The 100 Best Air Jordans Of All Time
There are some tasks that probably shouldn’t be attempted. Climbing Mt. Everest in shorts. Racing the Indy 500 in a Prius. And ranking the top 100 Air Jordans of all time. And while the latter won’t result in extreme frostbite or a blown engine, it’s still awfully risky. After all, there have been so many Jordans over the years and so many great ones. How does one decide between, say, Space Jams and UNDFTDs? Or black/cement IIIs and black/red Is? But this is what we do, so with no further ado, here’s The 100 Best Air Jordans of All Time.
Air Jordan 1 Mid Triple White
The Jordan 1 Mid has become a cheap alternative to the Jordan 1 OG High, and no matter how many times you tell us The Jordan 1s MJ wore were more of a mid-cut than a high, the more we dislike mids. While its one of the most popular Jordans in the game, the Triple White is as crispy as a chicken strip . This is undoubtedly one of the least desirable Jordans of all time, especially if you get them dirty. Mids are. not. cool people, theyre just not!
Years released: 2018, 2019, 2020Upper material: LeatherShoe shaft style: High TopColourway: White/White/White
Air Jordan 4 Eminem X Carhartt
Release Date: 2015
Selling Price: $30,100
In 1015, Rapper Eminem, the clothing brand Carhartt, and Nike teamed up to create Air Jordans for charity. The collaboration resulted in a limited run of ten shoes. All were put up for auction on eBay, with all proceeds going toward Michigan States Literacy Through Songwriting program.
Altogether, the shoes raised $227,552, with the highest bid going for $30,100 for a pair of size nine sneakers. Most of the shoes were at least in the $20,000 range.
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The Best Air Jordan Sneakers Of All Time
Heres a fact about sneakerheads: they really know their Roman numerals. Why? Is there some unspoken pact by which they all adhere to a redundant numerical system? No. The real reason lies, somewhat less surprisingly, with a particular line of trainers. More specifically, the most important, influential and genre-defining line of sports footwear ever created one that also happens to use numerals with each new release.
Were talking, of course, about the lovechild of sportswear giant Nike and NBA superstar Michael Jordan: the Air Jordan brand. Since 1985, 33 Air Jordan models have acted as the backbone for all sneakers moving forward.
Heres every sneakerheads primer on the brand that started it all, and the best Jordan shoes ever made.
Air Jordan 2 Og $31000
Despite the fact that this pair lacked popularity among fans and sneakerheads alike, these Air Jordan unexpectedly got sold on eBay for a whopping $31,000. It was crafted by designer Bruce Kilgore and was originally produced in Italy. The shoes were made available in two color schemes. The Jordan Brand was unable to produce retro of the pair until 2004. Subsequent releases were made with the manufacturer experimenting with different colorways.
Nike Air Jordan Xxxiv
The roots of Michael Jordan are entwined with the Jordan brand always striving for excellence. The trainers that host the name of the one of the greatest sports players of all time, keep getting better.
The Air Jordan 34 was the lightest ever model at time of release, weighing 13oz , with the addition of the brand new, transparent Eclipse Plate, replacing the Flight Plate of previous designs. With 2 fresh colourways on launch and a Herringbone traction shape, this shoe is a sight for sore eyes.
There is one final touch on this design, which wed be crazy not to mention. The whole reason why this brand is where it is today. Michael Jordans no.23 can be deciphered from the Morse Code on the vamp. A fitting tribute to a true legend.
Jordan 6 Black Infrared
INFRARED is pretty much the ultimate Air Jordan sneaker colour, and the Jordan 6 INFRARED pair features a black upper, black midsole plus red accents, and a translucent sole. Not only is this one of the most popular Jordans its also the shoe MJ wore when he won his first championship in 1991, averaging 31.2 points, 11.4 assists, and 6.6 rebounds per game in the finals. GOAT status.
Years released: 1991, 2000, 2010, 2014, 2019Colourway: Black/InfraredCushioning: MaximumShoe shaft style: High Top
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Ties With The University Of Oregon
Nike maintains strong ties, both directly and through partnerships with , with the . Nike designs the University of Oregon football program’s team attire. New unique combinations are issued before every game day., who also redesigned the university’s logo, leads this effort.
More recently, the corporation donated $13.5 million towards the renovation and expansion of .
Phil Knight has invested substantial personal funds towards developing and maintaining the university’s athletic apparatus. His university projects often involve input from Nike designers and executives, such as .
Air Jordan Signature Shoes: Power Ranking All 26 Pairs
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Air Jordan sneakers have become the norm among young basketball players wanting to soar like the great Michael Jordan.
Jordans numerous pairs of Air Jordan sneakers have been through a historic NBA career that accomplished many milestones.
The shoes are so popular that even other NBA stars don the shoes regularly.
To date, there have 26 different signature pairs of Air Jordan shoes to hit the market, with each one drawing more hype than the next.
The shoes revolutionized athletic footwear, and we can only wait and see whats next on the list.
I have power-ranked each pair depending on style, performance ability and what Jordan achieved in each shoe.
Note: All of the Jordan signature shoes are pretty awesome, so the rankings may seem arbitrary at times.
