Kellen Fredrickson // Oct 22, 2019
Any avid sneakerhead or footwear enthusiast possesses an innate desire – scratch that – an innate need to have a pair in their collection for every situation or occasion.
Some see the solution to this necessity as purchasing every shoe they can; amassing innumerable boxes and ultimately winding up with wardrobes that resemble a back-room storage facility. But perhaps the one thing a community of shoe whores can rally around is the go-to sneaker for everything.
The pair that somehow manages to fulfill multiple roles and look fresh in almost every situation.
Much like good, simple design, truly versatile footwear is an illusion.
Simply, the final iterative solution to an extensive period of experimentation. Trial and error. Heartbreak and triumph.
Perhaps it’s all an overstatement. But the fact remains that certain articles of footwear can transcend the typical fate of their less versatile counterparts. Rather than finding their way out of the confines of your home once in a blue moon for the same aesthetic time and time again, these pieces tie entire groups of stylistic and situational vibes together.
A perfect example of this versatility is the Nike SFAF1.
The multi-faceted appeal of this shoe can be broken down into three factors.
First, every versatile shoe requires something classic, something recognizable. And to that, the Air Force 1 silhouette is a perfect example. A creation that is steeped in tradition, beloved by millions, and widely considered to be the rock for a casual exclamation point on any outfit.
The only downfall of this extreme popularity can be a tendency for such shoes to become redundant, played out, and even generic.
In this sense, you walk a fine line between something timeless and something cheesy.
Which brings us to the second factor that makes the SFAF1 a versatile shoe.
Attached to what would otherwise be a low top Air Force 1, they boast a nylon shroud that even has a sneaky waterproof stash spot in the tongue, sealed with Velcro.
This addition supplies the SFAF1 with something that every versatile shoe requires. They have to be interesting to the point of being a conversation piece.
By reimagining something that people are used to seeing the same way over and over, the effect of an alteration is positively disruptive and eye-catching, but not intrusively so. You can wear it anywhere, and people will recognize it while simultaneously wondering why it looks different than they remember. And you’ll be able to wear them nearly anywhere.
This is a fitting segue to the final stage of understanding why the SFAF1 is the perfect example of a versatile shoe.
The mixture of materials blends both utilitarianism and luxe textile to achieve a ubiquitous construction. Casual, yet clean enough to dress up a little bit at the same time. Capable of a variety of settings without ever being out-of-place. Or maybe just out of place enough to make a statement.
The suede blends nicely with the tan nylon and what you get is the ultimate fall sneaker. Wear it with anything, anywhere.
The perfect example of a truly versatile sneaker, the SFAF1 deserves a place in any rotation.