Debatably one of the most admired sneakers of all time, but also one of the most popular sneakers of 2021, the Air Jordan 1 has been seen in all kinds of interesting colourways.
Here we rank some of the most popular Air Jordan 1 sneakers, compiling a list of the most wanted colourways (and not just the OGs).
Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1
The Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 was released not long after Scott’s 3rd album, Astroworld.
The Houston-born rapper had already released 3 shoes with both Nike and Jordan, but his Air Jordan 1 would be his most anticipated. And it did not disappoint.
With a flipped swoosh and a fuzzy brown suede on the upper, the shoes were adored. The Travis Scott 1s would quickly rack up bids on the resale market for over $1000.
Since then, Scott has released a number of sneakers with Jordan, including some more 1s. However, for many, his first collab is still his best.
Air Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard
After his first year in the league, Jordan would play an exhibition game in Italy – where he would slam the ball into the basket so hard that the backboard shattered into pieces. All of this occurred whilst Jordan wore an orange, black and white Stefanel Trieste Jersey (hence the use of those colours of the shoes).
But what makes the success of these sneakers so surprising is that it wasn’t an OG colour or a collaboration. And, thanks to the positive reception of the original release, the Jordan brand has revisited the Shattered Backboard theme a number of times since.
As a result, the Shattered Backboard colourway has quickly become more widely known than the dunk it was named after.
Air Jordan 1 Royal
There are 2 kinds of sneakerheads: those who like Breds and those who like Royals.
The Air Jordan 1 Royal, which features the same colour blocking as the Air Jordan 1 Bred, swaps out the red for a royal blue.
Due to the NBA’s rules in 1985 about shoes needing to match with the team’s colours, the most popular OG colourways tend to feature white, red, and black. But for those who are less keen on red, or who didn’t support the Bulls, the Air Jordan 1 Royal quickly became their go-to model.
However, if you look at the Jordan line, very few of them have a significant amount of blue on them. So this does stand out as a special pair. In fact, every time the sneaker has been retro-ed, it’s been instantly snapped up, even when the colourway is used on a mid or a low silhouette.
Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Chicago
Designed by Virgil Abloh and released as part of “The Ten”, the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Chicago took the iconic sneaker and added flaws to it.
Whilst at first this may seem strange, by leaving parts unsewn and unfinished, Abloh believed it would amplify their “handmade” quality and in turn strengthen the emotional connection we have towards the shoes.
Not only has the shoe become a grail for many sneaker collectors but, out of the 10 original models, the Off-White 1s were by far the standout pair.
Air Jordan 1 Bred
The first Air Jordan 1 to be made, hence its use of Chicago Bull’s colours, it was the Breds that kicked off Nike’s infamous “Banned” campaign.
After wearing the sneakers, Michael Jordan was threatened with increasing fines should he wear the colourway again. This was because it failed to follow the NBA’s 51% rule – that any shoe on the court must be at least 51% white.
Jordan would go on to wear a Bred version of the sneaker for the 1985 Slam Dunk Contest, which would immortalise the silhouette and also prompt another letter from the NBA.
As a result of this second letter, Nike created an advert that highlighted that “On October 18th, the NBA threw them out of the game.” But the classic ad would go on to state that “Fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them.”
This would kickstart the sneaker’s success and therefore points towards the Breds being the most important colourway on this list. Without this controversial colourway, and Nike’s ad campaign, who knows where the brand would have been today.