Who should buy the Air Jordan 1 Retro High

The Air Jordan 1 Retro High might benefit you if:

  • You love wearing shoes of the same model but in various colorways to match different OOTDs.
  • A basketball shoe that shields and supports your ankles to prevent wobbles and rearfoot slippage. 
  • You are after a shoe with enough grip on both outdoor and indoor basketball courts.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Logo

Who should not buy the Air Jordan 1 Retro High

The Air Jordan High 1 Retro High might not be for you if a shoe that offers ample ventilation is what you are after. The Air Jordan Alpha 1 is a strong candidate. Also, wearers who prefer a basketball shoe that could adequately shield their feet against impact may have to consider something else such as the Air Jordan 5 Retro. 

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Not Buy

Outstanding multisurface traction

The shoe’s traction pattern features a mix of concentric circles and deep flex grooves. These designs are common to shoes released by Nike during the 1980’s such as the Air Force 1s and Nike Dunks. The circle patterns help the players easily pivot in every direction while the textured parts provide a steady grip on the court’s surface. Additionally, the rubber used for Air Jordan 1 Retro High’s outsole is soft and flexible, which enhances the shoe’s gripping power.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Outsole

That said, several users comment that among all of the Air Jordans, the 1s have one of the best traction patterns. This applies to both indoor and outdoor courts.

Excellent court feel

Players say that these Michael Jordan basketball shoes provide an excellent court feel due to their soft outsole.  

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Outsole2

A satisfying fit

The majority of users are satisfied with the Air Jordan 1 Retro High's fit as it runs true to size.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Fit

It shields and supports

The shoe provides thick padding on the ankle area while keeping the base of the heel hollow. When fully laced, the high cut hugs the ankle and cups the heel, giving the shoe a sculpted and secure feel. In fact, a significant number of players lauded this old-school basketball companion for its good ankle support and protection.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Ankle

Supple toes

It has been reported that the notch on the toe box, directly above the toe's knuckles, provides good flexibility on the shoe whenever a wearer would flex or stand on the balls of his foot.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Toe

It will not weigh you down

Despite this seemingly complex combination of materials, the majority of reviewers comment that these Michael Jordan shoes are light on their feet. 

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Light

A colorful grungy look

The Air Jordan 1 Retro High is a high-cut shoe that provides a secure hold on the ankle for players who do a lot of jumping. The shoe comes in more than 80 different colorways (including special releases). Even to this day, Air Jordan continually releases new colorways for this shoe and many reviewers like how they could be able to choose from a wide range of available color options.

The lateral sides of the shoe bear the Nike swoosh, along with the vintage Air Jordan logo. The tail of the Nike swoosh comes together in the rear of the shoe, giving a clean detail. Depending on the manufacturing date, the heel area of the shoe either bears the Nike Air logo, the Jumpman logo, or sometimes none at all.

The silhouette of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High is considered a classic since it complements the shape of the foot. The design, however, is very similar to the Nike Dunk High shoes. It is suggested that one pair this shoe with tapered pants rather than loose or baggy ones. A simple top is also suggested so as not to take away too much attention from the silhouette of the shoe.

What many owners find amazing about this shoe is that the more that this Jordan pair weathers and ages, the better the shoe looks. 

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Style

Cushioning against impact

The Air Jordan 1 Retro High uses Nike Air cushioning. This technology involves embedding a gas-filled polyurethane pouch into the midsole in order to give the shoe the ability to absorb impact. The air unit for this shoe, however, is applied only to the heel; and it’s considered minimal compared to newer models. This minimalism gives the shoe a lower-to-the-ground feel.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Midsole

Materials of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High

Air Jordan 1 Retro High’s shoe material may change depending on the shoe’s colorway or release date. This has been attributed to the changes in production or manufacturing place. However, most of the colorways use split-grain leather with a polyurethane coating. This material is unlike the newer and more breathable ones used on basketball shoes today, thus, only the nylon tongue and perforations on the toebox provide any sort of ventilation to the shoe. However, recent releases of the shoe feature other materials used for the upper, such as textile.

The midsole is made out of solid rubber, embedded with Nike Air pouches in the heel area. The outsole is made of soft rubber, giving the shoe a low drop and the player a good court feel.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Profile

Air Jordan History

The Air Jordan shoe line started when Michael Jordan entered the NBA in the 1980s. During that time, he was looking for a shoe company that would sponsor him. Jordan first approached Adidas since he was a huge fan of the shoe company, however, they were not able to give him any offer due to some internal issues that the company was going through. Jordan was very disappointed and approached Converse instead. However, they too had nothing special to offer to him.

