Sneaker culture is as deep and meaningful as any. In every culture there are those special items that bear special signifigance and aura. There are often many in the canon, because we are all moved by things on a most personal level. In sneakerhead lexicon we call these special finds "grails"—and yes, as in "the holy…".
Here is one such thing… The Nike Air Jordan 1 'Knock Out' aka the "AJKO".
[courtesy of kinstor.taobao.com & NiceKicks.com]
While there have been many shoes that have caught my eye in a hobby that seems all to trivial and "grade school" in nature, I remember this shoe as the one that got it started for me. In 1985, sports marketing and product sensationalism was effectively launched into the stratosphere, but then you all know that story. The Air Jordan 1 sneaker was released in many colors and styles but this is the one. As I sat in my church youth group, age 10, paying enough attention to not be called out for not paying attention, resident cool kid—Ira Cooper—walked by strutting more proudly than usual. This was the first time I remember doing what would become almost the defacto greeting for kids inthe inner-city… I glanced down at his feet. Boom! There they were. A red, black & white pair of coveted Air Jordan sneakers, but different somehow. These were crafted in camping grade canvas. What?! A canvas Jordan? After that night I never saw them again for the better part of 20 years. There were even people who told me I was crazy as I talked about them in lore.
And then it happened. Nike dug into the archives and resurrected a "grail". Now, I could go on forever about it, but that would just be glossy words made more fantastical by memories of old times. For now, just enjoy the view.
(and yes… I've ordered mine!)