How Baltimore Saved Nike Air Force One

How Baltimore Saved Nike Air Force One

 The Nike Air Force One – the ultimate lifeline of any and all sneakerheads – will always be known as the kicks that started a movement and revolutionized the sneakers’ industry for good. 

If you’re a sneakerhead, you’ll agree that the Nike Air Force One isn’t just a pair of sneakers, it’s a statement and an icon. 

Nike Air Force One History 

Nike Air Force One has quite a peculiar history. It all began in 1982 when the sneakers debuted and were quickly adopted by famous athletes and NBA players, capturing the imagination of people around the globe.

Two years after its launch in 1984, Nike decided to discontinue the product. 

This was going to be an issue for Harold Rudo aka “Mr. Shoe”, who ran Charley Rudo Sports in multiple locations in Baltimore. The Air Force One was his top-selling sneaker. Harold traveled to the Nike campus in Oregon and spoke with the executives trying to persuade them to keep making AF1s. At first, the meeting didn’t change their mind.

Harold placed a huge order of the sneaker. It was at the point where you had to come to Baltimore to get your hands on them. Celebrities and athletes were coming to cop a pair and ask for ones with colors. Legend has it Harold is the reason Nike started adding colors to Air Force Ones. 

After several organized campaigns led by the shoe fans, the company was forced to reconsider its decision and continue production. 


The white-on-white was possibly the first shoe ever to be immortalized by famous rappers and singers such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Nelly. Such is the popularity of Nike Airforce One, that the latter even dedicated a song to the sneakers named “Air Force Ones.” That’s not all. The shoe was also the focus of the Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been).


As a sneakerhead, you must understand and appreciate the sheer beauty as well as the simplicity behind the AF-One design.  

The timeless white-on-white acts as a blank canvas, an open interpretation for designers, fans, and influencers. The unlimited possibility of designs makes the sneakers even more exciting.

The Genius Of The Shoe

As years passed by, the Nike Air Force One did come with quite a few innovations such as the slanted heel for added flexibility, and removable ‘proprioceptive belt’ for increased support.

One of the most remarkable additions has been the rounded cupsole. This unique and durable addition enhances the performance of basketball players, giving them enough space to pivot their feet in every direction without causing injury.

The Present

Even 38 years after its launch, the Nike Air Force One is as popular as it was back in the day – a true sneakerhead’s delight. 

Nike Airforce One history is illustrious and rightly so. 

The impeccable shoe symbolizes the world of hip-hop, it’s memorabilia of years of history, and innovation shrouded in mystery. 

It really is a must-have shoe in your arsenal. Period

Nike Special Field Air Force 1 Mid "For Baltimore" (2017)

Nike Special Field Air Force 1 Mid "For Baltimore" (2017)
Nike Special Field Air Force 1 Mid "For Baltimore" (2017)

Nike Special Field Air Force 1 Mid "For Baltimore" (2017)

Photo by Fachry Zella Devandra on Unsplash

AF1 ℅ Nike

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