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Air Jordan 1 Retro Royal
Widely known as Mikes favourite Jordan colourway, the Royal Blue Jordans are part of basketball folklore. First photographed by Chuck Kohn in 1985, the image of MJ wearing the shoes became an instant hit despite the fact that Jordan never wore this retro colourway on the court. Since 1985, these blue Jordans have been released three more times, confirming their status as one of the best Air Jodan sneakers of all time.
Years released: 1985, 2001, 2013, 2017Upper material: LeatherColourway: Black/Varsity Royal-White
Frequently Asked Questions About Jordans
Which Jordan shoe is the most popular?
The most popular Jordans are the Air Jordan 1s. The original sneakers in the line. They were the first to become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. With their straightforward yet iconic styling and superlative functionality, theyre real winners.
What are the top-selling Jordans?
The top-selling Jordans include the Air Jordan 1 Black Toe, the Air Jordan 1 Chicago, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Bordeaux, and the Air Jordan Mid Bred 1, a mid-top in a black and red colorway, originally banned by the NBA.
What are the best Jordans to buy right now?
The best Jordans to buy right now include the Air Jordan 35, introduced in 2020a serious high-performing basketball sneaker. For street-style appeal, the best Jordans include fashion collaborations such as the Off-White x Air Jordan 4.
What is MJs favorite Jordan shoe?
MJs favorite Jordan shoe is the Air Jordan 11 Concord. The shoe is known for its innovative aesthetics, including patent leather that meant MJ could wear it for formal occasions. The sports star wore it for the entirety of the 1995-1996 season.
Which Jordan 1 has the best quality?
There are many different Jordan 1 colorways on the market now and all have the same high quality as the original Jordan 1s, made from full-grain calfskin with extra cushioning and support. One of the best colorways is the Air Jordan 1 Black Toe.
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Nike Air Jordan Xxiii
With as many reappearances as Jordan himself, that guy Tinker Hatfield was back in the mix again. Collaborating with Mark Smith, they came back to design a shoe which aligned with the most recognisable number in NBA history, Air Jordan 23.
Detail was the key for this model, it had several intricate touches woven throughout. From MJs fingerprint on the tongue, to hand-stitched patterns on the upper.
It wasnt just for show though, like His Airness, it could still do the business on the court. Carbon fibre shank plate, I.P.S tech and a new articulated chassis gave performance a boost.
Jordan 11 Bred Playoffs
First worn on NBA courts back in April 1996, the AJ11 Bred is playoff-ready and one of the most popular Jordans money can buy. This variation is the 2019 edition, which marked the first release for the style in seven years. The footwear ranks high on MJs grails and is undoubtedly one of the best Air Jordan shoes of all time.
Years released: 1995, 2001, 2008, 2012, 2019Upper material: Patent leatherOutsole material: RubberColourway: Black/True Red-White
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Top 10 Air Jordan Sneakers Of All Time
Its been almost 40 years since Michael Jordans first signature shoe set foot on the court. It was 1985, and that shoe was the Air Jordan I: a simple leather high-top with Swoosh branding to the side and a black upper with red accents. Nobody knew it at the time, but this was to be sneakers one small step moment and something that would shape the relationship between fashion and sportswear for decades to come.
Fast forward to the present day and its difficult to quantify the effect the Jordan brand has had on footwear, fashion and popular culture at large. Air Jordans made sneakers into highly desirable, luxury items. They brought sportswear into the mainstream and gave rise to the phenomenon we now call sneaker culture.
Today, a £100 pair of trainers is par for the course, but back in Air Jordans early years, those sorts of prices were unheard of, which only added to the shoes appeal.
Since that first sneaker, Air Jordan has released a shoe every year like clockwork. Some have surpassed their predecessors in terms of design, cultural impact and performance, while others have fallen by the wayside. Theres also been a healthy amount of creative wackiness, and far from being timeless, each shoe serves as a sort of visual time capsule for the era in which it was designed.
Air Jordan 10 Ovo $20000
A special edition Air Jordan and a rare one at that, Air Jordan 10 was originally crafted as a gift for rapper Drake and his crew. It was meant to reflect Jordan Brands partnership with the group. However, a fan got the opportunity to own one during the Toronto Raptors event Drake Night. As anyone would, the fan immediately put the sneakers up for sale, fetching $20,000. This all black pair is stamped with a red Jumpman branding along with a gold OVO owl.
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Moments That Define The History Of Air Jordan Sneakers
From the silhouette that started it all to the inspiration of Ferrari, brush up on the models, colorways and prints that changed the trajectory of sneakers.
Air Jordans are not simply sneakers. Theyre airborne icons that capture sport, innovation and art at their highest heights. Lacing up a pair of Air Jordans in an OG colorway is more than putting on shoes. It’s armoring yourself in one of the most accomplished and rebellious relics ever to transform the industry.From the groundbreaking Air Jordan 1 to the grand closing Air Jordan 14, brush up on the defining characteristics, colorways and moments tied to the models worn by Michael Jordan as a Chicago Bull.
