Are you interested in getting an old pair of basketball shoes for your collection? Do you enjoy learning about the small differences between similar-looking models?
If so, then you’ll want to learn all that you can about the Nike Dunk vs Jordan 1s. At first glance, these two sneakers look like twins.
But which one is better? Which one came first? What is the shoe comparison between the two? How do you know which one you’ll enjoy more?
See below for an in-depth guide that explains it all. We compare the two and let you determine which one is the superior model.
What Are The Air Jordan 1s?
Regardless of how much/little you know about basketball shoes, you can probably guess where these shoes got their name: from Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time.
As the “1” would imply in the name, these are the first-ever Michael Jordan shoes.
The “Air” name was a match made in heaven. Nike wanted to use the name as a way of pushing their air cushioning technology, while MJ was known for his mad hops and how it looked like he could “take flight”.
That midsole is the most discernable difference between the Air Jordan Retro 1s and Nike Dunks.
Both of these timeless Nike shoes were designed by Peter Moore, with the Air Jordan 1s being geared towards the basketball community.
Interestingly enough, the AJ1s caught a cult-like following with another group: skateboarders. Based on the consistent success of Air Jordans and the 80s skateboarding community, the Jordan brand has labeled them as a target market ever since.
Both the Air Jordan 1s and Nike Dunks are available in both high-top and low-top designs.
If you’re looking for a taste of history, it doesn’t get much better than the Air Jordan 1s.
For those of you that want a quick way to decipher the two, the Air Jordan 1s have the Air Jordan wings logo on the side collar.
What Are the Nike Dunks?
Interestingly enough, the name and aesthetic of the Nike Dunk shoe don’t tell the whole story.
Back when they were released in 1985—only months after the Air Jordan 1s initial release—the Nike Dunks were created with college kids in mind.
To push sales and marketing for the new model, they even had some of the most notable basketball schools such as Georgetown, Michigan, and Kentucky where them.
The thought process was that college kids would benefit from a shoe that looked similar to Air Jordans but at a lower price point.
As a result, the Nike Dunks cut out some of the higher technology of the Air Jordan 1s to lower the cost. To their credit, you can’t tell a difference between the two unless you start to point out some of the finer details.
While the midsole of the Air Jordan 1s is infused with Air technology, the Nike Dunk’s midsole has a soft foam material. They’re aimed for optimal cushion and comfort.
These days, both models are more commonly used as lifestyle shoes.
What Are the Biggest Differences?
Which one would work better for your situation? That’s the question, here. See below for some of the biggest differences that might affect your buying decision.
The similar look that these two shoes have can make it harder to shop for them online. But if you’re willing to put your detective hat on, there are a few ways to tell.
As we mentioned earlier, Air Jordan 1s have more detail and technology to them. The uppers of the AJ1s have a textured design and the Air Jordan wing logo on the heel and collar.
The Nike Dunks are a more straightforward design. Be aware, some people think this makes them look comparatively “cheaper” to the AJ1s.
It’s all about what you like. If you have to have the Air Jordan logo, then your decision is obvious.
As we mentioned earlier, the Nike Dunk and Air Jordan 1 differ most in their midsoles.
The Air Jordan 1s have the Air infusion technology in them, with a few more textured details on the outer sole as well.
The Nike Dunks have a midsole entirely made of foam. This gives them a more basic look than the AJ1s. They also wear down quicker than the Air Jordan 1s.
The functionality of both midsoles is great. They ensure comfort with every step and make for a great shoe to wear while you walk around, hang with friends, and more.
Like any other Nike shoe, the colorways play a heavy influence on your preference. Air Jordan 1s have a wider range of colorways, but the Nike Dunks is no slouch.
The biggest difference here is the number of collaborations that have been done with the Air Jordan 1s. Here are some of the more notable ones:
- Union x Air Jordan 1
- Nike SB x Air Jordan 1
- Off-White x Air Jordan 1
- Fragment x Air Jordan 1
Make sure that you do your research before you buy! You can’t go wrong with the Air Jordan Retro 1s in the classic Bulls colors: red, white, and black.
Add the Air Jordan 1 and Nike Dunk to Your Collection
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on the Air Jordan 1 vs the Nike Dunk, be sure to add them both to your shoe collection.
Take the time to browse our website for more articles on new shoes, as well as many other topics that you will find helpful.