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Air Force 1 Type

The Nike Air Force 1 Type is part of the N. 354 range – a collection of models made to reflect Nike’s capacity to innovate through honoring the brand’s past and present. It is a Low sneaker featuring the AF1’s familiar rubber outsole, with its concentric circle grip, and an Air midsole. Beyond these classic attributes, the shoe is scattered with compellingly distinctive details.

A large, checkered panel wraps all the way around the front of the foot, bridging the midsole and the toe of the upper. On sneakers like the Nike Air Force 1 Type 2 Triple White, the tone of this section matches that of the upper, while the Grey Fog, amongst others, introduces variation as the added forefoot panel is grey and the upper white. Moving backwards along the shoe, the midfoot and rear segments are different on each side. The lateral midfoot is a solid section that sports N. 354 text in a handwritten font that is black on versions with a white upper, like the Sail Gum, and white on most of those with a black upper, such as the Black Royal. There is no swoosh here, but a strip of material sits above this text and attaches directly to the eyestay, interrupting the stitching that skirts the rest of the feature. The quarter panel is also solid, but on the other side of the heel strip, things become transparent down the shoe’s medial flank. A translucent swoosh is overlaid with a band of material separating the mid and rear sections, while stitching is visible underneath. A puffy, round-edged rectangle also expands out of the medial side just below the eyestay for a curious design aspect.

One of the most noticeable parts of the Air Force 1 Type is the strap that encircles its heel. Emerging from a reinforced slit on the medial side, this stretchy band is attached using Velcro and can be adjusted to alter the fit to the wearer’s feet. Its inner workings can be seen through the sneaker’s transparent sections – four flywire cables are visible as they travel from the end of the strap to the midfoot, where they sink into the shoe and wrap over the foot just below the laces. It is these wires that the heel strap pulls on to help provide a snug fit.

The plush tongue of the AF1 Type also has a characteristic appearance. It is dotted with circular indentations, each containing a tiny perforation in the middle for excellent breathability. It also comes in a range of striking colors depending on the design; for example the tongue on the Summit White colorway is a rich shade of blue. At the back, the solid heel patch has no apparent stitching along its bottom edge, leaving room for the heel strap to pass through. Here, the original branding of the Air Force 1 Type is also revealed – a thin swoosh with a split tail end that looks like it’s been drawn on. It appears again at the tip of the heel strap, while a final tiny swoosh is debossed into the top corner of the tongue. Although this last logo appears subtly against the surface behind it, the ones on the other parts of the sneaker normally don a colorful tone, like the vivid orange of the swooshes on the Hyper Crimson edition.

Inside the Nike Air Force 1 Type, the insole explains the inspiration behind its development. All typed in capitals, it reads “The ‘AF1-Type’ design is based on a prototype Nike Air Mowabb from 2001”, before ending in another sketched swoosh. This concluding detail encapsulates the essence of the N. 354 project, proving that the model is a true homage to Nike’s experimental design philosophy.

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