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Rose Anvil Reveals What's Inside The Air Jordan 1 High 85

One of the most coveted pairs of sneakers is an original pair of Air Jordan 1’s from 1985, often selling for 5-digit sums if unworn with its OG packaging. To appease both collectors and newer sneakerheads looking for the original construction and build quality, Jordan Brand introduced the Air Jordan 1 High 85. While only three colorways have hit the market so far, with the OG Black and White colorway set to launch in 2023, Rose Anvil, an artisan leather goods manufacturer, decided to see what the fuss was about and cut a pair of the "Neutral Grey" colorway in half to reveal what really makes up the pair that many claims use higher quality, thicker leather.

Doing his typical tests, Rose Anvil was able to determine that the quality of leather used is surprisingly similar to that of a standard pair of Air Force 1’s, using a small portion of the top grain leather while the majority comes from the lower quality part of the cowhide. As with most GR Nike sneakers, the top coat is covered in a PU material with a fake leather print added to appear like higher quality material. They were even able to counter the claim that the leather used is much thicker than a standard pair of AJ 1s, measuring the collars overlay at only 1.6MM thick, with a pair of AJ 1 Mids, and the AF1 coming in 1.4MM and 1.6MM respectively. The only piece of material that gets a premium treatment is the suede Nike Swoosh and collar, using a real piece of nubuck and inverting it to reveal the fuzzy side of the leather.

Construction-wise, the AJ 1 High 85 actually gets an improvement compared to typical pairs of the silhouette with the lasting material being more sturdy and the stitching method utilized allowing for a more durable sneaker, that is tucking the uppers material beneath the lasting board back on the heel and gluing it. For standard pairs of J’s, the Strobel board stitching method is used with a thin lasting board, indicating its lower quality and less durable construction.

Boiling it down, the Air Jordan 1 High 85 is essentially a standard pair of AJ 1s when it comes to its outside materials, though the shape of the sneaker, size of the overlays, and the internal construction do get reworked to be as close to the original as possible. Considering Nike charges 20 dollars more for a pair of 85s, is it really worth the extra money or is Nike capitalizing on the vintage trend that has dominated fashion in the last few years? That’s for you to decide. Check out our Jordan release calendar, and keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app. If you're looking for a more in-depth breakdown of the Air Jordan 1 and upcoming releases, check out our Air Jordan 1 Buyers Guide and our Air Jordan 1 Release Dates Page.

Images via Rose Anvil


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