Why The Nike Air Jordan 1 is a Streetwear Essential

Since their release in 1985, the Nike Air Jordan 1s have been a staple in streetwear culture. As one of the most iconic sneakers ever produced, they are a must-have for any fashion enthusiast.

With a variety of colourways and styles, the design of the Jordan 1s has helped it become an enduring classic in the sneaker world. It features the signature Nike swoosh logo on both sides and a perforated toe box that provides breathability and comfort when worn.

The shoe also comes in multiple colourways, including classic black and white and bolder designs with bright colours like red and green. The Nike Air Jordan 1 midsole also contained the Nike, Inc revolutionary Air technology, which provides extra cushioning while walking or running.

These features make the Jordan sneaker not only stylish but also comfortable to wear all day long.

The Nike Air Jordan 1 in black/grey on a green background
The Nike Air Jordan 1 was the first in the collab series with Michael Jordan

History Of Nike Air Jordan 1s

The Air Jordan 1s origin story is truly captivating, and their legacy has been cemented in time due to their influence. The Nike Air Jordan 1s were first released in 1985, designed by Peter Moore and inspired and endorsed by Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls.

It is said that Jordan preferred Adidas basketball sneakers because its shoes were lower to the ground than Nike’s. Now Nike was offering an all-new shoe tailored to his needs, in exchange for endorsement and effectively a collaboration to capitalise of his fame as one of the greatest sport players of his generation. The company accommodated his different-sized feet for comfort (left, size 13; right, size 13.5).

The first time that MJ wore the now infamous black and red colourway, a warning was issued by the NBA regarding uniforms and its expected standards.

Rumour had it at the time that Jordan was fined $5000 per game, but this was just urban folklore although there was a ruling that stated game footwear had to be 51% white. Plus he was, in fact, wearing the predecessor and prototype to the Jordan 1 in the Nile Air Ship.

This was all Nike needed as their advertising campaign kicked into gear even before the shoe was released with a TV commercial stating:

” On October 15, Nike created a revolutionary new basketball shoe,” “On October 18, the NBA threw them out of the game. Fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them. Air Jordans. From Nike.”

That’s all anybody needed. The shoes were released and sold out immediately. Nike set to retail at $65 a pair, expensive for their time, and they sold out as quickly as they do today. This created a burgeoning resale market with Jordan 1’s reselling the shoes for $100, worth far more in any sneaker collection now. The Air Jordan signature shoe is still in high demand for good reason.

Jordan himself had reservations about his new sneakers colour combination. “I can’t wear that shoe — those are the devil’s colours,” he’s reported to have said in reference to his college team’s hated local rivals NC State.

nike air jordan 1 logo
The Air Jordan brand endorsement was started with the original Jordan 1’s with no logo. Only Michael Jordan’s pair had the Air Jordan Wings logo with a basketball and aviation inspired wings due to MJ’s uncanny ability to hang in the air

Design And Aesthetics

The Nike Air Jordan 1s have become a street wear essential due to their unique design and aesthetics. The style of the trainer is iconic, with a look that has been consistently replicated since its conception.

The shoe’s silhouette is timeless, featuring a high-top construction made of leather and nylon. The material used for the structure provides a lightweight feel for comfort and flexibility.

Additionally, the sneakers feature an array of patterns, detailing and branding that set them apart from other trainers on the market. Although honourable mention should go to Converse All-Stars and the Adidas Superstars.

Availability Of Different Colourways

Nike originally released 13 colourways of the shoe. The famous “Banned,” “Chicago,” “Royal,” “Black Toe,” “Shadow,” and “Carolina Blue”, as well as Black & White, Blue & White, Metallic Red, Metallic Purple, Metallic Blue, Metallic Green, and Natural Grey.

Chuck Kuhn and Jordan did a two-day shoot in Chicago with these colours, but the sneakers were yet to feature the classic Wings logo.

Instead, the sneakers had a simple “AIR JORDAN” wordmark in their place. This was the shoot where Jordan would recreate a pose he’d struck in a 1984 photograph taken by Jacobus Rentmeester for LIFE magazine. The new shot, when turned into a silhouetted graphic, would go on to become the iconic Jumpman logo.

