Top 10 OG-Inspired Air Jordan 1s of All-Time

Top 10 OG-Inspired Air Jordan 1s of All-Time

November’s Air Jordan 1 High “Last And Found” is arguably the most anticipated sneaker drop of 2023, with the brand backing up the hype by making it the largest manufactured Air Jordan 1 release of all time. It should come as no surprise, though, as every OG-inspired Air Jordan 1 release has garnered significant attention from the sneakerverse, with the demand for both the silhouette and the legendary Michael Jordan brand at an all-time high.

The original colorways signify the birth of something special, a partnership that started from humble beginnings — a gamble from Nike — that exploded the brand — and sneakers — into the culture we know today; A fitting parallel of Michael Jordan’s effect on the game of basketball. However, the originals are held in such high regard, Mike and co. simply can’t exhaust these options on a regular basis; they’d lose their prestige and diminish their stature in the industry. But with demand so high and a legacy to protect, what does a smart brand do? Jordan Brand — and quite often, its collaborative partners — has cleverly navigated the situation by implementing OG-inspired colorways that harness the heritage charm, and brand story, whilst delivering fresh takes that both keep the fans happy and the allurement of the originals intact


From big-name collaborations to reimagined color blocking, Jordan Brand has experimented, tweaked, twisted, and reimagined countless Air Jordan 1 originals over the years, and today we’re taking a look at ten of the best — starting with…

Air Jordan 1 High OG “Spider-Man: Origin Story”

Release Date: 12/14/2018

Available Now on StockX

Jordan Brand lent their legendary Air Jordan 1 High OG “Chicago” to Miles Morales in the 2018 feature film “Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse” — and with it, released a celebratory collaboration for the film’s launch. The pair took the original, tweaked it with translucent soles and glossy glazy overlays, and dropped it in both adult and kids sizes. The pair was immediately a hot commodity, and its success has spawned a follow-up release in 2023.


Travis Scott x Fragment x Air Jordan 1 High OG

Release Date: 07/29/2021

Available Now on StockX

Back in 2021, Houston’s own Travis Scott linked up with Fragment Design for one of the most hyped-up cross-collaborations in Jordan Brand history — and in itself, was inspired by the history of the Air Jordan 1. Though not aligned to any pair that was released in 1985, the pair draws big inspiration from the mythical Royal/White sample from 1985 (pictured further below), save the color and placement of the Swoosh. The pair’s success was then followed-up by a red-based general release dubbed “Heritage”

Air Jordan 1 High OG Royal/White sample circa 1985

 

Air Jordan 1 High OG “Bred Toe”

Release Date: 02/24/2018

Available Now on StockX

Arguably the most popular in-line release from the brand in recent history (save the “Shattered Backboard,” of course)  2018’s Air Jordan 1 High OG “Bred Toe” took a simple approach: glue together two OG colorways. The back end features Chicago/Black Toe blocking, while the toe box and tongue is ripped straight from the original “Banned” (Bred) release. The blocking has since become a mainstay for the brand, with everything from the aforementioned SBB, to the Pine Green, Court Purple, and Yellow Toe colorways all amongst the best Air Jordan 1 releases of the past decade.


Air Jordan 1 Mid “Chicago Patent”

Release Date: 11/23/2003

Available Now on StockX

Some may say it’s sacrilege to include an Air Jordan 1 Mid, but before the silhouette became the butt of all jokes, it was highly regarded amongst the sneaker community; few more so than this patent leather take on the OG Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” from 2003. One of the first Air Jordan 1s to ever feature the high-gloss finish, the pair quickly became a must-have for collectors, and still to this day remains a collectible amongst enthusiasts.

 

 

Union x Air Jordan 1 High OG

Release Date: 11/17/2018

Available Now on StockX (Storm Blue)
Available Now on StockX (Black Toe)

With the exception of one hugely influential release mentioned later on this list (c/o Virgil Abloh), Union’s Air Jordan 1 collection from 2018 is (fact) the best the collaboration model has ever seen. No room for debate; No room for interpretation, the two-pair pack is simply the best. From a distance, you’d think this collaboration wouldn’t have taken that long at all. Just chop the throats off a pair of “Bred” and “Natural Grey” Air Jordan 1s and attach them to the body of a “Storm Blue” and “Black Toe,” respectively.

