Are Nike Air Force 1 Shoes Leather?

Nike Air Force 1, a name synonymous with streetwear and sneaker culture, has been a staple in the footwear industry since its debut in 1982. Designed by Bruce Kilgore, this iconic shoe has transcended its basketball origins to become a fashion favorite. But what’s the deal with its material? Are Nike Air Force 1 shoes made of leather? Let’s delve into the details.

Are Nike Air Force 1 Shoes Leather?

Yes, Nike Air Force 1 shoes are often made with leather. The upper part of many Air Force 1 models is constructed using genuine leather, which gives the shoes a classic and premium look. However, it’s essential to check the specific product description or labeling for each shoe to confirm the materials used.

Nike Air Force 1 ShoesMaterial of Upper

Please note that the material of the upper for Nike Air Force 1 shoes can vary based on the specific model and design. Some versions may use genuine leather, while others may use synthetic materials or a combination of both. It’s essential to check the product description or labeling for each shoe to confirm the materials used.

1. The Origins and Design

The Nike Air Force 1 was initially introduced as a basketball shoe, with its name inspired by the U.S. President’s plane, the Air Force One. The design was revolutionary at its time, introducing Nike Air cushioning technology for better performance on the court.

2. Material Composition

  • Classic Versions: The original and many classic versions of the Nike Air Force 1 are primarily constructed using genuine leather. This leather finish gives the shoe its signature look and feel – sleek, smooth, and versatile.
  • Variations: Over the years, Nike has released various editions of the Air Force 1. While leather remains a dominant material, some versions utilize canvas, mesh, suede, and even patent leather.
  • Vegan Options: Nike, acknowledging the changing consumer preferences towards cruelty-free products, has also introduced vegan-friendly versions that use synthetic leather and other non-animal-derived materials.

3. Why Leather?

  • Durability: One of the reasons leather is chosen for athletic shoes, including the Air Force 1, is its durability. Leather shoes can withstand wear and tear and usually have a longer lifespan compared to their canvas or mesh counterparts.
  • Style: Leather provides a premium look, allowing the shoe to transition seamlessly from athletic wear to a more dressed-up look.
  • Comfort: Leather tends to mold to the shape of the wearer’s foot over time, making it increasingly comfortable with wear.

4. Care for Leather Air Force 1s

If you own a pair of leather Nike Air Force 1 shoes, it’s essential to:

  • Clean regularly: Use a soft brush or cloth to wipe off dirt. For deeper cleaning, specialized leather cleaners can be used.
  • Protect: Consider using a leather protector spray to guard against stains and water damage.
  • Store correctly: Always store in a cool, dry place. If wet, let them air dry naturally. Avoid direct heat sources, as they can warp the leather.

5. The Environment and Ethical Considerations

It’s worth noting that while leather shoes offer certain advantages, there are environmental concerns associated with leather production. For those conscious of their environmental footprint or concerned about animal welfare, seeking out the vegan or synthetic versions of the Air Force 1 might be a preferred choice.


In essence, while the classic Nike Air Force 1 shoes are made of leather, the brand’s vast range of models and their commitment to catering to different market needs means there’s a version for everyone, whether you prefer genuine leather, synthetic materials, or other unique finishes. As with any purchase, understanding the material and its implications helps consumers make informed, conscious choices.


Is Nike Air Force made of leather? The material used in Nike Air Force shoes can vary based on the specific model and design. Some versions of Nike Air Force may use leather, while others use synthetic materials or a combination of both.

Does Air Force 1 have real leather? Certain versions of the Nike Air Force 1 may feature real leather in their construction, particularly in the upper part of the shoe.

Is Nike Air 1 leather? The Nike Air 1, also known as Nike Air Force 1, can come in different materials, including leather and synthetic materials.

Are Nike Air Force 1s vegan? Not all Nike Air Force 1 models are vegan-friendly, as some versions may use animal-derived materials like leather. However, Nike also offers some vegan options made with synthetic materials.

Are Nike shoes real leather? Nike offers a wide range of shoes, and the materials used can vary. Some Nike shoes use real leather, while others use synthetic materials.

What is so special about Nike Air Force 1? Nike Air Force 1 is a classic sneaker known for its iconic design, comfortable cushioning, and versatile style that has remained popular since its introduction in 1982.

