Retro means a release of any new colorway, design, or technology of the original shoes, especially in the world of Jordan Brand shoes.
So if you are new to the sneaker game, it seems to be quite easy at first. Just figuring it out and picking some of your favorite pairs. However, you started to come across dozens and dozens of abbreviations, slang, nicknames in the world of sneakers. It could be retro, UA shoes, deadstock sneakers, etc.
But what do these terms really mean? In this short post, I will go over the meaning of retro in sneakers as well as help you differentiate retro and og in the world of shoes. So, without any further ado, let’s find out the answer to the question, “What does retro mean in shoes?”
What Does Retro Mean In Shoes?
To put it simply, the word retro is commonly used in the sneaker world. It refers to a launch or re-launch of a colorway that occurred after the initial release of a shoe model, especially in the world of Jordan Brand.
For example, the price of the initial Air Jordan 7 was decreased in 1992. However, in 2011 and 2015, the shoe company relaunched the Bordeaux colorway as a retro (among various others).
If you are a fan of Air Jordan, you might know that there will be a new model coming out annually. For instance, in 1991, the Air Jordan 6 came with some new colorways. And the same applies to the Air Jordan 7 and Air Jordan 8. However, since about half of these models are usually uncommon with the community, it seems to be unlikely to get the Retro deals anytime soon. So, it is possible to see a re-launch whenever Jordan and Nike feel like that.
Pro Tip: As you might know, the Air Jordan has been here for ages, so the shoe that seems to be “retroed” the most throughout the year is whichever shoe debuted 23 years ago. 23 is considered the number of Michael Jordan during the peak of his career.
Example List of Retro Sneakers in 2021:
- Nike DBreak Sneakers
- Veja Rio Branco Leather-Trimmed Mesh & Suede Sneakers
- Adidas Superstar Sneakers
- Onitsuka Tiger Unisex Serrano Sneakers
- Re/Done ’70s Runner Shoes
- New Balance Women’s 574 Sneakers
- Gucci Screener Leather Sneakers
- Madewell Kickoff Trainer Sneakers
- Rothy’s RS01 Sneakers
- Merrell Alpine Sneakers
- Everlane ReLeather Court Sneakers
- Clarks Un Rio Run Sneakers
- Saucony Hornet Sneakers
What Does OG Mean In Shoes?
In the world of shoes, you might bump into the term OG quite a lot. It stands for original or original launch. Just like Deadstock, OG comes with 2 different meanings. Firstly, OG might denote the initial colorways of sneakers at the time of its first release. For instance, the Air Jordan 1 Bred is considered an OG version. However, OG might also represent the first launch of a shoe.
Usually, the OG Air Jordan with the OG colorway or anything launched in Bred colorway (black and red) tends to be sold out very fast. And you can also notice that almost all of their resale-worthy Air Jordans (and even other shoes) are available in the bred colorway. One of the key reasons for this is that it is a well-known fan favorite.
What Is The Difference Between OG and Retro?
If you are a fan of basketball and sneakers, you might already know the commonly known OG and Retro slang. These are just two of the different models of basketball sneakers sold by Nike in cooperation with Michael Jordan or MJ – as he is affectionately called. Jordan is widely considered the greatest basketball player in living memory. And Air Jordan shoes are specially designed and sold under his direction.
As you might know, Jordan shoes were first introduced to the community in 1985. However, they remain as common as ever, even after a wide range of women’s, men’s, and kids’ shoes are sold around the world.
In fact, a lot of people are still confused in selecting between Retro and OG labels. Although both are Jordan shoes, there will be some certain differences between Retro and OG versions that I will emphasize in this part.
Retro Jordans Shoes
The Nike brand has made a wide variety of basketball shoes. However, Jordan shoes are still considered the most popular type that remains unsurpassed in the history of the world’s leading shoe brand.
While retiring in 2003, Michael Jordan shoes are still in the highest position in the basketball shoes ranking all over the world. So basically, there will be two types of Retro Jordan shoes. The first one is the shoes that Michael Jordan wore during his game days. And the other one, also known as classic Air Jordans, is the type that is modified a little bit to appeal to everyone today.
Nike continues to release these kinds of shoe year after year, which is considered an effective way to reclaim the legacy of the finest basketball player in history. Around 28 Air Jordans models, from I to XVIII, have been released so far.
The re-released versions of these models are commonly known as Retro in the sneaker world. Not only in the basketball community but also in other sneaker lovers, retro shoes are considered the proof of Michael Jordan’s craze and popularity in the hearts of fans.
While the retro shoes still keep the initial design of the original models, there will be some changes due to the materials used and advances in technology. These days, retro shoes have become high in demand, and a lot of people have started to consider them as collectible things.
OG Jordan Shoes
As some of you might know, the Jordan Company usually restores a few of the former sneakers by making some small changes in their designs or colorways every year. After that, the company will release these modified models to cash in on its reputation.
Having said that, there still are several models in the whole range which have not been retried so far. And these shoes are usually called OG or original shoes, or originals. But the fact is that there are several Air Jordan models that have been re-launched multiple times to cash in on the renown of these shoes.
Retro Vs. OG
OG is a common term used in the world of (basketball) shoes, standing for the original. It means any model of Jordan shoes has not ever been retired up to now.
Besides, there are several models of Jordan shoes among the many that have been relaunched many times, although there are a few that have not been retired thus far. And these models are typically labeled as OG or originals.
Retro, on the other hand, denotes Air Jordan shoes that have been relaunched with some small modifications, such as in materials or integrated technology, to remake a prior model.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to tell if Jordans are OG?
To identify if a pair of Jordan shoes are fake or not, you can check out the logo and letters on the shoe box, as well as the style of shoe’s number on the factory’s label. Then compare the style number on the shoes with the number you find on Nike’s official website and the number on the tag inside the sneakers to ensure it is genuine.
Are retro shoes fake?
Almost no retro shoes are distinguishable from the initial version. The term “retro” has been stigmatized by sellers of absolute fake shoes, which are also known as unauthorized replica shoes. These people will do anything to make their sneakers appear legit.
What is the difference between OG and Retro shoes?
When it comes to retro shoes, they are the original Air Jordan shoes but come with some small changes in applied technology and materials. OG, on the other hand, means original. It denotes different models of Jordan shoes, which have never been reduplicated as of today.
Which Jordan shoes are seen as retros?
As a general rule of thumb, a retro release is considered a relaunch of an original sneaker. So, any freshly relaunched colorways of Air Jordan shoes (regardless of versions) are all seen as retro Jordan shoes as they resemble the initial one.
What was the first Jordan Retro model?
The very first Jordan Retro shoes are the 199 Air Jordan IV Retro after Micheal Jordan formally retired from the Bulls in 1998.
I believe that now you understand “what does retro mean in shoes?” and the differences between retro and OG shoes. Retros mean the initial Jordan shoes but with several minor changes in applied technologies and used materials. In contrast, OG shoes represent original models of Jordan sneakers that have never been retried at the latest.