It was then that Nike made Jordan a special offer: they would give Jordan a signature line where he would be able to customize the shoe to his preferences. Along with that was a $500,000-a-year paycheck for five years. Nike, however, demanded in the contract that Jordan accomplish any of these three within a year: win Rookie of the Year, become an All-Star player or average 20 points per game. Because of Jordan’s loyalty to Adidas, he went back to them and showed them what Nike was offering. He told them that if they could come anywhere close to Nike’s contract, he will sign up with them, to which he did not receive any response, thereby sealing the contract with Nike.

In the 1984-1985 season, just after signing his Nike contract, Michael Jordan was issued a memo by the NBA since his basketball sneakers, the Nike Air hip, violated the uniformity of uniforms policy for its black-and-red colorway. He was fined $5,000 every time he played wearing the shoes. Nike, however, used this to their advantage. Seeing that the banning of the shoes created so much hype, Nike made Jordan continue wearing the shoes while paying the fine for each game.

Later on, the company released a commercial that said that the NBA may have banned Michael Jordan from wearing the Air Jordan 1, but they can't ban "you" (the viewers) from wearing it. The Nike Air Ship was actually Air Jordan 1's prototype. However, Nike redirected the public's attention by inadvertently claiming that the 1s were the banned shoes.

The shoes were made available to the public in 1985 and were retroed in 1994, 2001-2004, and 2007-2017. To this day, Nike continually releases different colorways of the Air Jordan 1.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Story

Special Colorways of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High

Initially released in 1985, Michael Jordan’s celebrated first signature basketball shoe came in a wide range of hues. Since then, the silhouette has become a streetwear staple and has been continuously retro-ed.

Air Jordan 1 ‘Aleali May’

Fashion consultant Aleali May provides a fresh take on her favorite Air Jordan silhouette. The Air Jordan 1 ‘Aleali May’ features a black corduroy upper with a satin finish and a chenille Swoosh.

Air Jordan 1 Armed Forces Pack

This two-shoe collection honors the heroism and service of Michael Jordan’s brother Ronnie Jordan and all other uniformed personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces. Both pairs feature an embroidered badge on the heel that signifies Ronnie’s rank of Command Sergeant Major.

Air Jordan 1 Father’s Day Pack

The special edition Father’s Day Pack pays tribute to Michael’s father James Jordan Sr. who was murdered in 1993. This two-shoe collection features tweed inserts and a transparent Swoosh. Completing the silhouette is an illustration of a house that is stitched on the heel.

Air Jordan 1 Hare Jordan Easter Collection

Launched in 2015, the Hare Jordan ‘Easter’ Collection commemorates the 23-year friendship of Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. The collection includes two pairs of AJ 1s called ‘Hare’ and ‘Lola Bunny.’

The ‘Hare’ colorway features a silver upper with a multicolored tongue while the ‘Lola Bunny’ colorway boasts a shimmer and wheat upper with pink accents.

Air Jordan 1 High Strap ‘A Tribe Called Quest’

This Air Jordan 1 Retro High is inspired by the cover art of A Tribe Called Quest’s third studio album Midnight Marauders. The Air Jordan 1 ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ features a black-based upper with red and green accents throughout.

Air Jordan 1 ‘Noise Cancelling’

Part of the Noise Cancelling pack, these white basketball shoes celebrates New York Native Nigel Sylvester. The AJ 1 ‘Noise Cancelling’ colorway boasts detachable Swoosh logos on the side. 

Air Jordan 1 Opening Day Pack

In 1993, Michael Jordan retired from the NBA and decided to pursue his baseball dream. He played for the Chicago White Sox’s minor league affiliate the Birmingham Barons and then returned to Bulls in 1995.

The Air Jordan 1 Opening Day Pack commemorates his days playing for the Barons. This two-shoe pack matches the ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ jerseys of the Barons.

Air Jordan 1 Rebel XX ‘Top 3’

This women’s exclusive Air Jordan 1 combines the ‘Chicago,’ ‘Bred,’ and ‘Royal’ colorways. 

Air Jordan 1 Retro ‘Alpha’

The Air Jordan 1 Retro ‘Alpha’ takes us back to the beginning of the Air Jordan line. These basketball shoes feature an illustration of a young Michael shooting a jump shot while in his North Carolina uniform.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Doernbecher ‘Mr. Boober’

In 2007, Tony Taylor Jr. aka Mr. Boober battled through and eventually had a successful kidney transplant at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. The following year, he was selected to design his own Air Jordan 1 Retro as part of the Swoosh’s fifth annual Doernbecher freestyle project.

Guided by Jayson Maden and Estelle Maranan, Tony took inspiration from his triumph over the disease. The Air Jordan 1 Retro High DB features a gradient patent leather upper with a unique graphic. 

