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Though Nike designed the Air Force 1 in 1982, they didn't reach the market until the following year. Even though the shoe was a complete revolution in basketball footwear, the Air Force 1's popularity stayed within the circle of those basketball players in the know. It wasn't until a few years later that the sneaker would find its way into the hip hop community and later into mainstream sneaker culture.

The Air Force 1 has air technology in the sole - an innovation that changed basketball sneaker design forever. Nike took the Air Force 1 off the market in late 1984 only to do an exclusive re-release in 1986 at a handful of select stores worldwide. In New York City there was only one store (Jew Man's in the Bronx) that carried them until 1988. Today the Air Force 1, in all of its colors designs and collaborations, is one of Nike's top selling sneakers. Nike has released so many version of the Air Force 1 that no collector has them all.