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Nike Air Force 1: A Complete Guide

14 March 2023


Liam Perry

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Air Force 1 A Complete Guide featured image

The history of Nike Air Force 1 lies in a lot of mysteries. The iconic designer Bruce Kilgore launched the first trainer in 1982 with ‘Air in the Box’ slogan. It was named AF1 in reference to the plane- Air Force One, on which the United States President travelled.

The Nike team smartly involved a lot of aficionados like aerospace engineers, biochemists, podiatrists and talented designers. The skilled designer Bruce Kilgore drew inspiration from the Nike approach hiking boots to provide enhanced support while gaining flexibility.

The quintessential brand went through a rough patch in 1984 and got discontinued. But guess what? It fought and bounced back in 1986 with some major remodelling. What’s the story? Let’s have a detailed discussion.

Know the Diary of Nike Air Force 1

Air Force 1 Timeline

The legendary sneaker Air Force 1 was the first basketball shoe to feature the Nike Air technology. The low variant model with a chunky sole got swiftly adopted by some of the big names in the National Basketball Association (NBA). This is also one of the most admired and best-selling sneakers till date. Calvin Natt, Mychal Thompson and Jamaal Wilkes were seen flaunting the well-deserved kicks on the court. Sadly within a year, the sneaker took off the market.

With the grace of all the enthusiastic fan supports, the Air Force 1 was re-released in 1986, with its other variants featuring several colourways. The swoosh’s revolutionary air cushioning technology makes it homely and wearable to sneakerheads, teenage girls, sports fanatics, daddys or fashionistas.

The foremost air-cushioned basketball kick was trolled for being unattractive and drew some unpleasant comparisons to the Michelin Man from the Nike employees. But the kickass teamwork of Nike’s founder Bill Bowerman and Kilgore did a magnificent job of creating some drool-worthy designs.

AF1 original ad from 1982An original Nike Air Force 1 ad from 1982 that featured Michael Cooper, Moses Malone, Calvin Natt, Jamaal Wilkes, Bobby Jones, and Mychal Thompson. Image via Nike

Bruce Kilgore made these tires a huge success by infusing the slanted heel of a hiking boot for a great level of flexibility to ensure good ankle support. He also incorporated the removable proprioceptive belt and concentric circles to the outsoles. This was a blessing in disguise for the players in the situation of a sudden direct change. The veteran also took inspiration from the Notre Dame cathedral to balance the height and give it more stability. This is how the story of Nike Air Force 1 became a huge success.

What makes the Nike Air Force 1 a true icon?

Nike Air Force 1 a true icon

Before we get into all the intricacies, let me throw some convincing reasons at you why the brand deserves an entry into your shoedrobe right away.

  • It’s a shoe to be treasured by all, from high school kids to moms to dads to athletes. Everyone’s been going gaga about it.
  • The brand welcomes interpretations and suggestions from fans, fashion influencers and designers.
  • The bulky silhouette and subtle colour palette make the AF1 a safe bet for pretty much every outfit.
  • These kicks are sure to up your summer sneaker game.

Now that we are up to grace these iconic sneakers let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it.

Recommended Reading: Nike Air Jordan 1: A Complete Guide

The Different Types & Making of the iconic Air Force 1

Air Force 1 Variations

Beyond any shadow of a doubt, Nike Air Force 1 has pampered us with choice. The brand features different variants, so let’s know how each of them is distinct.

Not just size but material matters as well. The legendary iconic brand Air Force 1 takes charge of the sneaker making, considering every age group – From millennials to adults. From fashion savvy to sports enthusiasts. The timeless classic beauty stands out from the rest with its fabrication.

Nike released a vegan collection using animal-free leather. It is called the happy pineapple collection. The sneaker series is made from a vegan leather from pineapple leaves- called the Piñatex. These adorable trainers have got the traditional uppers released with animal-free leather. The remaining is fabricated with sustainability.

In the non-vegan kicks, the quintessential silhouettes have a slightly different fabrication for every variant. The Nike Air Force 1 Low is generally a perfect combination of premium leather and suede. The fabric is smooth and snuggy to provide max level comfort. The coveted trainers sure have Nike’s signature air cushioning technology in the midsoles.

