The fashion crowd loves sneakers for a bunch of surprisingly practical reasons. They’re low-maintenance, comfortable to walk in, and — unless they’re by Virgil Abloh or Yeezy — are relatively cheap and easy to acquire. Vans and Adidas have become big hits during previous fashion months, but this time around, the new “fashion sneaker” on the horizon is the Air Force 1.
Air Force 1s have an extensive history within hip-hop culture: remember when Nelly dedicated a whole single to them? But in the notoriously insular fashion world, where attention spans are short, they’ve just started trending again. It’s probably fair to attribute a good portion of this momentum to Nike’s recent attempts to rebrand the style, like Virgil Abloh’s Off/White collaboration or the all-female designed Nike 1 re-editions, which were released in January.
A note on styling: stick with looser and more billowy silhouettes to make them work. Think wide leg trousers or an easy T-shirt dress. Of course, you can dress them up, but the thicker sole and shape look best against more relaxed tailoring.
Whether you’re just getting into the Air Force 1 now or looking for a fresh pair, scroll down for the best ones to shop now.
The Buzzed-About Collaboration
Nike The 1 Reimagined Air Force 1 Explorer XX
The Off/White collab is a big deal, but it’s impossible to cop. This pair is just as cool, and the fact that they were designed entirely by women is a nice touch.
The Goth Take on the Trend
Nike Air Force 1 Crushed-velvet Sneakers
The velvet material feels extra lush.
The Sporty Ones
Nike Air Force 1 ‘07 SE
The red trimming feels like a throwback to the style’s basketball roots.
The Blingy Ones
NikeLab Air Force 1 Metallic Sneakers
Nothing says flash more than gold metallic faux snakeskin.
The Summer Sneaker
Air Force 1 ‘07 Pinnacle Sneaker
The sunny orange shade will contrast nicely against an easy white dress in the summer.
For the Hypebeast
Nike Flyknit Low
at Stadium Goods
If you’re looking for super rare or sold-out Air Force editions, sneaker resale store Stadium Goods is your best bet. It beats helplessly scrolling on eBay by a long shot.
The Big-Name Designer Collab
Air Force 1 High RT Sneaker
These are the latest design from Ricardo Tisci and Nike’s long-standing partnership. They were also recently spotted on Bella Hadid, so expect them to sell out fast.
If You Love Hi-Tops
Nike The 1 Reimagined Air Force 1 Rebel XX
Hi-tops aren’t for everyone, but the back lacing transforms these into a fancier looking shoe.
The Sustainable Option
Air Force 1 Flyknit Low
Nike’s flyknit technology is designed to be flexible and lightweight on the feet. Flyknit is also a more sustainable option since it requires little additional material to construct as a shoe.
When You’re Sick of Neutrals
Nike Air Force 1 ‘07 SE
at Need Supply
Tired of white? These lavendar versions can read as neutral against a muted wardrobe.
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