Why Are Nike Air Force 1 Shoes So Expensive?

The Nike Air Force 1 remains one of the most popular Nike shoes ever made, but some consider the price quite high. So, why are Nike Air Force Ones so expensive?

How much do Nike Air Force Ones cost?

At the retail level, the Nike Air Force 1 cost $90 for low-top versions, $95 for mid-tops, and $100 for high-tops. Several limited editions can sell for upwards of $250, some as high as $7,300.

Most general-release colorways are easy to buy in stores, but other, more limited AF1 releases have prices that are more like investments and asset classes than wearable sneakers.

Why are Nike Air Force Ones so expensive?

The limited edition releases, which means limited supply, lead to increased demand. Many collectors view them as an investment rather than wearable sneakers, driving the prices up.

Moreover, Nike Air Force Ones have of high-quality, durable leather and outsoles. You can expect the shoes to last for several years, which is why the price is quite expensive.

1. Limited edition releases drive up the prices

Sneaker prices are based on scarcity, like all markets should be. The price of an item in low supply and high demand will steadily rise to meet the consumers’ expected demand.

Nike has played this very well, creating scarcity through limited items and partnering with brands and celebrities. As a result, some Nike Air Force Ones have become scarce commodities.

For example, the most expensive AF1 to date, the Nike Air Force 1 KITH, was never sold to the public. The limited edition shoe was only given to friends and family of KITH.

The extreme rarity and historical importance of this pair have contributed to its near $7,300 average price, a sign that the Nike Air Force 1s are often more than just sneakers.

Seeing this as an opportunity, many sneaker resellers were stocking up on hundreds of AF1s to create even more scarcity and subsequent demand, driving the prices higher than ever before.

All of this activity is what drives the global sneaker resale market to reach unprecedented heights and a big reason why the Nike Air Force 1 shoes are so expensive.

2. People view them as investments rather than wearable sneakers

Due to the limited number of stocks, more limited Nike AF1 releases are priced more like investments or fine art, rather than wearable shoes, especially among sneaker aficionados.

General release AF1 colorways will set you back between $90 to $100 if you buy them in retail stores, but some limited releases can cost hundreds, sometimes even thousands.

In fact, a fair number of Air Force One colorways go for ridiculous premiums, and that means most pairs aren’t necessarily “style investments” anymore, they’re “monetary investments”.

Here is an infographic that shows the most expensive Air Force 1s on StockX:

The above prices were ranked based on a 12-month average price. As you can see, people are willing to “invest” thousands of dollars for a pair of limited edition sneakers.

It makes sense, though. Limited edition Air Force One sneakers are always in short supply, and people buy them with the hope that they can profit when their prices go up in the future.

3. Undeniable quality and durability

Most sneakers have a pretty short lifespan unless they’re stored in their box. They wear out rather quickly, even if you don’t put them on every day. It’s the nature of footwear, really.

Unlike most sneakers, however, AF1s are super durable. The panels are well-stitched, so you can expect the upper to last for years. Not to mention, the tall midsoles and durable outsoles.

In fact, Nike has decided to take things to the next level and upgrade the Air Force One.

Introducing the Nike Air Force 1 ’07 ‘Fresh’. The Air Force 1 Fresh is made from a softer leather that doesn’t crease and has debossed logos instead of fabric labels.

The shoe was released in July 2022 and has a higher price than the regular AF1. It costs $140, but the shoe is easier to clean and more breathable, making them less likely to smell.

Upgrading a shoe that is already great likely won’t come cheap, and this is part of the reason why Nike Air Force Ones are expensive. It all comes down to research and development.

While you’ll need to pay somewhere near $100 to obtain a pair of Nike Air Force One, you’ll know that it will last for years to come, thanks to its undeniable quality and durability.

So, why are Nike Air Force Ones expensive?

Nike Air Force Ones are expensive because some limited editions are in short supply, driving the prices up as many collectors see them as investments rather than wearable sneakers.

To be fair, most Nike Air Force 1s are not expensive, 

Sure, there are plenty of colorways that go for stratospheric price points, but the majority of Air Force 1s are an affordable pair of timeless shoes, ready to be added to your rotation.

While the price hovers somewhere near $100, you can expect the durable leather and slip-resistant outsoles of the Nike Air Force One to last for many years to come. 

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