Nike Air Force 1 High variant is suitable for every outdoor activity, and why not? These trainers can beat anyone with their durability. Most of the Nike Air Force 1 are made from rugged materials and are universe drooling. These sneakers have inner padding with insoles to provide comfortable bedding to the feet. The High-top variant has intriguing and responsive features along with ankle flaps and air-cushioned technology, of course!

The popular Nike Air Force 1 shadow deserves mention as well. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it’s an extended version of the low variant. The sneakers flaunt a playful twist along with a chunky profile. The extravagant footwears are summer-friendly with all the buttery smooth finish.

The stunners are made in China or Vietnam!

Nike Air Force 1 Size Guide

Air Force1 Size Guide

Whether it’s men or women, the Nike Air Force 1 size fits the same for both.

Unimpeachable, the Nike Air Force 1 is true to the size (in most cases). The AF1s are known to have a lot of space in the toe box. This enhances the comfort level and promises to be true to the size. In any case, if you size down, you may find it to be extra snuggish. This is a general Air Force One o thumb rule.

The Nike Air Force 1 Low can feel a little big if you have narrow feet. If you are planning to fix that with a pair of socks, that won’t help. Go half a size down in that case.

The Nike Air Force One High is a bang on with its size. Stick to your original size, and you will fall in love with them even more.

When it comes to the Nike Air Force 1 Shadow, they run big undoubtedly. You either need to go half or a full size down. There’s no way you can feel at home in your OG size.

Recommended Reading: Nike Dunk: A Complete Guide

How comfortable is Nike Air Force 1

AF1 very comfortable sneaker

The Nike Air Force 1 is one the most appreciable silhouette in the sneaker game. And the prime reason is definitely the comfort factor. Regardless of the variant you choose, these coveted kicks are definitely the best walking shoes, outdoor-gaming shoes, and fashion shoes. That makes it the best in all.

These trainers can be your ultimate go-to sneakers and your party pumps at the same time. Let’s be honest here. They are not one the most lightweight sneakers. So, if you plan to run errands all day, you won’t be the happiest in them. But the revamped models are surely comfortable with all the insole padding and exaggerated midsoles.

How to clean the Nike Air Force 1 sneakers?

Clear Your AF1

Image Credits: pinterest.com/adamxbradim

Beauty or beast! You are certainly wearing these heartbreakers to the jogging track, on the court or any other outdoor activity. But what about the aftermath? These kicks are a staple for every sneakerhead. Let’s find some ways of getting them back intact and spotless as they have never been used before.

What do you need?

  • Room temperature clean water
  • Baking soda and white vinegar
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Liquid dishwasher
  • Plastic drum
  • Bleach

Here’s a step-by-step procedure for cleaning the Nike Air Force 1 sneakers in the simplest way.

  • Clap your shoes from outside. It’s going to break up the dirt from within the soles.
  • Remove the laces before you begin cleaning the shoe.
  • Bring out your plastic drum/tub. Fill it up with water and some dishwashing liquid.
  • Dip the soft bristle brush in this liquid and remove all the stains and scuffs. Even if your sneakers are caked with mud, it’s going to come out quicker than you think.
  • Rinse the brush as and when needed. The best way to go is in circular motions.
  • In case of stubborn stains, make a fine paste of baking soda and white vinegar. This is a miracle mixture. It’s going to restore the freshness of your shoe and leave you stunned.
  • Don’t leave the soles grimmy.
  • Once you are done, use the microfibre cloth to wipe it down.

Recommended Reading: Nike Air Jordan 3: A Complete Guide

Fake vs Real Nike Air Force 1: How to spot the difference?

Air Force1 Real vs Fake

Let’s together dive into the guide of how to spot the difference between fake vs real Nike Air Force 1.

