Earlier this week, we gave you a glimpse at one of the rarest Air Jordans of all time. Owned by actor and life-long Michael Jordan fan Kris Arnold, this wear test sample of what would become the Air Jordan 1 was reportedly created for Michael himself in 1984. So, how did they wind up in the actor's hands? Sole Collector decided to do some investigating and reached out to Arnold for more answers.
It all dates back to 1993 during Arnold's days as an assistant for a now-defunct sports management firm called ProServ. In its heyday, ProServ was one of the largest companies of its kind, with a roster that included major names like Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Patrick Ewing, and of course, Michael Jordan.
According to Arnold, Jordan had left the Washington, D.C. based company the year prior, which meant that all related merchandise and product was set to be disposed of. As a coworker prepared to toss out two Air Jordan boxes, Arnold intervened.
"I happened to be there in my office while it was happening and I said, 'No, I’ll take those, '" said Arnold.
Unfortunately, each box contained just one right shoe, size US 13.5, which meant Arnold wouldn't actually be able to wear them. Still, he recognized that they were something special, especially the "Black Toe" pair which featured a unique production sticker on the insole. Arnold decided to keep them and stashed them away in a basement.