History of Air Force 1
A Classic Since 1982
Designed by Bruce Kilgore and introduced in 1982, the Air Force 1 was the first ever basketball shoe to feature Nike Air technology, revolutionizing the game and sneaker culture forever. Over three decades since its first release, the Air Force 1 remains true to its roots while earning its status as a fashion staple for seasons to come.
1982: A Legend is Born
The Nike Air Force 1 becomes the first basketball shoe to bring soft, springy Nike Air cushioning to the game.
1983: The “Original Six”
The high-top AF-1 is worn by Nike’s top NBA players of the era: Michael Cooper, Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, Calvin Natt, Mychal Thompsen and Jammal Wilkes.
A trio of retailers in Baltimore re-introduce the AF-1 in royal blue and chocolate brown colorways, and all 3,000 pairs sell out almost as soon as they hit the shelves. No longer just for basketball, the sneaker takes the streets by storm. [Shoes in photo are re-releases from 2015]
1986–1991: “Shoe of the Month” Club
Select retailers began exploring the concept of releasing one-off Air Force 1 designs. Every release is a hit and immediately sells out. Sneaker culture grows from Baltimore along the entire East coast as fans seek out new drops.
2012: Lunar Landing
Three decades after the original, Lunar Force 1 emerges, featuring lightweight Lunarlon cushioning built into the iconic Air Force 1 design.
2017: 35th Anniversary
Tapping five collaborators to recreate the white-on-white AF-1, the AF-100 collection brings five instantly coveted AF-100 designs. Among them is a unique take by Virgil Abloh, who spun-up an iteration of his AF-1 first released as part of “The Ten” Collection.
The Look of Force
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