Produced by: Dan Hwang
Written by: Jesse Carr
For this installment of the RE-Fresh series, we take a look at our third Nike Force model, the Driving Force. We’ve already closely inspected the Air Force 180 worn by Charles Barkley and the Air Force 180 High Pump model worn by David Robinson. The Force line carried sneakers meant for forwards and centers whose games demanded shoes that could handle the gritty style of play in the paint, whereas the Flight line had sneakers with a lighter build to enable guards to cross their opponents over with ease. Even without the massive “Force” logo on the tongue to clue you in, a glance at the monstrous, rugged high top lets you know which line this model finds itself in.
The sneaker released in 1989 at a time during which Nike was on top of the basketball market. With their NBA roster filled with recognizable guards and forwards, the TV and print media bustled with Nike ads, which became increasingly more omnipresent once the start of the 1990s hit. 1989 found Nike basketball models in an unfamiliar place to feature prominent sneakers – Hollywood. Though the Driving Force didn’t appear in Spike Lee‘s “Do the Right Thing” directly – other shoes like the Buggin’ Out’s Air Jordan IV, Mookie’s Medicine Ball Air Trainer III, and Radio Raheem’s Air Revolutions did get some screen time – many in the Bedford Stuyvesant setting of the film wore Nike kicks from all price points. The Driving Force was released as a strong basketball model that could hold its own without carrying the $100 price tag of the Air Jordan IV.