The 10 Greatest Years in Sneaker History

3. 1985

The introduction of Nike's Air Jordan represented both an end and a beginning. If you've read Bobbito Garcia's tremendous "Where'd You Get Those?," you know that for him — and many of his city sneaker connoisseur brethren — the first Air Jordan was seen as something of a step backwards, especially from 1982's revolutionary Air Force 1. But for the rest of the country, the $65 Air Jordan was an introduction of sorts. It made the sneaker more than just another article of clothing to be worn and discarded, or a piece of specialized sports equipment for obsessives. The sneaker had entered the mainstream, and as it turned out, it was there to stay. (Yes, there were other sneakers in 1985. No, it doesn't really matter.)

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