Celebrate the Air Jordan 1 "Prototype" With a Look Back at Experimental AJ1s

A journey through the silhouette’s disruptive design ethos.

Footwear 
4,600 Hypes

Sneakerheads pride themselves on their encyclopedic knowledge of Air Jordan 1 history. Possessing intel on models before they release is something else entirely. Nonetheless, glimpses of sneaker prototypes can be found online, usually in the form of leaks, samples listed for resale and educated speculation from the community. It’s a kind of sneaker culture that happens behind the scenes, outside of the drop calendar.

Catering to the collective interest that exists around prototypes, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Prototype” boasts a colorway inspired by the disruptive nature of developing sneakers.

Before the sneaker drops on September 24, GOAT rounds up some of the most experimental and innovative takes on Air Jordan’s iconic silhouette.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Prototype”

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Release Date: September 24, 2021
Lowest Price: $190 USD

Defined by contrasting colorway, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Prototype” features a white leather upper complemented by vibrant colors throughout. The collar arrives in shades of blue alongside, wraparound perforated detailing that marks where to cut the shoe to transform the high-top silhouette into a low-top. Additional style cues, such as an orange mini-Swoosh and coordinating Nike air tag add depth to the color-infused sneaker.

Air Jordan 1 Low OG “Starfish”

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Release Date: August 26, 2021
Lowest Price: $225 USD

Offering a bold take on the classic AJ1 Low silhouette, the Air Jordan 1 Low OG “Starfish” features an all-leather upper in head-turning white and orange. Hints of contrasting black leather arrive on the Swoosh, laces and Jordan Wings logo stamped on the heel tab. Reminiscent of the “Shattered Backboard” series, this low take on an all-time classic demonstrates the brand’s knack for pushing boundaries.

Air Jordan 1 Mid SE “Heat Reactive – Color Change”

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Release Date: July 31, 2021
Lowest Price: $139 USD

Introducing UV reactive paneling to the Air Jordan 1 Mid, “Heat Reactive – Color Change” features an otherwordly colorway that’s enhanced with a prismatic visual effect. A white toebox, quarter panel and collar are complemented by a black Swoosh, mudguard and overlays that match the classic look of the Air Jordan 1. Crafted of high gloss leather, the counter ankle flap and tongue logo are treated heat-sensitive materials, offering color variation dependent on circumstance.

Wmns Air Jordan 1 Low “White Wolf Grey”

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Release Date: July 2021
Lowest Price: $204 USD

Offering a colorway similar to the Dior AJ1, this women’s Jordan 1 Low features a clean white leather upper with “Wolf Grey” Durabuck overlays and Swooshes. The monochromatic grey and white colorway is continued throughout each discerning detail of the style, including the mesh tongue, inner liner, insole and midsole. Finished with a translucent outsole, this subtle Jordan 1 Low showcases the brand’s ability to turn a performance icon into an effortless wardrobe staple.

Wmns Air Jordan 1 Mid SE “Lightbulb”

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Release Date: April 9, 2020
Lowest Price: $169 USD

With a colorway that highlights the model’s different materials, the women’s Air Jordan 1 Mid SE “Lightbulb” offers a fresh twist on a classic silhouette. The sneaker’s white leather base features patent leather detailing on the black Swoosh and the blue eyestay, while a soft suede in green and yellow is used to enhance the paneling at the toe and heel. Purple nubuck arrives in the form of additional overlays, rounding out this colorful release.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Tokyo Bio Hack”

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Release Date: April 9, 2020
Lowest Price: $169 USD

Named after Japan’s capital, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Tokyo Bio Hack” has a colorway similar to Undefeated’s Nike Dunk High NL collaboration from 2005. This sneaker includes bold color-blocking with an upper crafted from leather and suede, both of which have been cast in rustic earth-toned hues. The Swoosh running along the side of the shoe adds a metallic element to the design. Details, including an exposed foam tongue and a stitched Nike tag, lend the model a D.I.Y.-inspired touch.

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