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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Colours: The Secret of Air Force 1s

When Nike released the Air Force 1 in 1982 it cause a revolution in basketball shoe design. The pocket of air trapped in the heel gave the Air Force 1 cushioning and support. Moses Malone and Michael Cooper agreed to endorse them and the shoe for the last quarter of a century has become an evergreen. Fashion crossover took the Air Force 1 from a court shoe to one that was proudly worn on the street. The basic white-on-white became the platform for the best-selling sneaker ever. Now there are more than 1,800 colour combinations, many in limited editions that can cost thousands of dollars. At first Air Force 1s were more popular in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York but soon they were selling like hot cakes all over the States and beyond. To promote the silver anniversary Nike are making some of their retro collection models available in their Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York stores. Ballets are now being held in each city to identify which of the 25 models will be available. Collectors are bound to want to snap these up. The popularity of Air Force 1s off court has been attributed in no short measure to influential rappers like Jay-Z who wore and sang about their favourite shoes. In 2002, Nelly, from St. Louis, released the hit “Air Force Ones” which guaranteed shoe sales would rocket. Many experts believe the most innovative aspect of Air Force 1s has been the colour ranges they are available in. Nike started releasing limited-edition models and collaborations with artists form mid 1990s and these became instant collectors’ items. The company policy to release models in fewer numbers than the market demanded only ensured complete sell-outs. Twenty-five years after the introduction of the Air Force 1 as the basketball shoe, only on major player continues to wear them in the NBA. Rasheed Wallace of the Detroits Pistons still wears the shoe.

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