These are the top 10 Nike Air Jordans of all-time

The original Air Jordans from Nike

Based on his namesake, the Air Jordan brand of basketball shoes is one of the most famous, if not most well-known basketball shoe, ever produced. Makes sense, it is Michael Jordan after all.

With dozens of versions across several colorways, we were curious which Air Jordans were the mot popular of all-time. From the original “Air Jordan I” that was produced for Michael Jordan in 1984 during his rookie year, to the currently produced AJ XXX, we’ve ranked the top 10 ever since the first Air Jordans were released for sale to the public in 1985. .

The brand has been a game changer for the sporting shoe industry and one could argue that the Air Jordans made Nike the company it is today. Over the years, Nike has redesigned the shoe, and continues to release updates every one to two years despite the fact that Jordan has not played in the NBA for more than 10 years. If you see that we have missed your favorite Air Jordan model, please leave a note for us in the comments section of the article.

Air Jordan 1 Black Red

Current Air Jordan Model

At the time of this writing, the current Air Jordan model sold on the market is the AJ XXX. The shoe was first debuted by Nike on January 14th, 2016 in Chicago and was designed by Tinker Hatfield. The shoe has some consistent design features with the XX9 that was released in 2015 with the upper and outsole being very similar. The upper does consist of a combination of flyknit and is performance woven which is new for this year along with a flyknit-constructed ankle collar. Only time will tell if the XXX performs to the point of being ranked amongst the greatest of the Air Jordan shoe line. Nike has also announced the re-release of the Air Jordan Retro XI, or Space Jam shoe set for December 2016 in time for Holiday shoppers.

Top 10 Air Jordans of All Time

#10 – Air Jordan Retro XI “Space Jam”

Original Shoe Release: 2000

Air Jordan Retro Space Jam

The Air Jordan Retro XI has also become known as the “Space Jam” shoe. Although Jordan wore them during the 1995 NBA Playoffs when the Bulls lost to the Orlando Magic, once the shoe debuted in the Space Jam movie in 1996, there was a significant consumer demand for the brand. Once Nike released the shoe for public sale in 2000, it became a fan favorite, and is set to be re-released during the Christmas timeframe in 2016.

#9 – Air Jordan 1 “White/Black/Red”

Original Shoe Release: 1985

Air Jordan 1 WBR

The Air Jordan 1 in white, black, and red was the response by Nike to the NBA fining Michael Jordan for the original black and red Air Jordans. Although the new edition of the shoe came across as a “louder” version, it had enough white to make the NBA happy for the shoe colors matching the uniform colors. The updated version of the shoe would go on to be a huge commercial success.

#8 – Air Jordan XI “Concord”

Original Shoe Release: 1996

Air Jordan Concord

The Air Jordan XI Concord is one of the greatest design achievements for Tinker Hatfield. At the time, most of the folks at Nike thought the Jordan was done for good with playing in the NBA and wanted to abandon the shoe line. Hatfield disagreed, and continued to work on the shoe design despite direction to the contrary. He took inspiration for the shoe from both dress shoes and a lawnmower of all things. When Nike still didn’t want to pursue the shoe, he told them to bring it up to MJ (they didn’t), and the shoe would go on to be a big success.

#7 Air Jordan VI “Infrared”

Original Shoe Release: 1991

Air Jordan Infrared
The Air Jordan VI Infrared was the first pair of Air Jordans that MJ wore while wining his first of many NBA Championships (and NBA Finals MVP award). The design of the all black shoe with extremely bright infrared accents combined with a translucent outsole was also a big hit by itself. The VI Infrared was also the first to have a Porsche inspired rear “wing” that continues to have a big impact on the shoe market today for designs inspired by sports cars.

#6 Air Jordan IV “Black/Cement”

Original Shoe Release: 1989

Air Jordan IV Black Cement
The black Air Jordan first became a big hit when MJ leaped in celebration following a game winning shot against Cleveland over Craig Ehlo. After the shot, the Bulls were on a tear, and the popularity of his brand continued to exponentially grow.

#5 Air Jordan III “White/Cement”

Original Shoe Release: 1988

Air Jordan III White Cement
The Air Jordan III was the first to start blurring the lines between sports and luxury shoe. The model featured a ¾ cut that fans could wear both at home and on the basketball court. It was also the first Air Jordan to have Visible Air and to be sold by Mars Blackmon and would go on to be a huge commercial success.

#4 Air Jordan Retro IV “UNDFTD”

Original Shoe Release: 2005

Air Jordan Retro IV UND
The Air Jordan Retro IV UNDFTD (Undefeated out of California) is one of the top Air Jordans of all time. The shoe was inspired by a flight jacket and was a big play by Nike on the overall “Flight” concept. The shoe was only sold via raffle at the time, and they also featured a removable shoe tongue. If you can find one of the 72 original pairs of these shoes sold today, they will cost you north of $5,500 USD at the time of this writing.

#3 Air Jordan XI “Black/Red”

Original Shoe Release: 1996

Air Jordan XI Black Red
The Air Jordan XI black and red was first released in 1996 and is one of the best Air Jordans ever sold. The shoe had an all-black upper section and red outsole. The model would go on to be one of the most popular sold by the Jordan brand.

#2 Air Jordan III “Black/Cement”

Original Shoe Release: 1988

Air Jordan III Black Cembent
The Air Jordan III in Black and Cement color is one of the top Air Jordans of all time. The shoe was designed by Tinker Hatfield and helped keep Michael Jordan with Nike in a relationship that continues to this day. Even more impressive was that most of the original design team had departed Nike by this time, and he had the idea of trying to incorporate his athlete’s personality into the shoe design. The shoe is considered to be one of the best balances between tech and style to this day.

#1 Air Jordan 1 “Black/Red”

Original Shoe Release: 1985

Air Jordan 1 Black Red
You can’t go wrong with the original Air Jordan. Officially released for public purchase in 1985, the shoe was the largest gamble ever taken by Nike. The company had gone out of their way to lock Jordan down to a contract and promised him his own shoe line along with royalties from their sales. One of the biggest fashion game changers ever, and you can still find originals sold; albeit, they may come at a price if in unused condition.

Times have changed. No longer are Jordans limited to one or two shoe releases a year under the broader Nike brand, but following the success of the Air Jordans, MJ has had his own line of clothing and shoes under his own established brand name (The Jordan Brand) for many years now.

Though technically, The Jordan Brand is still under Nike’s umbrella, it acts as it’s own company in that NBA players such as Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook have signed up to have their Jordan Brand shoe collections and hoopwear. A company within a company.

Michael Jordan’s imprint and influence has grown even larger than his playing days and it all started with the Nike Air Jordans.


1 Comment

  • Nice Blog!The latest collection of Nike Air Jordan shoes is very beautiful and stylish.They are the best sports shoes in the world. Thanks for the blog!

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