There are very few "firsts" in life that; a) lived up to the hype, and b) you can clearly remember as you get older. One such memory for me is my first Toronto Blue Jays game down at the old Exhibition Stadium. It was September 1986. The New York Yankees were in town. I can't tell you the score, or even who won the game, but I can tell you that my dad and I watched Jesse Barfield throw out Rickey Henderson at home plate TWICE. It was truly unforgettable. We still talk about it to this day.
There are, of course, lots of "firsts" that I can vividly remember, but that perhaps failed to live up to the hype. Just ask the girl who was my "first" back in 1998. More on my truly pathetic performance in a future blog though...
Ahem. Back to the task at hand.
Over the holidays I've had some videos of people getting Jordans for Christmas in my Instagram and Twitter feeds. There is something about watching those videos that just resonates. The reactions are so pure. Those aren't just gifts that are being received. They mean so much more to those lucky recipients.
I never had a pair of Jordans growing up. Don't get me wrong - I had lots of cool things that other kids didn't; Sega Genesis, sports equipment, a great sports card collection. Perhaps my parents couldn't wrap their collective heads around spending more than a nominal amount of money on kids sneakers. To be fair, I also never asked them for more. Either way, I clearly remember some of my friends rocking their Jordans, especially Justin with his Fire Red Jordan 5s in 1990 (I now proudly own a pair of those that re-released in May 2020).
It wasn't until December 2015 that I bought my first pair of Air Jordans. I was at the Foot Locker in Boca Raton, Florida. I strolled in to the store like some putz, and asked the guy in the referee shirt where the Air Jordans were. He kind of smirked. I was clearly oblivious as to how hard it was (and continues to be) to get a pair of nice Jordans in retail stores. Nonetheless, being the nice guy that he was, the guy asked me my size. "11" I said. He went to check the back on a whim. Lo and behold, he returned with one box. "Last one we got," he said. I took a look at that patented black and red Nike box, opened the lid and smiled. Inside was the unmistakable red, black and white colourway of the Air Jordan 1. I spent a few minutes justifying to my wife why I would need to spend $170 USD on new sneakers. I tried my best not to focus on my two little baby girls in the double stroller, on whom the money would clearly be better spent. This pair of Jordans was just one of those things I had to have. My wife, God bless her, could see I meant business so she gave it the green light. A few short minutes later I was the proud owner of the Jordan 1.5 Retro Chicago (the cover picture in this post). Neither my wife nor I had any idea that five years later that same pair of Jordans would be selling for more than $750 CAD. I keep reminding her that "we" made a great investment that day. The fact that my collection has grown to 10 pairs in the 5 years since is a whole different story. Repeat after me, honey: "Investment. Investment." I created a monster. No, I am the monster I guess.
Pre-Covid, whether me and the Mrs. were heading to STK in Yorkville for a night on the town, a Magen Boys event, or even just the local What A Bagel for brunch, it was always a decision as to what clothes I'd be pairing with my Jordans du jour. The Jordans are the showpiece. And I always get more than a few compliments, which makes me feel pretty, pretty good.
Thankfully, those pre-Covid days will be coming back soon. Many of us are already looking toward Spring and the inevitable return to civilization. That means fashion and style. That means amazing new kicks.
Maybe you're clicking around, browsing the Fletcher's shop for your first pair of Jordans. Maybe your shopping for a gift for someone else (maybe their first pair). If either of those people are you, keep in mind these five guiding principles for Air Jordans:
- There is no mistaking the comfort of a pair of Air Jordans. From the very moment you first step into your new kicks, you will not want to take them off.
- The styles and colourways are timeless. Especially for Jordans 1 - 11, you will find yourself still wanting to rock them 5 or 10 years later.
- The quality is simply unparalleled. From the buttery leathers and nubuck suede, to the stitching, to the solid soles, you will be able to keep rocking your Jordans for years on end.
- Your Jordans are not merely fashionable sneakers. They are personal identifiers that say much more about who we are when we rock them proudly. The head turns and comments you will get do not lie.
- There is no telling when certain colourways will get re-released once sold out and it might be 5 or more years before you get another chance to grab the Jordans you want. For that reason, the prices for already-released new Jordans tend to go up significantly over time. As crazy as it sounds, your new pair of Jordans, if properly cared for, will be an investment. Once you are ready to switch them out of the rotation, you will not be tossing them in the garbage. Don't belive me? Go check on eBay to see how much of a market there is for used Jordans.
The bottom line: once you own a pair of Jordans, you will understand why I say "life is short. Buy the damn shoes." I mean, seriously, we are in the midst of surviving a Pandemic so I think we all deserve a little pick me up:)
For those of you that already own a pair (or two, or ten pairs) of Jordans, what can I say? If you know, you know. #iykyk.
Oh, by the way, here are links to some of those videos I was talking about at the top of the post. Go ahead and try not to smile:
Happy New Year,
PS you can find the Air Jordan Retro 11 Jubilee in a variety of men's sizes right here