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Nike / Special Field Air Force 1

Behind the Innovation

Since its debut in 1982, the Nike Air Force 1 has continued its long legacy of sports footwear with the help of talented designers, artists and enthusiasts worldwide. This Special Field Edition marks another milestone with designer Ben Kirschner at the forefront with a combat boot makeover.

1982, the original Air Force 1 arrived with a simple campaign marketing the footwear as “Air in a box”. Although the Nike Tailwind had incorporated Air technology, the Air Force 1 elevated the technology and the Nike brand to new heights. Designer Bruce Kilgore created the original design, which would accommodate for the fast-paced movement and jumping maneuvers involved in basketball. Drawing inspiration from the Nike Approach Hiking Boot, Kilgore implemented the shaping of the upper and combined newly designed circular outsole to assist with pivoting. Having signed “The Original Six” to rock the footwear on the hard court, the reception from fans and athletes for this trailblazer pair changed the industry forever. Although the pair was discontinued in 1984, the demand for the shoes remained strong and caused Nike to reassess their approach to discontinuing supposedly “older” footwear. In 1986, the Air Force 1 returned to market and continued onward to incorporate remastered features and advanced materials.

Since 86, the Air Force 1 has undergone approximately 2,000 design variations and continues to be one of the most popular sneaker silhouettes to date. Great design lasts long but is no exception to great innovation. Over the years, the Air Force 1 has integrated advanced materials, improved components and customizations to the construction to match up to modern day standards. In 2003, laser-etching technology added a new dimension of intricacy regarding the designs of the uppers. Hyperfuse technology, which was introduced in 2010 to enhance the durability and breathability of basketball shoes, made a debut with the Nike Air Force 1 which refreshed the timeless design with a lighter and highly durable construction. 2012 marked the arrival of Lunarlon cushioning, which was implemented into the AF1 and featured highly durable cushioning that was 30% lighter than traditional Phylon midsole units. Along with Nike’s ultra-lightweight Flyknit fabric and several other innovative materials implemented into various footwear models, the Air Force 1 has always remained true to the original design while utilizing Nike’s frontier developments.

Now, the Special Field Air Force 1 relives the long legacy of the one and only with a militaristic aesthetic and high quality material construction. The SF AF1 in black features a premium full grain leather upper while the olive model features a premium suede upper. The pair also features an extended ballistic nylon shaft, forming a high-cut profile. For a secure ankle lockdown, a ripstop nylon buckle-down strap and paracord bracelet secure the leg in place. The paracord bracelet can also be used as the handle for the ballistic nylon tote bag, which is included with the shoes. A small storage compartment is built behind the shoe tongue to carry any small sized essentials. Lastly, the SF-AF1 rests on a classic gum cupsole with an encapsulated Air-Sole unit in the heel to provide cushioning and impact protection.