Introduced in 1982, the Air Force 1 is solidified as one of Nike’s staple sneaker models and is more popular than ever. In fact, according to NPD Vice President and Senior Sports Industry Advisor Matt Powell, the Air Force 1 (retail $90) was the company’s best-selling sneaker of 2020 and held on to that distinction at the midway point of this year. Whether being worn fresh out of the box, muddied up by trendy kids, or utilized for mass customization, people cannot get enough of the iconic shoe. However, new developments may leave us all with no choice.
Screenshots shared by Twitter user Militia_Kicks indicate that Nike is now limiting the amount of Air Force 1s that can be purchased by a single customer. One order update reportedly sent to a customer notes that further orders of the Air Force 1 cannot be processed because they’ve exceeded “the quantity limit” on nike.com orders. Another customer was directed to visit a local Nike Store or another authorized retailer to purchase Air Force 1s. Neither e-mail cited a reason for limiting quantities.
Various theories explaining why Nike could be limiting Air Force 1 sales are making rounds. One idea is that Nike is trying to prevent customizers from buying out stock, but DaNikePlugs points out that all Air Force 1 sales are being limited, not just white-on-whites that provide the convenient blank canvas. Others believe this may be related to the much talked about shipping crisis, which prompted Nike to cancel some of its partner retailers’ seasonal orders for the foreseeable future. There’s also the usual reseller chatter, but the profit margin on white Air Force 1s is minimal at best unless they’re being purchased at a highly discounted rate.
For what it’s worth, in recent days, buyers have discovered that Nike has increased its maximum quantity on Air Force 1 purchases from 2 pairs to 5 pairs, so this may all be much ado about nothing. White Air Force 1s had been noticeably more difficult to locate and purchase this year, but that was mostly being attributed to the shoe’s increasing popularity and status as Nike’s best seller.