The Final Chapter in the Air Force 1 25th Anniversary “LOVE” Story. The Air Force 1: icon of the court, legend of the street. The same can be said for Bobbito “Kool Bob Love” Garcia, the iconic street-baller, legendary hip-hop deejay and sneaker specialist who has been collaborating with Nike on signature AF1 Premiums since the 25th anniversary festivities began last year. Now, on the heels of the success of the Bobbito AF1 Lo, Nike releases two instant hi-top classics for balling and representing: The Bobbito AF1 Puerto Rico Pack and the Bobbito AF1 Winter Boot Pack.
A Bobbito Hi for Balling
Providing the extra ankle support of the original AF1, the Bobbito Puerto Rico is designed with basketball in mind. The shoe incorporates the expert detailing that exists on the Bobbito AF1 Los (released in Spring/Summer 07), including premium leather and rolled edges, but now there’s more to love—literally. The word “LOVE” is debossed on the back eyestay, with the letter “O” replaced by a basketball, emphasizing the shoe’s added height. The embroidered hand icons from the Los appear again on the His, this time on the backtabs, but only the hand on the right holds a ball. The left hand is empty, symbolizing the fact that Bobbito shoots with his right (though he insists that he’s ambidextrous). The lack of a vinyl record in the left hand also implies that these shoes are made for the court.
Home Courts and Heritage
The Puerto Rico is blocked with premium leather on the vamp, eyestay, and toe tip, which offsets sections of heavy weight canvas on the quarter, toe box, and tongue. The debossed cross-hatching pattern on the leather ankle strap is actually a chain link fence—a shout-out to his love of playground hoops. The streetball motif continues on the sockliner with photographs of the fences surrounding Bobbito’s home courts on the streets of New York. Finally, classic gum brown outsoles give a nod to the flavors of the old school. Bob selected Varsity Royal and Varsity Red (with patent white Swooshes) for the colorways on these, showing love for his Puerto Rican heritage.
The Air Force 1 as Street Hiker
While the Puerto Ricos celebrate Bobbito’s roots as a baller and “boricua,” these models are all about his lifelong passion for music and street culture. A nod to that ubiquitous hip-hop footwear staple, the urban hiker, the uppers of Bobbito’s AF1 Winter Boots are constructed from waterproof Nubuck and available in two familiar colorways: Army Olive/Baroque Brown and buttery Wheat. As with all the other AF1/Bob collaborations, premium leather with rolled edges is used throughout, and heavyweight canvas adds a textural shift on the quarter and tongue.
All About the Music
The signature Bobbito hand icon appears again on the heels of these shoes, but this time each is holds an LP—a tribute to his love of music. Instead of embossing and stitching the hand icons, the process used to decorate the Puerto Ricos and Los, this version uses a technique called “burnishing” to apply the graphic. In the tradition of rugged hiking boots, the hi-tops are actually branded with a hot plate both on the heel and on the tongue top, where the word “LOVE” has again been imprinted. This time the “O” is not a basketball but an LP, driving the music motif home.
The Olive/Brown version of the boot has a soft gray midsole and black outsole, while the Wheats ride on two shades of old-school gum – dark gum on the outsole and gum brown on the midsole. Both boots have stain-proof speckled laces in the colors Pea Shale and Rustic. Finally, at the heart of the sneakers, the right sockliner depicts Bobbito twirling an LP, while the left shows his beloved crates of records.
The Bobbito AF1 Puerto Rico Pack and AF1 Hi Winter Boot Pack will be released in November and December respectively, in selected footwear outlets.
The Bobbito AF1 Lo
The first of the Bobbito/AF1 series, the Bobbito AF1 Lo was released in Spring/Summer 07. Introduced in three colorways, the lo-tops pay homage to Kool Bob Love’s life as both a DJ and baller. On the heel of right shoe is an icon of a hand holding a ball; the left shoe’s hand holds an LP.