A Closer Look at the AMBUSH x Nike Air Adjust Force

August 10, 2022 by Joey Birch

A Closer Look at the AMBUSH x Nike Air Adjust Force

A sneaker that played a significant role in the early 90’s era of Nike basketball, the Nike Air Adjust Force is a silhouette that many may not remember. Released in 1996, the sneaker was debuted as part of the Swooshes ‘The Revolution’ campaign which featured a set of NBA basketball players including Jimmy Jackson, Eddie Jones and Kevin Garnet. 

Upon its initial release, the Air Adjust Force was being sold alongside other, now archival or classic, silhouettes including the Air Much Uptempo Mid, Air Zoom Flight Mid and Air Modify Force Mid. 

Nike Air Adjust Force Mid, 1996

The Air Adjust Force was released in two variations - a high and a mid. Each pair featured a Swoosh that wrapped around the upper onto the heel as well as a second and third smaller Swoosh on the toe and midsole. In addition, a large rugged outsole was included encasing a full-length Air Cushion with a visible 180 Air Unit in the heel, similar to that found in the Air Max 93 from 1993.

The most noteworthy feature, however, was the interchangeable strap. While the base Air Adjust was only released in black and white, a myriad of Nike ‘FitWrap’ straps was released in a variety of different colourways that wrapped around the forefoot as well as around the heel of the sneaker. With a variety of options, each strap was used to represent a certain college, similar to the 1985 ‘Be True To Your School’ pack Nike Dunk release, and as such became a popular option for not only a number of NBA players in the league but also college students. 

Now, 26 years after the release of the original, we can finally expect to see a return of the archival basketball sneaker thanks to AMBUSH. Initially revealed by Yoon Ahn, the founder of AMBUSH and lead jewellery designer at Dior Homme, in November 2021, discussions began to swirl as to what we could expect following the designer's collaboration with Nike on the Dunk High. 

Unlike the original ‘96 model, AMBUSH is providing a refreshed take with a never before seen low-top variant. Featuring a dual heel cushion, the latest version continues to utilise the chunky aesthetic that the likes of the Air More Uptempo championed at the time and has been able to continue since. 

However, fans of the original pair will be somewhat unhappy to find that the classic Air Unit featured in many of Nike’s sneakers since the Air Max 1, has been filled in as seen similarly on the recent Stüssy x Nike Air Max 2013. 

Nevertheless, AMBUSH has ensured to maintain the classic addition to the Air Adjust Force that makes them as iconic as they are, the strap, featuring a more minimal approach with a black and purple strap for the black pair and a white and black strap for the white pair.

The outsole of the sneaker features an enlarged Nike Swoosh along with two Nike Grind-style sections built in. 

Following the confirmation of the two OG-inspired colourways, a further two have been revealed, this time in a bright red and a second blue and black pair. Similar to the all-black, the red colourway dons the bright finish across the entire upper with the inclusion of darker red/brown detailing. 

The second pair features a blue upper sitting atop a black midsole. In addition, the Air Bubble attached to the strap includes a red Nike Swoosh leading many to compare the colourway to the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 ‘Houston Oilers’ from 2018. 

At the time of writing, it is yet to be confirmed as to whether the return of the Air Adjust Force will be followed by a foray of GR colourways or whether AMBUSH is revisiting the ‘96 model as a solo project. 

For the latest on AMBUSH and Nike, stay locked in with Kick Game.