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Nike Air Jordan 1 vs. Air Force 1 vs. Nike Dunk: What are the Differences?

Nike Air Jordan 1 vs. Air Force 1 vs. Nike Dunk: What are the Differences?

    If you're a sneaker or basketball fan, you've no doubt heard of the Air Jordan 1, Air Force 1 and the Nike Dunk. They are the most iconic silhouettes in the history of Nike sneakers, but what are the differences among them? Which one is the best for you? Are Nike Dunks and Air Force Ones the same? Are Nike Dunks and Jordans the same size? Are Air Force 1 shoes comfortable? What is the difference between Nike Air Force 1 and Jordan 1? Which one is cheaper? To help you better understand how these Nike sneakers revolutionised the sneaker game, I've written this guide to compare their similarities and differences to help you make the best decision on which pair to buy.



  • Air Jordan 1

Air Jordan 1 History and Origin

The Air Jordan 1 is arguably the most important sneaker in the history of footwear. Not only was it Michael Jordan's first signature sneaker from Nike, but it was the beginning of Nike's ingenuity when it comes to storytelling. 

In the early 1980s the only bright colors you would find on sneakers were likely on a pair of running shoes, or maybe women's focused aerobic sneakers. When it came to basketball shoes, the colors were almost always an accent color that was added to a mostly white sneaker. Nike designer Peter Moore, who designed the iconic Nike Air Force 1, among others, came up with the idea to“break the color barrier in footwear.” Peter Moore and Nike Vice President, Rob Strasser, had met with Michael Jordan's agent, David Falk, and decided that‘Air Jordan’would be the name of the shoes Michael would wear.  

The Air Jordan 1 began as a basketball sneaker, found a second life with skateboarders in the 1980s, launched the retro crazed world that we live in today where new colorways and collaborations seem to release every week. 


Air Jordan 1 Official Price: $55-$150 (From kids to adult)

Air Jordan 1 Design & Style

The Air Jordan 1 was designed by Peter Moore. The Air Jordan, debuted boasting many of Nike's signature basketball features-compressed air pocket in heel, additional ankle support, and an overlay on the toe.  While most of the components of the shoe were pulled from other Nike designs like the Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Ship, and Nike Vandal, the one thing that was completely exclusive to the Air Jordan 1 was the logo that Moore sketched for Michael Jordan's agent, David Falk. It's inaugural logo, wings on the shoe's side, set the bar high for what was to follow in terms of design.

Looking back, people tend to think of the first real Air Jordan 1 as being the“Banned”colorway, also known as the“Bred,”or black and red. They got their “Banned”name from the fact that league rules at the time stated that a players shoe had to be at least 51% white, also known as the “51% rule.”  As time goes on, many colorways of the Jordan 1 had been released, including“Banned,”“Chicago,” “Retro Royal,”“Carolina Blue,”among others. And though many other colorways would be released in the future, the colorways from that original year remain the most sought after.


Air Jordan 1 Quality & Comfort

Air Jordan has three types of soles - high, mid and low. If you're comparing the them to use on the court, then we believe the mid-tops may have a slight edge over the Highs.

The Mids offer almost identical amounts of ankle support and lateral stability; however, they should be slightly less restrictive on the court due to their lower collars. 

Jordan 1 lows trade the ankle support and recognizable style of the highs for casual appeal and ease of use. 

The unrestrictiveness of the Mids and Lows may also help to improve comfort, but this will ultimately come down to personal preference as the them can't be separated in terms of underfoot support.

In fact, the Jordan 1 is notoriously uncomfortable until broken in. Once the uppers soften up and conform to your foot, they are safer to wear for longer periods of time.


Air Jordan 1 Sizing

The Air Jordan 1 is tricky with respect to sizing. While the sneaker technically“fits”at true to size, the feel on foot is cramped, particularly on older releases. I personally find Air Jordan 1s to take a bit longer to break in than other non-Jordan Nike releases. With all that said, some find going a half size up to be helpful in alleviating break-in pain. The downsides of this are that the shoe will fit excessively long and crease more easily. 

