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Air Jordan 1 Releases in 2021 (Thus Far) That You Might Want To Cop If You Haven’t Already Done So

Buying Guides

Melanie Kwok
June 24, 2021

The Air Jordan 1 is a staple in every streetwear ensemble, known for its timeless silhouettes for both the high, low and *gasps* mids iterations (laugh now but hating on mids in 2021 reeks of boomer energy). 2021 has seen new spins on the retros and hyped collaborations with several celebrities in the past half a year. We revisit what has been launched and some upcoming releases this year, and have chosen 7 pairs of Air Jordan 1s that you might want to do a double take on.

Air Jordan 1 Mid “All Star”

There was a time where mids were derided by hardcore sneakerheads, however with mids consistently selling out on the Nike SNKRS site, the tide is turning of late. 2021 may just be heralding in the mass acceptance of Air Jordan Mids.

Shop Air Jordan 1 Mid “All Star” on Ox Street
Shop Air Jordan 1 Mid “All Star” on Ox Street

Made to celebrate Indianapolis’ racing heritage when the NBA All-Star Weekend was held there, the “All Star” is decked out in an essential two-toned black and white colorway and irresistible details that makes this pair so special. Its white leather base is contrasted by glossy black patent leather overlays at the mudguard and eyestay. Completing the look is a carbon fiber print covering the black leather on the Swooshes, heel, and collar flaps of the shoes. The “All Star” is also available in the Air Jordan 1 Low, with a more black dominated colorway.  

Shop the Air Jordan 1 Low “All Star” on Ox Street
Shop the Air Jordan 1 Low “All Star” on Ox Street

Fragment x Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1

fragment-design-travis-scott-air-jordan-1-low-dm7866-140-release-info-1.jpg

The drop that everyone has been looking forward to this year is the fragment design x Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 that comes in both the high and low versions. Known for the iconic reverse backward Swoosh design in all his collabs with Nike, the heel on the left also features the stitched smiley face and Cactus Jack logo, while the right sports the Jordan Wings and Hiroshi Fujiwara’s Fragment lightning bolt. The sneaker’s uppers are made of tumbled white leather base, with black overlays on the medial Swoosh, mudguards, eyestays and heel tabs. Royal Blue accents are found on the outsole, heel, and collar lining.

While waiting for this sick three-way collaboration that will come at the end of the year, check out past collaborations like the Fragment Design x Air Jordan 1 Retro High or the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 ‘Mocha’ Low and Retro High.

Shop Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG 'Mocha' on Ox Street
Shop Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG 'Mocha' on Ox Street

Air Jordan 1 KO “Chicago”

Shop the Air Jordan 1 KO 'Chicago' on Ox Street
Shop the Air Jordan 1 KO 'Chicago' on Ox Street

This Bulls-inspired colorway was first launched in 2014, and relaunched again in May 2021 much to many fans’ delight.  The entire sneaker is constructed out of canvas, and iconic colors of white, black, and signature University Red are a faithful redesign of the original. The only difference is a red overlay on the heel has been replaced with white.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Shadow 2.0”

Shop the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Shadow 2.0”
Shop the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Shadow 2.0”

After the vastly popular OG Air Jordan 1 “Shadow” from 1985 and rereleased in 2018, this year we see the return of the AJ1 “Shadow” but with a twist in the “Shadow 2.0” for the Summer 2021 retro collection. Retaining the original black and gray colorway, the uppers are dressed in black leather with gray suede Swooshes and overlays at the toe and heel. The forefoot and midfoot are a reverse of the original “Shadow” colorblocking while the heel and collar stayed true to its predecessor.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “University Blue”

Shop the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “University Blue” on Ox Street
Shop the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “University Blue” on Ox Street

This is the one that has been making the rounds on social media since the start of the year, and has quickly become a crowd favorite. The Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “University Blue” sports a white base with a black Swoosh, and the signature light blue inspired by Michael Jordan’s UNC collegiate days. A brighter blue is seen on the outsoles and the sneakers are complete with black laces. This iconic pair has been made available in March 2021, in full family sizing.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Trophy Room”  

Shop the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Trophy Room” on Ox Street
Shop the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Trophy Room” on Ox Street

One of the most highly anticipated drops this year, the Air Jordan 1 “Trophy Room” boasts a red, white, and black colorway modelled after the earlier mentioned “Chicago” and Michael Jordan’s signature on the lateral heel. Designed in collaboration with Marcus Jordan’s sneaker boutique, these kicks were inspired by the famed 1985 NBA All-Star Game “freeze-out”, when veteran players reportedly refused to pass a then rookie Michael Jordan the ball. It is definitely a must-have for hardcore sneaker fanatics in their collection, and was only available via a raffle on February 10, 2021.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Hyper Royal”

Shop the Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Hyper Royal” on Ox Street
Shop the Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Hyper Royal” on Ox Street

If you prefer unusual colorblocking and a muted version of its Royal Blue predecessor, meet the Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Hyper Royal”. In a new colorway featuring a unique weathered aesthetic of faded cool toned shades, this pair is reminiscent of light faded jeans. Constructed with white tumbled leather and washed-out blue overlays, these kicks delivers a  worn look with an attitude. The usual full leather uppers on AJ1s have been replaced with a suede material on the blue overlays, with denim-like texture printed on it upon closer inspection.

And there you have it, our top 7 picks for Air Jordan 1 in 2021. Prepare your wallets, because these will likely be remembered for the years to come.  

Melanie is a contemporary art enthusiast, writer and cultural research strategist whose practice explores the areas inbetween art, design, commerce and the cult of collecting.