Every sneakerhead knows that your collection isn't complete until you own at least one pair of Air Jordan 1s. Although the NBA GOAT has released 26 signature pairs to date, nothing quite compares to this iconic model.
Over the course of several decades, Michael Jordan has transformed both the game of basketball and the athletic shoe industry. But Jordans aren't just about functionality. They also offer style, comfort, and incredible resale value.
This is just one reason that Air Jordan 1 sneakers are still popular today, with some fans paying thousands (or even millions) to get their hands on a pair. The good news is that you don't need to break the bank to add Air Jordan 1s to your collection. An average pair will run you between $90 and $170.
Keep reading to uncover eight more reasons Air Jordan 1 sneakers are worth the hype and your investment.
1. They're the OGs
The Air Jordan 1s were the first of their kind. First released in 1985, this sneaker revolutionized the way the world and the NBA viewed basketball shoes.
While Nike has produced dozens of Air Jordans since then, nothing will replace the original. When you buy a pair of Air Jordan 1s, you're purchasing a piece of history.
One of the first NBA stars to sign a deal with Nike, Jordan was a trailblazer for the industry. At the time, the five-year endorsement deal was for $2.5 million, plus royalties. Today, that equates to over $500 million.
What's even more impressive is how early in his career he secured the deal. In 1985, Jordan hadn't yet proven himself as the legendary NBA superstar he is today. Perhaps Nike knew something then that no one else did?
2. Air Jordan 1 Sneakers Have an Interesting Backstory
The fact that a young, up-and-coming athlete landed one of the biggest sneaker deals of his time is only part of the story. What makes Air Jordan 1 sneakers even more appealing is their scandalous backstory.
You can't talk about Air Jordan 1s without discussing the player's dedication to both the game and the sneaker itself. Shortly after its release, the NBA banned the shoe for not meeting the league's uniform and color guidelines or policies. But this didn't phase Jordan. He continued to wear his namesake shoes, facing a $5,000 fine every time he stepped on the court.
What's even more amazing is that Nike gladly paid the fine for him, seeing Jordan's defiance as a unique advertising opportunity. The NBA couldn't have been too upset with Jordan considering it was this same year that he won Rookie of the Year.
3. Available in Lows, Mids, and Highs
The most iconic Air Jordan 1 sneakers are the highs, but they're not the only ones. The shoe is also available in lows and mids.
The low version of the shoe is comparable to the now popular Nike Dunk Low. Although it was virtually ignored by most sneaker collectors for years, recently, celebrity collaborations and eye-catching colorways have led to its revival.
Although it's not the original design, the Air Jordan 1 mid is the most common model. The 5.5-inch shoe was first produced in the early 2000s but never released in the sneaker's original colorway. The closest comparison would be the Old Love/New Love pack which was released in 2006 and included a black toe version. This was Jordan's second choice on the court next to the original Chicago Bulls colorway.
The Air Jordan 1 highs are considered retro and stand at an impressive 6.5 inches. They're also the model that offers the widest range of colorways and collaborations and receives the most recognition within the sneaker community.
If you want a pair of Air Jordan 1 highs, you need to act fast. This version sells out the fastest and usually for the highest price.
4. Tons of Colorways and Collaborations
Speaking of colorways and collabs, this is another reason why Air Jordan 1s are some of the most highly sought-after sneakers in the Nike collection. If you consider yourself a hype beast, you'll want to pay close attention.
In addition to the classic black, white, and red colorway, these sneakers are available in countless colorways and combinations. Some are produced in collaboration with other designers like Off-White or Christian Dior and celebrities including Travis Scott. Others pay homage to universities like Michigan and UNC.
With so many color combos to choose from, you can find an Air Jordan 1 that fits your style, budget, and personality.
5. Great Resale Value
If there's one thing most Air Jordan 1s aren't, it's cheap. While you can get your hands on some reasonably priced Jordan 1s for between $100 and $200, the most hype beast designs will run you into the thousands.
