Jordan 1 vs Air Force 1 – The Comparison

Are you a fan of the iconic Nike Jordan 1 shoe? Or maybe the classic Nike Air Force 1 shoe is more your style? 

Nike produces both these shoe ranges. Jordan 1 and Air Force 1 arrived on the scene decades ago and remain as popular today as ever. To this day, these shoes are still sought out for their classic style and durability. However, what sets them apart?

In this blog post, we will do a side-by-side comparison of Jordan 1 and Air Force 1.

From history to material, construction to price, we’ll cover all the details you need to make an informed decision if you’re considering purchasing either of these classic shoes.

Read on to find more.


Nike Jordan 1

The Nike Jordan 1 (also known as Air Jordan 1) was released in 1985 as a basketball shoe. Michael Jordan, one of the most iconic players in the NBA, was the face of the shoe and helped to define a new era of basketball footwear. 

The design of the shoes was inspired by Jordan’s legendary on-court style. It featured his signature black and red colorway. The shoes became an instant hit with basketball fans and helped to define a new era of basketball footwear.

The Nike Air basketball shoe was not only praised for its style but also for its excellent performance on the court. It featured Nike’s Air technology, which provided superb cushioning and support.

With time, players have gained even more comfort and stability. This was achieved by extra padding around the collar, improved traction patterns on the outsole, and padded tongues.

Nike Air Force 1

The Nike Air Force 1 was released in 1982 as a basketball shoe. Designed by Bruce Kilgore, these trainers were the first to feature Air technology from Nike. Though they were discontinued in 1984. 

However, the demand from retailers like three stores from Baltimore persuaded them to their return. Hence, this led to a comeback for the product in 1986. 

The success of this model was so extensive. It not only became a staple in sportswear but also in streetwear all around the world.


The Nike Jordan 1 Shoe is made of cracked leather, providing a durable and long-lasting product. This material is both lightweight and strong, hence can withstand heavy use over extended periods. 

Additionally, the rubber outsole ensures that the wearer will have plenty of traction on any surface.

On the other hand, Nike Air Force 1 Shoes are made from Flyknit upper. This Flyknit technology upper adapts to your feet, providing better support than traditional materials. This also makes them ultra-lightweight and breathable.

Furthermore, the Air Force 1 comes with Lunarlon cushioning soles that provide exceptional comfort and energy return. These shoes are made from durable foam rubber that won’t compress and lose shape like normal foam padding does over time.


The Nike Jordan 1 shoes have a timeless design with a low-top silhouette, overlays on the toe, and a logo on the side. They are also equipped with compressed air in the heel for extra cushioning. 

The signature look of this shoe is its black and red Chicago Bulls colors, which give it an iconic look. The mid-to-high tops are perfect for basketball players who need extra ankle support during play.

Whereas the Nike Air Force 1 comes with a very different design. The shoes have a strap to secure your feet, a toe box for your toes, and a front mudguard to protect against debris. 

People also often buy this style in white and grey and straps of different colors to fit their taste. Also, the low-top version of this shoe is trending due to its casual design style.


The Nike Jordan 1 tends to have a narrower and shorter fit than the Air Force 1. This can be uncomfortable, as it does not provide enough space for your foot and can make them feel cramped. 

Because Jordan 1 shoe is often stiff, they can cause discomfort until broken in.

In contrast to the Jordan 1, the Nike Air Force 1 has a more comfortable fit due to their wider and taller build and the rounder toe box. The extra width and height give your feet enough room and support during activity or when just standing around for long periods.

Ankle Support

When it comes to ankle support, the Nike Jordan 1 and Nike Air Force 1 shoes offer different experiences.

With the Jordan 1, you get a custom-made nylon and aluminum buckle that guarantees more support. This buckle will keep your ankles secure and supported during any athletic activity.

In comparison, the Air Force 1 does not have the same degree of ankle support as the Jordan 1. They lack the same customized level of ankle protection. Though they may make your ankles feel more comfortable and add some extra padding, you won’t get increased stability from them.


The Air Jordan 1 provides superior performance on the court. The deep tread pattern and flexible rubber sole provide excellent grip and traction. This allows you to make quick cuts, jump higher, and change direction easily. 

The PU (Polyurethane) insole also protects your feet from interior damage. All these features make them one of the best basketball shoes available today.

