Since the inception of the Air Jordan collection in 1985, the shoe has become a canonical Nike shoe with incredible staying power. After the public saw Michael Jordan wear the original Chicago colorway onto the court, a feeding frenzy for the sneaker erupted. When they were first released, the Air Jordan hype was so extreme that the first resellers in sneaker history were born — flipping $65 Air Jordans for $100 on the street. Immense success for the shoe has solidified its position as a fashion and cultural staple.
But the sneaker that Jordan wore in games was not the same as the one sold in stores. Jordan’s in-game shoes had a collar height between the publicly-available OG High and the Low versions, and the player’s shoes were two different sizes: the left shoe a 13 and the right a 13.5. The Air Jordan 1 game shoes with these specifications have been nicknamed the Tong Yang Player Sample (TYPS), distributed only to Jordan himself in the mid-1980s.
We have collected a pair of these history-steeped sneakers, complete with an era-correct signature on the left shoe. This shoe was the blueprint for the success that followed for the Jordan Brand. While Nike’s sales goal for the Jordan line was $3 million over the first three years, Jordan went on to generate $126 million in sales in 1985 alone. Since then — and despite Jordan having been out of the game for 16 years — the Nike Jordan partnership has generated more sales than the signature line of every other current NBA player combined.
Our pair of sample sneakers are in deadstock condition, which is rare given the minimal number of samples that were created during Jordan’s rookie season. This shoe is a jewel of any Jordan fan’s collection, given its rich history going back all the way to the inception of this legendary silhouette.