The Jordan 1 Mids has always been a constantly hated silhouette by the majority of the sneaker community. The Mids sits on a very unclear ground as it isn’t an OG but it doesn’t differentiate itself as much as the Lows to make it look like an original shoe. This puts the Mids in the position where its trying to imitate being an OG when put side by side, its not.
So why doesn’t Nike just get rid of the Jordan 1 Mids? Why does Nike bother keeping the Jordan 1 Mids when they are hated by a large amount of sneakerheads? This article tries to give an explanation to why Nike decides to keep releasing colourways for the Jordan 1 Mids. This explanation is closer to a personal opinion rather than a factual one. However, I tried to be as logical as possible to make my personal opinions sound reasonable.
The Jordan 1 Mids’ big brother the Jordan 1 High is the golden child of the Jordan Brand. There is no doubt that if the Jordan 1 didn’t exist, Nike wouldn’t be as big as we see it now. The Jordan 1 Highs were the shoes put that Nike on the map in the sneaker world. And as Micheal Jordan placed himself as the greatest basketball player of all time, the Jordan 1 Highs rode the popularity of Micheal Jordan to become a huge influence in pop culture as well. This made the Jordan 1 High a highly coveted sneaker and Nike is well aware of it and they want to keep it that way. This is were Nike hits a dilemma. While Nike doesn’t want to tarnish the reputation of the Jordan 1 High, they still want to release a reasonable amount to keep everyone interested in the shoes. If Jordan 1 Highs are released too frequently, the hype for them will eventually die off and if they release too little, they won’t have a large share in the current sneaker market and there is the danger of people losing interest. So this is where the Lows and Mids come in. The Lows and the Mids act as a “colourway dump” for the Nike brand. Nike can continue to keep everyone interested in the Jordan 1 Highs but not really killing its level of stock because the majority of the shoes that are being released are technically a different shoe. So the Jordan 1 Mid and the Lows act as a injection of shoes to keep the interest of the Jordan 1 High, high and the supply low.
Another reason is as mentioned, the large popularity of the shoes even outside the sneakerhead community. They are the most popular and most recognised silhouette out of the Air Jordan line. So the shoes are demanded by a wide range of people of different interests. Also the Jordan 1s are viewed as a entrance model for people who want to get into collecting or wearing the Air Jordan line. So getting more people to wear the Jordan 1s is crucial to Nike in attracting more customer. Nike’s solution to it is to make 3 types of the same shoe to allow people to choose the cut that would suit them best. For people who are less reluctant to wear shoes that come up to the ankle may prefer the Lows while others may prefer mids and highs. The option to choose the cut of the shoe allows more communities to embrace the Jordan 1 and more communities accept the Jordan 1 as their own. Hence the existence of Lows and the Mids aid Nike in terms of accepting a wider audience for the Jordan 1 and the brand itself as a whole.
As said above, this article is purely speculative, the truth may be far from the explanations above. However, I tried to think the explanations as logical as possible to give a small idea to why Jordan 1s are the only Jordan line to have 3 versions of itself. Although this reading this article may not change many people on the idea that the Mids are a ugly shoe, it at least attempts to give an explanation the existence of the shoes. One small hope for Mid fans that constatnly have to see their shoes get battered by the sneaker community there is a glimmer of hope. To think that the Jordan 1 Low was in a similar position a few years ago, it may be surprising to some. As the Jordan 1 Lows got better colourways and popular collaborations, the Lows were also able to change the opinions of the sneaker community. It can be seen in recent colourways of the Jordan 1 Mids as it had been getting better colourways and better materials in some cases. If this continues, we may see the Mids become a likable silhouette in the future.