The Jordan 1 ‘Bred’ is a sneaker that has a cult following unlike any other.
It achieved notoriety in the 1980s when it was said to have been ‘banned’ by the NBA (who fined Michael Jordan $5,000 each time he wore the sneaker, as it deviated from the Association-approved ‘uniformity of uniform rule’ which states that ‘a player must wear shoes that not only matched their uniforms, but matched the shoes worn by their teammates.” Nike allegedly footed the bill each time the fine was issued.) The story has become a thing of legend, and is still one of the most-enduring sneaker stories told today. Nike even released the ‘Jordan 1 ‘Banned” in 2011, which featured an embossed ‘X’ on the heel panel to pay homage to the story.
Whether the story is entirely true or not is a matter for debate (there are conflicting reports which say it was actually the Nike Air Ship Black/Red that was banned, not the Jordan 1 Black/Red. The Air Ship has incidentally never been retroed), but one thing is for sure, the Jordan 1 ‘Bred’ is one of the most popular – if not the most popular – Jordan sneakers of all time. While those that came after would go on to become legends in their own right (III, IV, and V to name but a few), none could match the true OG nature of the very first Jordan sneaker. It disrupted the shoe game like no other before it, and helped propel Nike & Jordan to new heights.
2015 saw the release of the ‘Chicago‘ and ‘Shattered Backboard‘ colourways, both of which became instant hits with collectors thanks to their lauded histories firmly rooted in nostalgia, however there’s perhaps no greater backstory in sneaker lore than the Black & Red Jordan 1.
On September 3rd, the Jordan 1 ‘Bred’ returns. Make sure you’re ready.