Nike’s Air Force 1 is undoubtedly the most famous sneaker of all time.
It is simply a must-have for all sneaker heads; a collector’s item in the culture. The Nike Air Force 1 revolutionized the sneaker culture. It flipped the game and left the competitors behind in a cloud of dust.
When legendary Nike shoe designer Bruce Kilgore created the Air Force 1 he drew inspiration from the Nike Approach hiking boot, which slanted the shaft from front to back so it angled lower towards the achilles. Little did he know that he actually was making the sneaker of the century which would later double up as a stylish sneaker and a shoe to play ball in.
The shoe was given to testers to try out before Nike could give the thumbs up for production. Even though some testers did not like the ankle strap, they liked the shoe, so much that some even refused to return the samples they were given.
When the shoe went into production in ’82 it did so with a bang. Nike signed six NBA players to wear the AF1 on the hardwood. The “Original Six” were Moses Malone (Philadelphia 76ers), Michael Cooper (L.A. Lakers), Bobby Jones (Philadelphia 76ers), Calvin Natt (Portland Trail Blazers), Mychal Thompson (Portland Trail Blazers), and Jamal Wilkes (L.A. Lakers). All-Star cast for real!
Although the shoe, which was originally meant as a homage to the President’s plane, was discontinued in 1984, demand remained high. People were asking distributors about the Air Force 1, often customizing used shoes to come up with new colorways. After a while distributors started asking Nike about the possibility of re-issuing the shoe. A proposal that was unheard of back then.
For Nike, bringing back a shoe that was out of production made no sense. That was not how the business worked. Why would customers buy a pair of sneakers that was essentially ‘old’? Why should Nike spend money on something that was there before? Being in the business of making athletic shoes they were accustomed to look forward, not go back. Nike made something, then moved on and made something better. Nostalgia wasn’t a factor at all. But the Air Force 1 was different. Demand made Nike re-think the whole idea of discontinuing shoes. These were the very first steps towards Retro-ing.
Hold up, Imagine if we never had Nike Air Force 1’s?! TRAGEDY!!
Luckily, in 1986 the Air Force 1 finally came back. One of the most iconic sneakers of all time returned because fans demanded it.
Today, there are nearly 2.000 versions of the Air Force 1 and it is still going strong.
If you don’t own a pair, you need to up your sneaker game. ASAP fam.
Check out the colorways and styles we have in store here
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