21 FORCES

force

There was once a time when, between Complex’s staffers and a squad of freelancers, every conceivable list that could be written was written. People complained about clickthroughs/orders/decisions and all of that other stuff. Post 2014, there were a lot less in favour of more features, opinion pieces and interviews. In fact, the only people still peddling that click-through thing are those “You won’t believe what XXXXXXX looks like in 2016!” clickbait sites that, curiously, Mike Tyson seems to be paid to promote on Facebook. I vowed never to write another, but my friend Matt asked if I wanted to write the top 35 Air Force 1s, which then became the top 21 Air Force 1s of the 21st century. No matter how much crap is thrown at that shoe (and those laser etched ones with players’ faces on and the majority of the 2007 anniversary rollout hurled a lot at them), it’s a design with a very special place in my heart. You could write a top 35 co.jp release only list, or simply put together a hit parade of Euro exclusives — since 2000 there’s probably been a couple of thousand variations worldwide, and the shoe was already 18 years old by that point. This was a personal list with a slight prejudice against some sacred cows (for instance, a lot of patent versions have aged appallingly and Entourage was a TV show for dickheads). Looking back, it’s bizarre to think that something as simple as a familiar shoe made to look a bit like a Timberland boot could blow my mind conceptually once upon a time. But blow my mind it did, hence its high-ranking on the list which you can read here or by clicking the image above.