When it comes to custom sneakers, Jordan’s are always going to be the go to. The problem though, is getting your hands on a pair of Jordan 1-11 takes work. Then on top of that, the rarer the model, the harder it is to come up on a pair. You can always resort to buying an old pair on ebay, but that might double or triple the time and money spent making them look good.
So here’s an option: the Air Force 1.
Think about it, the AF1’s are one of Nike’s all-time MVP sneakers. The silhouette is simple, but a fresh pair will always look super clean and crisp. Think back, if you can to ‘02. A dude named Nelly (remember him?) and the St. Lunatics (remember THEM?) did a song about AF1’s, because, why not?
Really though, check this out. Nelly and fam are rapping in front of a wall of AF1’s in what might be the baddest Foot Locker around. What's the word on this place St. Louis people? Does it exist?
Mind you, these shoes had been out for a minute before Nelly dropped this track about his love for the AF1. And by a minute, that means 20 years. That’s right, the Air Force dropped in 1982 and was actually Nike’s first ever “Air” basketball shoe.
Initially, they were marketed with these badass jumpsuits, which may or may not be on the comeback. You’ll have to ask Drake about that one.
After being discontinued and reintroduced a couple times over, that fire Nelly’s put down 13 years ago made it clear the AF1 was back. From 1982 to now, the AF1 has been the number one selling athletic sneaker, so you know it’s a classic.
The nice thing about Air Force 1’s is the availability. You can probably pop into your local shoe store and pick up a pair of all-white 1’s, High or Low, with no hassle. There’s nothing worse than camping out, calling around, and going through the full hustle to cop a pair of shoes to have them sell out right under you. That’s why Air Force 1’s are so good for a customization.
If you’re just getting into the custom game, a pair of AF1’s are accessible and won’t kill your wallet before you start. What’s nice about AF1’s is the amount of room you have to work with. Between the upper, the quarter, and the Swoosh, you have a lot of room to create. If you grab the Mid’s or the High’s you have even more room.
Take a look at these custom AF1’s that Angelus-sponsored artist Zadeh Kicks made a little while back. Cork colored and red wine colored? Insane.
But that’s just an idea of what you can do with a pair of AF1’s. If you’re working on a pair, or have a finished pair in your collection, let us know. We’d love to see what crazy ideas you’re coming up with. Extra points if you make a Nelly-inspired Air Force 1.