A Sneaker Classic: Nike Air Force 1

A Sneaker Classic

Nike Air Force 1

When it comes to a sneaker that has become a staple icon in the world of fashion, style, and comfort, Nike’s Air Force 1 meets the requirements. Known for its distinctive shape and versatile aesthetic, The technical and functional silhouette has served as a canvas for future iterations and classic designs since its introduction to the footwear industry in 1982 by designer Bruce Kilgore. First launched as a basketball trainer, the sneaker was a turning point in sports and sneaker culture for its revolutionary Nike Air technology feature. The technology works on pressurized air in a rugged, flexible bag, adding to the sole’s flexibility and durability. Both lightweight and distinct, since the snake’s inception in 1982, few variations have been made to the original design—the original version featuring a mesh panel, toe box, and a mudguard at the front. Thousands of versions of the Air Force 1 have been introduced, and this iconic sneaker is a staple in wardrobes across the world. It has been seen worn by celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, etc.


One of Air Force 1’s key features includes the small medallion placed at the bottom of the laces. This distinguishing aspect was first introduced in a circular manner, but more recent versions opt for rectangular shapes instead. AF-1 82 is engraved on it, giving the nod to its rich heritage. The first Air Force 1 introduced in 1982 was in a high-top silhouette, and the iconic and ever-popular low-top came to the forefront just a year later. That same year, Nike planned to discontinue the Air Force 1. Still, local retailers in Baltimore and their enthusiastic AF-1 wearers encouraged Nike to incorporate new colorway renditions within the silhouette, leading to the shape’s continuation and future legacy. By the mid-’90s rolled around, a slew of new colorways flooded the market as well as the release of the mid-top silhouette.


From high top to low top, the legend of the Air Force 1 continues as it is modernized for the ultimate street style and casual wardrobe. The silhouette is frequently re-envisioned by major fashion houses and Nike designers alike. The shape has grown beyond sport and fashion with classic construction and a durable aesthetic. It is hard to imagine that this iconic design was almost continued before its reputation grew quickly in the world of sneakers. How to style and wear a Nike Air Force 1 silhouette is vital, as its silhouette conforms to virtually any outfit for both men and women and is the perfect starter sneaker and a classic option. The low options are the most versatile in their aesthetic, while the mids and highs are worn well with apparel such as basketball shorts. The Air Force 1 looks sleek with baggier and relaxed pants, as well as tapered jeans. Perhaps the most popular Air Force 1 colors are in variations of white, making those designs pair well with any outfit. Wear cropped pants and Air Force 1 lows with long socks for a vintage look. 


Add a footwear staple into your outfit rotation with variations of the classic Nike Air Force 1, available in-store + online. Click here to explore the different styles and colorways of the iconic silhouette.