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Engineered Perf

Made for premium fashion, this lifestyle-inspired Air Jordan 1 features an engineered perf upper done in black or white with vachetta tan. 

Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘Equality’

Nike launched a unique Air Jordan 1 Retro colorway as part of their Equality campaign. The Air Jordan 1 Retro High Equality features a combination of white and black with a shiny dubrae. Carmelo Anthony’s logo is seen on the tongue while “Equality” is written on the heels.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘Hall of Fame’

Launched in 2009, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘Hall of Fame’ celebrates Michael Jordan’s enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. These black basketball shoes feature Michael’s stats from his storied career.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High J2K

This unique multicolored pair of Michael Jordan basketball shoes features a pyramid-stitched upper made of scraps from other Air Jordan 1 Retros.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG​ 'A Star Is Born'

This colorway of the Air Jordan 1 is inspired by Michael Jordan’s appearance on the 1984 issue of Sports Illustrated. The AJ 1 Retro High OG ‘A Star Is Born’ features a leather upper done in black and sail.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Fearless’

Inspired by Michael’s college and NBA teams, the AJ 1 Retro High OG ‘Fearless’ combines the ‘UNC’ and ‘Chicago’ colorways.  

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Homage to Home’

Split down the middle, the Air Jordan 1 ‘Homage to Home’ combines the two most iconic hues of Michael Jordan’s first signature basketball shoe. This OG retro features split panels that showcase the ‘Chicago’ and ‘Banned’ colorways.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG​ 'Letterman'

The Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Letterman’ is inspired by the bright red-and-blue tracksuit Michael Jordan wore during his infamous interview with David Letterman. The ‘Letterman’ is dressed in a combination of red and metallic navy.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG NRG​ No L’s

Jordan Brand is trying to dissuade buyers from reselling this particular colorway of the Air Jordan 1. Arriving in two hues, the AJ 1 Retro High OG NRG features phrases such as “Not For Resale,” “No Photos,” “Please Crease,” “Wear Me,” “General Release,” “Sorry, This Pair is Not Numbered,” and “No L’s.” 

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Origin Story’

The AJ 1 ‘Origin Story’ is a remixed version of the popular ‘Chicago’ colorway and also coincides with the release of the movie Spider-Man: Into the SpiderVerse. 

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘SP Gina’

This colorway of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High pays tribute to a Shoe Palace customer known as SP Gina. These all-black basketball shoes feature a tonal Wings logo with red hits on the tongue and outsole.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Re2pect’

This colorway of the Air Jordan 1 is inspired by Derek Jeter’s “Re2pect” campaign. The Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Re2pect’ features a black and white upper with lettering on the quarter panel.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Rookie of the Year’

This colorway of the AJ 1 Retro High is inspired by the outfit Michael Jordan wore when he received the 1985 Rookie of the Year award. The Michael Jordan basketball shoes are dressed in a combination of white tumbled leather and light brown nubuck. Black accents complete the shoe’s silhouette.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG XQ 'Ignite Shanghai'

Originally launched in 2007, the AJ 1 Retro High OG XQ makes a return as part of Nike’s Ignite Shanghai collection. XQ, an abbreviation for “Xi Qing” (“happiness and celebration” in English) explains the color choices of these Air Jordan basketball sneakers. 

The Air Jordan 1 XQ ‘Ignite Shanghai’ feature an eye-catching mix of black, white, and red leather with gold stitching. Debossed stars and a patterned side panel complete the silhouette.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘Pass the Torch’

The Air Jordan 1 ‘Pass the Torch’ pays tribute to Kawhi Leonard’s MVP-capturing performance in the 2014 NBA Finals. These basketball shoes are dressed in chrome and white leather with black detailing. References to Kawhi and the San Antonio Spurs are seen throughout the silhouette.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Pinnacle

From synthetic reptilian skin to 24k gold, Jordan Brand’s high-end sneaker series called the Pinnacle features the most luxurious materials ever used on a performance basketball shoe. 

Air Jordan 1 Retro High SW 23

In collaboration with NikeCourt, Jordan Brand celebrates Serena Williams’s 23rd Grand Slam victory with the release of a special Air Jordan 1 colorway. The AJ 1 Retro High SW 23 is dressed in hyper pink, black, and white with Serena’s logo on the heel and tongue.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘Top Three’

Similar to Nike’s ‘What The’ edition, the Air Jordan 1 ‘Top Three’ is a mashup of the top three original hues of the AJ 1.  The ‘Top Three’ combines the ‘Chicago,’ ‘Royal,’ and ‘Banned’ colorways into one unique silhouette.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘YOTS’

Jordan Brand greets the Year of the Snake with the release of the Air Jordan 1 Retro ‘YOTS.’ These retro basketball shoes feature a mix of blackened blue, bright citrus, and hyper red. Chinese-inspired letterings on the tongue tab complete the theme.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Zip

Instead of the usual laces, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High Zip features a zipper enclosure down the shoe’s middle. This reimagined sneaker is available in white/university red and black/university red.