  • The Nike swoosh logo on the fake pair will be way longer than the authentic one.
  • The counterfeit AF1’s, the ‘AIR’ text below the logo, will be either too thick or thin. Also, the three alphabets will be pretty inconsistent.
  • Going below that, the stitch on the legit pair will be quite dense and show some quality.
  • Moving to the stitch on the midsoles, the fake Nikes show a poor quality and obnoxiously thin stitch.
  • The size tag in the fake Air Force will be printed in thin letters, awkwardly sleek.
  • The sneaker side flaunting the logo is also a distinctive aspect to differentiate the two. The swoosh logo curve of the authentic pair is smooth and natural. But the curve in the fake pair will stand out all of a sudden.
  • The two holes on the side of the legit pairs are placed higher than in the fake ones.
  • How can we give the toe box a miss? The fake Air Force 1 will have the toe box unnaturally curved and inflated.
  • Lastly, why not dig deep into the box label as well? The text on the label of the fake Nike will be thick and long. The real ones will be sleeker. Also, the real box will never look word out.

Air Force 1 Style Guide

AF1 flaunt it if you have it!

Styling your sneakers should always be on point. Please don’t play it down or overblow it!

Although the Air Force Ones are pretty versatile in nature, there are ways you can amend them. You know what they say; flaunt it if you have it!

Up your fashion game by slipping on slightly cropped pants and quirky looking long socks. Teaming up a bomber or a denim jacket will accentuate your look and how!

Well, if you want to overemphasize the appeal of your Air Force One, team it up with an overcoat and distressed jeans.

Recommended Reading: Nike Air Jordan 4: A Complete Guide

Top Air Force 1 of All Time

Nike Air Force 1 Low Virgil Abloh Off-White (AF100)

Image Credits: sneakernews.com

1. Nike Air Force 1 Low Virgil Abloh Off-White (AF100): Nike’s iconic Virgil Aboloh flaunts a phylon cushioning for enhanced comfort to the feet. The bonafide white bone sneakers are fabricated with premium leather which totally escalates the iconic swoosh logo and the embossed tongue sophisticatedly. The go-to sneakers are perfect for a casual evening look.

Best Feature: Padded ankle.

Nike Air Force 1 '07 Virgil x MoMA (With Socks)Image Credits: bashh.org

2. Nike Air Force 1 ’07 Virgil x MoMA (With Socks): This back beauty is a total heartbreaker. The sleek and smooth construction comforts the feet tremendously with its snug fit. Also, the modernized technology at the heels makes the sneakers extraordinarily responsive.

Best Feature: Modern cushioning.

Image Credits: instagram.com/caminotv

3. Nike Air Force 1 Low Kith: The white colourway has been one of the most hyped kicks to date in the Nike memory. The stunner exhibits gold accents at the tip of the laces and a green embroidered logo to accentuate the sex appeal. The attractive red tongue is like the cherry on the cake.

Best Feature: Ultra-premium look.

Nike Air Force 1 Low Supreme OliveImage Credits: wave.fr

4. Nike Air Force 1 Low Supreme Olive: The name has done complete justice to the visual appeal. The olive theme canvas pair can make you feel ridiculously royal with a hinge of it on your feet. By promising effortless styling, the chic neutral silos are a treat for sneaker junkies.

Best Feature: Classic and evergreen.

Nike Air Force 1 Low Travis Scott (AF100)Image Credits: qmecom.com

5. Nike Air Force 1 Low Travis Scott (AF100): This superstar is sure to up your sneaker game with its classy and chic nature. The slightly twisted model ditches the sparkling white on the upper canvas and features a creamy tinge along with some accessories on the laces. And that stole all our hearts!

Best Feature: Charmer.

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Top Air Force 1 of 2021?

Undefeated Nike Air Force 1 Off White DM8461-001

1. Undefeated Nike Air Force 1 Off White DM8461-001: The teamwork of Undefeated and Nike, leather and suede, classic and spunky, make these kicks unmissable. The game-changing sneakers attract all the attention by flaunting bright blue swoosh, orange tongue and the signature air-cushioned midsoles. It’s a rare combination of subtle yet eye-catching.

Best Feature: Strong rubber outsoles.

Resale value: £145

Nike Air Force 1 07 Space Jam White Blue DJ7998-100

2. Nike Air Force 1 07 Space Jam White Blue DJ7998-100: The masterpiece, along with its signature detailing, can melt the heart of any sneaker hungry. The highlight of these coveted trainers is the unveiling of funky cartoon characters and the blue outer rubber soles.

Best Feature: Spunky looking.

