Air Jordan 1: Michael Jordan, History, Designers And More

Discover the legacy of the Air Jordan 1. Explore its history, design, ties to Michael Jordan, and its enduring impact on sneaker culture.

BYJake Skudder
Air Jordan 1: Michael Jordan, History, Designers And More

When the Air Jordan 1 debuted, it bore the name of one of basketball's greatest players, Michael Jordan. This partnership between Jordan and Nike gave birth to a shoe that would forever change the sneaker world.

The History of the Air Jordan 1

Original Air Jordan 1
(Photo by Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images)

The Air Jordan 1's journey began in 1984, when Nike signed rookie Michael Jordan to a five-year endorsement deal. This bold move came during a time when Converse dominated the basketball shoe market.

The first AJ 1s hit the market in 1985. Contrary to the league's uniform policy at the time, these sneakers flaunted the bold red and black colors of the Chicago Bulls. The NBA fined Jordan for each game he wore the shoes, which only added to their allure and popularity.

Designers Behind The Legendary Shoe

Air Jordan 1 on Michael Jordan
WASHINGTON - 1985: Detail of the "Air Jordan" Nike shoes worn by Chicago Bulls' center Michael Jordan #23 during a game against the Washington Bullets at Capital Centre circa 1985 in Washington, D.C.. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images)

Peter Moore, Nike's creative director at the time, was the brain behind the initial design of the Air Jordan 1. He wanted to create a shoe that mirrored Jordan's playing style—powerful, yet graceful.

Moore's design was both visually appealing and functional. The Jordan 1 featured a high-top silhouette for ankle support, a Nike Air unit for cushioning, and a distinctive "Wings" logo.

Air Jordan 1: An Iconic Sneaker

Spike Lee is a huge fan of the Air Jordan
(Photo by Ray Amati/Getty Images)

The Air Jordan 1 quickly transcended its basketball shoe status. It became a cultural icon, appealing to audiences beyond the sports world. The shoe's popularity reached new heights when it appeared in Spike Lee's film, She's Gotta Have It.

Since its initial release, the iconic shoe variant has seen numerous colorways, collaborations, and retros. Despite its evolution, it has never lost its iconic status, remaining a staple in sneaker culture.

The Impact Of The Shoe

Michael Jordan in Paris
(Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

The Air Jordan 1's impact extends beyond style and sports. It revolutionized the business of sports marketing, paving the way for athletes to have lucrative shoe endorsement deals.

The AJ 1 also had a significant influence on streetwear culture. It bridged the gap between sports and fashion, becoming a style statement on and off the court.


In conclusion, the Air Jordan 1 is more than just a basketball shoe. It's a symbol of Michael Jordan's legendary career, a testament to innovative design, and an icon in the sneaker and fashion world. From its controversial debut to its lasting impact, the Jordan 1's story is one of daring, disruption, and design excellence.

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About The Author
Jake is the SEO Content Lead for HotNewHipHop. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling, gaming and music across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy. His work has also been featured on GiveMeSport, Sportskeeda, Pro Sports Extra, Wrestling Headlines, NoobFeed, Wrestlingnewsco and Keen Gamer, again under the name Jake Jeremy. Previously, he worked as the Editor in Chief of 24Wrestling, building the site’s profile with a view to selling the domain, which was accomplished in 2019. As well as his work for HNHH, Jake is also the Editor in Chief for Fight Fans, a combat sports and pro wrestling site that was launched in January 2021 and broke into the millions of pageviews within the first two years. Jake also previously worked for the biggest independent wrestling company in the UK, PROGRESS Wrestling, as PR Head and Head of Media across the company's social channels. Jake's favourite Hip Hop artists are Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys and Body Count.