Lately I’ve been witnessing the problem with people claiming they’re rocking authentic “OG” Jordan’s with no regard for the differences between them and the replicas or “retros.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Jordan’s both OG and retro; but let’s be real, the OG’s at this point are realistically dead stocked in closets and storage units or only being rocked for special occasions. No one pulls out their OG J’s to go to Wal-Mart, bro; you’re not fooling anyone. I’ve been catching the lies through the grapevine all around. Guys are claiming their J’s are authentic when really, they’re just another pair of retros they snagged from the dunk exchange or were lucky enough to buy at retail, fresh out of the box, after hours or even days of waiting in line. The shoe this problem has been persisting with the most, recently? Bred XI’s. The Bred XI has been one of the most sought after J’s of MJ’s line, resulting in deaths over the kicks, sadly. It’s easily one of the most iconic sneakers in the past 20 years and arguably, ever. So I’m here today to point out some of the key differences between the 1995 “OG” version and the 2012 retro edition.
The first thing you’ll notice when you have the OG Bred XI in hand is the feel of the mesh upper and also the patent leather. The mesh and leather are a higher grade on the OG than what you’ll find on the retro. If you don’t have access to both, you can see the difference in the patent leather by the shine of it. The 2012 retro version is glossier than the OG and thus shines brighter.
Callout: It’s hard to tell the difference between the OG’s and the retros when someone’s just walking by, but one of the most visible differences on the upper of the shoe. On the OG version you’ll be able to see white lining on the patent leather, right below the mesh, whereas, on the retro, the lining is black.
The iconic Jump Man logo we’re accustomed to seeing on J’s is slightly skewed on the retro com
pared to the OG. First thing you’ll notice is that the OG jump man is a little shorter and a little wider than on the retro. You can also see a slight difference in the definition of MJ’s feet. The OG version is much cleaner and there is visible stitching showing the tongue on his shoe on the logo. The retro, however, has a longer, skinnier jump man with more of a neck than you’ll see on the OG. You can tell right away it looks different from the traditional jump man we see everywhere else. Also, the stitching in the foot area differs in that it’s a mere single stitch for the tongue that in some cases isn’t even connected to the foot.
The sole of the Bred XI also has a couple of callouts that can help you distinguish the difference between the OG ’95 and the retro 2012 edition. First off, the shading on the carbon fiber differs between the two, where the OG one has a lighter, cleaner appearance than the retro version. The other standout is the color of the sole. While they’re both university red, the OG version is more vibrant and stands out more than the retro version. This difference in shading also brings out the jump man logo on the bottom more in the OG than the retro, which is slightly harder to see due to the darker shade of red.
Something sneakerheads, especially the veterans in the game, will be quick to point out about the OG Bred XI compared to the retro is on the inside of the shoe. Right on the inside of the 2012 retro Bred XI is another jump man logo printed in red, clearly visible when you look inside. On the OG version you’ll see in white lettering “NIKE AIR” with the swoosh between them.
Owning retros instead of the OG version should never discourage you to wear your J’s or even own them, for that matter. But you should definitely know the differences if you’re going to indulge in being apart of the sneakerhead culture. I chose to do the Bred XI because when it comes to Jordan’s, not only is it one of the most demanded, it’s the one you’ll see the most of on any given day out in public. Of course, that’s not a bad thing by any means, but because of it, you will see the guys that will try to stunt at 7-Eleven, claiming they’re wearing the OG’s. Now, you can call them out on it while they’re filling up their Big Gulp.
I hope this has been helpful for you.
Thanks for reading and remember, wear your shoes!