On the contrary, Nike Air Force 1 is suitable for everyday walking or light workouts. 

These shoes provide cushioning, which helps support your feet throughout the day. Hence, you can wear them for several hours without any discomfort. 

Air Force 1 provides adequate support and comfort during low-impact activities like walking.


Both Nike Jordan 1 and Air Force 1 shoes are very durable. However, they have their own differences regarding how long they will last.

The Jordan 1 has an encapsulated Air unit which helps make it more resistant to wear and tear. This means that even after heavy use, the shoe would still be able to maintain its shape and provide support for some time. 

The outer sole of the Jordan 1 is also constructed from a harder material like rubber. Thus, the shoes won’t scuff or get damaged as easily as other shoes.

In comparison, the Nike Air Force 1 does not feature an encapsulated Air unit. Instead, these rely on other materials such as foam, leather, synthetic leather, or suede to provide cushioning. 

While these materials may still offer some protection against impact, they don’t tend to last long. As a result, most people who wear their Nike Air Force 1 every day will find that they will need to be replaced within one to three years.

Fit and Sizing

When it comes to the sizing and fit of Nike Jordan 1 shoes vs. Air Force 1 shoes, there are some distinct differences.

The Nike Jordan 1 Shoe has a snug, narrower fit. These shoes have been known for their signature narrow cut. Also, newer releases have some added width for a more comfortable fit. 

However, if you have a wide foot, it may be best to go up a half size from your normal shoe size for an optimal fit.

On the other hand, Nike Air Force 1 Shoe is known for having a roomier fit than the Jordans. You should go down half a size when purchasing your Air force 1 to ensure a snug fit.


When it comes to pricing, the Nike Jordan 1 shoe is more expensive than the Air Force 1.

The average retail price of a pair of Jordan 1 lies between $150 and $200. Also, the price can vary depending on the color and style of the shoe.

On the other hand, the classic Nike Air Force 1 shoe prices range between $100 and $800.

Pros and Cons of Jordan 1

Pros of Jordan 1

  1. Provide better ankle support.
  2. These shoes are made of durable materials.
  3. They are safer to wear for extended periods, which makes them durable.

Cons of Jordan 1

  1. They are expensive.
  2. These shoes are less flexible.
  3. These shoes tend to crease more easily.

Pros and Cons of Air Force 1

Pros of Air Force 1

  1. These shoes are lightweight.
  2. They are comfortable and breathable.
  3. These shoes are less expensive.
  4. These shoes are suitable for day walks. 

Cons of Air Force 1

  1. These shoes are hard to clean. These are recommended to be cleaned using a damp cloth. 
  2. For some users, these shoes run big due to their wide design.


Is Jordans 1 good for sports?

Yes, the Air Jordan 1 basketball shoes provide superior performance on the court.

They have a deep tread pattern and flexible rubber soles for great grip and traction, allowing quick cuts, higher jumps, and easier directional changes.

The Swoosh design also protects feet from interior damage.

Is Jordan 1 and Air Force 1 the same?

The Nike Air Jordan 1 and Nike Air Force 1 shoes are similar in style, but they have different features when it comes to performance and comfort. The Jordan 1 is designed for basketball, while the Air Force 1 is better suited for everyday walking or light workouts.

Additionally, the Jordan 1 has an encapsulated air unit for durability, while the Air Force 1 relies on other materials for cushioning. The Jordan 1 also has a snug, narrow fit and is usually more expensive than the roomier-fitting Air Force 1.

Overall, both shoes are of excellent quality and have their unique benefits.

How many types of Jordan 1 are there?

In general, there are three versions of Jordan 1. All these three versions of Michael Jordan’s iconic first signature models have distinct details. 

Whereas most Air Jordans are given an edition number between 1 and 35, totaling 35 editions.


We hope this comparative guide, Jordan 1 vs Air Force 1, helped you identify which style best suits your needs. It depends on your style and what you’re looking for in a shoe. 

If you want a versatile shoe for day-to-day wear that can be dressed up or down, the Air Force 1 might be the right choice for you. But if you’re looking for a classic shoe with an iconic design, the Jordan 1 is the way to go. 

You can’t go wrong with whichever shoe you choose – they’re both classics for a reason.

If you are a Crocs lover and want to pick a perfect pair of Crocs for yourself, check out our blog “Do Crocs Run Big or Small.”

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