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Whether it’s the clean-cut classics or a creative custom Air Force 1 version, there’s no doubt that you came across this iconic style from Nike. Originally considered the favorite shoe of inner-city youth, the Nike Air Force 1 is a silhouette that has outgrown its New York roots to become a global powerhouse within the streetwear scene. Generation after generation, the classic sneaker has masterfully withheld the test of time, with people of all ages styling them in many ways.

Recent years has dawned a new trend upon the legendary shoe, with artists, brands and even the everyday consumer, customising the Air Force 1 in unique and bespoke ways. Here we take a look at some of the main trends that have swept social media by storm and have become a highly sought-after aesthetic upon the streets.

Bandana Custom AF1

We must admit, bandana print looks epic on the custom Air Force 1. The paisley-print pattern is hot right now and many brands have influenced the trend, including Rhude, Fear of God and Travis Scott with his collaboration with Nike on the SB Dunk Low. Unlike other Nike Air Force 1 custom sneakers, many bandana styles offer a unique feature, be it tear-away materials or an oversized bow which sits perfectly up on the forefoot. 

Floral Custom AF1

Floral custom Air Force 1 sneakers are a popular choice for many, but especially amongst our female community. Beautifully painted by hand, this custom is usually created by artists who can design wonderfully life-like flower patterns that look super dope. Japanese cherry blossoms and thorn roses seem to be the most celebrated thanks to the contrasting colors against the white AF1 pallet.

Drip Custom AF1

The OG of the Nike Air Force 1 custom. When custom AF1’s first surfaced on social media, it was often with the Drip design. A creative effect that is usually painted just under the swoosh to give the effect that it is indeed, drippin’. A design so often imitated that it asks the question as to why Nike themselves have not released the design as standard.

Animal Print Custom AF1

Animal print sneakers have often been limited to the Air Max range from Nike and their collaboration with Japanese brand, atmos. These sneakers have become a big hit as they come as standard with various animal prints and exotic materials. It’s only right then that young artists have taken this inspiration and customized the Air Force 1 to replicate the same style and it works! Some alterations have gone as far as to remove the entire toe box or swoosh and replace it with premium animal print materials.

Designer Custom AF1

From one drip to another. The luxury designer trend is boomin’ right now and with thanks to some creative geniuses, we have the designer Air Force 1 custom. Once again, this specific custom holds a heavy status upon social media. Creators have taken genuine Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci and other designer materials from products and masterfully implanted them into the AF1 silhouette. A personal favorite and a highly innovative concept which has since branched further than customized sneakers.

Cartoon Custom AF1

One of the most creative options is the cartoon Air Force 1 custom. This design wonderfully gives the perception that your shoe has stepped straight out of your favorite animated tv show. A popular choice for kids, the cartoon AF1 custom often incorporates popular animated characters such as Spongebob, Mickey Mouse and the Simpsons.

It goes without saying then the custom Air Force 1 has revolutionized the sneaker community. So much so, that new customization business has emerged and Nike themselves have also bought into the hype and have allowed customers to create their own designs directly from the Nike website using Nike I.D. Offering the consumer to be spoilt for choice on a range of colors, materials, patterns and signature initialling. Nike I.D also goes further than the AF1 and has now enabled the feature on numerous sneakers across their site.

With the highly accessible classic white Air Force 1 silhouette set in stone as the blank pallet for sneaker creators. It opens the door for the every-day individual to take on the challenge, with the help of online design tutorials. Step by step guides can be found with a simple search on Google or Youtube. This alongside some basic tools/paints will allow people to get involved with the custom Air Force 1 trend and create the perfect pair, unique for them. The custom Air Force 1 wave is still on the rise and we expect it to be a big topic of discussion within 2021.

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