The Nike Air Force 1 celebrates 40 years of icons

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Nike – the brand from Beaverton – has made quite the slew of sneaker icons, but there’s a select few which suddenly spring to mind when it comes to game changing Swooshes. 2022 has seen one of these celebrate its 40th anniversary – the seminal Air Force 1. One of Nike’s most celebrated designs, the original first took flight in 1982, and with a title as grand as that, it was always going to fly high.

Originally designed with hiking in mind, the shoe was eventually released as a basketball silhouette that would offer a clean, crisp and cushioned guise for the courts. Air cushioning to be specific, this is the brand’s innovation that has carried its classics into the modern market. Named after the President of America’s private jet, this icon was ready to take over the American market and beyond from its inception. Whether low or high-top, the taller option came with an innovative ankle strap that protected wearers during wear. Now not really serving that function, it’s an irremovable feature of this decade-old legend.

Like many of the label’s icons, they outrun their original functions and venture onto the streets. Hailing from a sport that is often aligned with hip hop, this scene was essentially a global marketing scheme for the shoe. From being worn by some of the greats and even getting its own song – Nelly ‘Air Force Ones’ (2002) – this silhouette became embedded in popular culture. Often seen in the East Coast Metropolises of the USA, the comfy and crisp trainer suited the energy of inner-city living. The trainer is especially important to the city of Baltimore; when Nike was planning to stop producing the shoe in ’84, the residents helped it live on. The community was later rewarded in 2017 with a “For Baltimore” release that pays homage to their efforts which essentially helped it live on to become a classic.

Fast forward to today, Nike continues to release everything from OGs, anniversary celebrations and a range of collaborations. From releases with the likes of Supreme, atmos, Playstation and Travis Scott, there are plenty of rare releases for serious sneaker collectors. Not to forget our honey-hued Nike Air Force 1 ‘Manchester’ – ?exclusive. Inspired by a city that has been with us all the way, this release was filled with homages including the ‘0161’ telephone code and the Manchester bee symbol.

This year has also seen a slew of anniversary celebrations too, with striking high-tops and the sought-after ‘Colour of the Month’ release circulating. This pair arrives with a limited-edition Nike toothbrush hangtag is included with the pair – perfect for cleaning your sneakers on the go.

Find these on our site, and dig into our selection of classics – pick out a new Air Force 1 today.

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