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The History of the Air Jordan 1

The Beginning.

The Air Jordan 1’s are one of the most iconic and well-known sneakers today yet the history of its inception isn’t quite as clear. In 1985 a rookie out of the University of North Carolina named Michael Jordan signed an anomalous shoe deal with a small sneaker upstart known as Nike that would change the course of sneaker culture forever. The contract gave Jordan $500,000 per year with stock options; a feat that was unprecedented for any athlete at the time.

Originally designed by Peter Moore, the Jordan 1’s featured a pair of wings with a basketball in the middle and were a huge hit at the time because they one of the first basketball shoes that had bright, vibrant colors and came in different variations. One of the most popular versions was the red and black “Bred” Jordan 1’s which Michael Jordan wore during the 1985 NBA Slam Dunk contest.

The Controversy.

The colors were so revolutionary that the NBA would fine Jordan $5,000 every time he wore the red and black shoes because the colors violated the leagues uniform rules. The NBA even sent a letter to Nike to explain the league rules yet Nike was still able to capitalize on this publicity with its famous “Banned” commercial which only boosted sales of the shoes.

The Legacy.

Over 30 years later, the Air Jordan brand has become one of the most profitable sneaker brands in history catapulting Michael Jordan’s net worth to over 1 billion dollars and the Jordan 1’s have become a cultural mainstay as they can still be seen on NBA players during games and fashion runways alike. Although Air Jordan has since released subsequent additional models the Air Jordan 1 is still indisputably the most iconic and popular one. Check out our site for the latest Air Jordan releases.

 Ivan Ip
TMC Staff Writer

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