Exclusive Look: Nike’s GORE-TEX Air Force 1 Collection
Two brands with very different relationships to drip are coming together for a new collection. Nike and GORE-TEX are delivering a collection of Air Force 1s built to withstand the ire of Mother Nature.
We procured three Lows and two Highs to get up close and personal with exclusive imagery. The lows have classic Uptown styling, but add GORE-TEX branding to the tongue and heel to signify the proprietary textiles throughout. The Highs are part of Nike’s THE10TH collection, which calls to Bill Bowerman’s time in the army’s 10th Mountain Division during WWII, and come sturdier with toothed outsoles and protective casing.
We saw a number of samples when Nike invited us to Portland recently, including a show-stopping black and orange pair.
But, like the collection here, release dates are yet to be nailed down. We’ll be back with updates as soon as more info is available. In the meantime, we’re be hoping Nike don’t ask us to send these back…
UPDATE: We reached out to Georges Labossiere, Product Director for Air Force One and Nike Sportswear, to shed a little light on this project.
The GORE-TEX membrane stops water molecules passing through, while allowing sweat vapour to escape. What other modifications to the upcoming Air Force 1 have been made to increase its water resistance and breathability?
In order for any products to carry the GORE-TEX branding, there are strict requirements to full water resistance. We have added a gusseted tongue construction, without altering fit, to prevent water passage through exposed areas. There is also a thin GORE-TEX membrane layer throughout the shoe, hidden underneath the lining material.
We’ve noticed the middle quarter and toeboxes are made from densely woven fabric instead of the usual perforated leather. How does this design maintain water resistance? Has it been treated with Durable Water Repellent (DWR)?
GORE-TEX has elevated testing standards that require processes to go above and beyond DWR spray finishes. The perforated leather is removed to eliminate any holes for water to pass through. All leather on the upper has a waterproof finish. The textile vamp and quarter are polyester canvas treated with a non-wicking finish.
GORE-TEX traditionally has been a performance textile, used in outdoors products like the ACG line. However, GORE-TEX’s application in urban use was popularised thanks to figures such as Errolson Hugh, who helped revamp ACG for a new audience. Did this influence the decision to reintroduce GORE-TEX to a casual sneaker like the Air Force 1?
Our intent is always to provide consumers relevant functional solutions for the needs of their everyday lives. Based on the environment in a large part of the world, we believe in providing seasonally relevant options that protect people from the elements in style. The same performance benefits required for the outdoors are necessary for navigating around the urban landscape of your city. What better sneaker to do this with than an Air Force 1?
What future colourways and style releases can we expect to see with Air Force 1 and GORE-TEX?
You can expect to see more from Air Force 1 and GORE-TEX. You’ll have to stay tuned to see what we have in store.
Originally published on September 23, 2019.