5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Nike Air Force 1

If you ask a group of sneakerheads what the most iconic Nike silhouette of all-time is, we guarantee that most of them will bring up the Nike Air Force 1. Even though it’s been around for well over 40 years, the AF1 is still as influential today as it was back then. In fact, its overall design hasn’t really changed at all since, which just goes to show how timeless it actually is.

However, even if you are one of the biggest trainer collectors in the entire universe, there’s probably still stuff about it that you have no idea of. So, in this article, we’ll be going through five things about the Nike Air Force 1 that you probably didn’t know. Let’s get to it!

1. First class

Nike’s critically-acclaimed Air technology was introduced in 1979, but while fitting it into a running shoe was cinch, adding it to a basketball sneaker proved a lot trickier. You see, while the American sportswear company is now world-renowned for its hardcourt models (like the Air Jordan 1), back then the track was king. That meant Nike didn’t really see any point in investing any time or money into anything else. But against all odds, they did it, and the Air Force 1 was the first b-ball shoe ever to get the Air treatment.

2. A legend is born

And we’re so glad that Nike decided to fit Air into the Forces, because if Bruce Kilgore decided to scrap the project, we wouldn’t have iconic silhouettes like the Air Max 1 and even the Air Jordan 3. Why, you ask? Well, back in ’81, Tinker Hatfield joined the Beaverton-based brand as a architect. Eventually, he got to check out early prototypes of the AF1, and he was so amazed by them that he decided that his experience and expertise would be better suited designing footwear rather than buildings. Wow!

3. To be (dis)continued

It’s no secret that the Air Force 1 is one of the greatest shoes in history, but did you know that two years after it was introduced, it was actually discontinued? At the time, the AF1 was just seen as a stepping stone to bigger and better things (like the Air Force 2 and the Air Force 3), so it was shelved in 1984. Thankfully though, it was re-issued in 1986, and the rest is history. This also made it the first Nike model to ever get a re-release, which is totally wild.

4. Let’s get high

When you think of the Air Force 1, a low-top trainer is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But when it made its big debut back in the day, it actually launched as a high-top shoe. Low-top versions didn’t come until later, and mid-tops editions would drop almost a decade after. Another fun fact is that Forces were originally meant to come with a permanent ankle strap known as the “proprioceptic belt.” But during the weartest phase, players hated it, so Kilgore made it removable.

5. 800 million dollar baby

Over the past 40 years, the sneaker game has been blessed with thousands and thousands of coveted colourways and collabs from the likes of Off-White, Supreme, and Travis Scott (to name a few). So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that over 10 million pairs are sold every single year, making it Nike’s best-selling sneaker of all-time. These bring in sales of around $800 million annually, and with the way that things are going, that number isn’t about to drop anytime soon.

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