In a recent article for Complex Sneakers, Russ Bengtson wrote about the idea that the term "retro" makes a shoe infinitely more desirable despite that fact that it is really just a replica of a prior shoe. He isn't wrong and that is probably why picking up a pair of the Air Jordan 1 Chicago OG sneakers at the end of May was such an exciting event for me.
No, I didn't acquire an original pair of the Air Jordan 1, celebrating it's 30th anniversary. I did, however, acquire a "retro" of the shoe and what is easily the closest replica to the original release since 1994. Adding to the drama of the release was the decision by Nike to not sell the shoe via their online store. This essentially means than an undisclosed number of Air Jordan 1 Chicago sneakers are sitting in a Nike warehouse somewhere, unreleased.
While there are many, many pair sitting in Nike's back pocket, the pairs that did release were very highly sought after and the resale market for this shoe has already hit the $450-600 range. This market isn't sustainable and when Nike inevitably releases their stock of the shoe, the demand will decrease as the scarcity decreases.
For me, I'd never sell these shoes even if the price were to hit $600. This shoe is as close to a "grail shoe" as there is for me. I have many pairs of shoes and chief among them are sneakers 1a and 1b at the top of my "all time" list. 1a is the Nike Air Jordan 1 Chicago and 1b is the adidas Top Ten Hi. The two shoes that sit at the very top of the mountain for me, and now I own both shoes in their "OG" or "retro" condition. They may not be the original shoe, but they are the best sneakers that I have ever owned.