But before you forfeit your dreams of owning a pair of these iconic sneakers, consider this -- the resale value of Air Jordan 1 sneakers is the highest in the industry. In fact, they're ranked number one with a resale value of 1,816%.
The best deals include:
- Nike Air Jordan 1 Travis Scott Retro Low
- Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Union Black Toe
- Off-White x Nike Air Jordan 1
The Travis Scott retro low could earn you over $950 on the resale market while the Off-White version boasts an impressive $2,760 ROI.
6. Offer a Versatile Look
The Air Jordan 1 offers a unique retro design that pairs well with almost any outfit. Because it's available in low, mid, high, and unisex colorways and designs, there's truly an Air Jordan 1 for everyone in the family.
It was the first Jordan sneaker to feature the legendary Nike Swoosh logo. The original Jordan 1 also showcased the iconic Wings logo -- a basketball with outstretched wings that read "Air Jordan". This design predated the Jordan Jumpman logo, which would come later.
Whatever design, colorway, or model you choose, Air Jordan 1 sneakers are fashionable both on and off the court. They can be worn with sweatpants, yoga pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, and everything in between for a trendy twist on any outfit. They're also instantly recognizable, earning you clout as a fashion guru and sneaker enthusiast.
7. Revolutionized Sneaker Collecting
To say that the Air Jordan 1 revolutionized the world of sneaker collecting would be an understatement. In fact, it kickstarted what we now know as an entire industry dedicated to buying, reselling, and collecting legendary shoes.
Acquiring and collecting sneakers today is more like an artform and investment opportunity than a retail shopping experience. It also takes time, research, and skill to get your hands on the hottest new releases at reasonable prices. And the Air Jordan 1 started it all.
Because Jordan 1s attract so much attention and hype, Nike has resorted to limited releases of the newest styles and designs. This only increases their demand and allure, with people shelling out big bucks to get their hands on exclusive pairs.
As unique as each Air Jordan 1 colorway and design collaboration is, these sneakers have withstood the test of time and are still trending nearly 40 years after they first hit the streets (or should we say court?) This means that no matter when or where you buy them, a pair of Air Jordan 1 sneakers will hold both monetary and sentimental value.
8. Comfortable, Functional, and Stylish On and Off the Court
The appeal of Air Jordan 1 sneakers isn't just in the look (although that's pretty important). They're also a functional, comfortable, and supportive shoe both on and off the court.
The original shoe's design is especially functional in-game. The leather overlays offer upper stability and durability, while the leather toe box is breathable for additional ventilation during gameplay. As a high top, ballers get adequate ankle support without restrictions.
The traction offered by Jordan 1s is comparable to other high-performance basketball shoes. The circle pattern on the sneaker's forefront and flexible rubber sole allow for quick turns and secure lateral movement. Players notice these benefits on both indoor and outdoor courts.
When the buzzer sounds and the game is over, Air Jordan 1 sneakers easily convert from functional basketball sneakers to impressive, hype beast footwear.
The Jordan 1 mids are equally as functional on the court, offering notable traction, ankle support, and overall performance. The low version of the Air Jordan 1 is just as comfortable but seen less frequently in-game. The soft tongue and padded ankle support of the lows make them perfect for everyday wear.
Michael Jordan's Air Jordan 1 Sneakers: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
You can't talk about iconic sneakers without mentioning one of the most legendary NBA players of all time -- Michael Jordan. The only thing as impressive as his athletic career was his unique ability to design some of the hottest sneakers ever worn on and off the court.
Whether you're a sneakerhead expanding your collection or a first-time buyer, you can't go wrong with a pair of Air Jordan 1 sneakers. Available in lows, mids, and highs, and a plethora of colorways and designs, there's no shortage of options when shopping for this model.
Take a peek at our full line of Air Jordans here and get ready to instantly elevate your shoe game.