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Behind the Sneaker: The Air Jordan 1 Low OG Royal is Just as Great

For the several years of me buying sneakers, there are certain pairs that I do regret sleeping on. These include the KD4 (which, thankfully, had a retro run in 2018) and the Air Jordan 1 Low OG (or Retro, but it’s basically the same thing).

While there has been a number of Air Jordan 1 Lows in the past, it wasn’t until 2015 when Nike decided to release the Air Jordan 1 Low in an OG form, following the tooling and shape of the 1985 pairs.

Like the Dunk Low, the Air Jordan 1 Low was among the staple offerings of Nike, as evident in this catalog from 1985.

The Air Jordan 1 Low OG run in 2015 not only includes the two original colorways (Metallic Blue and Neutral Grey), but also low-top versions of iconic colorways that include the Bred, Chicago, Royal, and Shadow, along with fresh new iterations like the Black/White Cyber Monday. I still remember that all of those aforementioned colorways–save for the Cyber Monday and the Metallic Blue–sold out quickly, and I was not able to secure myself a pair.

However, second chances do happen, and I manage to find the Air Jordan 1 Low OG Royal in a rather good condition from Swoosheffects (the same person where I got a pair of vintage Dunk Highs), and in my size no less. Like last time, the transaction was swift and smooth, and it was just a few days later that I got my hands on them. And boy, I’m glad that I was able to finally acquire them after all these years.

The “sudden” hype for the 2015 pairs

If one can recall, Air Jordan 1 Lows had a surge in popularity sometime in 2019. It was a time when the Black Toes were selling out quickly, and that Jordan brand was dishing out new colorways left and right. It was also a time when Air Jordan 1 Lows, which would normally retail at somewhere around Php 5k, would resell at Php 7k upwards (I remember the Black Toes reselling for even over Php 10k at one point!). However, these are not exactly the same as the OG Air Jordan 1 Lows from 2015.

For comparison, I took some photos of the 2020 Air Jordan 1 Low Pine Green with the 2015 Air Jordan 1 Low OG Royal, and the differences are very evident.

The Air Jordan 1 Low that almost everyone is familiar with has a stubbier toebox, a puffier (and longer) tongue with an embroidered Jumpman logo (the OG has a classic Nike Air tag), and a Wings logo embroidered at the lower part of the heel. That’s on top of the fact that the upper is different between the two especially towards the back part of the sneaker. Despite being tagged as a Low, the ankle cut on the Air Jordan 1 Low is slightly higher than the Low OG model.

With people going gaga over Dunks as of late, it does not come as a surprise that Jordan Brand decided to bring back the Air Jordan 1 Low in OG tooling, with colorways that include a bred-inspired CNY edition, a mysterious Ghost Green with metallic silver accents, a new version of the Neutral Gray with a suede Swoosh, and the Starfish colorway that is reminiscent of the Shattered Backboard Air Jordan 1 High OG series. Because of these (and the fact that the 2015 lineup has yet to see an actual retro release), the Air Jordan 1 Low OG run in 2015 have skyrocketed in value.

To give you an idea, the Air Jordan 1 Low OG Royal is selling for around $415(~Php 20.8k) in StockX, which is quite close to the selling price of the 2013 and 2017 Air Jordan 1 High OG of the same colorway. That alone is solid proof that the 2015 Air Jordan 1 Low OG run holds solid value–and Jordan brand has yet to give them a proper retro!

This or the Dunk Lows?

Being a fan of anything blue–specifically the black and blue color blocking, I just had to compare this pair of 2015 Air Jordan 1 Low OG Royal I got with the 2021 Dunk Low Hyper Cobalt I copped earlier this year.

With both having blue and black on their uppers (albeit different in the color blocking implementation), I can safely say that the Dunk Low (or at least this model, since Nike has been inconsistent with quality control lately) have roughly the same quality as the 2015 Air Jordan 1 Low OG if the uppers are concerned. Given the rather stellar condition of the Air Jordan 1 Low OG in its slightly used state (I’d conservatively give the outsole an 85-90% rating in terms of how much thread life they have left), I really, really do hope that the Dunk Low would age gracefully.

However, I like the less bulky appearance of the Air Jordan 1 Low OG, along with that slimmer toe box. Nonetheless, both the Dunk OG and Air Jordan 1 Low OG are iconic pairs that do deserve a spot on your sneaker rotation.

While Jordan Brand has released a plethora of Air Jordan 1 High OG colorways, I honestly can’t wait for them to release more colorways of the Low OG counterpart. That would be a win-win for sneakerheads both old and new, right?

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