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Alright, last entry on this model, I promise (alright, who am I kidding—I have to talk about the notorious “Banned” pair next). I’d love it if I could bring myself to move onto another shoe, but I feel that I wouldn’t be doing this pair justice if I only dedicated one post to it, so here we are. Today, I’ll be covering the Air Jordan 1 in the “Game Royal” colorway, which had its major release on March 24th, 2018.
One of the main reasons I want to talk about this shoe is because it is the updated model of the previous shoe I posted about—the 1985 Jordan 1 Chicago. You might notice that there are very few differences between the original model and this one produced more than 30 years later, and you would be absolutely correct. Aside from a few structural and material changes, this time-tested pair stays mostly true to form. Hell—even the color blocking on them is the same as on the Chicagos! Where this pair deviates the most from the OGs, however, is in its fluorescent blue upper—it’s so crazy to me how changing the color of just one part of this shoe can transform so drastically. Jordan never wore this pair on court, yet he did promote a similar style in the 1985 “Royal” 1s, sporting a color combination of blue and black that Nike says was the GOAT’s favorite.
Another benefit of this shoe is that it is (relatively) affordable, especially in comparison to the 1985 Chicagos. As I said previously, Jordan Brand likes to repurpose old models in the form of “Retros,” so that sneakerheads can wear their favorite kicks without having to pay ridiculous resale prices. The last time Nike retroed the Chicagos was in 2015, and the price has spiked since then—in 2020 and 2021 the resale price went up almost $1,000 from what it was prior to those years—you’d have to shell out around $2,000 if you wanted a pair today. Fortunately, the premium on the Game Royals is less than that of the Chicagos, and buying a pair on the resale market right now would cost you anywhere between $400 and $500 unless you’re an NBA player yourself and have size 14 or 15 feet (although I wouldn’t recommend these on the court!). A pro tip—if you’re set on buying these and are a size 7, go for the grade school version instead in 7Y unless you have wide feet if you want to save yourself $400! The length and materials are very similar, and no one would notice the difference.
This pair is not cheap by any means, considering they retailed for $160 in 2018, but in comparison to the 1985 and the 2015 Chicagos, you have yourself a bargain. If you really like this shoe and have conviction that Nike won’t retro it again in the next few years (and due to supply chain issues, I wouldn’t count on it) definitely consider copping this pair soon if you have the money to do so, as rare and well-liked Jordan 1 models tend to appreciate in value as long as they do not get restocked, like what’s happening with the 2015 Chicagos. Plus this shoe is chic, easy to style, and will last you many years if you take good care of them (don’t crease the toebox!). Comfort-wise, this shoe suffers from the same flaws as every Jordan 1 does, but I’ve personally worn the model for multiple days on end as a casual/lifestyle sneaker with few issues (again, I wouldn’t recommend playing sports in them). Plus, sometimes you have to sacrifice a little comfort for style when it comes to sneakers.
Verdict: I love blue and have always wanted this pair myself, so I’m probably biased when it comes to these. With that out of the way, 9.5/10. Definitely check these out, trust me.