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Air Force Shoes 40th Anniversary – Why the Shoe is a Classic

Whether you love or hate the Air Force 1, there's no denying its impact on sneaker culture. The shoe, designed and released in 1982, was an immediate hit thanks to its clean design and comfortable fit. The AF1 quickly became a favorite among basketball players and hip-hop artists alike, solidifying its place in sneaker history. Here's why the Air Force 1 remains a classic shoe today—four decades after its initial release.



Sneakers and basketball go hand-in-hand, which is why the Air Force 1's debut in 1982 was so momentous. Not only was it designer Bruce Kilgore's first attempt at a hoops shoe, but the Air Force 1 also became the first basketball silhouette to incorporate Nike Air cushioning. This made for softer landings and jumps, thus changing how the game could be played. Six of the era's best NBA players soon contracted this classic shoe—an impressive feat within such a short time frame.



The Air Force 1's foray into the world of hip-hop is perhaps its most significant contribution to sneaker culture. In the early '80s, New York City was the epicenter of hip-hop, and Air Force 1 was quickly adopted as the unofficial shoe of the movement. Rappers would often reference the shoe in their songs.


Global Appeal

Air Force 1's global appeal is undeniable. The shoe has been released in thousands of colorways and style iterations, making it one of the most versatile shoes ever created. The shoe is so popular that even non-basketball players want a pair. Everyone from skateboarders to fashionistas has been known to rock the AF1. The red Air Force 1, for instance, is an ultimate style icon and has been worn by celebrities and icons.


Now that you know a little bit more about Air Force 1, it's easy to see why the shoe is still so popular today. Whether you're looking for a classic white-on-white style or something more daring like the red Air Force 1, you’ll find it at Millennium Shoes.

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