The History of Michael Jordan's 'Banned' Sneakers

Lots of lore surrounds the 'Banned' Jordan 1. Here's how it all went down.

Michael Jordan Air Jordan 1 Banned Ad 1985
Image via Nike
Michael Jordan Air Jordan 1 Banned Ad 1985

Few shoes in the 30-plus-year history of the Air Jordan line are as famous as the black and red Air Jordan 1. The sneaker—known colloquially as the "Banned" Jordan 1 or the "Bred" Jordan 1—has been perennially important, from the murky mythology around its genesis to the fervor its retros inspire. Michael Jordan took the model from a flashy piece of footwear to a legitimate pop culture icon. ESPN's gripping The Last Dance documentary series captures some of Jordan's more memorable and confounding sneaker moments, but doesn't go deep on what made this specific sneaker so special. Here's how it all happened.

Why the NBA Banned Michael Jordan's Sneakers

Banned Air Jordan 1 1985 vs. 2016 Comparison 1985

Were the Air Jordans Really Banned in the NBA?

Michael Jordan Air Ship

Jordan's 1985 Dunk Contest Sneakers

Michael Jordan 1985 Dunk Contest

The 'Bred' Air Jordan 1 2001 Retro

Bred Air Jordan 1 2001 Banned Black Varsity Red 136066 061

The DMP 'Banned' Air Jordan Retro in 2009

DMP Bred Jordan 1

The 'Banned' Air Jordan 1 Retro Release in 2011

Banned Jordan 1 2011

How Did the 'Banned' Air Jordan 1s Release?

Banned Jordan 1 Heel

'Bred' Air Jordan 1 Retro Returns in 2013

Banned Jordan 1 2013 Bred

The Remastered 'Banned' Air Jordan 1 Retro in 2016

Air Jordan 1 Banned Main 555088 001

'Banned' Satin Air Jordan 1s Retro

Satin Air Jordan 1 917359 001 Banned

Air Jordan 31 Gets 'Banned' Colorway'

Air Jordan XXX1 Banned Sole Collector Release Date Roundup

Flyknit Air Jordan 1s 'Banned' in 2017

Air Jordan 1 Flyknit "Banned"

Jordan's 'Banned' Air Ship From 1984 Appears

Michael Jordan Air Ship Black Red

As The Last Dance renewed Michael Jordan fervor in April, veteran sports agent Aaron Goodwin shared photos on Twitter of his pair of the black and red Nike Air Ship from 1984. This grail-status piece of sneaker history hasn't been spotted since it appeared on Jordan's feet in the '80s, making it maybe the single most prized pair of shoes on Earth. According to Goodwin's tweet, the pair was given to Jordan by Nike. Despite intense sneakerhead interest in this extremely important shoe, the agent hasn't released any info about the original pair aside from what's in his tweet.