Are Air Force 1s Really Basketball Shoes [Decoding the Mystery]

Are Air Force 1 Basketball Shoes?
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The Air Force One shoes were originally designed for basketball and offered comfort, sleekness, and ankle support. While they can still be used for basketball, there are now other contemporary designs that offer better performance due to technological advancements. Ultimately, the choice of wearing Air Force Ones for basketball depends on personal preference and playing style.

Like many other sports, basketball is physically and mentally demanding. And that’s why you should put on the right pair of shoes. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy comfort and stability during the game.

But shoes dedicated to basketball cost a significant amount of money. It’s, therefore, a relief if you can find basketball footwear that fits other occasions too.

And that’s where Air Force One comes in. However, the big question that many people ask is, are Air Force 1 basketball shoes?

Are Air Force 1 Basketball Shoes? The Quick Answer

The Air Force One shoes stormed the market in 1982. And Nike originally targeted basketball players with the shoes. True to the expectation, many basketball players took to the shoes. Its design tapped on air pocket technology and displayed much sleekness.

But currently, technological advancement has helped improve the design and comfort of basketball shoes. That means other basketball shoes now offer better performance than the Nike’s Air Force 1.

So, although Air Force 1 shoe targeted basketball games, there are more promising contemporary designs.

Background of Air Force One

Nike Mens Air Force 1 High '07 CT2303 100 White/Black - Size 10.5 In designing Air force one, Nike employed air pocket technology, sleekness, and comfort. The combination of technologies revolutionized basketball shoe construction back then.

Therefore, Nike’s Air Force 1 registered better ankle support and foot cushioning ability. Soon thereafter the brand began producing customized Air Force 1s for exclusive players or teams.

Hence players could get shoes reflecting their choice of colors and fit. And Air Force One shoes penetrated the NBA matches. You could thus find the shoes with celebrities such as Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, Mychal Thomson, and Michael Cooper.

Still, some players (such as Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace) could be seen wearing the Nike’s Air Force 1s as recently as 2013. However, with time technology increased and other basketball footwear cropped in.

At the same time, Air Force One also found use beyond the basketball court. The white sleek shoes pair with different outfits to give a polished look.

Who May Benefit from Wearing Air Force One?

If you play recreational basketball, it isn’t a must that you go for high-end expensive shoes exclusively for basketball. Nike’s Air Force One provides a viable choice for street basketball.

Wearing the pair offers you an appreciable degree of safety and comfort. Interestingly Air Force One can match different tops for a smashing casual look.

The Good and Bad Sides of Playing Basketball in Air Force One Shoes

As said before you can still play basketball in Air Force 1 shoes. However, doing so has its share of pros and cons. Therefore, let’s evaluate the performance of Nike’s Air Force 1s under the following subheadings:


The shoes boast double pivot points in the heel and the front foot area. That translates into easy movement in both directions.

As an offensive player, the dual pivoting ability comes in handy during offensive plays. The superior traction arises from the deep treads on the shoes. Deep treads also mean they suit both indoor and outdoor basketball.

What We Like About It: What We Didn’t Like:
Deep treads for superior traction The deep treads tend to hold dust
Dual pivots for easy movement in all directions Feels bulky for some players
Thick rubber means extra-long life  


Most Air Force One shoes have leather uppers. After the break-in period, the leather conforms to your feet and fits like a second skin. Although the leather means durability, with time it displays some creases.

What We Like About It: What We Didn’t Like:
Tough leather that withstands rough play The impact protection ability should have been much better.
Offers a snug fit on the feet  
Appreciable comfort in the heel region  

Support At the Ankle

Nike Mens Air Force 1 High '07 CT2303 100 White/Black - Size 10.5 Air Force 1s come in high tops, mid and low tops. If you have sustained an ankle injury or need sufficient protection, the high-top design proves beneficial.

As bonus protection, they come with Velcro straps. When you have the high tops you can brave the tough outdoor court. On the other hand, if you need flexibility and not ankle protection then settle for the low top.

Otherwise, for a balance of the two, mid-tops save the day.

What We Like About It: What We Didn’t Like:
High tops give ample ankle lockdown and a comfortable upright position The high-top design hinders maneuverability
The Velcro strap provides additional support and safety around the ankle  
Mid tops offer Increased maneuverability  

Therefore, Are Air Force 1 Basketball Shoes?

Nike Mens AIR Force 1 MID '07 QS DM0107 200 - Size 6 Chocolate/Cream Nike designed an Air Force One shoe for basketball players. And, for quite sometimes the shoes stole the hearts of many NBA players.

The comfort, improved traction and adequate ankle support of Air Force Ones make them viable choices for basketball players.

However, technology has improved and given rise to many basketball shoes in the market. In short, are Air Force One basketball shoes? It all depends on an individual’s choice and playing style.

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