If there’s one thing we can pick among all the strengths of Nike as a brand, it would be this: bold decisions backed up with impressive actions. Such brand conviction gave rise to various revered technologies, lines and models of the brand, including some of the most revolutionary ones. If you are fan of the brand, or sneakers and athletic shoes in general, you’ll instantly recognize the Flyknits, the Air Jordans, and of course the Nike Air Force.
Nike Air Force Reviews
What is Nike Air Force?
Nike’s Air Force range is a line of athletic shoes that started because of the brand’s endeavor to widen its dominance over the athletic shoe industry by trying out basketball shoes. That decision led to the creation of an entire range of shoes starting from the Air Force 1, followed by Air Force 2, Air Force 3 and Air Force 5. Other Designs released under the same range include the Air Force XXV, Air Force STS and Air Force 09.
The first ever design of the Air Force pair has powerfully set-of an entire collection of shoes, thanks to the creative genius, Bruce Kilgore, who invented the shoes that were targeted for outdoor basketball. He incorporated the Nike Air technology in the pair, making it the first ever basketball shoes to have such technology added into it. It was eventually called ‘Air in a box,’ a term adopted from the brand’s campaign slogan in their ad for the Air Force 1’s 1982 launch. Its main feature and advantage was the impressive support and cushion brought by the pocket containing air.
Three years before Air Force 1 was created, the brand has successfully added ‘Air’ in the sole of the Nike Tailwind, the first of its kind. Since designing for basketball was all new to Nike that time, it wasn’t an easy transfer from ‘Air’ in running shoes to ‘Air’ in basketball shoes. Although there are entirely different purposes, strategies and requirements for each kind of shoes, Nike wasn’t fazed by the challenged. After Nike has decided to try out making basketball shoes, it had been a serious endeavor of the brand to get the basketball shoe right.
Kilgore finally got an inspiration from another model of shoes from the brand, the Approach hiking boot. The slanted shaft and the angle of the shoes enable the wearer to have great support while also allowing support. There had been testers of the brand after the creation of the first few pairs, one of them Tinker Hatfield, who was then a corporate architect of the brand. (Later on Hatfield made his own mark by designing the first Air Max.) The testers, Hatfield included, were impressed with the shoe design except for one detail: the ankle strap.
The launch of Air Force 1 in 1982 catapulted the shoe into fame. This was reinforced by the NBA players signed by Nike, including Calvin Natt, Moses Malone, Jamal Wilkes, Mychal Thompson, Bobby Jones, and Michael Cooper. Aside from this, a bigger step to fame of AF1 was its original purpose: as a tribute to the plane of the President.
The Air Force 1 was a massive success, yet the brand had to discontinue it. For many years, fans and enthusiasts pleaded for Nike to re-issue the design, but it only happened in 1986. And the great thing about its return was it was all because of the demand of the fans. This proves the impact of the Air Force 1 in the athletic shoe industry, and even up to this day, the Air Force 1 is still a well-loved design that has been used over and over for various versions.
Other Air Force versions
Although the Air Force 1 is the one that started the line and has an iconic significance to the brand, there are many more models have been added into the brand’s Air Force line. By 1987, the Air Force 2 was launched by the brand as a newer variation of the first one. Many colorways made the model even more interesting, and eventually re-released by Nike in the New Millennium. The year after the first release of Air Force 2, the Air Force 3 followed suit and became the most popular and most considered as the best among all of the Air Force designs.
In 1989, Nike tried a more bold print in the release of the Air Force 4 or Air Force STS and a slightly higher soles than other versions there. The 90s was the time of the Air Force V or 5, which also was added with a higher sole and great selection of colorways, like medium grey, orange, white, and medium grey.
The Air Force XXV was launched during the 25 anniversary of the Air Force 1. The design of the model was reflective of a few Air Force 1 inspiration, even including a set of mismatched medallions as giveaways.
Until today, there are a lot of celebrities and known personalities who go straight to Nike to get themselves some Air Force—through a choice of many colorways and different models. On the other hand, the Air Force team continually gets its inspiration from athletes and celebrities in order to produce highly sought out designs and style.