Verdict from 5 experts and 9 user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • These Michael Jordan basketball sneakers are pretty comfortable to wear, many owners exclaim. According to them, the quilted collar feels fantastic.
  • Several players are pleased with the Phylon midsole and full-length Zoom Air cushioning.
  • A handful of reviewers explain that the cushioning setup offers a nice blend of court feel, responsiveness, support, and comfort.
  • A tester observes that the full-length Zoom Air helps absorb the majority of impact during hard landings.
  • The Air Jordan Alpha 1’s on-court grip is just incredible, several players attest.
  • The fuse and synthetic materials get the job done, a handful of wearers comment. They are claiming that the materials are breathable, durable, and does a good job of mimicking real leather.
  • Lockdown and support are excellent, a few players report. They claim that the materials wrap around the foot nicely.
  • A user says that the Air Jordan Alpha 1 is his favorite outdoor shoe. He says that the traction works just as well and the shoe holds up pretty well.
  • Several are commenting that these Jordan basketball shoes are great for casual wear. According to them, the Alpha 1 has both old school style and modern-day comfort.

5 reasons not to buy

  • According to several owners, their arches hurt whenever they play in these Air Jordan basketball sneakers.
  • A good number of players are complaining that they can’t feel the bottom-loaded full-length Zoom Air unit. 
  • A tester gripes that the materials don’t retain its shape.
  • The traction of the Air Jordan Alpha 1 picks up quite a bit of dust, a handful of players report.
  • After several years of use, an owner says that the Phylon midsole on his pair has bottomed out.

Bottom line

Jordan Brand brought their A game when they launched the Air Jordan Alpha 1. Users are pleasantly surprised with how these basketball shoes perform on the court. The traction, cushioning, support, and lockdown are all on-point. However, a good number of players are saying that a top-loaded full-length Zoom Air unit would have been more effective than the current setup. Despite this, wearers are still saying that the Air Jordan Alpha 1 is fun to play in and is a must-try for any Jordanhead.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Good to know

To further the legacy and commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the game-changing Air Jordan 1, Jordan Brand created a more contemporary interpretation of the iconic basketball sneaker.

Like Kobe Bryant’s Proto series, the Air Jordan Alpha 1 combines retro-inspired style with updated performance technologies. These Michael Jordan basketball shoes feature the classic Air Jordan 1 silhouette packed with modern technologies such as a synthetic upper, padded collar, Phylon midsole, and full-length Zoom Air.

Cushion. The Air Jordan Alpha 1 boasts a thick Phylon midsole with a bottom-loaded full-length Zoom Air unit for dynamic cushioning that brings you closer to the court.

Traction. An updated version of the original Air Jordan 1 outsole, the Alpha 1 features a circular traction pattern combined with some herringbone for increased multidirectional grip on and off the hardwood.

Length and Width. According to reports, these Michael Jordan basketball shoes fit a little big. Buyers may go a half size down for a snug fit.

Lockdown. Similar to first Air Jordan, the Air Jordan Alpha 1 features a lace-up closure and a mid-to-high-top cut for a secure and locked-in fit. An internal heel counter and a flat base add stability during side-to-side movements.

The Alpha 1 features a combination of fuse and synthetic materials that offers enhanced support, breathability, and durability. Inside these basketball sneakers, a padded ankle collar provides increased comfort.

Unseasoned sneakerheads may have some difficulty telling the Air Jordan 1 and Air Jordan Alpha 1 apart. However, upon closer inspection, buyers will notice the thicker midsole, minimal stitching on the outsole, and an updated traction pattern. Other details include the Wings logo on the collar as well as ‘Since 85’ and a Jumpman logo on the heel.

The Alpha 1 is available in both classic AJ1 and new colorways. Nike also made these shoes available for customization via NikeID.

  • Black/Metallic Silver 3M Reflective
  • Black/Varsity Maize
  • Black/Varsity Red ‘Bred’
  • Black/Varsity Royal
  • Black/White/University Blue
  • Chocolate/Black
  • White/Black/Varsity Red ‘Chicago’
  • White/Black/Royal Blue
  • White/Red/Black ‘W3LCOME HOME’
  • Sweet Birch/Black/Orange Blaze ‘Tinker Hatfield’


How Air Jordan Alpha 1 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 49% basketball shoes
All basketball shoes
Top 47% Jordan basketball shoes
All Jordan basketball shoes
Top 47% michael jordan basketball shoes
All michael jordan basketball shoes


The current trend of Air Jordan Alpha 1.
Compare to another shoe:
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.