Eddie Jones And Vin Baker
Signature shoes: Jumpman Pro Quick and Jumpman Pro Strong
After a spin-off Jordan Brand was created by Nike in the late-90s, they had to very carefully pick the stars they choose to endorse. MJ was still an active player. The first line-up of athletes, nicknamed Team Jordan were Ray Allen and Vin Baker of the Milwaukee Bucks, Derek Anderson of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Finley of the Dallas Mavericks, and Eddie Jones of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Baker and Jones would be the first to receive signature shoes released n 1998. Eddie Jones received the Jumpman Pro Quick model to mirror his playing style, while the bruising Vin Baker received the Jumpman Pro Strong model. Other athletes were used to keep Jordan shoes relevant beyond MJs playing career, but Baker and Jones got their own shoes, with the Pro Quick being later renamed the Swift and the Pro Strong becoming Vindicate.
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Lil Nas X Satan Shoes
On March 29, 2021, American rapper partnered with New York-based art collective to release a modified pair of called . The shoes are black and red with a bronze pentagram, featuring the Bible verse Luke 10:18 and are filled with “60cc and 1 drop of human blood.” Only 666 pair were created and were sold at a price of $1,018. Nike immediately iterated that they were uninvolved in the creation and promotion of the shoes and did not endorse the messages of Lil Nas X or MSCHF. Nike filed a trademark lawsuit against MSCHF with the New York federal Court, in an effort to stop the distribution of the shoes. On April 1, a federal judge ordered a temporary restraining order blocking the sale and distribution of the shoes pending a preliminary injunction.
Looney Tunes And Space Jam
On January 26, 1992, Jordan Brand debuted a commercial during Super Bowl XXVI which showed Bugs Bunny enlisting the help of Michael Jordan to outsmart a bullying rival team using cartoon gags. A second ad premiered in 1993 featuring Bugs and Jordan facing off against . The ads inspired Jordans agent, David Falk, to pitch a film starring Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters. The pitch resulted in Space Jam, a commercial success which grossed over $230 million at the box office and generated over $1 billion in merchandise sales.
The success of the advertising campaign and the film contributed to the popularity of Looney Tunes and other cartoon characters as motifs in street fashion through the 1990s and 2000s, spawned limited editions of Air Jordan sneakers in colorways paying homage to such characters as Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian, and Lola Bunny, popularized the Air Jordan XI as worn by Jordan in the film, and led to the development of a 2021 sequel titled Space Jam: A New Legacy starring LeBron James.
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Air Jordan 3 Retro Dj Khaled Father Of Asahd
Release Date: 2018
Selling Price: $8,759
As shown in this list, Nike is known for collaborating and partnering with famous music artists. DJ Khaled is a fan of rare Jordans, so its only natural that the brand would create a player exclusive just for him. This pair, the Father of Asahd, is actually the second pair Nike has released in his honor.
The shoes were created to celebrate the release of DJ Khaleds album, Father of Asahd. The shoes are a bright blue colorway and feature a hanging tag that states, We the best. The average resale is over $8,000.
Unpacking The Air Jordan Design
Following the unprecedented success of the first shoe, Nike was faced with a challenge to back it up. The Air Jordan II was released in 1986, however, it was in 1988 that Air Jordans got their own real identity. Architect turned designer Tinker Hatfield dropped the Nike Swoosh and added the now-famous Jumpman logo, moving the sneakers from just a basketball shoe to a streetwear staple.
The best Air Jordans all share common design elements, most of which come from long-time collaborator and designer Tinker Hatfield.
- Air-Sole The visible Air-Sole unit under the heel became an icon for Air Jordans particularly the Jordan III. It retained Nikes Air embroidery on the heel, encapsulated Air in the forefoot, and a polyurethane midsole for cushioning.
- Offset ankle collar First introduced in Jordan V, the offset ankle collar was integrated to boost support while offering flexibility where a player needed it most.
- Patent leather The Air Jordans were the first basketball ball shoe to introduce patent leather, reportedly at the instruction of Michael Jordan who desired a basketball shoe that could be worn with a suit.
Image: Nike/ Michael hanging with the Jordan I
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The 23 Best Air Jordan 4s Of All Time
Matt Halfhill | Apr 16, 2014
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As the first Michael Jordan signature sneaker to release globally, the Air Jordan 4 expanded his legacy beyond the scope of the United States. In 1989, further carrying the popularity that the Air Jordan III established, Tinker Hatfields second design for the star Chicago Bulls basketball player was produced. Even 30 years after its release, the Air Jordan IV continues to be one of the most celebrated and beloved sneakers to date.
The Air Jordan IV proved to be the perfect sneaker for Michael Jordans 4th season in the NBA. Along with incorporating Jordans favorite features from its predecessor, including the visible air bubble and mid-cut profile, the sneaker was constructed to be more streamlined and lighter. The sneaker also presented several unique features: webbing on the mid-panel, a more effective lacing system, and the NIKE AIR branding on the heel. Using Nikes famous air technology, the sneaker also proved to be a comfortable ride on-court. Worn during Michael Jordans best statistical season and during his monumental game-winner in the 1988-1989 playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers, nicknamed the shot, the Jordan IV solidified itself as yet another timeless Air Jordan sneaker.