Nike’s renowned Air Jordan shoes are known by many names, including Jays, J’s, Jordans, Jumpers, and Birds. But no matter what you call them, everyone is talking about them. During the almost thirty years since their introduction, these kicks have progressed from being just functional footwear to being collectors and investment items, as well as creating a distinct sneakerhead culture in their own right.
However, there are several moving parts to comprehending and appreciating a pair of Nike Air Jordan, which may be difficult for a newcomer to grasp. That is precisely what we are here for. Take this as a non-guided sneakerhead to the Air Jordans collection. (As a bonus, you can use many of the ideas learned from this article to size up other shoe manufacturers as well.) Let’s get started.
In what way does the Air Jordan differ from other sneakers?
Begin with the guy himself, Michael Jordan, the starting point of this discussion. MJ is one of the most well-known athletes globally, and he is still active. He set several NBA records and competed in the Olympics as a basketball player, winning two gold medals. As a movie star and NASCAR team co-owner, he also has a wildly successful career off the court. He is also the name and face of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers, the most successful footwear brand in the sport’s history.
Nike secured an agreement with Michael Jordan in 1984 to collaborate on creating his line of sneakers. Converse was the official shoe of the National Basketball Association at the time; therefore, the shoes stood out on the floor. “Air soles,” a new technology for Nike’s running shoes, had just been introduced, and Jordan was already well-known for his extraordinary ability to achieve enormous height when dunking the ball. As a result, the moniker “Air Jordan” came to be.
What do the numerals on the Air Jordans imply, and what do they represent?
The edition number 1-35 is stamped on the bottom of most Air Jordans. Since the Nike Air Jordan 1 first appeared in 1985, there have been 35 different versions, each numbered consecutively, with a new one being released around once a year.
It’s important to remember that there are multiple hues and partnerships inside each edition (we’ll get to them in a minute), meaning more than 35 distinct shoe varieties. Each has a distinct design, both in terms of appearance and functionality. If you’re looking for a fast visual reference to each Air Jordan iteration, Cardboard Connection has a terrific one that you can use as a cheat sheet.
Listed below is all you need to know about how the edition of an Air Jordan influences its valuation: For starters, each edition is only available in a limited number of copies. An essential thing to remember about shoes is that they are functional—they are worn. Older versions get worn out, lost, or wrecked over time, increasing the rarity and value of newer, better-condition editions in the process.
Of course, the article is speaking in a very generalised manner. Because different hues and partners are often issued in more limited numbers. These distinctive elements may sometimes outweigh the value of an edition number when determining the value of a piece.
What exactly is a retro?
Retros are reproductions of an older model (the original is appropriately referred to as an OG), which are re-released years later utilising new shoe-making technology and materials with slight alterations in design.
That explains why there are so many distinct Air Jordan 1s from various years, despite the original Air Jordan 1 being introduced back in 1985. According to Nike’s blog, there are retros of almost every edition, but the Air Jordan 1 has by far the most—there are 99 Air Jordan 1 retros in all.
What exactly are colourways, and why are they important?
In a word, a colourway is precisely what it sounds like: a collection of distinct colour combinations that can be found on every specific Air Jordan shoe. The general design of an edition remains typically the same. Still, the colour patterns vary, much like picking various crayons while maintaining inside the broad lines of a colouring book to create a unique look. There are so many distinct hues available that it’s almost hard to keep track of them all. There are 23 distinct hues available for the Air Jordan 1.
What is the procedure for collaborating?
According to Sneaker News, Jordans with someone’s name on them other than Michael Jordan’s is most likely collabs or player editions of the Jordan brand. As you may have guessed, the collab is an abbreviation for collaboration. It refers to a situation where a celebrity, generally a rapper or a fashion designer, would create their ideal pair of shoes. A player edition is created to pay tribute to a particular athlete.
A second reason is that the shoe’s relationship with a beloved celebrity provides extra value to the shoe’s followers. The shoe’s association with a couture designer like Dior may give the shoe a greater cachet in fashion circles.