Why Are Air Force 1s So Popular? Find Out Here

A sneakerhead will tell you their love for Nike Air Force 1 goes beyond the brand. The shoe has remained top selling in the past 40 years since its first release, and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. So why are air force ones so popular?

There isn’t a simple answer to this because it goes more than just trying to fit into the in-crowd or look cool.

Air Force 1s is Nike’s top-selling shoe model alongside Air Jordan’s. While you can chug the popularity of Air Force ones to good marketing and PR, there is actually a lot more going on that makes the sneaker stand out.

In this article, you will learn why Air Force Ones are still popular after decades of service and why they are still top on any sneaker buyer’s list.

SEE: What Is The Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Air Force 1?

What are Air Force 1s?

First released in 1982, the Nike Air Force 1 (AF1) or Air Force is a sleek sneaker that trended in the basketball sphere. It’s known for its wide-up toes that make it comfortable. Also, it uses a threaded outsole, which improves flexibility.

Moreover, it applies the Nike Air technology that makes the padding of feet and arch support easier.

Furthermore, the design was a switch and trend-setting design that changed how basketball shoes looked like. 

In the 2000s, Air Force 1s reached another peak popularity in the hip-hop world when rapper Nelly released his iconic single, “Air Force Ones,” featuring Murphy Lee, Kyujan, and Ali.

The shoe hit another wave of popularity with hip-hopper lovers, and it became a right of passage for rappers, especially the all-white sneakers. There began the collaboration between sports brands and rappers, releasing exclusive or limited editions of the shoe.

The shoe hit a speed bump after, but fashion recycles and timely collaborations with urban and streetwear brands like OFF WHITE and Supreme brought the shoe back to the limelight.

SEE: Do Nike and Jordan Mean the Same Thing?

Why are Air Force 1s so popular?

Air Force 1s are popular due to varying reasons. You can’t pick a single reason for some, while just one factor makes it the best sneakers to others. However, what stands out the most is its classic style.

The following reasons are why Nike Air Force 1 is still popular after decades of release.

1. Design

The Air Force shoes offer a simple and classic design with a wide front or Uptown. It also adds support to the heels and outsoles that reach the ankles. Furthermore, the shoe provides the Nike Air technology that makes good support to the feet.

Furthermore, it comes in different colors and designs but all-white and black are more popular. Moreover, the puncture holes on the outsole make the shoe breathable and refreshing to wear.

SEE: Does Michael Jordan Really Own Jordan Brand?

2. Comfort and versatility

Air Force Ones have the Nike air technology, which means they are comfortable to the feet and offer enough support at the arch. Also, it provides padding for the wearer, making it good for longtime and activewear.

The shoes are also versatile. They fit with any style. Air Force 1s are popular with street and urban styling. But they also fit with casual and formal wear too. The fashion cycle is one of the reasons the shoe keeps staying in the spotlight.

With strategic collaborations with streetwear and urban fashion designers, the shoe has created limited editions that stand out each time.

The sneaker has created for itself a great blend of street and urban fashion; it is a standard to own Air Force 1s for you to look cool in street fashion.

3. Retro style

Air Force 1 has always been a retro shoe with rereleases and limited edition collaborations. The trend to revisit old-school style will always be “in.”

You can also count on the retro designs to provide nostalgia for the wearer. 

SEE: What Is GS In Jordans?

4. Influence

Air Force 1s have received lots of love from celebrities and influencers of different fields. Starting with basketball legends promoting the shoes to the iconic music by rap artists Nelly, to normal celebrities and collaborations with hip-hop influencers like Jay Z.

Due to the continued influence of influencers and celebrities over the years, the shoe still stands out as one of the best.

5. Niche community

Air Force Ones have a niche community – the basketball world and hip-hop world. This works closely with influence. With the influence of celebrities, Air Force Ones have a tight group of following and lovers of sneakers.

This niche community sets sneakers apart. Anyone who loves Air Force Ones knows that it is a classic. And if you want to talk sneakers, you cannot start without mentioning classics like Air Force 1s.

SEE: How to Save $5 on Sneakers at Converse Store


Are Air Force 1s more popular than Air Jordan 1s?

Not really. Both are basketball shoes that have made their mark in the sneaker world. They have their differences and similarities; their uniqueness sets them apart. Consequently, it depends on preference.

Your preference makes one a much better option for you than the other.

Are Air Force 1s expensive?

Yes, they are. Air Force ones are expensive because they are exclusive basketball shoes made with top-quality materials. Furthermore, it is durable and comfortable for the feet, which is why people pay a lot for the shoes.

SEE: Are Nike Shoes Made in China Fake?

Are Air Force 1s worth it?

Yes, they are. Nike Air Force shoes are worth it because of their durability and comfort. Additionally, they offer a range of colors from collaborations and limited editions that make them stand out.

Similarly, the shoes are a great fit and have consistently been on the list of the best sneakers to have.

Are Air Force 1s still released?

Yes, they still are. Air Force 1s still get a release each year with new sets of colors and styles making way in the market. Also, favorites get a rerelease, making the shoe still in vogue and readily available for those who want to buy.

SEE: 10 Reasons Why Crocs Are So Popular


Air Force 1 is a shoe line that has been in vogue for decades. While it’s had its share of ups and downs in the shoe trend, it always stays within the limelight, never forgotten.

Now you know why. Its style, colors, range, versatility, and influence make the shoe ever present in the sneaker world. And with different models of the Air Force line, there is enough variety for sneakerheads.

Nonetheless, the Air Force 1 stands out as a classic, especially the white. It is often recommended you go for white Air Force 1 if you want to get a new set of sneakers. It’s the start of a good journey.

Thanks for reading.

Loved this article? You can read helpful guides on shoes and sneakers here on Africana Fashion.