New Nike Deal for MTA Subway-Inspired Air Jordans in New York

10.6.2024 BRANDORA

The New York City subway tends to get a bad rap—known more for its delays, odors, and myriad critters than its convenience or efficiency.

But Jordan Brand saw fit to base its latest kicks on the transit system anyhow. The extremely clean Air Jordan 1 Mid “Subway” is the latest sneaker to emerge from Jordan Brand Wings, a mentorship and education program committed to “break down the barriers that hold young people back and help them fly,” offering internships, scholars hips and more for nearly a decade.

As part of the Wings initiative’s design program, 138 high school students from New York, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago and Philadelphia worked in collaboration with Jordan Brand’s product creation team to make a sneaker inspired by the theme of “Role Models,” drafting their own unique designs and pitching them to a panel of Jordan Brand employees.

One winning design was chosen to enter production, which became the Jordan Mid Subway. The sneaker itself features a ton of cool MTA-inspired design details, including a reflective swoosh made in tribute of the reflective stripes on New York City subway cars, a speckled midsole made to look like the floor of the city’s subway stations, and water-resistant gray and black leather uppers as a nod to the durability of both the trains and the New Yorkers who ride them every day. The tongue even features the iconic MTA train line icons right beneath the Nike logo.

As an homage to MTA employees, the sneaker also bears a small insignia on the backside of the tongue which reads “Thank You For All You Do,” which the brand says is “a thank you to MTA crews who help New Yorkers get where they need to go, no matter what.” The same line is repeated on the shoe box, which includes other elements, like the custom tissue paper, that were designed by the students in the Wings program.

The Air Jordan 1 Mid “Subway” launched in May on and exclusively in Jordan stores in New York City— fitting, given the design inspiration.