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Air Force 1 (shoe): Wikis


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A pair of "white-on-white" low-top Air Force 1's

The Air Force 1 (or AF1) athletic shoe is a product of Nike, Inc. [1] created by designer Bruce Kilgore. This was the first basketball shoe to use the Nike Air technology.[2]


The name is a reference to Air Force One, the plane that carries the President of the United States. The shoes are also commonly referred to as "flaves" or "uptowns" in urban pop culture. The shoes are sold in three different styles. The two most common are low-cut and mid-top. Nike also produces a high-top model, which is usually harder to find. The mid-top and high-top Air Force 1's come with a velcro-securable strap; the mid-top strap is secured to the shoe while the high-top's strap is movable and removable. Although the shoe comes in many different colors and color schemes, the most common Air Force 1's sold are solid white (often referred to as "white-on-white") and solid black colors.

Another identifying characteristic of an Air Force 1 shoe is a small, removable medallion that is secured to the bottom of the laces but has holes on either side so it can be removed by sliding it off of the shoe lace. The medallion is engraved with the inscription "AF-1", with the year "'82" inscribed below it, and has historically been made out of a silver-colored metal (perhaps pewter)[citation needed]. Its original design was more circular, but after a redesign for the Air Force 1's 25th anniversary in 2008 the medallion is now rectangular. (The redesign also involved encasing the inscription in white plastic; that was discarded in favor of the original medallion material.)

The Air Force 1 was produced in 1982 and discontinued the following year. It was re-released in 1986 with the modern italic Nike logo with a Swoosh on the bottom on the back of the shoe. Little has changed to the Air Force One since its creation in 1982, although the original stitching on the side panels is no longer present in modern versions of the shoe. Since then, over 1,700 color variations have been produced, bringing in an estimated 800 million USD/year in revenue.[1][3] The selling of the Air Force Ones online by certain retailers is prohibited by Nike who has restricted supply of the sneaker.[4]

Nike Air Force 1s were originally considered the favored shoe of inner-city youth, then hip hop artists and streetball players. Rappers Nelly his group, St. Lunatics collaborated on a 2002 single entitled "Air Force Ones" about the shoes. As a performance shoe, the AF1 is still used for street play as well as for professional play. NBA players Jerry Stackhouse (who now wears Adidas) and Rasheed Wallace have worn AF1s on court.

The Air Force 2 shoe introduced in 1987 is a newer variation of the original. The shoe is a typical flat-soled, casual-wear sneaker that can be made in many different variations of colors. Also, Air Force 2s were re-released internationally in the early 2000s. They can be made in either the low-cut or high-top style. The shoe can be custom made in any color, but typically it has either a white or black based background color with almost any color used to fill in the Nike Swoosh and back heel.

The Air Force 3 shoe introduced in 1988 was the most popular version of Air Force series. It was worn by many basketball players at the time. The Air Force III was more rugged looking and more durable than the previous two versions. The original colorway was white/medium grey/black, however several other colors were introduced shortly after. An actual "Air FORCE" logo was introduced on this model as well, with an image of half of a basketball on the tongue. This logo would be used on the rest of the Air Force series. The Air Force III was re-issued in 2006 in very limited edition of colorways of the high top, and several colorways for the low top version.

The "Air Force STS" (also known as Air Force 4 or Air Force IV) was introduced in 1989. It was regularly worn by David Robinson in his rookie year. The Air Force STS features leopard print and is also slightly higher than the first 3 versions of the Air Force series.

The "Air Force 5" was introduced in 1990. The Air Force V was the first model to make the airbag visible on the side heels of the shoe. The most popular colorway was white/medium grey/black/orange. Just like the previous version it was slightly higher than the first 3 versions. This was also the last original Air Force model to be made.

In 2007, for the 25th anniversary of the original Air Force 1, Nike created the Air Force XXV, which got its inspiration from original Air Force 1 invented in 1982. A commercial for the Air Force XXV included LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Shawn Marion, Rasheed Wallace, Tony Parker, Jermaine O'Neal, Amar'e Stoudemire, Chris Paul, and Paul Pierce, featuring the music of Juelz Santana (the Second Coming). Since its introduction, many different Air Force 1s have been designed or inspired by celebrities and athletes.

In 2009 Nike created Air Force 09, an update of the original shoe. The shoe comes in a solid black or white.


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