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Air Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard

The incredible origin story of the Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard began way back in 1985. Fresh off the back of being named Rookie of the Year for his outstanding debut season in the NBA, Michael Jordan was on a European tour with Nike ahead of the official release of his first signature shoe. While playing an exhibition game in Trieste, Italy, Jordan leapt towards the hoop to pull off a powerful slam dunk, hitting the shot with so much force that the backboard shattered. This unforgettable moment was performed in the black and orange kit of Stefanel Trieste, the local basketball team he was representing at the time. It is these colors that would later be used on the Air Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard.

The first shoe in the series wasn’t released until many years later, in 2015. A High version in the mold of the classic Jordan 1, it has color-blocking similar to that of the original colorways, but with a vivid orange hue called Starfish. While this tone has gone on to define all Jordan 1 Shattered Backboards, on this debut design, it features on the toe box, heel counter, collar wrap and outsole. Along with this, white sections cover the midsole, the midfoot panels and the tongue patch, and black can be seen through the forefoot overlays, the eyestay and the swooshes, as well as around the collar and down the tongue. It has the familiar Air Jordan Wings logo in black upon its lateral collar, and the Starfish Nike Branding on its tongue label completes the look.

After the success of the initial Shattered Backboards, more Jordan 1 shoes were added to the series. 2016 brought the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Reverse Shattered Backboard, which has also come to be known as the Shattered Backboard 2.0 and the Shattered Backboard Away. All of these names reveal one thing – that this new sneaker reworked the colors of the 2015 version. It did so by extending the white of the midsole and midfoot to the toe box and tongue as well – a fitting change since the kit of Juve Caserta, the side Jordan played for in the second half of that famous game, is predominantly white. Alongside this men’s sneaker, a toddlers edition of the Shattered Backboard 2.0 was released. Named the Jordan 1 Crib, it is made with a slip-on design that incorporates softer materials and a thin, flexible rubber sole better suited to young children.

Two years later, a women’s sneaker was incorporated into the lineup. The Satin Shattered Backboard comes dressed in premium leather and low-shine satin, with the same silky material filling out the inner lining. Its color arrangement matches that of the 2015 shoe, which is now referred to as the Shattered Backboard 1.0 as updated versions continue to come out. The next Air Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard was another to alter the materials used on the upper, this time swapping out leather for a Flyknit weave. Made in the Low style, its durable outer is still decorated with the orange, black and white hues that distinguish the rest of the collection.

2019 delivered another Low edition, this one with black nubuck making up the forefoot overlays and Jordan’s jersey number embroidered in Starfish orange onto the lace loop. The first Mid Shattered Backboard came out in the same year, opting for a black outsole instead of the orange of previous iterations and with a Starfish-colored Jumpman on the tongue. During this time, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shattered Backboard 3.0 was launched. It has a largely black outer with orange highlights, and a crinkled texture appears across its patent leather exterior, evoking the cracked surface of the backboard glass just before it shattered onto the court following Jordan’s monumental dunk. Completing the 2019 releases is the Sky Jordan 1 – a kids edition made with child-friendly features such as a Velcro fastening system and a pull tab on the heel.

Shattered Backboard Jordan 1s continued to be brought out into the early 2020s, firstly with a Low OG version that came out in 2021. It emulates the look of the high-top Reverse Shattered Backboard from 2016, with white through the toe box and midfoot alongside its Starfish orange overlays. Another low-top followed in 2022 as the Air Jordan 1 Golf received the powerful colors of the Shattered Backboard. Like others made for the sport, it has an outsole adapted for use on the golf course and special Golf text alongside the Jumpman logo on the tongue, here both in the series’ trademark Starfish tone.

Despite first being released three decades after the iconic moment it was made to celebrate, the Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard is a highly sought-after shoe. This is a testament to the memorable aesthetic created by its striking blend of colors, which has seen it remain popular to this day. With each new release, sneaker fans are reminded of that magical game in Michael Jordan’s career – a game that lives on in the memories of those who saw it, just like the sneaker does today.

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