What’s the difference between Air Force 1 and Air Force 1 07? The Nike Air Force 1 and Air Force 1 ’07 are similar but may have slight differences in design and materials. The ’07 version often features a slimmer silhouette and modern updates while retaining the classic look.

What is Nike leather made of? Nike leather is typically made from animal hides, such as cowhide, which undergo various tanning and processing methods to create the desired texture and appearance.

Why are Nike Air Forces so expensive? The price of Nike Air Force shoes can vary depending on factors such as materials, technology, branding, and demand. Some limited editions or special collaborations may also contribute to higher prices.

Which Nike trainers are vegan? Nike offers a selection of vegan-friendly shoes made with synthetic materials. Styles like the Nike Air Max 90 and Nike Free RN are examples of vegan options.

What are Air Force 1 made for? Nike Air Force 1 was originally designed as a basketball shoe but has since become a popular lifestyle sneaker known for its comfort and style.

Is Black Air Force 1 leather? Certain versions of the Black Air Force 1 may use real leather for the upper part of the shoe, but not all versions have leather construction.

Can vegans wear shoes? Vegans can wear shoes made from synthetic materials, plant-based materials, or other cruelty-free alternatives that do not use animal-derived products.

Are Air Forces made of suede? Some versions of the Nike Air Force may feature suede material, particularly in certain colorways or special editions.

How do you know if shoes are vegan? To determine if shoes are vegan, check the materials used in their construction. Vegan shoes typically avoid animal-derived materials like leather, suede, or any other animal-based components.

How can you tell if sneakers are leather? Leather sneakers often have a distinctive texture and appearance, with visible grain patterns and natural imperfections. Additionally, they may have a leather scent.

How can you tell if sneakers are real leather? Real leather sneakers will have a genuine leather smell, visible grain patterns, and wrinkles characteristic of natural leather. Synthetic leather often has a more uniform appearance and lacks the distinct smell of real leather.

How can you tell if shoes are fake leather? Fake leather shoes may have a more uniform texture, lack natural imperfections, and often have a chemical or plastic smell.

Is Nike Air Force 1 good for walking? Nike Air Force 1 provides good cushioning and support, making it suitable for casual walking and everyday use.

Are Air Force 1 worth it? The value of Nike Air Force 1 depends on personal preferences and style preferences. Many people find them to be comfortable, versatile, and stylish, making them worth the investment for some.

What does Air Force 1 stand for? “Air Force 1” refers to the name of the aircraft that carries the President of the United States. The shoe’s name is inspired by the aircraft’s name, representing the shoe’s iconic status.

Should you go a size down in Air Force 1? Nike Air Force 1 tends to have a roomy fit. Some people prefer going down half a size for a snug fit, while others stick to their true size for a more relaxed feel.

What are all the types of Air Force One? Nike continuously releases various versions of the Air Force 1, including low-top, mid-top, and high-top variations, as well as special editions and collaborations with designers and artists.

How do you wear Air Force Ones? Nike Air Force 1 is a versatile sneaker that can be paired with various outfits, including jeans, shorts, dresses, and skirts, making it suitable for casual and streetwear styles.

When did Nike stop using leather? As of my last update in September 2021, Nike has not completely stopped using leather. The brand offers shoes made from a variety of materials, including both leather and synthetic options.

Why aren’t sneakers leather anymore? Some sneaker brands have shifted towards using synthetic and more sustainable materials due to concerns about animal welfare, environmental impact, and consumer preferences.

What are fake leather shoes made of? Fake leather shoes, also known as faux leather or synthetic leather, are made of synthetic materials like polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that mimic the appearance of real leather.

How much should I pay for Air Force 1? The price of Nike Air Force 1 can vary depending on the model, design, and availability. Prices can range from around $90 to $150 or more for special editions.

Are Nike Air Force good quality? Nike Air Force 1 is generally considered to be of good quality, known for its durable construction and comfortable cushioning.

Do Jordans use real leather? Some Jordan sneakers use real leather for the upper part of the shoe, but not all models have leather construction.

Are sneakers made of leather? Sneakers can be made from various materials, including leather, synthetic materials, mesh, knit, and more.

What animal leather does Nike use? Nike primarily uses cowhide leather for its leather products.