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Air Jordan 1: Everything You Need To Know

Air Jordan 1 Sneakers
Air Jordan 1 Sneakers

Air Jordan 1 history and background.

Michael Jordan with the Air Jordan 1 High Black Toe
Michael Jordan with the Air Jordan 1 High Black Toe

If you ask any sneakerhead what the most iconic silhouette in history is, chances are they'd probably say Michael Jordan's Air Jordan 1. Designed by the late and great Peter Moore back in 1985, while basketball shoes were certainly nothing new back in the mid-'80s, there was nothing quite like the AJ 1. While most b-ball models just died off soon after they made their initial debut, His Airness' signature shoe was different. Even after almost four decades, sneakerheads of all generations continuously lust over it. With all that said, however, it wasn't always smooth sailing.

Before MJ signed with Nike, he had actually never worn any Swoosh sneakers to begin with. Throughout college, Jordan wore nothing but Converse, and when he started off his professional career he didn't want to go with anyone else other than adidas. In fact, Mike outright refused to meet with the Beaverton brand until his mother, Deloris Jordan, asked him to, and the rest is history. In 1984, he signed a $2.5 million endorsement contract with Nike, which was an absolutely insane number, especially for an unproven rookie. Many executives thought that the company had completely lost its mind, but of course, we all know that this was probably one of the best decisions that they've ever made, even to this day.

Since its debut back in '85, Michael Jordan and Nike have released thousands of must-have colorways, hundreds of unmissable collaborations, across countless styles and silhouettes. From the ultra-versatile Air Jordan 1 Low to the extra chunky Air Jordan 1 High Elevate, there's literally a model for everyone no matter your personal sense of style.

Whether you're a hardcore Air Jordan 1 collector or you're searching for your very first pair, you're in luck, as the Sole Retriever Air Jordan 1 Buyers Guide is here to answer all of your questions about the AJ 1. What are some of the best colorways? How do they fit? What do they cost? You'll find out everything you need to know, and more, right here.

Did Michael Jordan wear the Air Jordan 1?

Michael Jordan wearing the Air Jordan 1 High Bred
Michael Jordan wearing the Air Jordan 1 High Bred

Michael Jordan kicked off his Jordan Brand legacy with the Air Jordan 1. When this silhouette made its official on-court debut in 1985, everyone was completely lost for words by them. Without a doubt, one of the most iconic AJ 1 moments is when Mike rocked the "Bred" colorway, which eventually earned the nickname "Banned." At this moment in time, the league ruled that every basketball shoe needed to be at least 51% white, and since these sneakers were mostly red and black, he was fined a whopping $5,000 per game, which is about $14,000 in today's money. Jordan being Jordan, however, didn't really care, and continued to wear the "Bred" again and again. While all of this was quite controversial at the time, especially for a rookie, it led the Air Jordan 1 to sell out immediately time and time again. Even to this day, Michael is often spotted rocking the Air Jordan 1, especially the Golf variants while he's on the course.

What are the best Air Jordan 1 colorways?

The Air Jordan 1 will always be one of the most legendary sneakers in history. Throughout its history, we've been blessed with many must-have colorways. Virgil Abloh's Off-White x Air Force 1 High "Chicago" will forever be one of the greats, and Travis Scott has also worked on some truly iconic pairs too, including the fragment design x Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 High from 2021, and the famed "Reverse Mocha" that released in 2022. The A Ma Maniere version is most definitely a grail for many sneakerheads, and of course, you can't talk about the best AJ 1 colorways without mentioning Kim Jones' Dior x Air Jordan 1 High which completely transformed the sneaker game as we knew it when they dropped in 2020. With a retail price of $2,000, this coveted collab is valued at five or six times the amount these days.

In terms of none-collaborative Air Jordan 1s, the "Dark Mocha" and "Patent Bred" are hands down some of the most sought-after sneakers in recent years. Jordan Brand also has a long history with releasing Japan-exclusive colorways such as the "Midnight Navy" and "Neutral Grey," and in 2022, the MJ-helmed company will be bringing back one of the GOATs with the "Chicago Lost and Found." Keeping up to date with all of these colorways can be overwhelming, so make sure you follow Sole Retriever over on Twitter and download our official Mobile App if you haven't already.

What material is the Air Jordan 1 made of?

J. Balvin x Air Jordan 1 High (2020)
J. Balvin x Air Jordan 1 High (2020)

The Air Jordan 1 was originally made from leather, but over the years Nike has been experimenting with a vast range of different materials. Pairs like the "Yellow Toe" are still made from leather, but you'll also get the "Shattered Backboard 3.0" that opts for patent leather and the "Light Bone" that's equipped with a waterproof Gore-Tex lining. The "Hyper Blue" is outfitted in suede, while the J. Balvin collaboration arrives in canvas. Over the past few years, the AJ 1 has also been crafted from nubuck, ripstop, chenille, velour, and sometimes even hemp.

How does the Air Jordan 1 fit?

In general, the Air Jordan 1 fits true to size. With that said, if your feet are a little on the wider side then feel free to go half a size up, but we would always recommend just going TTS. It's always best to try on a pair before purchasing to be sure you’re getting the correct size.

How much do Air Jordan 1s cost?

When the Air Jordan 1 first released in 1985 it retailed for $65, but things are a little different these days. The Air Jordan 1 Low can start from $110, while the Air Jordan 1 Mid begins around $120. The flagship model, the Air Jordan 1 High, carries a retail price of $180, but this obviously varies depending on the shoe in question. For instance, the aforementioned Dior x Air Jordan 1 High had a sticker price of $2,000, while 2022's 85 Hi "Georgetown" retailed for $200. For your best chance to cop the AJ 1 at retail, follow us over on Twitter and download our Mobile App today.

Where do I buy Air Jordan 1s?

Most general release Air Jordan 1s can be bought on release day via Nike, the SNKRS app, and select Jordan Brand retailers worldwide, from chain stores, to boutiques, to mom and pop stores. With that said, special collaborations like the Billie Eilish and Trophy Room pairs, and limited editions such as the "Bio Hack" and "Game Royal Toe" will be much harder to come by. While the Air Jordan 1 hype never actually went anywhere, its popularity is now at an all-time high. If you still don't have a pair in your daily rotation, we’ve got you covered through our Twitter and Mobile App where we’ll alert you on upcoming releases, raffles, and so much more.

What’s the hot take?

Dior x Air Jordan 1 High (2020)
Dior x Air Jordan 1 High (2020)

The Air Jordan 1 is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sneakers of all time. Introduced in 1985, it continues to be one of the most sought-after silhouettes even after four decades. Available in a vast selection of colorways and styles, for your best chance to cop make sure you keep it locked to our Twitter and download the Sole Retriever mobile app. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest news, release info, and raffles for the Air Jordan 1 and more in the sneaker and streetwear world!


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