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Basketball
and Nike go
way back

    

The Air Force 1 has come a long way since its introduction as the first on-court shoe to feature Air technology. It is now, quite simply, the most important basketball sneaker of all time, defining the apex of street and sport, court and culture. Over the years, the iconic design has undergone subtle updates to reflect the current moment, but its distinct DNA has never been sacrificed.

It started
with
Moses Malone

    

It all really started with Moses Malone – the first Nike athlete to win the championship in the Air Force 1. By doing that he really brought the shoe up to a status level that nobody else could. At the time, pro basketball players would go and play on playground courts with street legends, and also at those courts were hip-hop artists, making the transition from court to street seamless.

Designed
specifically
for hoops

    

But it wasn’t just the introduction of Air that set the AF-1 apart on the courts. Where most shoes stuck to the tried-and-tested herringbone traction pattern on the outsole, designer Bruce Kilgore went in a different direction. He looked at the players and how they moved, and due to their use of the pivot move in the post he came up with a circular outsole pattern designed specifically for hoops.

Designed
specifically
for hoops

    

But it wasn’t just the introduction of Air that set the AF-1 apart on the courts. Where most shoes stuck to the tried-and-tested herringbone traction pattern on the outsole, designer Bruce Kilgore went in a different direction. He looked at the players and how they moved, and due to their use of the pivot move in the post he came up with a circular outsole pattern designed specifically for hoops.

    

Nike reignited their strong relationship with the NBA in a big way this season when they launched the new “Statement Uniforms”, but their links and roots with the NBA go back a long way, cemented forever by the Air Force 1.

    

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