The rugged elements of the classic Air Force 1 have long helped the shoe serve as a perfect boot-like option. Originally built up for on-court performance, the design continues to evolve by taking cues from Nike’s premier boot, the SFB. Some outside-the-box thinking by Nike Sportswear Footwear Designer Ben Kirschner helped bring the innovative sneaker to life.
“It was fusing two of our most iconic shoes for the winter – the SFB, which is our predominantly winter shoe, and then, the Air Force 1. Even though its not a boot, a lot of people use the AF1 as a winter shoe because of its rugged and Indestructible qualities, so I thought it would be cool to bring those two worlds together,” says Kirschner.
“In the very beginning, there was no specific brief for this shoe. It was just something I made in the sample room. And initially, it had a crepe sole.” While the crepe sole was part of Kirschner’s original vision, it never made it passed the early stages.
“Ultimately, the collar and the rear are very deconstructed in their SFB inspiration, but the Air Force 1 is typically built up,” Kirschner explains. Further underscoring the shoe’s boot inspiration is a set of reinforced metal eyelets and hooks.
Arguably the upper’s most eye-catching element, the interwoven collar strap is also perhaps the most useful element on the shoe. The interwoven straps not only allow you to customize your look, but they also serve as survival tools. Overall, the SF AF-1 represents the most functional boot iteration of the hardwood classic ever released. Equipped with secret pockets and multi-purpose interwoven straps, the design is the embodiment of urban utility.