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  • Writer's pictureBeems

A Sneaker Trader's Guide to Air Jordan 1's

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Introduction The Air Jordan 1 changed the sneaker industry by becoming the most popular silhouette of sneakers in the world and the reason that many enter the sneaker industry in the first place. The Air Jordan 1 is the most important model in the sneaker culture. From the original releases in 1985-86 to the numerous retro variations and colorways since.

What started as a basketball sneaker quickly crossed over into pop culture, then into fashion, then, years later, into high fashion. There's never been a more influential brand when it comes to footwear.

History of Air Jordan 1

The AJ1 was designed by Peter Moore following Michael Jordan’s signing to Nike in 1984. Michael Jordan only had but two requests when designing the sneaker with Moore...the shoe had to be lower cut than others and it also had to be exciting. What started the beginning to one of the most important footwear brands to date.

Everything always happens for a reason. Adidas, the shoe brand Jordan actually preferred, had to pass on signing him out of college. Converse already had established players Larry Bird and Magic Johnson;Nike had to be convinced to sign Michael Jordan who had just finished college.

On Oct. 18, 1984, Jordan became controversial as he played in the game vs. the Knicks wearing sneakers that were predominantly red and black. In 1984, there were certain uniform guidelines that had to be followed by all the players. For sneakers specifically, a player had to have shoes that matched those of his teammates and also contain 51 percent white.

Because the sneakers did not meet the uniform guideline, NBA executive VP Russ Granik made it so Jordan would not be able to wear those sneakers again.

The pair of sneakers that Jordan were banned were the Nike Air Ship.

Later down the line Jordan and Nike would fixed the color scheme to have more white to fit in with the NBA's rules. Jordan would wear the Air Jordan 1 "Banned" colorway at the 1985 dunk contest, with Nike's "Banned" ad campaign in full swing. The first Jordan 1 that sneaker fans think of when they think of the Air Jordan 1 is the “Banned” colorway, also known as the “Bred” or Black and Red. The color way's name pays homage the the banned colors that Jordan was fined for wearing the year before.

Air Jordan 1 Models

The Air Jordan 1 has the most original colorways of any Air Jordan model. The three colors consist of the “Chicago”, “Bred”, and “Black Toes." These were the only ones you ever saw MJ wearing on court, but a plethora of other looks released including the Black/Royal, “Carolina”, and the many “Metallic” colorways.

The Air Jordan 1 was the only model worn by Michael for more than one full season. After completing his rookie season in the shoe, he continued to wear them for his sophomore season.

Air Jordan 1 KO - The canvas-constructed Air Jordan 1 KO from 1986 is for sure a mystery. Nobody can confirm that ‘KO’ stands for “knockout”, even though the sneaker was designed as a a way to pay homage to the sport of boxing. Unlike the regular Air Jordan 1 model, the KO features a canvas with other modifications including “AJKO” in place of “Air Jordan” on the wings logo and the use of the Nike Vandal’s sole instead of the usual AJ1 .

1994 Retros - After 1986, the Air Jordan 1 wasn’t released again until 1994 when it was among the first-ever retros along with the AJ 2 and 3. Only the OG “Chicago” and “Bred” colorways returned in 1994, but since 2001 when it came back again the Air Jordan 1 has returned almost every year in multiple colorways and forms.

Collaborations - Jordan Brand guards their catalog of models closely when it comes to collabs. The collaborative model would have to be the Air Jordan 1, as it has had more collaborative versions than any other Jordan silhouette, including the Nike SB x Lance Mountain, Dover Street Market, Travis Scott, Off-White and the fragment design editions.

When pictures of the “Frags” first were leaked, the color way seemed simple. The color scheme was the same as the Black Toes, except Hiroshi Fujiwara used the blue from the Royals instead of the traditional Chicago red. There was also a debossed Fragment logo at the heel. They quickly became one of the most sought after versions of the Air Jordan 1.

After the Frags a bunch of color ways came about in 2016. Included were the Shattered Backboards and a “Top 3” take that blended Breds, Black Toes, and Royals onto one shoe.

The most highly anticipated collaboration would have to be Virgil Abloh and Off-White have gotten their hands on the Jordan 1. Abloh has conceptually deconstructed the sneaker as a part of his “The Ten” collection, in a treatment he’s named “Revealing.”

How much do Air Jordan 1s cost?

The AJ1 is often offered at different price points depending on material, construction, and collaborator. Typically, the Air Jordan 1 High retails for $170 USD, while the Mid and Low charge $115 and $90, respectively.

No worries though because that’s where Tradeblock comes in. Within the next section we will discuss the variations of places you can go to obtain the best model at the lowest price. How to buy Air Jordan 1

Although Yeezy’s are expensive there are numerous ways to get your hands on a pair. The best way is to trade for them. Using our tradeblock app, you will be able to see exactly how many pairs we have available of every model. You can also search the app by size so that the exact size that you are looking for will pop up. Get this… the only thing you will have to pay is the shipping and fees which equal out about $50.

By using Tradeblock to get your Yeezys you will save the hassle of having to bargain or bid on the shoe. Instead you are able to look through other users' closets and use your own sneakers as currency which will in the long run save you money.

Other ways to get Yeezys for retail include raffles, the Adidas Confirmed app, and local stores. Aftermarket places include Ebay, Stockx, Goat and of course Tradeblock. Takeaway

Originally created as a way to express his creativity through fashion, Kanye West has been able to strategically move his way through the fashion industry first starting out as a style icon then becoming a designer himself. He was able to use his connections to create one of the most popular sought out brands in the sneaker industry.

Each model created has a different meaning behind it as West continues to make his way up the ladder. Although West has very controversial political views, it is safe to say that his stamp in the fashion industry is one that cannot be ignored.

Now that you have all of the information you need in your journey to find that next pair of Yeezys, we hope you find the pair that resonates most with what you need. Get your pair #offtheblock!


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