Where to Buy Air Jordan 1 Shoes for the Cheapest? (4-5% cashback) (3-4% cashback) (3.2-4% cashback)

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  • Air Force 1

Air Force 1 History and Origin

The Air Force 1 was produced in 1982 and discontinued in 1984.  It was re-released in 1986 with the modern italic Nike logo with a Swoosh on the bottom on the back of the shoe. The name of the brand, Air Force One, refers to the plane Air Force One, on which the President of the United States travels.  And even though the shoe is made for basketball, it is more of a shoe for“style”.

Nike designer Bruce Kilgore's creation, initially only available as a high top, was striking for its hiking-boot-inspired cues and uniquely chunky sole - it was the first Nike Air cushioning on a hoops shoe. 

The neutral white and grey palette was one of the only parts of the shoe that played it safe. Inevitably, bolder, team-color Forces would follow- as would a low-cut, making the Air Force 1 an even more popular choice when it hit retail on a wider scale in 1983. 

Nike Air Force 1s were originally considered the favored shoe of inner-city youth, especially in Harlem, New York; hence the nickname "Uptowns". 


Air Force 1 Official Price: $38-$180 (From kids to adult)

Air Force 1 Design & Style

Nike AF-1 satisfies every squad of customers through its technical, artistic, and functional iterations. The iconic all-white sneaker symbolizes hip-hop's never ending quest to stay fresh. 

Since its inception in 1982, very few variations have been made in its original design. The original version featured a mesh side panel, toe box, and a mudguard at the front. However, the later versions are without mesh. The modern versions don't contain the feature of heel quarter panel or side stitched detailing.

Since 2007, the later versions have a rectangular medallion. Nike AF-1 comes in five styles, super low, low, mid, high, and super high. Some forms come with a connected strap, some with a Velcro strap. The shoes come in various colours, but the most popular ones are black-on-black and white-on-white. They go well with anything such as jeans, shorts, pants, socks.

There have been modifications to the Force D.N.A in recent years to tap into the high-end, high-top-wearing zeitgeist. Catering to a modern mode of dress, the launch of a towering white Special Field Air Force 1 late last year was well received. 


Air Force 1 Quality - Material & Comfort

Nike's team for AF-1 consisted of biochemists, podiatrists, and aerospace engineers with designers. The shoe proved to be a turning point in the sports and sneaker culture for its unprecedented feature of Nike Air technology. The technology worked on pressurized air in a tough, flexible bag. 

The air technology added to the sole's flexibility, elasticity, and durability, while keeping the shoes lightweight and in a distinct shape. The high top sneaker was designed for intense sporting action and its circular sole enabled the basketball players to maintain their grip on the court.

Even today, the iconic sneakers are undergoing experimentation with Nike's innovative technologies. Whether it's about personalized Nike ID, sustainable Flyknit uppers, or Lunarlon cushioned soles, Nike AF-1 provides an unparalleled experience of style and comfort. Also unlike the AJ1, these fit very comfortably right out of the box widthwise.

Air Force 1 Sizing

Air Force 1s have a taller and wider fit with a rounder toebox than many other Nikes. This results in looking larger on feet. Pants choice can either reduce or accentuate the sneaker's looks.

Given that the Air Force 1 sizing is on the big side, going down half a size can cut down on the hugeness of the sneaker. However, it will still have that rounded toe shape and tall midsole which makes the shoe look relatively big on feet.


Where to Buy Air Force 1 Shoes for the Cheapest? (4-5% cashback) (3-4% cashback) (0.8-1% cashback)

  • Nike Dunk

Nike Dunk History and Origin

Nike Dunk was originally released in 1985 as a fusion of three Nike sneakers: the Legend, the Terminator, and the Jordan 1. Being designed to accommodate basketball tactics and moves such as pivoting and blocking, the Nike Dunk became an instant success within the sport upon release – on its technical parameters that is. 