Although dozens of Air Jordan 1 colourways have followed these first 13, those colourways will always stand as the base for what the Air Jordan 1 would grow to become.

nike air jordan 3
The famous Jumpman logo made its debut with the later Air Jordan 3 design

Price Point And Resale Value

The Air Jordan 1s brand have become a streetwear essential due to their initial price point and resale value. They are considered an affordable sneaker, with the most popular styles ranging from $100 to $250. As a result, they are accessible to many and can be purchased without breaking the bank. Furthermore, their resale value has skyrocketed due to the culture of sneaker collecting and the demand for rare, vintage styles.

The Air Jordan 1s have become a mainstream staple in sneaker and streetstyle markets. Even those who do not consider themselves avid collectors desire to own an revered pair, simply because they are so popular. The cost-benefits of purchasing Air Jordans make them attractive for many streetwear enthusiasts. It is no wonder why these sneakers have become a must-have item in every fashionista’s closet.

The restock of Air Jordan 1s in 1985 also explains why, although still rare, it’s easy to find pairs from that year. Determining the street value for these shoes is nearly impossible because, despite their rarity, serious demand is also limited.

But limited at a high cost. Depending on their condition and provenance, pairs have sold in recent years for anywhere between $3,000 and $33,000. Increased selling price aside, it’s worth noting: 30-plus years later, the soles are prone to crumbling, so most committed collectors keep them as cultural artefacts and monuments to successful design rather than an everyday trainer.

Relationship With Hip-Hop Scene

The relationship between the Air Jordan 1s and the Hip-Hop scene is undeniable. Both have been integral in developing streetwear culture, becoming essential components of the fashion trend. Basketball legend Michael Jordan first promoted the shoes, and it was not long before they made their way into hip-hop music videos, where they quickly became a status symbol and flex.

Hip-hop has had a significant influence on streetwear trends, and the burgeoning popularity of the Air Jordan 1s is no exception. With every new release, artists such as Drake and Travis Scott are seen wearing them in their music videos, promoting the footwear to millions of fans worldwide.

Spike Lee even used them in his pioneering movie Do The Right Thing, in which they played an integral role in the style and scene of 80s New York City.

maroon nike air jordan 1s
Jordan Air found their way into streetwear folklore

Influence On Other Brands And Designs

The Michael Jordan shoe line have had an immense impact not only on streetwear and sneaker culture as a whole but also on other brands and designs. The Jordan 1s were the first to popularize the combination of high-top shoes with a Nike swoosh logo, paving the way for future trend-setting sneakers. Since its debut, many brands have adopted similar aesthetic features into their own basketball-inspired designs.

Jordan’s pioneering spirit has enabled it to remain at the forefront of streetwear and influence subsequent generations of sneakerheads. Its Jordan-trend-pioneering nature has allowed it to stay relevant in a fiercely competitive industry.

Air Jordan has maintained its place in streetwear history through its Jordan-aesthetic adoption by other brands and continued popularity amongst sneakerheads. Furthermore, this Jordan design adaptation means that Air Jordan sneakers remain one of the most sought-after sneakers today and remain one of the defining elements of sneaker culture.

Impact On Global Fashion Trends

The Air Jordan 1s have profoundly impacted global fashion trends, most notably in the streetwear culture. Since its initial release in 1985, it has become a staple for many fashion-forward individuals worldwide. The sneaker’s popularity stems from its association with the hip-hop scene and its resale value due to being released in limited editions and colourways.

Due to the dominating impact on the fashion scene, they were heavily influential in many designers work, including Chicago natives Virgil Abloh of Off-White, and Kanye West’s Yeezy collection with Adidas. In fact, it’s often common for sneakerphiles to be either Team Jordan or Team Adidas.

The Air Jordan 1s have influenced global fashion trends and remain one of today’s top-selling sneakers. From their classic design to their unique colourways and quality craftsmanship, these sneakers are a must-have for any streetwear enthusiast looking to make a statement with their wardrobe.

