Debuting midway through Michael Jordan’s 1984-85 rookie campaign, the Air Jordan I was the shoe that separated Nike from other makers of performance sneakers. Peter Moore’s functional design was actually quite similar to that of Nike’s other popular sneakers at the time (such as the Air Force 1 and Dunk), implementing a full leather upper with high ankle support to make sure Jordan’s legs stayed fresh in his first NBA season.
What ultimately distinguished these shoes, though, was the man who wore them on the court every game.
The Air Jordan I’s features heightened the already stunningly athletic Jordan’s numerous talents, and MJ went on to win Rookie of the Year honors and finish third in the NBA in scoring while wearing his first signature shoe. While they don’t appear on the court very often anymore, an NBA player will occasionally break out a pair to hearken back to Jordan’s younger days and remind fans of the special performances unleashed in these sneakers. Here’s a look at the 10 Best Performances in the Air Jordan I.