1 shoes by using it in any sports activities.
Are Nike Air Force 1 shoes comfortable?
Equipped with the brand's Air cushioning technology, Nike Air Force 1 sneakers are known to provide adequate comfort to its users. Moreover, feedbacks from consumers about its comfort have generally been positive but, as expected, others have been comparing this shoe's comfort to that of today's modern sneaker.
When put in comparison to today's latest sneaker trend of sock-like fit, breathable and stretchable upper, and an overall lightweight feel the original Air Force 1 would naturally appear to be the inferior one. However, the AF1's comfort is generally satisfying that new and long-time fans continue to patronize it.
How much is the average price of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers?
The Nike Air Force 1 range houses various sneakers with different levels of specialty and prominence that each type comes in a different price range. These levels are divided into four: Ordinary General Release (GR), Premium General Release, the Special Forces range, and the collaborative pieces. For a breakdown of each level’s latest price range, please refer below.
Ordinary General Release: $90 to $100
- Nike Air Force 1 07
- Nike Air Force 1 Mid 07
- Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8
Premium General Release: $100 - $140
- Nike Air Force 1 Low Retro QS
- Nike Air Force 1 Jester XX
- Nike Air Force 1 Upstep LX
Special Forces (SF) Range: $160 - $180
- Nike SF Air Force 1 Mid
- Nike SF Air Force 1
- Nike SF Air Force 1 Hi
Collaborative Nike Air Force 1 sneakers that are on the resell market: $455 - $5,000
- NikeLab x Vlone Air Force 1
- Nike Air Force 1 ’07 x Virgil x MoMA
- Nike Air Force 1 x OFF-WHITE
How to style Nike Air Force 1 sneakers?
With its beefy design, crisp lines, and versatility, the Nike Air Force 1s has captured the hearts of generations and generations of consumers. After over three decades of existence, the shoe remains a hot commodity among sneaker fans and fashion-savvy customers. It witnessed a lot of trends whither away and had been dressed in countless outfits, but one thing remains the same: the AF1s are a stylish pair of sneakers. Below are some of the latest ways to style your Nike Air Force 1 sneakers.
Nike Air Force 1 Low:
- Effortless cool: round neck T-shirt and sweat shorts combo accessorized with a pair of high socks, a dad hat, and a slim Cuban Link chain.
- Athleisure: joggers, round neck T-shirt, finished with a bomber jacket.
- Vintage vibes: cropped trousers, striped or printed tee, accessorized by colored socks and a beanie.
Nike Air Force 1 Mid and High:
- Sporty casual: basketball shorts, sweatshirt, dad hat, and high socks.
- Old-school hip-hop: loose jeans, T-shirt or polo shirt, gold chain, and cap. Nike Air Force 1 Mid and High:
Nike Air Force 1 Low:
- Cute and sporty: a mini skirt or short shorts, a hoodie, and an oversized bomber jacket.
- Girl-next-door: skinny jeans, a sweater, and a cap.
- Sultry casual: Bodycon midi dress and high socks.
Nike Air Force 1 Mid and High:
- Vintage street: High-waisted jeans, vintage shirt, and hoop earrings.
- Modern athleisure: Biker shorts, cropped top, and high socks.
- Utilitarian: Jumpsuits
Fun Facts: Nike Air Force 1 sneakers’ history and contribution to Pop Culture
- Bruce Kilgore was the mastermind behind the very first Nike Air Force 1 sneaker design. Kilgore also created the following Nike silhouettes: Avenger, Adversary, Air Ace, Air Pressure, Air Jordan II, and Sock Racer. He was also an appliance and car designer.
- The Nike Air Force 1 is the first ever basketball shoe to contain an Air unit in the sole, which paved the way for the technological craze in the sneaker world in the 80s.
- It is the very first Nike shoe ever to be "retro'd."
- The sneaker was inspired by the brand's hiking boot called Approach.
- Nike commissioned six NBA stars to promote the then newly released sneaker. The players were Jamaal Wilkes, Mychal Thompson, Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, Calvin Natt, and Michael Cooper.
- The Air Force 1 Low was introduced in 1983 in hopes to appeal to a broader audience, which is now obviously successful, while the white on white colorway wasn't released until the latter part of the 90s.
- Nike Air Force 1 sneakers became a status symbol for hustlers and drug dealers from the East Coast.
- In the 80s, several sneaker shops in Baltimore started a "Color of the Month Club" where new colorways of Nike Air Force 2 sneakers were being introduced every month, which sneakerheads absolutely
- This shoe birthed the concepts of limited edition drops, collaborative sneakers, and sneaker collecting. In other words, these ideas wouldn't exist if it weren't for Nike Air Force 1 sneakers.
- Rapper Jay-Z immensely helped in establishing the reputation of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers in the culture of hip-hop.
- Several rappers made songs or mentioned the AF1s in their music. Jay-Z talked about Nike Air Force 1 sneakers in the song "Can I Live II," The Diplomats with "What's Really Good," and Nelly with "Air Force Ones."
15 best Nike Air Force 1 sneakers
- Nike Air Force 1 Low
- Nike Air Force 1 07 High
- Nike Air Force 1 07 QS
- Nike Air Force 1 Foamposite Pro Cup
- Nike Air Force 1 Low Retro
- Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8
- Nike Air Force 1 07 High LV8
- Nike Air Force 1 07
- Nike Air Force 1 Mid
- Nike Air Force 1 07 Mid LV8
- Nike Air Force 1 High
- Nike SF Air Force 1 Mid
- Nike Air Force 1 UltraForce Leather
- Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8 Utility
- Nike Air Force 1 Travis Scott
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...