Air Force 1
Icon. Timeless. Balance. Samuel Ross applies his imprint to the Air Force 1.
- Nike x A-Cold-Wall*
- Flyleather Upper
- Unique Cross-Lacing System
- Suede Rear Heel Counter Panelling & Lace Guard
- Perforated Swoosh
- ACW* Branding on the Lateral Sidewall
- AIR Cushioning Midsole
- Concentric Circle Patterned Outsole
- Metal Deubré (or lace-lock)
- Toe-box Holes
Nike x A-Cold-Wall* have released 3 Air Force silhouettes: 1 High and 2 Low models. The High version was available at a London pop-up on the 21st of October 2017. Samuel Ross is renowned for his technical detailing and meticulous design approach. His take on an iconic silhouette sees the majority of the lace-locks removed in order to create a unique cross-lacing (or X) system. His reconstructed AF1 combines Flyleather - a type of reclaimed leather developed by Nike - across the upper, with the heel counter and laceguard finished in suede. The Flyleather portion is finished in either black or white, with the suede region dressed in grey in both colours. The Swoosh is almost invisible to the eye, with the traditional stitched Swoosh replaced by a minimalistic perforated version. Paint speckles are formative on the midsole. The silhouette is finished with A-Cold-Wall* branding in the form of their Bracket logo on the lateral sidewall and the tongue.
Silhouette Explored — History
The Air Force 1 needs no introduction. Originally, a basketball sneaker and the first to bring Air technology to the court, the AF1's legacy now lies in the street. The original blank canvas silhouette, the Air Force 1 is a classic of timeless simplicity. After Nike introduced Air cushioning to their running trainers in 1978 with the release of the Air Tailwind, Air was ready for the hardwood. The Air Force 1 was designed by Bruce Kilgore and introduced by Nike in 1982, it was originally available as a high-top silhouette with a fabric strap (or a proprioceptus belt as termed by Nike), the low model was introduced in 1983. One of its most distinguishable design features (that was then replicated in other Nike models such as the Air Jordan 1) is its concentric circular patterned outsole, this replaced the traditional herringbone pattern that Nike introduced through the Blazer & the Bruin; as a performance tool the change elevated traction by enhancing the ability to pivot, a key tool for the NBA's big men in the post. Nike picked 6 NBA stars to market and wear the shoe, now known as the 'OG Six' they included Moses Malone & Mychal Thompson.
After 2 years on the floor, the Air Force 1 was retired in 1984 before being reissued in '86 - quite possibly the first Nike shoe to be retroed. Arguably, the defining feature of the Air Force 1 is its deubré (commonly known as the lace lock), they serve a purpose in maintaining the aligning of the laces whilst keeping them tight but hold decorative value, with a number of collaborators such as Travis Scott customising it and several brands offering deubré variants. Off the hardwood, the Air Force 1's longevity can be traced to its versatility, and a license to freedom and expression that each wearer has, the Air Force 1 is renowned for inspiring a number of custom unofficial colourways. In the last decade, as Nike have introduced new materials and technologies, the Air Force 1 has acted as a melting pot, variants now include Flyknit, Flyleather, Hyperfuse and Foamposite replacing the AF1's traditional all leather upper. Cultural phenomena like Air Force 1 toe-box creasing defines the experience that owners know too well. A fresh pair of Air Force's is akin to a barber giving you a new haircut. The Air Force 1 has unparalleled generational adaptability.
Available in at least a million variations, there's not enough room to fit them all. Explore the Air Force 1 by visiting Shoe Shelf.
The (un)official shoe of New York, the Air Force 1 inherited its 'Uptown' nickname from the Pro-Ked 69er, a staple silhouette in the 60s and 70s. The likes of Jay Z, Nas, the Diplomats and J Cole have referenced the Air Force 1; Nelly made a song titled Air Force Ones celebrating the shoe, whilst Dr Dre has been rumoured to have a new pair for every day of the year. Other references in popular culture include them being donned by Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy and a feature in Entourage.