But when you get these in hand, you’ll understand why it took almost ten attempts to get these just right. So how can such a simplistic idea that stemmed from a love of vintage shoes initiate such a lengthy research and development period?

The answer is in the details.

It’s no secret that the Union collaboration plays into owner Chris Gibbs’s fascination with vintage sneakers. It was inspired by the concept of hacking up several vintage pairs of Jordan 1s to repair an OG. It took nine times to get the finishes right, and it was well worth the effort. Just ask anyone who’s lucky enough to get their hands on a pair.


Trophy Room x Air Jordan 1 High OG

Release Date: 02/10/2021

Available Now on StockX

There was certainly a shitstorm surrounding this partnership between father and son, but the backdooring scandal, social media callouts, all the early pairs, and highly-publicized “Blue Laces” made the Trophy Room x Air Jordan 1 High OG one of the most talked-about sneaker releases of the century. Inspired by the OG Chicago and the 1985 NBA All-Star game — and with Marcus Jordan’s name attached — the pair was destined for success, no matter the circumstances surrounding its release.

 

Aleali May x Air Jordan 1 High OG

Release Date: 10/28/2017

Available Now on StockX

Fashion icon Aleali May skyrocketed to stardom in the sneaker space with her debut 2017 collaboration with Jordan Brand, a pair inspired by vintage athletic jackets — and the Air Jordan 1 High OG “Shadow.” May has since gone on to deliver seven more collaborative efforts since, as well as a special-edition “Veteran’s Day” Air Jordan 4 that celebrates her father’s service.

 

OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 High OG “Chicago”

Release Date: 11/09/2017

Available Now on StockX

There was a pivotal moment in 2017 that saw the Swoosh completely counter adidas’ short-lived dominance of the sneaker market when Nike linked up with a long-time friend and creative consultant to Kanye West, Virgil Abloh. That moment was the release of the audacious “THE TEN” collection; With ten pairs in total, it was the single biggest collaborative release in sneaker history. To Virgil’s credit, he did an exceptional job on a task that would overwhelm even the most experienced collaborator: to rework ten different silhouettes, some being the most iconic sneaker in Nike brand history, and to deliver them all at once. Nike knew that hardcore Ye fans (who knew who Virgil was before the collection) would eat these up — and then the rest of the market would follow. And boy did they.

Of course, the headline for the pack was the Air Jordan 1 ‘Chigaco,’ a sneaker that, in the eyes of many, would be sacrilegious to tweak. But not only did Virgil tweak it, he overhauled it. It was like nothing we’d ever seen before: exposed foam tongues, detached, oversized Swooshes, “QUOTATIONS”, and zip ties, of all things. The power move from the Swoosh didn’t start a wave, but a damn Tsunami, and it took everyone along for the ride. All of a sudden, people had forgotten about the NMD and the Ultra BOOST and were focused on Nike’s next OFF-WHITE release.


Colette x Air Jordan 1 High OG “Au Revoir”

Release Date: 2017 (Family and Friends)

Available Now on StockX

This ultra-exclusive Air Jordan 1 collaboration was made by Nike in commemoration of the famous French boutique Colette closing its doors in 2017. Opening in 1997, Colette was a revolutionary Parisian boutique for High Fashion, Streetwear, and Accessories. In 2005 Forbes labeled Colette “the trendiest store in the world,” citing its global influence and innovation.

The Air Jordan 1 Collette, initially created for the employees of the boutique, is considered one of the rarest Nike Air Jordan colorways of all time. It was never released at retail, and the pairs were only given to those close to the boutique. The Colette was additionally featured in a popular charity contest hosted by StockX in 2019, with all proceeds going to the Oceana organization.

And although the limited edition pair was designed with Colette’s signature white and blue colors, its extremely close proximity to the OG Air Jordan 1 High “Storm Blue” is enough to slot this one into the list.

 

 

Air Jordan 1 High OG “Lost And Found”

Release Date: 11/19/2022

Available Now on StockX

As mentioned in the opening lines of this article, the 2022 Air Jordan 1 High OG “Lost And Found” will be the single most sizable production of the Air Jordan 1 for any release in the brand’s 37-year history. But it’s not just the sheer volume that has everyone excited, it’s the OG-inspiration, of course, but the added back story of a yard sale steal, the in-vogue vintage aesthetic, and the accompanying accessories that bring the nostalgia flooding back to those who experienced it early on, whilst providing the next generation with a hunger for all future OG-inspired releases.


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