Air Jordan 1 Retro ‘Wings’

Jordan Brand’s “Wings” program seeks to instill confidence in the youth through education and mentorship. As part of this program, a limited edition Air Jordan 1 made of distressed leather was crafted. Featuring a mix of black and metallic gold color, the Air Jordan 1 ‘Wings’ shares a similar color scheme with the Air Jordan 12 ‘Wings.’ Only 19,400 pairs of this expensive basketball shoe were made available via Nike SNKRS.

Air Jordan 1 Satin WMNS ‘Shattered Backboard’

This women’s exclusive colorway features a satin mid panel that is dressed in the same sail-colored tumbled leather seen in the OG.

Air Jordan 1 Women’s ‘Rox Brown’

These all black basketball shoes were crafted by celebrity stylist and social media influencer Rox Brown. The Air Jordan 1 Women’s ‘Rox Brown’ boasts a premium satin upper with nubuck overlays. An embroidered rose graphic completes the shoe's aesthetic.

Air Jordan 1 Women’s Court Lux High Top OG ‘Aleali May’

Originally a friends and family exclusive, this women’s Air Jordan 1 features a multicolored suede upper, wax laces, and a fur tongue. 

Dave White X Air Jordan 1

British artist Dave White crafted a head-turning, American-flag inspired Air Jordan 1 that caused a ruckus during the 2012 All-Star festivities. The Dave White X Air Jordan 1 features a combination of black, sport red, white, and cement grey. The iconic elephant print is also seen on the forefoot lace strap. “The absolute intent was to make something that actually looked animated and dynamic, explosive and alive even when standing still. I wanted the shoe to almost look like it had been dipped in paint and is exploding with energy,” White explained.

Gatorade X Air Jordan 1

Gatorade and Jordan Brand team up to create four monochromatic hues of the Air Jordan 1. Inspired by the Gatorade’s most popular flavors, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘Gatorade’ comes in orange peel, violet rush, blue lagoon, and cyber.

Nigel Sylvester X Air Jordan 1

BMX sensation Nigel Sylvester and Jordan Brand has teamed up to create a special pair of AJ 1s. The Nigel Sylvester X Air Jordan 1 features a worn look on its sail upper with red, black, and reflective silver accents.

Nike SB X Air Jordan 1 ‘NYC to Paris’

The Nike SB X Air Jordan 1 ‘NYC to Paris’ boasts a clean grey layer that rubs off to reveal an off-white and red Swoosh underneath.

Nike SB X Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘LA to Chicago’

The ‘LA to Chicago’ colorway features a multi-layered design that can be rubbed off to reveal a ‘Chicago’ colorway underneath.

Off-White X Air Jordan 1

A collaboration between Italian fashion label and Air Jordan, the Off-White X Air Jordan 1 features a combination of premium leather and mesh. A deconstructed Swoosh and the “Air” branding on the midsole complete the silhouette.

PSG X Air Jordan 1 Retro High

Crafted in collaboration with the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club, these retro Air Jordans boast a black upper with red and white accents. "Ici c'est Paris" is printed on the insole while the team logo is found on the back of the tongue.

Travis Scott X Air Jordan 1 High OG TS SP

A follow up to the popular Air Jordan 4 ‘Cactus Jack,’ the Travis Scott X Air Jordan 1 collab features a white upper with dark mocha accents. A flipped Swoosh and stash pockets on the collar are the shoe’s stand out features.

Union Los Angeles X Air Jordan 1 High NRG

LA-based men’s store and Jordan Brand teamed up to create two unique colorways of the Air Jordan 1. Taking inspiration from the late ‘80s to the early ‘90s, the Union LA X Air Jordan 1 High OG NRG celebrates the golden era of both streetwear and sports.

Vogue X Air Jordan 1 High Zip AWOK

Jordan Brand and Vogue team up to create a women’s exclusive Air Jordan 1 High Zip. These basketball sneakers are made with premium leather and feature metallic zippers that are attached with a special edition “Edited by Vogue” hangtag.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High Colorways

Facts / Specs

Top: High
Signature: Michael Jordan
Lockdown: Lace-Up
Collection: Air Jordan, Air Jordan 1
Features: Retro / Ankle support
Colorways: Black / Green / Red / Blue / Grey / White / Orange / Brown / Purple / Gold / Pink / Yellow
SKUs: 555088005 / 555088022 / 555088023 / 555088134 / 555088161 / 555088758 / 819176001 / BQ4422798 / CK5666100 / DZ5485410

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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.