Nike Sportswear

Accepting marginal note status was not an option. Instead, the Nike Air Force 1 jumped off the basketball court with a run-up towards streetwear culture and counts over 1,500 models later among Nike's great sneaker legends. The secret? An inimitably understated look that sets just enough accent to let the first positive impression mutate unnoticed into a logical consequence.

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Der Nike Air Force 1

High time to break the standard cycle. This would have meant that Bruce Kilgore's Nike Air Force 1, released in 1982, would be sold out once and then replaced by the next model. So that Nike's first basketball sneaker with the Air cushioning first used in the Air Tailwind four years earlier would only be visible in retrospective pictures? The brand broke this cycle with the evergreen Nike Air Force 1.

Nike had not given the new silhouette any special status. The Schuh was not loud either. Bruce Kilgore concentrated on restraint in its purest form - and the entire brand went along with it. Nike did indeed sign Moses Malone, one of the most dominant characters of the early 1980s NBA. In addition, Michael Cooper, Mychal Thompson, Calvin Natt, Jammal Wilkes and Bobby Jones were not entirely unknown names. Nevertheless, the swoosh did not start the big campaign offensive in the slipstream of the "Original Six". He didn't have to. Some cities on the US East Coast had found their new favourite just like that. In Baltimore, the Nike Air Force 1 sold particularly well at Charley Rudo, Downtown Locker Room and Cinderella Shoes.

Just let the story end? Why not throw a new colorway on the market every month and break the standard cycle? With this idea the three sneaker shops mentioned above approached Nike. A sneaker of the month. Color combinations for different styles. Nike agreed. The plan worked. Sneakerheads from New York and Philadelphia traveled down the Interstate 95 to Baltimore for their personal monthly sneaker.

Hip-hop and streetwear culture followed. In general, music played a decisive role in the construction kit of the AF1 hype. Nelly dedicated a whole track ("Air Force Ones") to the sneaker. For the 25th anniversary of the shoe, Rakim, Nas, KRS-One and Kanye West delivered their very personal homage to the sneaker in "Classic - better than I've ever been". Previously, the next evolutionary step had already enriched the market with the AF1 Low, completely in white, finally bringing the fashion and pop scene into the team. Today there are more than 1,700 different versions of the Air Force 1 - and no one even thinks about phasing out the sneaker.

Features of the Nike Air Force 1

Once the genius has kissed you, you never completely throw away the result. You trust. You trust Nike. On Bruce Kilgore's basic idea. The designer borrowed design aspects from the Approach, a Nike hiking shoe, put his high-cut sneaker on a particularly thick sole and gave it an Anklestrap. Lots of white. A colourful swoosh. More monochrome accents. The original AF1 stood out because it didn't want to attract attention and found its way from court to the street faster than other sneakers. Preferred material was - just like the noble sneaker legend - leather, which is still the same today. At the same time, canvas and flyknit versions of the Air Force 1 have long been available.

Over the years, the high was first followed by the lowcut and later by the medium high midcut. Nike also developed the Colorway selection further. White became black, became pastel shades, became colourful variants. In addition, the swoosh regularly brings out its own AF1s for women, sometimes placing them on an even thicker outsole like the AF1 Sage, which waves relaxedly towards the plateau. The Air Force 1 '07 LV8 also points discreetly in this direction. Its addition means nothing other than "Elevate" and thus addresses the slightly thicker sole.

By the way. The AF1 even stands up to the elements with a special version of a rainproof GORE-TEX membrane - and Nike is also working on the damping. But not to the extent that Brand would have to rebaptize its legend. Air remains, but with the Air Force 1 React it is supplemented by Nike's responsive React cushioning. If you're tempted by the nostalgia of the past, the AF1 Utility has an upper sketch of Bruce Kilgore's original 1982 design.

Key facts about the Nike Air Force 1

  • Name: Nike Air Force 1
  • First release: 1982
  • First colorway: White / Grey
  • Designer: Bruce Kilgore
  • Price range: a good 80 to about 180 €

How do you combine the Nike Air Force 1?

Its visual restraint, combined with a basketball silhouette that was completely new in the 1980s, opened all doors for the Air Force 1. Combination options almost as versatile as the Nike Sneaker lineup. White in a casual leather outfit, enhanced by subdued colors, goes with jeans as well as chinos, tights as well as relaxed skirts. Top. t-shirt. shirt. hoodie. sweater.

The Air Force 1 fits perfectly into the overall picture at all times. Even in terms of colour. Because in addition to the traditional OG versions and monochrome styles, the swoosh has long since been delivering more intense, stronger and more varied colorways. So the AF1 can either be worn as a highlight outfit or it can complement your style with a little bit of colour restraint.

The Nike Air Force 1 shop at Keller x

Monochrome. Colorful. Pastel. Neon accents. At Keller x you might not find all of the more than 1,700 styles in the Air Force 1 Shop, but exclusive Colorways from subtle to exhilarating. In addition there are different cuts. High. Mid. Flat. Your preferences. Your choice - and if you want a little more cushioning in 2020, order the Air Force 1 React. All in the comfort of your own home and online, whether it's a men's or women's Air Force 1 model.