”Classic or Trash” is a recurring franchise highlighting a specific item and asking exactly that question: is it classic or trash? Granted, each member of the Grailed community is entitled to their own opinion, and while the Grailed editorial staff does its best to judge items objectively, we more than encourage you to disagree and sound off in the comments below.

In 2005, when the first ever Jordan collaboration hit shelves—the Air Jordan IV “Undefeated—Jordan working with a partner on a limited sneaker was unprecedented. Today, it is not only commonplace, but expected. No sneaker is too sacred to tinker with—not even the Air Jordan 1. While for years Jordan avoided letting any designer rework its flagship model, when Virgil Abloh released “The Ten” the floodgates gushed open. Today, the Jordan 1 is receiving makeovers aplenty, most recently by Houston’s own Travis Scott. Inspired by the landscape surrounding his hometown—and the energy of his camp collectively referred to as “Cactus Jack”—the sneaker is currently one of the hottest drops of the year. Yes, you read that correctly, a rapper’s signature Jordan is pegged as sneaker of the year. Something is amiss.

While a decade ago the hype surrounding a sneaker directly correlated with its associated signature athlete—Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, etc.—today’s sneaker landscape is drastically different. From the resurgence of SB’s to artists having their own signature sneaker—or, in Kanye’s case, a whole line of them—sports accolades are dramatically less relevant in footwear. What does matter, however, is perceived cultural relevance and style acumen. Currently, few embody that combination quite like Scott. In his fans’ eyes, Scott is the pinnacle of celebrity and artistry. His energy is rampant, his clothing—the artist is prone to leather pants, cargos, streetwear tees and flashy jewelry—is on point and his sneaker game is untouched. From limited personal editions to rare archive Jordans, Scott sits at the intersection of everything hypebeasts care about it. So naturally his sneakers do the same.

Unfortunately for Scott, there’s one problem: a loyal fan base does not equate to quality sneaker design. While his first sneaker, the Air Force 1 "Travis Scott" was a novel effort, once he moved on to designing Jordan’s, hype unfortunately replaced innovation. While initially celebrated, his Air Jordan IV “Cactus Jack”–which many realized was alarmingly similar to the prized Eminem “Encore” IVs—received a relatively timid response, with fans much more interested in the unreleased purple friends & family edition. When his much teased Jordan 1 was finally revealed, many were quick to brand it shoe of the year. Yet, the accompanying merch was disappointing, not to mention the coupled Air Jordan 1 Low, widely considered one of the worst Jordan silhouettes ever made. The overall impression was not positive. While Scott’s references were solid—the “Mocha” color used on the Jordan 1 is the very same tone from the beloved “Mocha” IIIs, one of Scott’s favorite sneakers—the backwards swoosh at this point is played out and the color scheme lacks a certain pop.

While the surprise limited drop helped fuel hype via artificial scarcity, following the wide release prices are down and demand has waned. Given the current Scott-mania however, his fans simply don't care. As it stands, the widespread obsession with Scott is driving demand rather than the overall design of the sneaker itself. Yet, as Astro-fever eventually fades, the shoes will be judged purely in terms of aesthetic. Most likely, they will be branded a solid effort. The shoe in and of itself is certainly appealing, with interesting details and premium construction. Compared to other Jordan 1 collabs—Off-White, Union Los Angeles etc.—though, they just don’t measure up. Great sneaker? Sure. Classic? Not a chance.

Disagree? Whether you think the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 “Cactus Jack” is classic or trash, let us know in the comments below.

Tags: sneakers, classic-or-trash, jordan-1, air-jordan, cactus-jack, travis-scott