A History of Air Jordan 1 KO Releases

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The Air Jordan 1 KO has gone from OG cult classic to regularly retroed release. Composed of canvas (typically), the story, name and function of the original AJKO have always been somewhat of a mystery. Yes, pairs were made in ’80s, yes, they differ in shape and tagging from that of the inline 1s, and yes, that’s about all we know for certain.

Does the KO stand for knock out? Were they made for boxing or were they still made for basketball? Regardless of the OG AJKO’s title definition or intended sport, the shoe has become a modern favorite for casual wear. Generally speaking, they’re easier to get than the leather, high top retros. They pack their own unique, original flair and beat up better than most retros. As the “Sport Royal” KOs prepare to launch this weekend, we take a look back at all the pairs that have hit so far.


photos via Sneakerpedia and kicks-box

Released?: 1985?

Maybe it was the lack of documentation seen in today’s internet era or maybe it was the fact that Nike was still a relatively young company that was taking chances and figuring things out, but not all stories align on the history and heritage of the mysterious AJKO. Some sites today say they released, while others say they were scrapped. Regardless, OG pairs are out there, but they’re incredibly rare. Though all OG AJ1s prove hard to get, OG AJKOs usually serve as top-tier holy grails for longtime collectors.

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