In the 30 years since their introduction, Nike Air Force 1 shoes have been, in part, a counterpoint to the notion that more women than men fall on the “Imelda Marcos” end of shoe collection sizes.
The traditionally white-on-white athletic shoes
are often a centerpiece for “sneakerheads,” typically male cultivators of limited-edition or vintage pairs of sneakers—often in troves at a time. Introduced in 1982, Air Force 1 sneakers were the first to have Nike Air technology and have since been described as one of the greatest and most influential sneakers of all time. The versatile footwear helped define an entire culture of enthusiasts through its intersection of street, sports and culture. And, over the years, they’ve been re-introduced and re-envisioned for various occasions like anniversaries, the Olympics and the year of the dragon. As daily ensembles have shifted more toward sneakers and t-shirts than suits and ties, Air Force 1s reflect sneakers’ transformation from athletic gear to “uptown” phenomena to essential wardrobe component.
The latest version of the iconic sneaker is the Nike Air Force 1 Supreme (shown above), now available in certain store locations and online. The shoe is the brainchild of a collaboration between Nike and Supreme, a street couture retailer popular among young musicians and skateboard enthusiasts. The Air Force 1 Supremes are made exclusively for Supreme and feature durable NYCO fabric that is traditionally used to produce military outerwear. They retain the traditional Air Force One shape, but come in three special edition color schemes.
Nike will also celebrate the revolutionary sneaker’s 30th anniversary with a second shoe: The Lunar Force One, set to launch on Dec. 12, will update the shoe’s design, though it will retain most of the classic silhouette and signature swoosh. With new Lunarlon cushioning and Nike’s Hyperfuse construction, the result is a lighter, more flexible Air Force 1.
These limited-edition shoes will no doubt add to the luster of Air Force 1s as a sneakerhead’s ultimate collector’s item.