1985 Air Jordan 1 Black Toe Restoration

1985 Air Jordan 1 Black Toe Restoration


The Air Jordan 1 1985 Black Toe is the shoe that started everything. The 1985 black toe was released in Michael Jordan's Rookie year where he averaged 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game and walked away with rookie of the year. It’s safe to say he absolutely dominated his first year in the league not only on the court but off the court as well. In the Jordan 1’s first year it did 126 million dollars in sales and for each pair of shoes costing $65 a pop that is a lot of shoes sold. Michael Jordan took the basketball and sneaker world by storm and little did he know that he would change the shoe industry forever. The iconic Jordan designs from over 30 years ago are still being worn today across the world. Michael Jordan shaped the sneaker industry into what we know it as today so it is only right to restore these Jordan 1 Black toes to the way they looked in 1985.

Cutting it Open

The Black toes that Vick has for this restoration are absolutely disgusting. Definitely one of the most destroyed shoes he has ever tried to restore which is why he brought help. He brought his buddy Alex aka Flippin Kicks to help him try and bring this shoe back from the grave. To start off this restoration they begin by separating the midsole and sole of the shoe from the uppers by cutting the stitching and using a wedge to pry apart the bottoms from the uppers. The next step is to use a dremel to get rid of all the old glue that connects the midsole to the uppers so that way when they put back together the shoe the glue keeps its hold. To continue the process they tear open the shoe using a seam ripper to see how the 30+ year old padding is holding up, and it did not hold up well. The padding looked good from the outside but on the inside it was completely destroyed so, they removed all of the old padding from the inside and then started to clean the uppers.


There is years of dirt and debris on the upper of the shoe so it is going to be very difficult to get out all of the dirt and grime. Vick and Alex use the Reshoevn8r original cleaning kit to clean the uppers. After the clean there was still quite a bit of dirt left but they put the shell of the 85’s on a shoe lass to reshape the upper because of how flimsy it is letting it dry on the shoe lass will reshape the entire upper that way it might actually look like a Jordan 1. After drying the shape of the shoe is a night and day difference but there is still some extreme creasing on the heel so Vick used an iron to get it out. Next they cut out all of the pieces for the padding using a few layers of material for extra support because of how old the shoe is, it definitely needs the extra help. They used a Barge super stick to glue all of the padding into the shoe and this Jordan 1 is finally starting to come together.

The Details

The replacement sole’s for these Jordan 1’s are brand new which means that they are way to white and need a little yellowing to add an aged look. Vick does this by putting the midsole and soles in coffee for a few minutes which turns the outsole just the right color. Before repainting the uppers on the shoe they do some prep work to make sure the paint job ends up just how they want it. First they use some sand paper to make the leather smooth for an even paint job and use acetone on the uppers to get it fully prepped for paint. 

Finishing Up

Next Vick and Alex begin repainting the uppers to bring this ancient artifact back to life. The paint job on these 85 Jordan 1’s is perfect; the only thing that's left to replace is the tongue. The tongue tabs on these OG’s were missing so they had to take them right off of Alex’s ones that he had on foot to give it a fully authentic straight out of the box look. Now it is time to put everything back together which means a lot of gluing. To start off Alex sprayed some cohesion promoter to the soles and then added glue to the uppers and lowers and put the two together with some heat. To complete connecting the uppers to the midsole and sole it needs to be stitched together that way glue isn’t the only thing holding together a piece of history. Now finally to complete this lengthy restoration they cut out and replaced the old texon board with a new one and now the shoe is complete and of course to get a full step by step of how this crazy restoration was done click the link below.

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