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Who Wore That?: Nike Air Ultra Force

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With the Nike Air Ultra Force making a comeback, I went ahead and drew up a lesson plan to bring you youngsters up to speed on a shoe that probably came well before your time. Listen up, you might learn a thing or two, and it should provide a little insight as to why it deserved a resurrection.

Lesson One: The Force line has always been about big men, providing the stability and support those towering giants need to do some damage in the painted area. For the Ultra Force, stability came in the form of an ultra-high top cut that almost resembled knee-high boots. This was complemented by incredible padding in the tongue and adjacent ankle panel for unmatched comfort.

Lesson Two: Debuting in 1990, the NBA was a big man’s league. You had David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had just finished up an illustrious career where he easily dominated the league. The interesting thing about this development is that despite big men around the NBA donning the shoe, it really become popular due to a certain Fresh Prince sporting them in a mansion in Bel Air. For you 90s babies, anything that’s reminiscent of the 90s can be indirectly attributed to the style and fashion icon of that era, Will Smith.

Lesson Three: Basketball sneakers had already made their way to into the street fashion mainstream, but this was the first time that a celebrity (since Run DMC) with this much influence on the young popular culture was an indirect endorser of a sneaker. Will Smith was the guy every guy, those younger and older, wanted to be. He created a new style, a new culture.

For those reasons, Nike’s bringing it back once again, but it’s 2013, so they’re switching things up a little bit. This time around, it’s coming in a slightly lower cut for more practicality for your off-the-court endeavors. While the original was an “Air” shoe, with the 2013, the Max Air unit has been exposed for additional flashiness to complement the crazy lines of the upper.

Want to know what’s going to happen in the future? Take a look at the past. Want some knowledge on kicks from the past? Keep coming back to class. For now, class is dismissed.