One of the most iconic sneakers of all time, the Air Jordan 1 has remained a constant in the industry since its inception. World renowned for its comfort, quality and basketball heritage, Jordan 1s have become a pillar of sneaker history. With demand for the shoe at an all-time high thanks to covetable collaborations and continuous remodels, questions are now being asked as to whether it can rival the Nike Dunk and Air Force 1. Here, we take a look at the silhouette that started it all and how it came to be a must-have for 2023.

Originally designed as a highly functional basketball shoe, the Air Jordan 1 was first seen on the feet of Michael Jordan in 1984 — a year before the sneaker’s official release. Built with advanced technology, the AJ1 changed the landscape of footwear and paved the way for a new wave of game-changing styles. Years later, the shoe was adopted by musicians and A-listers, cementing its status as an indisputable icon. Nike went on to introduce an extensive range of releases that attracted fans from around the globe and informed the direction of sports and fashion.

Today, the sneaker remains at the forefront of the conversation. Confirmed as Jordan Brand’s bestselling silhouette, the AJ1 continues to break boundaries and dominate the market. And while it’s been nearly 40 years since the shoe’s initial release, the Air Jordan 1 is having a moment this year, and it’s not hard to see why.

Retro revivals are a driving force behind the sneaker’s popularity. Already this year, some of the brand’s most celebrated colour schemes have flooded the industry — from UNC to True Blue. The Air Jordan 1 Low Bred Sail Womens nods to MJ’s “Banned” colourway, while the Air Jordan 1 High OG White Cement stays true to Tinker Hatfield’s original design. With more vintage-inspired releases planned for 2023, the Jordan 1 constantly proves its endless staying power and timeless aesthetic.

But while the reimagined styles have added a nostalgic element to the collection, the Jordan 1’s current success lies in its collaborations. Partnerships with the world’s biggest names — Louis Vuitton, Off-White and Dior, to name a few — have drawn in a wider audience, while the recent Travis Scott release has reinforced the shoe’s appeal. Nike even released a “Trophy Room” version in 2021 with Marcus Jordan, one of Michael Jordan’s sons and a sneaker boutique owner. By teaming up with tastemakers and luxury powerhouses, the Jordan 1 now lends itself to a whole new generation of fans.

As we head deeper into the year, the Air Jordan 1 is showing no signs of slowing down. The impact of the shoe continues to resonate with crowds and the brand’s ever-growing portfolio of styles is testament to this. With further iterations expected to release in the foreseeable future, the AJ1 is a certified must-have for 2023 and beyond.