What Is The Difference Between Nike Dunks and Nike Air Force 1s (AF1)

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Nike dunks versus Air Force 1s

two of the most popular Nike shoes are the Nike Dunks and the Air Force 1s. However, these two shoes have a lot of similarities that many people get confused about. If you are wondering what the difference is between the two styles of shoes then you are in the right place! We are here to ensure you can walk away confidently knowing what the difference between the shoes is!

Having Air vs Not having Air

Many people don't realize the reasoning for why Nike Air Force 1s are named what they are. the main reason is due to the Air force 1s having a sole with air inside the rubber midsole that adds extra comfort. This is a big difference compared to the dunks which are very flat and less cushiony due to their foam midsole. This feature of having air capsules in the midsoles was incorporated in 1982, which was three years after the Nike Tailwind runners released with similar tech.

When you look at the Dunks and the AF1 side by side you can easily tell the difference in height between the two. Over time the AF1 has had a lot of height reduction on their soles compared to when they were originally released but its nowhere near what we see in the dunks today.

The Toe Box

When it comes to the comparison of the toe box on both of these shoes, this is likely the place where newcomers get confused due to being similar to each other. When looking at the difference between the two from a distance, they do look pretty similar but as you take a closer look it becomes very apparent that they are not similar at all.

The air force 1 toe box

When looking at the perforations per row, you can tell that there are fewer compared to the dunks. To add onto that, the perforations in the center don't exactly reach the front of the front edge of the toebox. In addition to that, the bumper of the toe box meets the eye stays.

The Dunks Toe box

What's unique about the dunk's toe bumping is its pronounced notch where the foot ends up bending. This is the area that sneakerheads try extremely hard to not crease. The sides also connect to the eyestays at the forefoot but the panels do not join the throat of the shoe like they do in the AF1.

Ankle Support

The ankle support is where it is easiest to tell the difference between the two shoes. For the high version of the shoes, the ankle strap is removable and can be styled in a way where they flap. This cannot be done with the AF1 because the strap is built into the ankle collar. This flap however is not found on the low versions because they don't have additional ankle support.

The Tread time (what leaves your footprint)

Do you ever walk on a beach and see a bunch of footprints on the sand and wonder what kind of shoes the person was wearing? Well if you had two people walking in AF1 and Dunks then you will easily be able to tell that they were wearing different shoes due to a vastly different appearance.

The AF1 features a series of circle-like curves towards the center of the forefoot ball and heel pivot points. The dunks, on the other hand, are similar in the forefoot but when it comes to the circle-like curve design is modified so that when there's weird angles are applied it can flex for the person wearing them comfortably. The heel on the dunks features slanted trendlines that go to the middle of the sole which helps with traction since they were originally designed to play basketball in!

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