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The 80 Greatest Sneakers of the '80s

45. Nike Air Force III

Year Released: 1988

The principle of “lightweight basketball shoes” existed in 1988, but no one took any of it into consideration when designing and developing the Nike Air Force III. It was bulky, it was heavy, it was a brash and bold statement that said “my shoes weigh 27 pounds each and I’m going to dunk on you anyway.” There wasn’t even a lowcut version until decades later and a retro release. These were the Neanderthals of basketball sneakers; powerful specimens that would later be driven to extinction by smaller, lighter, quicker rivals. They are not forgotten.

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