Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere: Frustratingly Good
Price: $200 [Sold Out, Check eBay for Current Pricing]
The Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere is a shoe that justifies Jordan Brand’s ever increasing price point with high end materials, and lots of interesting little details that makes the shoe feel special.
Why Stay Away?
Because of many of the material choices, the Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere is going to be more work to keep fresh than most pairs, and resale is not cheap.
|Model||Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere|
|Material||Cracked Leather Upper / Rubber Outsole|
|Weight||637 g / 1 lb 6.5 oz|
|Construction||Cemented and Stitched Cup Sole|
|Country of Origin||China|
It’s no secret that Jordan Brand can put out some shoes with really awful quality. Often using materials that barely qualifies as leather, with panels not on straight or soles that are stained. It’s such a problem that there are entire websites dedicated to roasting their QC. That’s why it’s almost frustrating when they put out something like this Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere – a shoe that actually feels like a high-end product.
If you’re not familiar with the shoe, this Jordan 1 is A Ma Maniere’s second collaboration with Jordan Brand in 2021, following the smash hit Jordan 3 “Raised by Women.” A Ma Maniere is an Atlanta-based shop that mostly features higher-end streetwear brands. They use this as an influence for their collaborations. For the 1, A Ma Maneire tried to keep the luxury feel but also push the boundaries a little bit. Were the successful? (You probably already know the answer from the first paragraph).
When you receive the Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere, it really feels like an experience. The box itself comes in a clear plastic sleeve with the A Ma Maniere “A” covering the entire piece. Inside, the classic Jordan 1 box is redone in a cream and maroon colorway, with “A MA MANIERE” printed on the sides. When you open it, you’re greeted with the photo that inspired the Jumpman logo and custom “A” paper.
Each of these make opening the shoes feel that much more special. It’s an experience, and something Jordan brand would be good to try doing more often.
Once you’re inside, the very first thing you notice about the upper of the Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere is the cracked leather. Partly because it’s the defining feature of the shoe. Partly because just pulling it out of the box means you’ll get a bit of white dust on you – though that slows down pretty quickly.
Covering every panel except the swoosh and ankle padding, the cream-colored leather looks like a miniature dried lake bed. Think of that one textbook from your school library that’s been there since 1912. While it may sound like I’m ragging on it, I’m not. It both looks and feels premium.
Would I want every Jordan 1 to come with this? Of course not, but having this as part of a rotation means it can shine when you need it to.
The only other color on the upper is a maroon “snake skin” look on the swoosh and ankle padding. This is… less great than the leather. I appreciate what A Ma Maniere was trying to do here, but when you get close you see it’s just a screen-printed design over regular material. It looks great from about 5 feet away, but not when you get much closer. I imagine they went to Jordan Brand with something else in mind, but had to compromise to meet their production cost targets.
One interesting design choice they made was to not stich the ankle straps down, so they float slightly off the shoe – similar to the Rookie of the Year, or a Dunk High. Again, just a little touch that makes these feel different.
Inside, the shoe is lined in a quilted maroon interior which feels great. Below your foot, a panel with the logo “Airness by A Ma Maniere for Air Jordan” is stitched on – a nice touch for something nobody but you will see. It also plays off the longer Black, Maroon, and White tongue tag.
One surprisingly nice feature is the laces. They are woven tighter than typical Jordan 1 laces, using a slightly reflective material – they remind me of waxed laces – and feature metal aglets. Really, really nice.
Mid- and Outsole:
I’ll start off by addressing the elephant in the room, on my pair of Air Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere’s, the midsole was not a bright salmon color. If I had to guess, anyone posting a picture like that is in a room with orange lighting. In person, the midsole of this shoe is an aged cream color. Otherwise, it’s classic Jordan 1 – a textured pattern running along the entire midsole, with a full 360-degree stitch keeping it on.
Underneath, the typical Jordan 1 traction pattern can be found – this time in a deep marron. It’s hard to think of something more classic on a sneaker than the Jordan 1 traction pattern. The radial lines up front with squares in the back, it just feels right.
Fit & Comfort:
The Air Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere fits almost exactly like every other Jordan 1. In other words, it’s long and narrow. If you know your Jordan 1 size, buy that. If you don’t, it fits similar to most other Nike sneakers. Alternatively, you can probably find an Air Max 90 in a store, you’ll likely be the same size. One thing you should be aware of, though, is due to the cup sole you won’t get too much stretch when you wear them. If they don’t fit out of the box, they won’t fit.
