One could argue that the Air Jordan 1 silhouette is easily the most recognizable Air Jordan model of all-time. You could even go as far as saying that the sneaker industry would not be as big as it is today had the Air Jordan 1 never existed. However, the Jordan 1 Chicago has a life and status of its own.
The shoe that started it all, the Air Jordan 1 can be easily spotted by sneakerheads and non-sneakerheads alike from a mile away. Designed by Peter Moore, the OG colorways of the Air Jordan 1 were released from 1985 to 1986. Now considered iconic releases, some of these classic colorways include the immortal Air Jordan 1 Bred, the Air Jordan 1 Royal, the Air Jordan 1 Black Toe, the Air Jordan 1 UNC and the Air Jordan 1 Metallic Red, just to name a few.
Although all of those colorways listed above are straight fire, there is one OG Air Jordan 1 colorway that manages to stand out from that impressive list of choices. We’re talking about the Air Jordan 1 Chicago. In spite of the fact that the Air Jordan 1 Chicago was not the first Air Jordan 1 colorway that Michael Jordan wore on the court, there something truly magical about this White, Black and Red high top sneaker. Here’s all you need to know about the Air Jordan 1 Chicago.
Considered one of the best OG colorways of the Air Jordan 1, the Air Jordan 1 Chicago released back in 1985 for the retail price of $65 (although that sounds cheap, it was actually considered a lot 35 years ago). From all the OG colorways of the Air Jordan 1 that released, Michael Jordan only wore three of them on the court – Breds, Black Toes and Chicagos.
As hard as it might seem to believe, the Air Jordan 1 Chicago has not gotten the retro treatment as many times as you’d think. After debuting in 1985, the Chicago 1 did not receive the retro treatment until 1994 when Jordan Brand started their retro era following Jordan’s (first) retirement from basketball. In other words, from 1987 to 1993, Jordan Brand did not have any new Jordan 1 releases. Can you imagine that kind of drought happening now? Neither can we.
Air Jordan 1 Chicago: more than just a version
The 1994 Air Jordan 1 Chicago came with Nike Air on the tongue and is considered by many the best retro rendition of the Air Jordan Chicago. It took almost an entire two decades for Jordan Brand to retro the Air Jordan 1 Chicago once more when it dropped back in 2013. This time around Jordan Brand opted for the Jumpman branding on the tongue and heel, instead of the beloved Nike Air tag we were accustomed to seeing.
Although not a true “OG” retro because of that change, Chicago 1 enthusiasts were still happy to see their beloved sneaker return after almost a 20 year hiatus. After the 2013 release, it only took Jordan Brand 2 years to bring back the Air Jordan 1 Chicago once more, but this time with OG Nike Air branding on it as it last dropped back in 2015. As expected, the 2015 pair flew off the shelves. This was the first time since 1994 since sneakerheads were able to cop a Chicago 1 in true OG fashion.
Jordan 1 Chicago: part of a new era
It’s been 5 years since the J1 Chicago has gotten the retro treatment. Back in late 2019 there were rumors going around saying that they’d be returning back just in time for this year’s NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago. That didn’t turn out to be true. That being the case, there is still a good chance that we see a return sometime later on this year. The Air Jordan 1 Hi 85 Varsity Red that dropped on 2/8 was the beginning of a new era for the Air Jordan 1 lineage.
These new updated “85” variations of the Air Jordan 1 High are said to be the next best thing aside from owning an actual pair from 1985. It only makes logical sense for Jordan Brand to begin releasing OG colorways of the Air Jordan 1 in this format, right? Rest assured, when the time comes (because it will come), the Air Jordan 1 Hi 85 Chicago will be one of the most anticipated drops of the season. Good luck getting a pair. We’re all going to need it.
Further Reading: A Brief History of The Air Jordan 2