Six Things to Know About the Air Jordan 1

Nike's Air Jordan 1 is one of the all-time most popular shoes. You can read about some things to consider about the shoe in this breakdown.

Keyword(s): Air Jordan 1


The Air Jordan 1 is one of the most iconic and easily recognizable sneakers in history. This high-top shoe looks great on the basketball court, but is also casual enough for everyday wear.

It isn't enough to simply own a few pairs of Jordans. True sneakerheads know the facts and details behind their favorite styles. If you've never dove into the fascinating history of this line, then read on.

Today, we're sharing six important things to know about the Air Jordan 1, and how you can get your hands on a new pair today. 

1. It Released in 1985

The first Air Jordan 1 sneakers were released at the end of March in 1985 for just $65 a pair. Originally called "Nike Air Jordans", they would go on to change the face of footwear forever. 

Though the public could get their hands on the shoe in March, Michael Jordan was able to try the style much earlier. In the summer of 1984, Jordan took a meeting with Nike at the urging of his mother, even though he had originally leaned toward a deal with Adidas or Converse. 

Nike showed Jordan a range of different clothes and shoes, all proposed to be marketed under the "Air Jordan" name. In October of 1984, Jordan played an NBA preseason game wearing the first sneaker from the collection: the Nike Air Ship. 

The league protested the red-and-black colorway, citing that all players must wear shoes that are black and white. In response, Jordan started wearing red and white Air Ships, eventually transforming to the white-based Air Jordan 1 for the NBA All-Star Game and red/black Air Jordan 1s for the NBA Slam-Dunk Contest. 

2. Peter Moore Designed the Original Air Jordan 1

The name "Peter Moore" is revered in the sneaker industry. With decades of experience in the sportswear industry, the designer is behind some of the most beloved logos in history. As the co-founder of Adidas America, Inc., he designed the "three bars" logo that remains the symbol of the brand to this day. 

Moreover, Moore also served as Creative Director of Nike when the Air Jordan 1 was first conceptualized. He worked closely with Michael Jordan on the Air Jordan concept, combining the best-performing elements of other shoes to create a one-of-a-kind design. 

Among other design features, these meetings led to the creation of the "ball and wings" logo found on the side panel of most Air Jordan styles. According to legend, Moore designed the infamous logo on a napkin after noticing a child wearing a pair of replicated pilot wings on a flight from Portland to Chicago. 

3. The First Retro Style Debuted in 1995

Though he was at the height of his career, Michael Jordan decided to step away from basketball in 1993. Though Nike decided to keep releasing new Air Jordan models, they also chose to "retro" or re-issue new styles based on the original designs from the mid-1980s. 

Their first project was to retro both the "Chicago" and "Black/Red" colorways. Though the effort was eventually a success, it was initially a challenge to convince buyers to reach for throwback styles, especially at a time when new sneaker technology was first emerging. 

As a result, the price of the shoes (originally set at $80) fell drastically. It remained that way until 2001, when Nike decided to retro the Black/Red colorway again, along with the Black/Royal colorway. Sales surged again, and have remained steady ever since.

Today, there are hundreds of different retro styles available for the Air Jordan 1. You can find an array of styles, colors, and high/mid/low designs depending on your personal preference. 

4. The Name Took One Minute to Create

With such an imposing industry presence, you might think that the branding behind the Air Jordan 1 took quite a while. In reality, the opposite held true. 

Michael Jordan's agent at the time, David Faulk, has famously quipped that it took less than one minute to come up with the name "Air Jordan" during a meeting with the Nike team. Faulk originally pushed for the clothing line to simply be called "Michael Jordan", but Nike executives didn't want to hang their hats on the then-fledgling basketball player who had yet to be drafted. 

The "Air Jordan" moniker was an acceptable compromise. Not only did it symbolize Jordan's ability to seemingly fly through the air on the way to a basket, but it also put a spotlight on Nike's patented "Air" technology, which gave it a competitive advantage in the sneaker world.

5. One Experimental Pair Had a Nike Dunk Sole

Think you know every type of Air Jordan 1 style available? Look closely at images of Michael Jordan at the Bulls' 1986 playoff game against the Boston Celtics. 

Though he appears to be wearing a standard pair of Chicago 1s, Jordan's actually sporting a one-of-a-kind hybrid that merges the traditional Air Jordan 1 design with a Nike Dunk sole. The shoes, which were created to support Jordan's foot after an injury, were never mass-produced, but never say never. 

6. The Sneaker Is a Multi-Sport Obsession

While Air Jordan 1s are obviously a go-to basketball shoe, did you know that this line also has a massive following in the skateboard realm? Much of the fascination has to do with the sneaker's reputation as a "banned" shoe, although this claim is widely debunked.

Some sources cite that the NBA officially banned an early model of the Air Jordan 1, known as Air Jordan Bred. However, this particular shoe was still in development at the time of the NBA game in question. Still, that hasn't stopped people from associating it with a certain degree of cool rebellion. 

That aspect, coupled with the general affordability of the Air Jordan 1s, has caused a stir in the skating community. Plus, it features plenty of aspects that make it an ideal shoe for this sport, including great ankle support and excellent sole cushioning!

Shop Our Full Air Jordan 1 Collection Online

Now that you know a few new facts about the Nike Air Jordan 1, are you ready to add a few more pairs to your growing collection?  You don't have to shop around when you can go straight to the source.

We offer a variety of different Air Jordan styles in our online collection, so feel free to start shopping today! Explore the different releases, filter by style, and find your perfect fit. 

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