Nike’s Jordan Air Force 1 Shoes: A Complete History

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Did you know the Nike Jordan Air Force 1 shoes are one of the most popular shoes on the market today?

Even if you don’t know the name, you must know the shoe. Ask your stylish cousin. They probably have a few different pairs in their closet right now.

The Air Force 1 is admired by people of every age group with many different styles. There is a colorway and collaboration for everyone.

Keep reading to learn about the complete history of the Air force 1. 

The Debut 

The Air Force 1 was designed by Bruce Kilgore intended to help basketball players. It was the first shoe produced by Nike to use the Nike Air technology. 

It was first produced way back in 1982, and it was discontinued for a short period between 1984 and 1986. Over the years, the build of the sneaker has changed very little.

The design of the Air Force 1 is satisfying to any person who wears them. In pop culture, we have seen them worn with traditional basketball uniforms, jeans, sweatpants, and even formal wear.

The NBA and the Jordan Air Force 1

The Jordan Air Force 1 is built for basketball. The Nike Air technology makes the soles of these shoes flexible, durable, and elastic. It also keeps the shoe lightweight. 

The original high-top Air Force 1 is intended for intense sport and the grip of the concentric circle outsole makes them perfect for use on the court. 

In 1983, a year after the shoes debuted, six popular NBA players took part in an advertising shoot for the AF1s. Michael Cooper, Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, Jammal Wikes, Mychal Thompson, and Calvin Natt all posed in the iconic photoshoot. 

In 2007, Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Paul Price, Kobe Bryant, Rasheed Wallace, and Lebron James recreated the original shoot in custom Air Force 1s. 

The Air Force 1 Low 

One year after the initial release of the high top Air Force 1s, Air Force 1 lows came on the scene. 

This happened because three businessmen from Baltimore met with Nike executives. Then, demanded they produce exclusive AF1s for them with a low silhouette. 

This was just the beginning of collaborative and limited editions of Jordan Air Force 1s. One of the most popular Air Force 1 styles today is the low-top White Air Force 1s.

Nike Air Force 1 Almost Discontinued

In 1984, after only two years of production, the Air Force 1s were discontinued. Yet, the demand for them soared. When there were no new Air Forces in production people began to customize their older ones with colors. 

As the demand for the shoe increased, Nike decided to start producing AF1s again. The Nike Air Force 1s had a relaunch in 1986. 

When the sneakers were reintroduced they were also in new colors. Now you could buy them in chocolate brown and royal blue. The new colors made them more popular for streetwear, not just basketball. 

Soon, more colorways and limited edition Nike Air Force 1s became available. This was a huge success for Nike and the shoes became a country-wide hit. 

As time went on, nearing the 2000s, Nike Air Forces also became popular with prominent rappers all over the world. One limited edition version of the sneaker was white-on-white and included the Roc-a-Fella logo

Woman’s Air Force 1s Hit the Scene

In 2001, Nike introduced women’s sizing for the Air Force 1s. Even though women still wore them way before that happened. 

Not all sneakers release in both women’s and men’s sizes. But, there isn’t much difference between them. To the naked eye, they most likely look identical. 

However, there are small differences in their dimensions. Women’s shoes tend to have narrower heels, and the release of the shoe has limited larger sizes. 

With the addition of sizes for women, Nike also introduced even more color options. There are some options for Nike Air Force 1 women’s that come in softer, pretty colors. 

Despite the label, Nike has said all their shoes are unisex. Don’t be afraid to choose the shoe you like. Just make sure it fits. 

All New Designs for the AF1s

Nike created more than 1,700 color options for the Air Force 1. It appears that there are only more to come. 

Each year there are new color options and coveted limited edition Jordan Air Force 1s. 

In 2010, Nike produced high-tech uppers. A version of AF1s made with Flyknit, liquid metal, and Foamposite. The technology used in these sneakers made them both super comfortable and super popular.

2012 was another interesting year for the Nike Air Force 1. Lunarlon cushioning was introduced to give wearers the feeling of walking on the moon. The construction of these allows the sole to act as a shock absorber.

On the 35th anniversary of the Air Force 1s in 2017, Virgil Abloh released a version of the shoe. Virgil Abloh is a prominent fashion designer known for working with Louis Vuitton. 

His AF1 featured a deconstructed swoosh and translucent aspects that were said to be a commentary on ghosting. 

There are several new Nike Air Force 1 designs rumored to be released in 2021. This includes collaborations with UNO, the Chicago Bulls, and a Dia De Muertos collection.

Keep Your Kicks Fresh

Nike has been producing some of the best footwear of the last few decades. They are unlikely to go out of style anytime soon. The Jordan Air Force 1 is so popular, it has been selling fast for over thirty years. 

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