Air Jordans that come in “UNC'' colorways have always warranted attention in the sneaker community. After consulting with our crystal ball, we’re forecasting that people won’t tire of these Tar Heel inspired Jordans in the foreseeable future. Which is great news, really, because there’s already another design arranged in the familiar shades of “UNC” baby blue coming down the pipeline in early 2021: the “University Blue” Air Jordan 1 High.
We got a pair well ahead of the February 20, 2021 release date, so we thought we’d take an early, in-depth look at the anticipated colorway. Is this one of the best non-original “UNC” Jordans yet?
University Blue Nubuck Overlays
Jordan Brand has been experimenting with the Air Jordan 1 of late by combining different materials together on one design. Leather, suede, nubuck, semi-translucent netting. You get the idea. They’ve all been used in coordination with each other in some form or fashion on the silhouette, and the “University Blue” is the latest example of this practice. University Blue nubuck panels are overlaid on the forefoot and eyelet areas, as well as on the collar and heel. The shade of blue is certainly a familiar sight, but this is the first time it appears in soft nubuck on the Jordan 1.
This certainly isn’t the first instance of premium full-grain leather being utilized on the Air Jordan 1, but it’s place on the “University Blue” colorway shouldn’t be overlooked. It appears in an almost pebbled texture on the Swoosh branding, mid-panel, and perforated toe. It adds an elevated feel to the design and shows Jordan Brand went the extra mile to ensure a quality product.
The Air Jordan 1 High “Obsidian/University Blue” is probably the most comparable look to the new “University Blue” colorway, but unlike the former, the latter utilizes black leather detailing in its design. We already mentioned the black full-grain leather Swoosh, but there’s some additional black accenting worth mentioning, too. The standard “Wings” insignia on the collar is finished off in black, as is the leather around the ankle and inner lining. Both the nylon tongue tag and laces are in black, as well. It’s the first time black detailing has appeared on a “UNC” flavored Jordan 1.
So where does the Air Jordan 1 High “University Blue” land in the pantheon of “UNC” Jordan kicks? In three words, near the top. It’s a totally wearable shoe that’s neither gaudy nor aesthetically boring to look at, which is always nice. And the almost dusty hue of its University Blue nubuck gives the shoe a very nostalgic and vintage appeal. If nothing else, the release of this ode to Ed Cota’s alma mater (what, you thought we were gonna name another former Tar Heel guard here?) will give those who’ve missed out on previous “UNC” Air Jordans another chance to own a classic shoe in a classic colorway. And we’re always down for that.
Air Jordan 1 High OG “University Blue”
Release date: February 20, 2021
SKU: 555088 134