Another option is going by your brannock measurement – that metal thing in shoe stores. Most people will probably want to go up a full size, unless you have narrow feet where you can get away with a half size.
All Jordan 1s – including this one – use technology developed more than 35 years ago. If your main goal with a sneaker is comfort, these are not what you should pick. Other than a really small air unit, a small amount of under the heel, and the insole, the only thing between you and the ground is hard rubber.
However, as far as Jordan 1s go, this one is definitely better than most. The difference is entirely in the ankle. First, for whatever reason, Jordan Brand gave this one a bit more padding than you normally find in 1s. It isn’t much, but it is noticeable. Second, the fabric they use is much, much smoother than typical Jordan 1 lining.
Neither of those are going to save your feet if you’re working all day though.
Materials & Construction:
The materials used on the Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere are really what sets it apart. You can tell immediately – these are actually about 10 to 20% heavier than most Jordan 1s because of the material choices.
The cracked leather upper is real leather without a plastic coating – something that is pretty rare on any Nike product. It’s hard to tell exactly what quality of leather it is due to the processing to get the cracks, but it’s definitely thicker than most.
The only fake leather – or at least plastic coated – is the swoosh and the insides of the flaps. While I’m not crazy about them using that material on a premium model like this, both of these have printing on them so there is at least some reason other than outright cost savings.
The lining of the shoe is made up of a polyester fabric with quilting done in a thin stitch, and underfoot is an open-celled foam insole. The fabric feels great, but I have serious doubts about it’s longevity. It feels like it will rip pretty quickly, and the stitches will probably come out even sooner judging by the A Ma Maniere 3s. I have not seen a single pair of those that have been worn and don’t have at least a couple loose threads on the quilting.
Below your foot, you’ll find the same thing as every other Jordan 1. That means an EVA-encapsulated air unit, and hard rubber outsole. While not the most comfortable, the outsole should be extremely durable.
The Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere, like all Jordan 1s, feature a cup sole construction. This means that the midsole and outsole are one unit, that is glued and then sewn onto the upper. These stitches are what you see along the side of the shoe.
This style of construction is pretty durable, and is less likely to separate compared to cemented-only construction. The draw backs are that it isn’t quite as flexible, and is more expensive to produce.
Ease of Care:
With cracked leather, it is important to keep shoe trees in these if you can. If deep creases form, you’ll find that the small leather pieces will begin to fall off, leaving really ugly empty sections. Shoe trees are pretty cheap, and don’t wear out, so it makes sense to have a few lying around.
You’ll also want to be extremely careful cleaning these for the same reason. Any rough abrasion will take off pieces of the cracked leather.
Pricing & Value:
The Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere came in at $200, a $30 dollar premium over most Jordan 1s. This retail price was effectively higher since most pairs dropped on A Ma Maniere’s website with a required $25 shipping charge. In other words, if you got these at retail, you probably paid $225.
Of course, these sold out instantly the three times they have been released and demand is still there. That means that unless you already have a pair, you’re not paying retail. At time of writing, ebay is offering the best deals, with prices hovering between $375 and $475 depending on size.
As stated in the opening, the Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere is one of those shoes that costs more at retail, but actually represents a better value than almost all other Jordan sneakers.
Let’s face it – at $170 or $200 a Jordan 1 is an expensive sneaker. I don’t think anyone who could afford the first can’t afford the second. However, while a lot of Jordan 1s have materials worse than the $50 Vans you keep at the door to walk the dog, this pair actually feels like you can justify the cost. It has great presentation, great materials, and a great story. It really is the whole package.
Of course, at the $450 resale price things get trickier. However, if you want a high quality Jordan 1 your options are pretty limited. If the colorway speaks to you and you have the cash, it might not be such a bad call.
Apart from being a non-OG colorway, the Jordan 1 A Ma Maniere is everything you could want a Jordan 1 to be. It feels special, it’s well built, and it has materials that justify its price.
Is it perfect? Of course not. The cracked leather is going to be something you need to watch out for, and I’d love to have seen a bit more care going into the sock liner, but compared to almost everything else coming out of Nike and Jordan Brand these days, it’s a home run.
If this is a colorway that fits what you’re looking for, I’d definitely recommend picking up a pair.
Looking for more?
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