For a design junky like me, the most unique media feature that Nike has created for this summer’s Olympics is taking what they consider to be their most iconic basketball designs of the past 20 years and releasing photos of the original shoes and scans of the original sketches.
The first shoe they have released is the Nike Air Force 180 Low. My favorite part of this group of images is the sketches. To see the the thought process that the designer “S. McDonald” had brings out a very nostalgic feeling in me as the sketches have a drafting style to them. When I decided I wanted to be involved in the footwear world in the seventh grade I thought the best way to break into design was by engineering, which in return had me taking every drafting class my middle school and high school offered. Those classes, along with my grandfather who also taught drafting; had me drawing every view of my shoe designs and making sure that every line matched up from view to view and then calling out every radius that was on the midsole and the exact sizes of my logos down to the inch. I even did isometric drawings of each design! Needless to say my early designs basically looked like cubes. It was the most nerdy process compared to what I would be doing when I went to College For Creative Studies a few years later. But none the less, it taught me a lot about designing at a young age.
Take in the feature over the coming days and check back as I talk about my favorites of their top 20, personally I can’t wait for the Flightposite!
Check out Nike’s release below:
“Technology has always been the thing that drives, motivates and consumes us. The Air 180 is the product of that obsession.”-Phil Knight
Catering to powerful players, the Nike Air Force 180 Low represented a significant evolution and extension of Nike Basketball’s design language. At the time of this shoe’s release, Nike Air was almost 14 years old and Visible Air was five. How do you build on those pressurized foundations? By adding 50% more cushioning.
1991’s towering Nike Air Force 180 applied some pressure to become one of the biggest Nike Basketball releases of all time. But 1992’s Nike Air Force 180 Low scaled things down without losing the menacing looks that united each Force release; built for pounding, blocking and intensely physical play. It was lighter than previous shoes too. Who better to represent the Nike Air Force 180 Low ethos than Charles Barkley?
Strapping down the player for superior support, it was clear that the 180 and power basketball went together like Barkley and controversy. When the Nike Air Force 180 Low hit the hardwood in 1992, it was an iconic moment in sneaker and sporting history.
The Nike Air Force 180 Low is a classic shoe —cushioned to protect, but built to withstand.