Jordan 1 Mid Blue the Great: 1 Year Review
- Price: $130 retail [No Longer Available]
- Pros: Great Materials, Unique Looks
- Cons: Hard to Style, Even Harder to Keep Clean
The Jordan 1 mid has become something of a joke to a lot of sneakerheads. Jordan Brand today positions the shoe as a more affordable option for those who can’t afford a Jordan 1 high. To reach that price point, they use lower quality materials, and obviously less of them. They also will take classic color combos and change them just enough to make it not satisfy the urge for a classic.
This wasn’t always the case, though. When the Jordan 1 started to really started to hit its stride in re-releases in 2001, what came out were much closer to today’s mids than today’s highs. Retros of those 2001 pairs are non-true to the original design because they’re coming out as highs. Michael Jordan himself preferred mid-height shoes. Most of the 1s he played in were mids. Really, it’s just the materials and the hype that keeps sneakerheads looking down on mids.
That’s what makes the Jordan 1 mid Blue the Great (and other fearless collabs) so interesting. Released in limited quantities. Used high quality materials. Are reselling for way over retail. And, are closer in design to what the GOAT wore.
These represent everything that the Jordan 1 high is meant to be.
That raises the question, though. Should we keep looking down on mids? Or, should we all be giving mids another look?
There is nothing subtle about the Jordan 1 mid Blue the Great. The upper is made up of no less than 6 different colors. Red, blue, green, yellow, black, and white. The shoe stands out even more due to the variety of materials on the upper.
Starting up front, the toe guard is blue suede, capped of with a perforated yellow suede panel. Moving back, red suede is featured on the lock-down panels, placed over green suede eyelet panels. The midfoot of the shoe is a cream corduroy material, topped off with a fuzzy black swoosh. Moving back, the heel cup and straps are the same red as the lock-down, and cover a blue suede where the black ankle panel typically sits.
The back of the heel does feature the two biggest changes on the upper compared to a normal Jordan 1. First, instead of an embossed wings logo, this shoe features black stitching. The stitching is tight and even, especially for Jordan standards. On the exterior side of the heel counter, it’s easy to spot Blue the Great’s balloon-lettered logo.
The tongue of the shoe comes in black with yellow edge lining. Sewn on top is a multi-color jumpman AIR logo. Inside the shoe, an all black lining is broken up by the multi-colored insole, with as many colors as the upper. Black laces come fully laced in the shoe (unlike the highs that only come started), though I replaced them with the included sail ones here.
Finishing off the shoe, the stitched on midsole is the same off-white as the midfoot upper panel, and the outsole is black with the classic Jordan 1 design.
If you’re interested in the differences between the high and the mid, we did an in depth comparison here.
For suede shoes, these have held up incredibly well with wear. It’s worth pointing out these came with a warning label to not wear them in the rain. Others have had color bleed, but I’ve taken that warning seriously and have not warn them anywhere wet.
Really, the only place that has shown a problem is one of the lockdown panels has started to separate from the plastic structure underneath. This has resulted in a bit of white plastic showing, and some additional wear on the toe panel where it is rubbing. You’d only notice it if you’re a few inches away.
Fit & Comfort:
These shoes fit the same as any other Jordan 1. For me, that means long and narrow like most other Nike shoes. On the brannock I measure an 11.75 D and take these in a size 13.
Jordan 1s are one of the reasons I wrote about the problem with “true to size” vs. your actual measurements. Many use the Jordan 1 as a benchmark for your true size, but they are not an average shaped shoe.
When it comes to comfort, these shoes are an old design and it shows. Underfoot there is technically an air unit in EVA foam, but it’s almost impossible to feel. Entirely encased in rubber and unable to expand, it’s the outsole that is doing most of the impact protection. You’ll definitely feel it if you wear these all day compared to other sneakers.
Elsewhere, though, the Jordan 1 has some redeeming qualities. The ankle tends to be padded very well, and the upper materials generally have a bit of stretch to them. The mids do have a thinner/stiffer tongue compared to the highs, but the lower height makes things like getting them on or driving easier.
This is where the Jordan 1 mid Blue the Great really shines. While almost certainly synthetic suede rather than the real deal, the suede panels on the upper feel great. They are soft to the touch, keep their structure, and have not faded at all. They really make this shoe feel like a premium product.
The corduroy mid-panel feels great as well, though I do wonder why they picked the white panel for this material. It absorbs dirt like a vacuum cleaner, and shows it like, well, white corduroy on a pair of shoes.
The black fuzzy swoosh was a bit of an odd choice. It feels like something between a bath matt and a shag carpet, but with as bright as the rest of the shoe is you don’t notice the texture at all. The material does give it a 3D effect, so overall I like the result.
The interior lining of the shoe is the tighter, softer weave that Jordan Brand has been using since late 2018. I prefer this to the older style, it feels much more sturdy than what they used to use and is easier to slide in and out of as well. Behind that lining is a high-quality padding. Even after a year of wear, there is no permanent compression.
The tongue is the only part of the shoe where the cost-cutting from the mids comes through. Cheap nylon with thin padding. It isn’t even the normal cheap nylon of Jordan 1 tongues that you can at least claim is original to the shoe, it’s worse.
The outsole and midsole are typical Jordan 1. This means hard rubber that, while not particularly comfortable, will be long wearing.
Ease of Care:
While you can probably tell at this point that I’m a big fan of the shoe, the ease of care is simply awful. Keeping the upper completely dry is a major pain. Not just in limiting when and where you can wear the shoes, but in cleaning as well.
There is the obvious problem that you can’t clean the suede panels with normal water. However, that’s not the worst part. The white corduroy gets dirty constantly. While it’s easy enough to clean, you need to be incredibly careful not to get the panels around it wet. They could bleed onto the white. It’s like Blue the Great wanted to make them as difficult as possible to keep clean.
To clean those suede panels, you’ll want to use suede and nubuck cleaner. The stuff isn’t that expensive, just one more thing you need to keep in your closet.
Originally priced at $130, the Jordan 1 mid Blue the Great was $10 more than most mids. Considering the higher quality materials used, that was an absolute steel.
Of course, as you probably saw above, getting these for anywhere near that price these days is pretty much impossible. As of writing, the most recent sale for a size 13 on StockX was $315 dollars. Other sizes ranged from 249 to 395. They seem to be going for a bit less on eBay, though remember that to qualify for the authenticity guarantee they need to be over $200.
Normally in my reviews of Jordans I always point out that almost no sneaker is worth even retail. That, even if it’s worth it to the buyer, you’re paying a mark-up for hype. With these, I’m not so sure.
The materials on these are extremely high quality. They had to change the production line from normal mids for things like the sewn wings logo. I really wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Jordan Brand earned less than the industry average on these pairs, compared to their normal 3 or 4 times industry average profit.
For retail, the Jordan 1 mid Blue the Great might actually be the first Jordans that were a good deal for the buyer.
Of course, it’s harder to justify that at the resell price. You can find high quality footwear using full grain leather for well under $300. However, that doesn’t take away from these being one of the better built Jordan 1s. Mids or highs.
Going back to the question at the top: are mids being disrespected? While I love this shoe, it’s hard to say someone should take their hard-earned money and buy something specifically designed to be cheap like most mids. Especially when Jordan Brand will change one panel to make it look different than what you want.
However, there is definitely disrespect aimed at the mids. Not by the customer, but by Jordan Brand themselves. The Jordan 1 mid Blue the Great shows that they can make great mids. If Jordan himself preferred them, and they can release pairs like this and still make a profit, there is no reason we shouldn’t have a great pair of mids come out every now and then.