Today's streetwear scene has long claimed the Nike Air Force 1 their very own, even if the iconic sneaker initially dominated the basketball court rather than the asphalt over 35 years ago. Releasing the basketball shoe in 1982, Nike revolutionized the entire industry: Nike Air technology now offers the athlete a sneaker with soft, springy cushioning and a solid midsole for unrestricted support. In such a short time, Nike had developed a shoe that would not only connect the Swoosh‘s name with running, but with basketball forever. The groundbreaking Air technology may be in the background given the cult status of the shoe nowadays, but it nonetheless set the benchmark for future design approaches for multiple brands.
Barely one performance shoe has made it so far as the Air Force 1 of the Nike designer Bruce Kilgore. This was certainly also due to the "Original Six" - Moses Malone, Michael Cooper, Bobby Jones, Calvin Natt, Mychal Thompson and Jamal Wilkes. The basketball stars were among the chosen ones that were allowed to rock the AF1 on the floor. In 1983, Malone even won the NBA Championship wearing the popular Air Force. From that point on, the hype knew no limit: Nike's first Air basketball shoe was the must-have in street culture in the 90s.
Especially in the Hip Hop community of the East Coast, the Nike Air Force 1 had quickly taken roots. Baltimore, Philly, New York City ... The sneaker managed to unleash a gigantic avalanche and unite music and sports. Jay-Z rocked him on stage and Nelly dedicated his track "Air Force Ones" to the silhouette - the Air Force 1 was everywhere! In 2007, Nike took on the crème de la crème of basketball for one of the most legendary video clips for its 25th anniversary. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Tony Parker and many more - on the foot, the AF1.
Even if the Air Force 1 embodies more street than basketball nowadays, the sneaker has never sacrificed his oldschool DNA. The AF1 has become an icon in the footwear and fashion industry, turning the pop culture of the '90s upside down and becoming one of THE sneakers of the past 35 years.