Prior to the release of the first Dunk, most shoes manufactured at the time were all white or solid colors. This led to the revolution known as color-blocking. Rather than a solid color shoe, Nike introduced two tone colorways. The campaign later became known as “Stay True to Your School.” 12 different schools were lucky enough to receive special colorways of Nike Dunks as well as matching apparel. The initial launch of the shoe was for basketball players of these schools, hence the name Nike Dunk. 

The greatest era in the history of the Nike Dunk came with the appointment of Sandy Bodecker as General Manager of Nike SB in 2001, along with the subdivision's official launch in March 2002. He was tasked with revamping the brand's ailing approach to the skating industry, having previously played an integral role in improving and growing Nike's soccer division. The evolution of the Nike Dunk into the Nike SB,basketball shoe turneed skateboarding staple, the Dunk has enjoyed a full-force revival in the year 2020 and 2021, surpassing its original purpose as a college hoop sneaker by a long shot. 


Nike Dunk Official Price: $80-$115

Nike Dunk Design & Style

A simplistic design, a balanced color-blocking, extreme versatility in its shape and style – the Nike Dunk is one of the most collectible silhouettes on the market today. Basketball shoe turned skateboarding staple, the Dunk has enjoyed a full-force revival in the year 2020 and 2021, surpassing its original purpose as a college hoop sneaker by a long shot. 

A large puzzle piece in its unusual evolution is the partitioning of the Nike Dunk and the Nike SB Dunk lines, two different trainers for two varying lifestyles. To the casual wearer, the small tweaks to the SB's design meant very little. To the skateboarder, it was everything. 

Each sneaker release came with a rich story and was relatable to a branch of the community. There was something for everyone, a weighty plethora of Dunk options coming in all colors, materials and patterns. Dunks colorways coined “Jedi”, “Hulk”, “Heineken”, “Hemp”, “Shark”, “Reverse Shark” and many more donned stories relating to pop culture, big-name personalities and the repurposing of materials.


Nike Dunk Quality - Material & Comfort

The Nike Dunks are not the comfiest shoes in the world, especially as it's a retro shoe, so we can't expect the same levels of comfort as in the newer Nike models. They're still comfortable enough and definitely good for everyday wear. The slim look of the shoes goes so well the bagginess of the bottoms, which complement each other perfectly. 

Nike Dunk Sizing

The Nike Dunks fit true to size so I recommend just going for your regular Nike shoe size. However, compared to the Air Jordan I it does have a slightly wider fit in the toe box, but the difference is quite minimal so it isn't necessary to size up or down. 

They're slimmer than other models like the Air Force 1, and every Air Jordan except the 1s, so compared to them you can probably go as much as half a size up from your regular size. For example, if you're a size UK 8 in AF1s, then you should be good with a UK 8.5 in Dunks. 


Where to Buy Nike Dunk Shoes for the Cheapest? cashback) (4-5% cashback) (3-4% cashback) cashback)

  • Conclusion

Which Should You Buy? This will come down to personal preferences and what you intend to use them for.

Air Jordan 1 

There are hundreds of Air Jordan 1 colourways available. On the other hand, Jordan 1 mostly sticks to mid to high-tops, like the "Heirloom" , to adhere to its slightly more basketball-orientated audience. If you're planning to play basketball in one of these shoes, then picking up a pair of Jordan 1s will probably be more beneficial as they're slightly lighter and come with a few modifications to the upper to make them more durable and stable on the court.

Air Force 1 

In terms of pop culture, the white Air Force 1 low made a significant impact. For everyday wear, picking up some Air Force 1s may be the way to go as their sheer versatility due to simplicity is what makes them popular even to this day.

Nike Dunk

The now-iconic Nike Dunk was originally designed for the basketball court but was quickly adopted by skateboarders who applauded it for its grip, durability and niche design. For the more style-conscious skaters, the same Nike tech that made the Dunk so great for basketball also made it a hit for skating in. They look better with their vintage, worn-in look.

I'm sure you have found the one that you want after seeing these reviews! Sign up at Extrabux, then you can enjoy up to 5% cashback on your shoes order! 

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2022-05-04 18:2713673