34 years after its launch and 2,000 iterations later, the Air Force 1 — an iconic shoe with roots in basketball and legend status in street culture — remains one of Nike’s most recognisable silhouettes. As a foundational design, it also presents an opportunity to reimagine new visions of classics.
To usher the icon into the future, while taking its legacy, use and symbolism into consideration, Nike designers tasked themselves with marrying the original silhouette and Nike’s breathable, lightweight Flyknit material.
When applying Flyknit, the teams collaborated to engineer the exact structures and textures necessary to maintain the shape and paneling of the original Air Force 1.
They focused on keeping the original stance of the tip, saddle, foxing and vamp, as well as the perforations in the vamp, by programming thicker, firmer yarn on the raised tip and undulating eye stay. Flyknit technology enabled the design team to precisely micro-engineer every stitch to create the featherweight upper for maximum comfort and minimal weight, while it also reduced manufacturing waste and the amount of material used.
The shoe became not only the lightest Air Force 1 ever made, approximately half the weight of the original, but also the first Flyknit shoe to include a leather Swoosh logo.
Half the weight of the original Air Force 1, The Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit debuts in Flyknit favourite, multicolour, and University Red for Nike Sportswear, plus a classic all-white Air Force 1 colourway for NikeLab.
For more information, hit up Nike’s website.