Limited Edition Collaborations

The list of successful Jordan 1 collaborations is impressive; from Travis Scott’s ‘Cactus Jack’ design to Off-White x Nike’s Air Jordan 1 collaboration, countless memorable styles have been released in recent years.

This combination of classic style and modern innovation has kept the Air Jordan retro styles at the forefront of urban wear culture for decades. The continual stream of new versions means that for any fan of sneakers, there will always be something new and exciting to look forward to.

These special collaborations give an exclusive edge to the iconic silhouette and feed into the ever-growing celebrity culture. The resulting collaborations are highly sought after by sneaker collectors and fashion fans alike, creating an even higher demand for this classic basketball shoe.

black and white air jordan 1s
The Jordan Shoes are popular in streetstyle clothing

Future Of The Air Jordan 1

The Air Jordan 1 has a long-lasting legacy and place in modern streetwear culture. It has paved the way for sneaker trends and sportswear style. Looking to the future, there is no sign that the popularity of the Air Jordan 1 will cease anytime soon. The release of new design innovations and colourways keeps this shoe at the forefront of fashion, making it an icon in its own right.

A timeless classic that continues to stay relevant, the Air Jordan 1 shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With a strong legacy that precedes it and Nike’s continued commitment to innovation, this shoe looks set to remain a continued favourite for years to come.

Air Jordan 1 Retros The “Remastered Series”

The Air Jordan 1 “Remastered Series” is an ongoing attempt by Jordan Brand to elevate the quality of its retro releases and bring the original Nike Air Jordan 1 up to the extremely high technical standards of today’s shoes.

The first shoe to be reintroduced under the “Remastered Series” was the Air Jordan 4 White/Legend Blue/Midnight Navy, which came out in January 2015.

According to the Jordan design team, the goal of this shoe was to create a “time travel moment,”, especially for a new generation of consumers.

Buying a shoe today is very different from what it was like in the 80s. This sneaker gives consumers a taste of what a box-fresh, vintage Air Jordan 1 would have looked like back in the day.

Ankle Collars

A cracked and faded ankle collar was one of the most common signs of age on an original pair of Air Jordan 1s. The black leather material wrapped around the ankle collars tended to dry out and crack over time and often would begin to flake off with wear and tear.

The ankle collars on the new Chicago shoe hope to mimic this weathered appearance and give the nod to collectors who understand the amount of care necessary when handling a pair of 1985 originals.

Box & Lid

In a nod to the nature of the colourway, the updated Chicago sneaker comes with a mismatched box lid that speaks to the shoes being misplaced in back rooms and basements from yesteryear.

Designers added extra details both inside and outside the box that serve as a shout-out to shoe promotions created once upon a time. According to the Jordan design team, every detail should be recognizable to those who grew up back in those days while giving new sneakerheads a chance to experience what it was like.

One such example is the inclusion of every pair of vintage receipts meant to replicate actual receipts that found their way into the hands of collectors from deadstock shoeboxes.


The Nike Air Jordan 1s are a streetwear essential. The shoes offer great style, comfort and durability, making them worth the price tag.

The Air Jordan 1s typically cost around $170, but they are still in production today, so you can find plenty of new styles. They are made with premium leather and come in various colours and styles to suit any look.

These revered sneakers offer style and substance in abundance, and come in wide widths as well, allowing those with wider feet to be on-trend too. Finally, their durability is also something that makes the Nike Air Jordan 1s an essential item in any streetwear wardrobe.

Their high-quality materials ensure that these sneakers will last many years. So if you’re looking for an iconic shoe that will stand the test of time, look no further than the classic Air Jordan 1s.

Who is Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan is global sports icon credited with popularising basketball. Considered by many as the greatest basketball player of all time with 14 All-star appearances and record points scorer, he played fifteen seasons in the NBA, winning six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, winning 5 MVP awards. His leaping ability earned him the nickname Air Jordan, which was used for a footwear collaboration with Nike. Since retiring, MJ has played minor league baseball and starred in the film Space Jam. Jordan was so instrumental in the sport, Miami Heat retired his number 23 despite never playing for them.