Resale value: £69

Space Jam Nike Air Force 1 Low Computer Chip Black DH5354-001

3. Space Jam Nike Air Force 1 Low Computer Chip Black DH5354-001: No prizes for guessing these kicks are a major inspiration from the animated movie Space Jam. Whether you are a sneaker lover, basketball enthusiast or a Space Jam fan, you are going to fall in love with these silos at first sight. These trainers show off a pitch-black upper with a mechanical blueprint and an overall self embossed digital print.

Best Feature: Spunky looking.

Resale value: £120

Nike Air Force 1 St Patricks Day Green DD8458-300Image Credits: hibbett.com

4. Nike Air Force 1 St Patricks Day Green DD8458-300: The Green and White making honours the feast of Saint Patrick, flaunting the perfect aesthetics for the festive day. The white midsole provides enhanced comfort to the feet with its air cushioning technology. You could also get charged up with every step you take.

Best Feature: Outlandish boost.

Resale value: £170

Undefeated Nike Air Force 1 Low Blue Croc DM8462-400

5. Undefeated Nike Air Force 1 Low Blue Croc: The funky looking blue and mustard silo can skip your heartbeat in a gist. The bizarre fusion of crocodile skin texture, leather and suede, along with a striking colour combination, can get you all the attention with every step you take.

Best Feature: Ultra flexible.

Resale value: £175

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Which famous names are seen flaunting Nike Air Force 1?

famous names are seen flaunting Nike Air Force 1

Image Credits: celebmafia.com, autos.yahoo.com, hollywoodpipeline.com, solecollector.com, twitter.com/Cristiano

37-year-old Nike’s Air Force 1 is seen ageing with dignity. Despite having some nips and tucks on their way, these classic air-soled kicks have secured a place in the shoedrobes of all sneaker junkies. The fashion bees are slaying it as always, but this time in chunky AF1s.

Canadian actress cum model, Shay Mitchell, was seen flaunting mom-on-the go style with the ‘ Pretty Little Liars’ on her feet. The A-lister sported a casual look with a full-grain white bone Nike Air Force 1 ‘07 and teamed it with a grey sweatsuit. She nailed the comfy-chic trend while taking her baby girl for a stroll. She flaunted the same kicks while stepping out of the NYC airport and looked stylish in the all black.

Hailey Beiber and Kendall Jenner have repeatedly proved their love for their crisp white AF1s. Coordinating her outfit with the sneakers is Hailey’s forte. She looked ravishing in an all-white look. White oversized shirt, blue denims and clean white sneakers. What a beauty she was! And who says you can’t contrast? Kendall Jenner was seen flaunting the same in a baggy black jumper.

The pop star Justin Timberlake hints at a potential collaboration by wearing the high flyer Don C x Nike Air Force 1 High on a summer afternoon in London. American rapper Fat Joe, the Don of the sneaker world, was seen in the custom made by Obama Air Force 1. The side of the toe box said ‘ yes we can’ in Spanish.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his birthday in total style. Nike gifted the footballer a pair of customised AF1 on the big day. He was often seen nailing it in the white beauty. American actor Mark Wahlberg has often been flaunting every category of Nike Air Force 1.

When it comes to basketball players, Air Force One has been quite a veteran on the court. The big daddy’s found the shoe super comfortable and flaunted the kicks on the court after signing the Nike deal. Some of the aficionados were Moses Malone, Michael Cooper, Mychal Thompson, Calvin Natt, Jamal Wilkes, Bobby Jones, Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace.

Bella Hadid certainly walks out looking like a dream. She posted a picture in a private jet wearing a dazzling outfit and classic white and beige Air Force 1 sneakers.

Americal model and actress Emily Ratajkowski is a complete sneakerhead at heart. Her weakness for sneakers is pretty much noticeable. She was seen flaunting a snug-fitting mini dress with white Nike Air Force 1 High. She included bright white socks in her attire to amp up the fresh effect.

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Wrapping up

Who does not like to get everything on a platter? That’s exactly what Fast Sole believes in providing their readers with. Our knowledge, your passion, that’s a killer combination! Nike has never failed to please any sneaker junkie. Trust me; it deserves all your attention right away.

It’s time you get hooked on the release dates. Know about every little surprise that is in store for you. Familiarize yourself with the style and size guide. Remember, there’s nothing on your mind that’s not on our blog.

See you soon!



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