November 2017 saw the release of the first version of the OffWhite Air Jordan 1 in the Chicago colourway. The shoe was ripped apart and put back together and is quite unique. It was considered sneaker of the year of 2017 by many and at the time, fetched about $2,000 on the resale market; and prices still continue to rise.
Fast forward to June 19, 2018, the latest iteration of the OffWhite Air Jordan 1 releases in the classic “UNC” coluorway and we’ll be taking a look at how they compare to the original.
First, the boxes. The original OffWhite Nike collaboration shoeboxes were flipped inside out and featured special branding on the top. In this case, “Jumpman” was featured in a translucent font along the top of the box. Inside the box was a special wrapping paper adorned with Nike and OffWhite branding along with pairs of lime, orange and white laces. The UNCs, on the other hand, came in a more traditional Air Jordan 1 box but the lid features a flap where you peer into the contents of the box – as if looking through a window. The transparent wrapping paper is an amazing touch, and orange and baby blue coloured lace options are also tucked inside.
Regarding the shoes themselves, both colourways feature a cut and sewn aesthetic. This is made evident by the distressed tongues, frayed sock liners and hanging leather eyelets and flaps. The Chicagos feature a red and white upper with an oversized black swoosh stitched on with blue thread and accented with a bright orange tab. The insoles feature OffWhite’s signature cross accompanied by the words “The Ten”. The UNC’s follow the same build but instead of being red, white and black, it is strictly baby blue and white with hits of bright orange. The insoles for the UNCs do not feature OffWhite’s signature cross branding but instead feature the typical Nike Air branding.
One thing to note about the Chicagos was the fragility of the shoe. The toe-box is composed of a frayed mesh material that is prone to yellowing and tearing. Don’t misunderstand, you should always rock your sneakers, but when you cannot trust the structural integrity of the shoe, it puts fear in your heart every time you wear them. Thankfully, Nike and Virgil noticed this, and remedied the issue. Instead of being frayed mesh, the UNCs incorporate a nylon lining on the toe-box to reinforce it. This reinforcement is also present on the lateral side of the shoe where the swoosh is stitched on. These changes are very welcomed as it adds some extra life to a rather fragile shoe.
There are hundreds of other details I can rave endlessly about, but the bottom line isthatthese shoes are DOPE! I personally prefer the Chicagos over the UNCs, but I do wish the Chicagos were made of the same reinforced nylon as the UNCs. Regardless, you cannot go wrong with either pair and I am extremely fortunate to have gotten both for retail. So big thank you to 306 Yonge for the Chicagos and to Livestock Toronto for the UNCs — and most of all thank you Canada Got Sole for allowing me to write this article for their amazing site.
**This article was guest-written by Ryan Laguatan**