Designed by Bruce Kilgore, the classic basketball sneaker has subsequently evolved into an iconic casual lifestyle sneaker, soon establishing its own division inside Nike Sportswear as its popularity has risen. Because of the Air Force 1’s influence and longevity in the sneaker business, anniversary celebrations are a very important factor. In 2007, the Air Force 1’s 25th Anniversary jubilatory campaign saw the release of a completely modernized version of the Air Force sneaker for basketball, while the 30th Anniversary in 2012 introduced several lifestyle iterations of the model, including the Air Force 1 Foamposite and the VT styles. Since then, the Air Force 1 has grown dramatically in popularity as the company has grown.
Despite making no official announcements about the occasion yet, Nike is making waves for the Air Force 1’s 40th anniversary. Kilgore’s famous design is prepared for a strong year ahead, with upcoming collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Drake and many more. The year 2022 promises to write a new chapter in the history of the iconic sneaker, and it all starts with the new Anniversary Edition, which aspires to reintroduce the silhouette in its truest to original form. A rather curious detail of the new Air Force 1 “40th Anniversary” edition is that it comes with an unique hangtag toothbrush. Rather than being a tool for a dental health marketing campaign, the toothbrush in question is a throwback to the 1980s tool of choice for keeping your shoes clean – which is especially important for the all-white Air Force 1s.
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This celebratory edition features a very minimalist design at first glance, with tumbled white leather uppers and a chocolate brown swoosh and outsoles. The back logo appears to reveal a redesigned brandmark. The tongue is adorned with Anniversary Edition in cursive embroidery, which confirms the occasion. There’s also a massive Air Force 1 hangtag with a piece of the illustrated print-ad is attached and the aforementioned toothbrush, which reads ‘Since 1982’ as a nod to the first sneakerheads who kept their steps fresh in the days before specialized cleaning kits.
In 2015, Nike released a similar colorway to this, the Air Force 1 High Retro “Color of the Month” Pack to pay tribute to the Baltimore retailers that helped keep the shoe alive in the 1980s.
40 Years of the Nike Air Force 1s
The Nike Air Force 1 isn’t simply a basketball sneaker. These sneakers have transcended basketball and have become a cultural icon. They have evolved significantly since they were first released, yet their reputation has remained unblemished for the past four decades. Here are some of the major Air Force 1 milestones from the past 4 decades:
1982: “Air in a box.” When Nike first launched their ad, the campaign tagline couldn’t have been more straightforward. There were no teasers or campaign videos with a huge production budget, like there are with today’s sneakers. There were no specific sneaker sites to tempt sneakerheads or promote upcoming releases. Yet, it worked. The Air Force 1 became one of Nike’s if not THE most notable sneaker model, as it was the first to incorporate the Air sole technology, which is now widely used across the brand’s line.
The shoe, which was named after the aircraft that carried the President of the United States, became popular among inner-city youth early on and continues to do so today.
1983: Michael Cooper, Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, Calvin Natt, Mychal Thompsen, and Jammal Wilkes are among the best NBA players of the era to wear the high-top Air Force 1s.
1990s–2000s: Nike started releasing limited, special, and premium editions of the Air Force 1 around major events and holidays, instantly turning it into collector gold. The shoe is selling out quicker than stores can keep up with demand.
From the early 2000s to present day: The popularity of the Air Force 1 among globally prominent rappers and musicians elevates it above sport and into culture. Numerous collaborations are born. One of the most popular is the collaboration with Travis Scott.
Take a closer look at the pair below until further information becomes available, and stay tuned to our dedicated sneakers page for additional information and keep tuned for an official announcement because the Air Force 1 has a lot in store for 2022.
Color: White / Burgundy Crush – Metallic Gold
Style Code: TBD
Release Date: 2022