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Since its initial release in 1982, the Nike Air Force 1 collection has enjoyed immense success worldwide. It became known for its white color and design, making it stand out as more of a canvas than the regular shoes one can easily buy in typical malls and markets. But you might wonder, are Nike Air Force Ones worth the hype?
Nike Air Force Ones cost an average of $90 (2022). That can be quite a lot for just a pair of shoes. Thus, it is vital to question whether you get the most out of your money when you buy them. A good measure to determine this would be their durability and versatility. These criteria ensure that you can maximize their function for a long time.
Additionally, is it good to use Air Force Ones for your fitness training?
Table of Contents
- Behind Nike Air Force Ones: Its Design and Purpose
- Are Air Force Ones Good for Walking and Hiking?
- Are Air Force Ones Good for Running?
- Can You Workout in Nike Air Forces?
- Are Air Force Ones Good for Weightlifting?
- What Would a Good Alternative Be?
Behind Nike Air Force Ones: Its Design and Purpose
The shoes’ designer, Bruce Kilgore, is the creative mind behind this ground-breaking footwear. Kilgore intended them to be Nike’s first basketball shoes to feature the company’s revolutionary Air Technology.
It was a smashing success on the court, just as expected. Nike then enlisted the help of six NBA all-stars to promote the shoe further.
The Nike Air Force 1 is set apart by innovative Air Technology that absorbs shock, so your feet won’t hurt if you tumble. The AF-1 is designed for use in high-risk activities. Professional athletes continue to use the AF-1 on the court today.
Continue reading below to verify whether Nike Air Force Ones are really suitable for high-intensity activities such as exercise and outdoor adventures.
Are Air Force Ones Good for Walking and Hiking?
For walking, yes. For hiking, no.
At first glance, the Air Force One has a rather heavy and bulky design. Wearing a pair of Forces for the first time can be intimidating, but contrary to first impressions, they are relatively comfortable.
The midsole shock absorption technology is a throwback to the 1980s. It has a large and bulky structure and provides overall softness and comfort when wearing shoes. This feature makes strolling a pleasant experience.
Although most people will be comfortable strolling around in AF-1s, they may prove too hefty for those who walk great distances. So, are they recommended for hiking? Not so much, but you can still try to work with them.
With the release of the Nike Air Force 1 Hiking Pack, Nike is furthering its transition away from indoor courts and urban streets and towards the great outdoors. The low-top Air Force 1 is given a trekking makeover, complete with a bulkier midsole and eyelets made to be used as hiking boots.
Are Air Force Ones Good for Running?
Since they are comfortable, Nike Air Force Ones can be used for running. But they are not the best for it. Compared to average running shoes, the AF-1 is heavier, stiffer, and has thicker soles.
The brand doesn’t claim that its a running shoe, but some relay that it’s a good pair for casual basketball playing.
Can You Workout in Nike Air Forces?
You can, as long as it’s low-impact exercise.
Note that the Air Force 1 was initially crafted to be worn for playing basketball. Thus, they are meant to endure the impacts of running and physical activities. However, that doesn’t always mean that Nike Air Force 1 is the optimal choice for working out and jogging. Other pairs might rival the performance of Nike when it comes to exercising.
The top reason Nike Air Force Ones might not be the ideal choice for sprinting and exercising is their extra weight compared to regular running shoes. The Nike Air Force 1 weighs around 16.5 pounds, while a pair of men’s mid-tier running shoes typically clocks in at approximately 9.5 ounces.
That much weight can be a hindrance if you plan on running any major distance and doing high-intensity cardio. You, the runner, know that the faster you can go, the lighter your shoes need to be.
A Nike-funded research revealed that every 3.5 ounces added to the footwear could slow down runners by one percent. Moreover, more shoe weight makes the wearer more prone to injury when doing physical activities such as running and exercising.
Nike Air Force 1 may be a viable choice for exercise but not an ideal one. Shoes should have the right weight and enough cushioning that will allow you to exercise with the correct form and reduce the risk of injury over time.
Are Air Force Ones Good for Weightlifting?
Yes, but there are other pairs more suited for weightlifting.
When Nike introduced Air Trainer 1 in 1987, it also created a cross-training shoe category. Instead of using a sport-specific approach, the idea was to create a versatile exercise shoe that could be used for various activities.
The Nike Air Trainer 1 performed decently on the track. The heel of the shoes made them somewhat suitable for weightlifting. Although many gym-goers choose more conventional running or cross-training shoes, a good pair of Air Force 1s may deliver comfort and support during strenuous lifting.
However, with so many alternative options for athletic footwear in the gym, Air Force 1s may not be the best choice in this instance.
Below are some of the qualities that you should look for in shoes you intend to use while doing squats and deadlifts:
Durable Shoe Cushioning
You can maintain your feet’s comfort, stability, and support with targeted padding underfoot. The best shoes for high-impact activities feature foam cushioning stiffer at the heel and more flexible at the forefoot. Nike Air Force 1s can tick this feature.
Strong, Wide Heel
Choose a pair of shoes with a wide heel if you want a solid foundation for lifting large objects. If you want more force to exert powerful movements while lifting, you might want to consider adding extra height to the heel of your Air Force 1s.
Support and Breathability
A lightweight mesh upper is ideal for weightlifting shoes since it allows more air to reach the foot during intense workouts. If you couple a shoe that lets air in with socks that wick away moisture, you might be able to avoid stinky feet after a workout.
If you’re carrying large loads, the last thing you need is to trip and hurt yourself because you let your foot slip. Lifters’ confidence in their footing can be increased by using weightlifting shoes with enough traction. The Air Force 1s might not have sufficient rubber treads and clearly defined traction patterns on the bottom to ensure a secure grip on gym floors.
Flexibility and Versatility
Movements in every workout may vary. Hence, your workout shoes must have enough versatility to support a wide range of movements and lifting different weights. The Nike Air Force 1s might be inconsistent with this department. It has limited features to meet the demands of ideal weightlifting shoes.
There are other good options Nike offers that can address the gaps of Air Force 1s regarding workouts and weightlifting.
What Would a Good Alternative Be?
The features mentioned above characterize a perfect weightlifting shoe from ordinary types of sneakers. While Air Force 1s can be good choices for these activities, there are other better Nike pairs that can help you carry out these activities more efficiently.
You can start browsing the following Nike lines and collections that are deemed optimal for weightlifting and working out:
The Nike Metcon has established itself as the benchmark in weight training shoes with improved durability and stability over its predecessors. React foams are included for added comfort during prolonged cardio and lifting sessions.
The Nike Romaleos are solid and stable shoes due to their broad, flat bottom and cushioned midsole. The midfoot straps are adjustable.
The Nike Saveleos keep your feet grounded and feeling safe thanks to its flat, wide sole and secure shoe straps. These are ideal for lifting heavier weights that can challenge your balance and stance.
Those are the distinguishing features that Nike Air Force 1s offer. Invented initially to serve as basketball shoes, they perform decently on basketball courts and running tracks. They also provide enough comfort for the wearer to carry on short to medium distances walks.
Still, there are better options from Nike when it comes to doing workouts and weightlifting. Nevertheless, you still get your money’s worth with the Nike Air Force 1s, as they are versatile enough to be worn in courts and casual attires.