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Tour de Force 1 feat. Mike: Celebrating 40 Years of the Nike Air Force 1

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My name is Mike Di Donato and I love coffee and boys! I am the controller at Faema Canada, the largest importer and distributor of espresso machines in the country, and this largely fuels my passion. The coffee industry is constantly evolving with new trends and social media has given us a new outlet for experimentation which is so similar to boys. There are your traditionalists that want pure drip, or espresso similar to your OG sneaker heads love for staples like Jordan 1s or AF1s. Then you have your newer more experimental crowd that are willing to try drinks like aeroccinos, or lavender infused lattes, similar to newer sneaker heads leaning towards Yeezys and Salehe Bembury pollex Crocs (fire btw.)

 

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When I started high school it was my first experience with a formal uniform and we were forced to wear all black “dress” shoes. I hated these things, (remember those big square toe shoes from the early 00's? Gross..) and immediately after the first day started looking for alternatives. That’s when I first noticed the all black AF-1 and fell in love, it’s been a staple in my life ever since. I currently have three pairs sitting at my front door, one mangled pair to take out the trash, one half beat pair to pick up mortadella from the bakery and one crisp pair to wear out.

 

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3. What are your thoughts on the latest AF-1’s being constructed from friday materials? Do you feel it takes away from the traditional look and feel of a staple, or do you think it’s necessary in order for Nike to move towards a carbon-neutral industry?

Overall I do like the new materials and I think there’s tons of room to experiment with the shoe especially if it helps preserve the planet. However, I do believe the classic is ultimately the best design and working towards finding carbon neutral options to continue to create the OG pair is key. Maybe Nike could initiate a recycling program to reuse the leather from used shoes, and recycle the soles to continue reproducing them? I think this could help reduce Nikes carbon footprint, and ultimately retain the history and heritage of the OG AF1.

 

4. Air Force 1 highs, mids, or lows?

This is a loaded question and my answer would probably change depending on when you asked me. If I was in my teens I would saw mids or highs 100%. That early 2000's flex with the loose strap was a vibe LOL. At this point in my life I’m leaning towards the lows, they are super clean, not bulky and can be worn with virtually anything.

 

5. Favourite memory in the AF-1’s?

My favourite memory with the AF-1 would have to be my wedding night. I wore a nice pair of dress shoes for the whole day, but once the late night dancing started my wife and I changed into a crisp pair of white/white low AF-1s. My wife isn’t a sneaker head but agreed to a late night shoe swap and let me pick any pair I wanted. The obvious choice was the classic AF1 and ill cherish that memory forever, it was her first pair!

 

6. What would you like to see change from the silhouette within the next 40 years? 

I love the original and can’t imagine changing it, but if I had to I would probably aim to get something a bit sleeker, and less boxy. I am a huge fan of the first Epic React Fly Knit, so I could see a hybrid Frankenstein of these two being pretty interesting. Ultimately I am a purist and hope this never happens, I can see myself wearing a clean pair of triple white AF1 lows into my golden years.

 

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