The black and red Air Jordan 1 might not be the best Air Jordan of all-time, but even if it’s not, it’s what set the whole thing off. “The whole thing” being not only Air Jordan, but what we know as sneaker culture as well, transforming it from an esoteric hobby of obsessives to a mainstream pursuit. It’s a big enough shoe that it became known for something that never even happened—at least not in the way we’re led to believe. The initial “Banned” colorway was indeed tossed out by the NBA, but Jordan never attempted to wear the black and red Jordan 1 in a game, instead wearing black and red Air Ships in the preseason. He only wore the black and red Air Jordan 1 in the 1985 Dunk Contest—the lone NBA dunk contest he entered and didn’t win—and in an incredibly influential series of commercials that made “Air Jordan” a household name. That was enough to sell millions upon millions of shoes over the years, and every time the black and red Jordan 1 returns is a celebration. This year more than most. Russ Bengtson