How to Make Your Own Air Jordan 1 Sneakers: A DIY Guide

How To Build An Air Jordan 1

Are you a fan of the iconic Air Jordan 1 sneaker and dream of making your own pair? The good news is that you can create your own Air Jordans at home with the right equipment and materials. This DIY guide will walk you through what you need to make custom Air Jordan 1s from scratch.

Equipment Needed to Make Air Jordans

Equipment Needed to Make Air Jordans

How To Build An Air Jordan 1

To create your own Air Jordan 1 sneakers, you will need the following equipment:

  • Sewing machine
  • Air Jordan shoe lasts
  • Outsole bottom units
  • Air Jordan 1 upper pattern

The shoe last is the most critical piece of equipment, as it sets the shape and silhouette of the shoe. You can purchase an Air Jordan shoe last online from Here or sites like Etsy. Outsole bottom units can also be purchased online, although they may not have the Nike trademark logos.

You Need An Air Jordan Last

The shoe last is what shapes the shoe. If you want your Air Jordan project to look and fit like the real thing you will need a last. Can you get an Air Jordan last from Nike? No chance! The shoe last is the secret sauce, Nike will not give this away, But a skilled last maker can replicate the shape. 

How To Build An Air Jordan 1
DIY Air Jordan Patterns

Getting the Air Jordan 1 Pattern

There are three ways to get the Air Jordan 1 shoemaking pattern:

  • Trace the pattern from a disassembled donor Air Jordan 1.
  • Purchase the Air Jordan 1 paper pattern or download the pattern from the internet.
  • Create your own custom pattern using the Jordan 1 last.

Trace the pattern from a disassembled donor Air Jordan 1
If you have an old pair of Jordans, you can make your own pattern. It will take some time and effort to remove the outsole and pick apart the stitching, but it’s not technically difficult. Taking the Jordan 1 apart will give you valuable insights for how to put yours back together. Once you have separated the parts, trace them to make a paper pattern or use the parts as materials for your DIY build. Remember you only need to take apart one side, the Jordan pattern parts are reversible for the left and right.

Buying the Air Jordan pattern 
There are many folks selling the Air Jordan patterns online. There is no magic to duplicating the pattern from an existing shoe. If the pattern maker started with an authentic Nike Jordan or a real Jordan last, the pattern for purchase should be accurate enough for a home build.

Create your own custom pattern using the Jordan 1 last
If you want to build or test your own pattern making skills, the air Jordan is a great model to practice with. The Air Jordan pattern has simple cut parts and no technically challenging construction details to worry about. You can follow the tape-over pattern making process and draw your own pattern. If you have a real Jordan to reference you can draw an accurate copy in less than an hour. This DIY pattern making process can save you some money. Here is an eBook that describes this process step-by-step. Pattern Making Book.

Material Needed for Making Air Jordan 1

Material Needed for Making Air Jordan 1

For the outer skin of the Air Jordan 1, you can use any leather or textile of your choice. Remember, you may need to finish off the edges of your materials. Leather edges are clean and will not unravel, while textile material edges need to be rolled or bound to keep them from unraveling.

For the inside of the Air Jordan 1, you will need the following:

  • Foam-backed fabric for the cuff and vamp lining parts
  • Fabric for the tongue face & Lining for the tongue back
  • 10mm to 15mm PU sponge foam for the tongue and collar padding
  • .5mm thick toe reinforcement plastic to hold the distinctive shape of the toe
  • Thicker plastic sheet (1.0mm) to build up the heel counter
  • Non-woven Super-Tuff material to reinforce the eyelet holes
  • Lasting board, depending on your building method

Where to Find Materials for Making Air Jordan 1
You can purchase a complete kit with all the materials you need for making Air Jordan 1 sneakers Here or on Etsy.

DIY Jordan Donor shoe

Do I need an Air Jordan 1 donor shoe to make my own?

No, you don’t need to use an expensive donor shoe to make your own custom sneakers. In fact, there are many options available online that allow you to purchase parts to create your own custom sneakers without having to sacrifice a new pair of pricey shoes.

For example, you can purchase outsole bottom units for Air Jordans online, which can be used as the base for your custom sneaker project. Here or on Etsy. While these units may not feature Nike’s trademark logos, they can still be a great option for a Jordan home build.

Additionally, there are many other components that you can purchase separately, such as the upper, laces, and even custom graphics, to create a truly unique pair of sneakers. So, don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune on a pair of donor shoes to get started on your custom sneaker project. There are plenty of affordable options available that will allow you to create something truly one-of-a-kind.

Air Jordan DIY workshops

There are in person workshops in New York, Los Angeles, London, Chicago, and San Diego. These make-your-own Jordan workshops offer a comprehensive Air Jordan shoemaking experience but usually come with a high-price tag. The typical in-person Jordan making DIY workshop alone can cost $3500 or more, plus  expenses for a week while you complete the workshop. Unfortunately, for many Jordan fans this is too expensive and they can not take the time away from jobs and families.

Yes! You can make Air Jordans at home

Making your own Air Jordan 1 sneakers may seem like a pricey and daunting task, but with the right equipment and materials, it is definitely doable. Whether you choose to purchase the pattern or create your own, the result will be a one-of-a-kind pair of sneakers that you can proudly show off and wear.