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Air Force 1 PLT.AF.ORM

The Nike Air Force 1 PLT.AF.ORM is a Low sneaker that was created as a model for women. It uses a different last shape that tapers more towards the toe, giving it a snugger fit. Its most conspicuous characteristic is the boosted midsole which rises as it approaches the heel in two bifurcated layers stacked on top of each other, providing cushioning for increased softness and comfort, as well as additional height. A deep groove lies between the two stacks, with large Air lettering embossed along it in between two thick raised lines, one of which wraps around the heel. Underfoot, circular indentations that are wide and deep alternate with shallow, narrow ones to form the tread patterns in the outsole, lending it classic AF1 traction. Back on the midsole, the seam of stitching on its top edge only encircles the toe end of the shoe, ending just below the eyestay where the extended midsole begins to bend upwards.

On the upper of the Air Force 1 PLT.AF.ORM, the arrangement of the stitching and the various leather overlays has been altered, with the medial midfoot panel set at the same level as the back section and connected to it via zigzag stitching. Meanwhile, the lateral midfoot and rear panels have been divided in two horizontally by a cutout section that stretches all the way along the top of the swoosh until it meets the heel tab. On shoes like the Triple White, the cutout panel and the swoosh come in the same tone, while on those such as the Fossil, the colours are different – white on the swoosh and beige on the cutout. A few broad stitches secure the eyestay to the backfoot segment, and a short seam flanked by dotted lines joins the two halves of this panel down the centre of the heel.

On the lateral side, the long, sleek swoosh has been shifted forwards, beginning just behind the toe box before dipping below the line of the midsole and ending short of the heel patch. In contrast, the medial swoosh starts further back, around the midfoot, one end disappearing beneath the forefoot leather panel, the other under the heel tab. Careful stitching traces a line across the medial-side swoosh, moving off its bottom edge just behind the seam between the midfoot and rear panels before crossing over onto the heel tab to show where the swoosh would continue. The lengthened tip at the front end of each swoosh moves under the wavy edge of the eyestay, but the stitching holding each one in place maintains the classic shape of the logo.

As well as these more overt alterations, the Nike Air Force 1 PLT.AF.ORM has a number of subtle creative touches. Firstly, there is a neat row of stitching a few millimetres from the bottom of the enlarged heel tab which leaves a small flap of leather sticking out. Elsewhere, a classy dubrae that normally comes in shiny silver decorates the toe end of the laces. It carries an elegant rectangular composition across its smooth metal surface, with a tiny swoosh in the top corner. Below it, AF1 text has been stitched into the front of the eyestay, which is characteristic of other branding elements that cover the AF1 PLT.AF.ORM. Nike Air lettering is embroidered onto the heel tab and tongue, while the insole honours the release date of the original Air Force 1 through neat text that reads “AF1.EST.1982”. While in some versions, such as the mostly black Anthracite colourway, this branding matches the tone of the upper, in editions like the Coral Chalk, the two elements vary in colour, this iteration in particular exhibiting bright pink embroidery against a white background. Then there are those shoes whose insoles have more unique decoration, including the distinctive graphic on the “Smiley” PLT.AF.ORM LV8 and the understated Oil Green model, whose rich green Nike lettering sits above a simple swoosh on its heel, insole and tongue. Finally, on all editions, the toe box includes a set of tiny perforations in a pyramid pattern which points towards the front of the foot, capping off a women’s sneaker packed with intriguing details.

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