When Michael Jordan got his first signature shoe way back in 1984, it was a bold statement.
So bold, in fact, that it was illegal under NBA guidelines. The black and red colorway of the Air Jordan 1 violated the league’s uniform policy, earning anyone who rocked the kicks a cool $5,000 fine per game.
“Around this time, if you knew anything about Nike . . . Nike stood on this kind of rebel behavior,” Jordan Brand VP Howard White said in a press release. “This Jordan, that color of the Air Jordan 1, kind of galvanized that universal scope.”
Jordan Brand president Larry Miller added, “Michael kind of threw the rules out on how you were supposed to play the game. The shoe kind of threw the rules out on what a basketball shoe was supposed to be . . . People who weren’t even into basketball found out about the shoe and it became this catalyst for where we are today.”
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The Air Jordan XXXI nods to the historic Air Jordan 1 while integrating the latest and greatest in basketball performance innovation. A Flyweave and leather upper incorporates a number of iconic elements, such as the Air Jordan “Wings” logo, and a full-length Zoom air bag allows for maximum responsiveness and lateral support.
“With the Air Jordan XXXI, we celebrate the risks and rewards of Michael’s career and look forward to a future of continued innovation,” said Miller. “The Jordan Brand story is a testament to Michael’s enduring cultural capital and undeniable performance legacy.”
The “banned” colorway of the Air Jordan XXXI will be available in select retail stores and on Jordan.com on Sept. 3. Get a closer look below: