Originally designed as a high performance basketball sneaker for an upcoming star of the game, the Air Jordan I has also introduced innovation to skate culture. Three decades after its introduction it remains one of the most storied skate shoes, and this unintentional answer to the needs of skateboarders has brought Nike SB and Jordan Brand to collaborate with its second Nike SB x Air Jordan I release. Just as skateboarders have always managed to repurpose the world around them — turning neglected pools into paradise, vast pipes into destinations for sessions and tackling anti-skate measures as part of a terrain to conquer — this signature basketball shoe became their choice. Its high ankle coverage, padding, Nike Air technology and durable premium leather made coping with big landings and grip tape an afterthought.
Born in Pasadena, Lance Mountain represented the new movement spawned from Craig Stecyk's Santa Monica-based crew in the 1970s; Stecyk even drew graphics on boards for Mountain. In 1987, a Mountain video appearance had global audiences fixated on both his feet as well as feats on his oversized board. Wearing a royal blue AJI on his left foot and white/Carolina blue AJI on his right foot he embodied the skaterboarder style of the time, with the asymmetrical combination becoming a pinnacle moment in skate shoe history. Mountain wasn't the only unofficial endorsee of the Air Jordan I — other legends in the making proudly wore the shoe in its most iconic Chicago colourway, giving them an individual touch by drawing and painting on symbols and slogans or swapping the laces for added contrast. The silhouette became the inspiration for several skate-centric shoe designs that followed, down to the unconventional use of colour.
More literal with his designs, Mountain chose to emphasize how skaters of the era mismatched pairs in order to extend the life of their Jordan’s. To create uniformity they would then paint over each shoe. The two Lance Mountain Nike SB x AJIs recreate this aesthetic by mismatching both a black/red and black/royal colourway in one pair and then covering the colours, DIY-style, with black or white paint. As each pair is worn and the paint wears away to reveal the colours underneath, they will become unique to their wearer. To finish Mountain created a “Paint shoes not walls” graphic that emblazons his attitude on the insoles. The Nike SB x Air Jordan 1 designed by Lance Mountain launches on Saturday 7th June.
Launch info is as follows:
Nike SB x Air Jordan 1 'Lance Mountain' Black
| Launches Saturday 7th June at 8am via direct links on our Facebook & Twitter pages & in size? Carnaby Street from 10am | Priced at £110 and available in UK sizes 7-11 (including sizes 7.5 & 8.5 - unfortunately no size 10’s will be available)
Nike SB x Air Jordan 1 'Lance Mountain' White
| Launches Saturday 7th June | ONLY AVAILABLE IN SIZE? CARNABY STREET - store opens at 10am | Priced at £110 and available in UK sizes 7.5, 8 & 9 | This will not be available online, or in any other of our stores.
PLEASE NOTE: AVAILABILITY IS EXTREMELY LIMITED ON BOTH THE BLACK & WHITE COLOURWAYS