VERSUS: Air Jordan 1 or Nike Dunk?
Two basketball stars from the class of '85 are butting heads again in 2020. The Air Jordan 1 has enjoyed plenty of time in the sun for the past few years, but the Nike Dunk has seen an immense resurgence ever since the 'Viotech' edition returned in late 2019. Numerous retro editions and new makeups have followed, and the Dunk is seriously nipping at the heels of the AJ1. With the year coming to a close, and seemingly no end in sight for releases of both models, the $64,000 (or whatever resale prices are right now) question is: the Air Jordan 1 or Nike Dunk - which sneaker is the bigger icon?
Please, we don't need any more Air Jordan 1s in 2020. The Dunk is THE sneaker of the year. Just take a look at the 'Pro Green' colourway 🥺🥺🥺
For real?? The Air Jordan 1 slams on the Dunk in every major category. History? Check. Design? Check. Collaborations? Check. The Air Jordan 1 single-handedly changed the entire course of sneaker history in 1985. We’re talking about the Jumpman. The GOAT.
Look, I get it, the Dunk is Jordan's underrated lil' bro. But at the end of the day, you're still passing to the Air Jordan when there's five seconds left on the clock!
The only thing I'll acknowledge from your diatribe is that the Air Jordan 1 and Nike Dunk are indeed siblings. We have to thank Peter Moore for being behind two of the most iconic 80s sneakers. And, 'iconic' is an adjective that both models wholeheartedly deserve. Yeah, someone good at basketball wore the AJ1 – so what?
SOMEONE?! Look, It's not just about MJ. It's also about a rich cultural heritage. Remember when the AJ1 was banned by NBA Commissioner David Stern because they didn't have enough white on them? Stories like these entirely change the course of sneaker culture. The OG colourways are still some of the most sought-after designs on planet earth! Really, the only people that loved the Dunks were skaters (so they could thrash them at the park!)
You seem to have forgotten that up until recently, Air Jordan 1s hit clearance racks season after season. Even 30-something years ago, Nike decided to flood the market after under-cooking the first drop, causing pairs to literally hit the bottom of the bargain bin. Only then was it that skaters began shredding AJ1s. Meanwhile, the Dunk was a collegiate shoe and much more accessible upon release. It didn't need Air, and was built on a similar design. And with the multiple colours on offer (Moore wanted to name it the College Colour High after all), you repped your team. You had to, as Nike said, 'Be True To Your School'. Beyond the MJ connection, does the AJ1 even hold any historical value to today's generation of sneakerheads?
I feel like today’s generation still has a deep reverence for the Jordan 1. Obviously this mythology is tied to Michael Jordan, but so what? Look at the numbers The Last Dance documentary managed to rack up. Look at the kind of hype the Dior x Air Jordan 1 and Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 manifested. The Jordan 1 collaborations and industry-wide interest in the silhouette merely reflects the kind of starry-eyed admiration you will likely never see in a sneaker again. I doubt there’s even a shoe in history with the kind of cultural legacy that could rival the Air Jordan 1.
Your memory seems to be waning, too. Are you ignoring the fact, the Dunk was a merely collegiate shoe? Originally designed for NCAA athletes - not NBA athletes. Is this not enough of a metaphor in itself? The Dunk was technologically outdated a long time before the AJ1, despite dropping in the same year.
If you really want to compare the key areas where the Dunk and Air Jordan 1 differ – I suggest you read up on this handy guide. One major difference that comes to mind is the toe box. The Dunk tends to have a roomier shape, while the AJ1 is a little more tapered. Why do you think MJ bled out in his last game as a Bull at MSG in 1998 when he wore an OG pair of 1s? I'll admit the outsole on the Air Jordan 1 may be grippier because of its finer pattern, but the Dunk essentially shares the same basic layout.
That said, over the years, Nike have given the Dunk a much more faithful treatment with thoughtful colourways and materials. Meanwhile, look at what they did to the Air Jordan 1 Mid. YUCK!
He also scored 42 points against the Knicks in '98! Look, the Dunk has had some decent releases this year, but still, it’s got NOTHING on the Jordan 1's dominance. The Dior x Air Jordan 1 is the most luxe AF sneaker ever. The League of Legends x AJ1 is powering-up the gamers. The ‘Bio Hack’ ‘Rage Green’ and ‘Tie-Dye’ colourways are some of the nastiest GRs this year. Let’s not forget: the Dunk has become so over-hyped they’re also basically impossible to cop now. At least we can actually BUY the AJ1...
2020 is the year of the Dunk. We've already had some more BTTYS colours return in the 'Michigan' Highs, and 'Syracuse' and St John's lows. Early-2000s reissues like the 'Samba' and 'Brazil' have been welcome re-additions for both old heads and new kids to the scene. Plus, it's not just retros helping Dunks stay strong this year. The Kasina colab was sick, and the 'Community Garden' stretched the imaginations of sneakerheads worldwide. Put the Dunk back on the Nike By You program, and let's call it a day. Nike Dunk = THE PEOPLE'S CHAMP.
How many people have been compared to Jordan over the years? How many sneakers have been compared to the Jay 1? Remember when we compared 'Clyde the Glide' Drexler to MJ? Let me just leave this here. G.O.A.T.