Basketball might not be your thing, and thats okay. But I’m sure there’s something that basketball culture has influenced in yours, or someone you knows life. At the forefront of basketball culture, is Michael Jordan. MJ is widely regarded as the G.O.A.T of the sport his contributions to the sport go further than is on court achievements. Jordan’s partnership with Nike laid the foundation for some of the most acclaimed sneakers of all time. This list will rank the 10 best colourways of the 1st Jordan he ever created: the Jordan 1.
10. Travis Scott Unreleased x Air Jordan 1 Low
First Jordan 1 on the list is representative of how far sneaker culture has come and specifically how far the Jordan 1 has come. Hip-Hop’s rise to the forefront of popular music over the last 4 decades created a strong link between Music and Sport. Rappers want to be athletes and athletes want to be rappers. Interestingly the lines now have been blurred by a more cultural phenomenon – fashion. Houston rapper Travis Scott’s cultural significance globally has meant Jordan collaborating with him has helped reintroduce the Jordan brand to a mass audience. Despite not being released yet, the continuity with the earth tones from Travis’s original shoe is creating excitement. The introduction of cream on the laces, midsole and on the trademark Travis backwards swoosh are a breath of fresh air fitting for 10th place.
9. Air Jordan 1 Mocha
Continuing with newer iterations of the Jordan 1 at No.9 the Jordan 1 Mocha. Following the release of the original Travis Scott Mocha we received a more general release of the colourway on the usual Jordan 1 silhouette. The shoe was a huge hit, and is without a doubt one of the most popular newer releases in recent years. The brown suede with a switch of laces is a combination that many sneakerheads claim is a must.
8. Tony Taylor x Air Jordan 1 High Retro “Doernbecher”
Sneakers are not just footwear – they are history. Like music they bring you back to a certain place in your life. The Jordan 1 Doernbecher is part of a relationship between Nike and Oregan’s OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital stretching back to 2007. Each shoe made through the partnership is a creation by one of the child patients and Tony Taylor’s is a favourite of ours. The design is loud and in your face, which has set the tone for further collaborations between OHSU and Nike.
7. A Tribe Called Quest x Air Jordan 1 High Strap
A historic meeting between music, sports and fashion. This collaboration is a piece of history highlighting the strength of black culture and, when given the chance, it will continuously deliver. An ode to hip hop, this Jordan was created to celebrate the release of A Tribe Called Quest’s album Midnight Marauders. The shoe incorporated the artwork of the album and added an unprecedented strap to the tongue. As a result this shoe is now a slice of history of sports and music.
6. Air Jordan 1 Unc OG
Clean. First word that comes to mind when we see the OG UNC’s. The sneaker is a reference to Jordan’s University of North Carolina days and is just as emphatic. Originally released in 1985 these were rereleased in 2015 as part of the Jordan Brand Holiday Pack. The light blue and the white is simple and effective. Compared to the UNC Black 2021 and the Hyper Royal, which experimented with different materials and colours, yet neither have the slickness of the 2015 Jordan 1 UNC.
5. Air Jordan 1 Royal Blue
Jordan’s favourite colourway and yet, he never wore them on the court. The ‘Royals’ were one of the original three pairs of Jordan 1s featuring a mixture of royal blue and black leather. A very clean and rare silhouette that holds a special place in sneakerheads hearts. A pair worthy of a place in the top 5 on this list and in your sneaker rotation.
4. Air Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard
A personal favourite of mine, the Shattered Backboard is undoubtedly a beautiful shoe. The mix of white black and orange are tastefully done and are evenly spread on premium leather. The structural integrity of the shoe has created a standard for Jordan 1’s and has prompted comparisons for all future iterations regarding construction.
3. Air Jordan 1 OW Collab
First things first RIP Virgil Abloh. This shoe represented a real moment in the sneaker industry. Virgil Abloh’s ‘The 10’ shook the fashion world and set a precedent for future collaborations. The collection contains vivid colours and pushes the boundaries of design for a variety of classic shoes. The Jordan 1 received one of the more striking makeovers with the and the Chicagos are grail for sneakerheads globally. Virgil’s legacy lives on in his designs and these are iconic designs that will keep his name ringing loudly.
2. Air Jordan 1 Chicago
Retailing at $65 in 1985 the “Chicago 1’s” are seen as the original Jordans making it a collectors dream. The black and red colourway went perfectly with MJ’s Bull’s jersey and were featured in a variety of advertisements and brand collaborations that Jordan was committed to. The craze for these helped kick start the rise to popularity of Jordans and led to a demand that continues today.
1. Air Jordan 1 Bred Banned
The forbidden fruit. Michael Jordan was fined $5,000 per game he wore these because the NBA banned them for not matching the uniform. The lore and myth around these shoes helped Nike sell $55 million in presales. Consequently the shoes have been established as one of the most recognizable Jordan’s of all time. Slick and Sexy the Bred Banned had to be No.1.