The Nike Air Force 1 Low was originally released in 1982, and was originally hailed for being the first basketball shoe that was specifically designed for outdoor play on cement, rather than indoor play on the hardwood court. It was the first sneaker to use Nike Air technology, and that extra cushioning was inspired by the need for support created by playing on concrete or cement courts. Today, however, the shoe is far more culturally significant as a fashion piece than it ever was as an athletic sneaker.
To honor its cultural influence, the Nike Air Force 1 has recently been re-released in two different “What the” capsules – the Nike Air Force 1 Low What the LA, and the Nike Air Force 1 Low What the NYC. The first week of October, 2019 saw the drop of the Nike Air Force 1 Low What the LA. Originally priced at $130, this shoe features the colors of all of LA’s major sports teams, including the Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, Rams, Chargers, Kings, Ducks, Dodgers, Angels, LAFC, and the Galaxy. This might seem like a lot, and it is. In true LA style, these shoes are flashy, colorful, and fashion-forward. The city’s name is branded on the heel and on the insole in a cursive script that’s a nod to the script on the California license plate. With a thick, speckled sole and a vibrantly colored upper, this shoe captures the loud, creative energy of the city while giving a nod to its current athletic presence in every major sport.
After such a success, today Nike Air Force is dropping another city-inspired “What The” capsule, but this time from the opposite coast. As you’d expect, the Nike Air Force 1 Low What the NY is a bit edgier, but no less fashionable, than What the LA. Like the LA release, the NY colorway features the team colors of all of New York’s major athletic teams, including the Knicks, Nets, Liberty, Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, Islanders, Rangers, Sabres, FC, and Red Bulls. However, as New York’s teams tend to feature darker colors and more somber uniform designs, so too is the What the NY sneaker a bit darker in hue than the flashier LA capsule. The left heel features a basketball patch, as a nod to the shoe’s history as a basketball shoe, and the right heel features a patch in the shape of the Statue of Liberty, an obvious tribute to the city. Like the LA shoe, the new release features a graffiti style New York branding on the heel and on the insole, an acknowledgement of the city’s thriving culture of street artists.
Finally, Nike will end the month of October with a final Nike Air Force 1 Low release, but this will be a “Black Skeleton” colorway release just five days before Halloween. The Halloween release is exactly what it sounds like. The silhouette is classic Nike Air Force 1 Low, but the upper, soles, and laces are completely black. Printed on the sides is the image of a skeletal foot, making the shoe look like an x-ray image of the feet inside it. Appropriately spooky, this Air Force 1 Low is set to drop on October 25th, and is priced at $130. It’s been hinted that the x-ray bones printed on the upper may be glow-in-the-dark, but nothing has been officially confirmed.
While all of these October releases are clearly meant to be lifestyle shoes, all of them feature the original Air Force 1 technology, which means that all of them can double as hardy athletic shoes. Remember, this silhouette was originally meant to be a revolutionary athletic shoe, one that provided the support needed to play basketball on an outdoor court. So whether you choose to support LA, NYC, or celebrate Halloween in style, you can be sure that your sneaker will hold up just as well on the court as it does on the streets.