Original Air Jordan 1 Unearthed

August 12th, 2015 by / 0

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jordan-1-blacktoe-OG-sample-1985-1

Michael Jordan signing with Nike in 1984 turned out to be the tipping point in footwear and marketing history, resulting in dozens of iconic sneaker designs and a fan base more passionate than ever 30 years on. But the genesis of the Air Jordan story is much simpler by comparison. Yes, one in which pairs of Air Jordan 1s cost $65 and skaters used them to turn ollies. But also one where Michael Jordan received Air Jordan samples through ProServ, the agency that represented him early in his career.

One of those samples is the Air Jordan 1 you see here, colloquially known today as the “Black Toes.” It’s dated November 14, 1984 – just 19 days into Michael Jordan’s rookie season – and stands as perhaps the rarest Air Jordan 1 in existence. It is, of course, in Michael Jordan’s size 13 (he settled on 13.5 for the remainder of his career), and features a profile not seen on a Jordan shoe since the mid ’80s – slimmed upper mold, recessed toe, and generously portioned Swooshes.

We asked the shoe’s owner Kris Arnold, actor and former employee of ProServ, to fill in as many blanks as possible in the backstory. Which is fitting, since he’s the one who saved this bit of leather-clad history from a grim fate. Read on for more details about this incredible Air Jordan 1 sample, including exclusive photos.

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