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Nike Air Jordan – The Ultimate Guide

Air Jordan is a brand of basketball shoes, athletic, casual, and style clothing started by Nike back in 1984. It was created for former NBA player and six-time NBA Finals MVP Michael Jordan. The original Air Jordan sneakers were produced exclusively for Michael Jordan in early 1984, and released to the public in late 1984. The shoes were designed for Nike by Peter Moore, Tinker Hatfield, and Bruce Kilgore.

The Air Jordan Story

air jordan 1 - 1984
Courtesy of NBA

In 1984, Nike teamed up with Michael Jordan to launch Jordan Brand, a brand of shoes and athletic wear built around the player. At the time, Nike was a struggling brand selling running shoes with an idea to reinvent itself as a company for athletic stars.

Nike reportedly offered Jordan $500,000 a year — in cash — for five years, hoping it could convince him to come on board.

Unfortunately for Nike, Jordan really wanted to work with Adidas. But, Adidas wasn’t really an option for Jordan, as the company was undergoing a leadership shift at the time.

Still, Jordan made one last attempt at his dream company, taking Nike’s offer to Adidas and asking them to come “anywhere close” to the offer. It didn’t work out with Adidas, and Jordan ultimately signed with Nike, and the rest is history!

Nike expected the Air Jordan 1 to bring in a revenue of around $3 million in the first four years. But Jordan Brand, just like its namesake, brought in $126 million the first year alone!

The company went from being the underdog in the basketball industry to dominating 68.3% of the shoes worn in the NBA in 2020! And that’s partly thanks to the 1984 Jordan collaboration.

From beginning as a rookie with a bright future in the NBA to building one of the biggest sneaker brands on and off the basketball court, Michael Jordan definitely left a mark in everyone’s hearts and memories. If you are interested in knowing more about Michael Jordan, check out this arguably the greatest sports docuseries “The Last Dance” produced by Netflix and ESPN:

The Last Dance

And now, let’s check out everything there is to know about Air Jordan!

The Air Jordan Collections

Nike Air Jordan Collection
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

AIR JORDAN I

AIR JORDAN I
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Both Michael Jordan and his first Air Jordan shoe burst onto the NBA scene in flashy fashion in 1985. Jordan was named Rookie of the Year. And the Air Jordan I was banned by the NBA, at least according to Nike lore. In reality, NBA commissioner David Stern banned a similar black and red shoe that predated the AJ I for violating the league’s uniform policy. But Nike’s marketing story stuck: the shoe’s were banned and Jordan was charged a $5000 fee (which Nike covered) each time he wore them on the court. This tale of defiance and “brazen charisma” came to define the Air Jordan brand for decades to come.

AIR JORDAN II

Air Jordan II
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The Air Jordan II set the tone for every other shoe in the franchise — quality materials, cutting-edge technology and elegant design. They were the first Air Jordans to cross the $100 retail threshold and the last by original designer Peter Moore and Bruce Kilgore, who also designed the iconic silhouette of the Air Force I. The sneakers were made in Italy with faux lizard skin and ditched the iconic Nike swoosh. Nike’s accompanying 1986 commercial featured MJ effortlessly walking through the air and throwing down his signature “Rock-a-bye Baby” dunk.

AIR JORDAN III

AIR JORDAN III
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

MJ dominated the 1988 NBA season all while wearing the Air Jordan IIIs. He was named both league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year and soared to his second dunk contest title. With this win, “came an inspiring and memorable image of flight,” and the Jumpman logo was born. The AJ III was designed by Tinker Hatfield, who would go on to become the most prolific Air Jordan designer and the force behind 21 of the 32 sneakers in the franchise. AJ III’s comedic commercial featured Jordan alongside (or rather, under) Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It Mars Blackmon character.

AIR JORDAN IV

AIR JORDAN IV
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

MJ’s gravity-defying performances on the court (see “the shot”) no doubt help the Air Jordan franchise’s popularity, but the kicks were also starting to become a pop culture icon away from the hardwood. Jordan again paired with director Spike Lee, and a scuffed AJ IV was featured in a scene that took on race, class and gentrification in his film Do the Right Thing. The sneaker was Jordan’s first global release and gave the wearer the ability to lace up in 18 different patterns to but their own spin on the shoe.

AIR JORDAN V

AIR JORDAN V
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Designer Tinker Hatfield took inspiration from Jordan’s dogfight-like flight and biting style, and designed the Air Jordan V with shark-tooth shapes reminiscent of American WWII fighter planes. The sneakers also featured a clear rubber sole, which Hatfield might have borrowed from another iconic shoe he design that year: Marty McFly’s self-lacing Nikes from Back to the Future II.

AIR JORDAN VI

air jordan Vi
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Wearing his Air Jordan VI, MJ claimed his first NBA championship during the 1990-1991 season with the Chicago Bulls. The silhouette of the shoe was inspired by MJ’s German sportscar, and designer Tinker Hatfield included many firsts and personal touches: it was the first basketball shoe to have a reinforced toe, the first in the franchise to include a loop or “spoiler” on the back of the shoe to help the wearer get them on and off, and if you look closely MJ’s number 23 can be seen in the shoe’s side shapes.

AIR JORDAN VII

AIR JORDAN VII
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

After a season in which Jordan repeated as NBA champion, Finals MVP and regular season MVP, he rocked the Air Jordan VII on the international stage as part of the infamous “Dream Team” that took home gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The original sneakers featured MJ’s number 23, but a special Olympic colorway was released with his Team USA number 9. All the designs for the AJ VII were inspired by African Tribal prints. The AJ VII also marked a visible split from Nike branding and a blossoming pairing with Bugs Bunny. The commercial featured Bugs as “Hare Jordan” alongside the original “Air Jordan.”

AIR JORDAN VIII

Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The Air Jordan VIII debuted the same year that Jordan and the Chicago Bulls cemented themselves as a dynasty by capturing their third consecutive NBA championship. MJ also three-peated as Finals MVP and led the league in scoring for the seventh year in a row. Designer Tinker Hatfield ran wild on these kicks: the AJ VIII is the only model in the franchise to feature crossover straps atop the laces, the tongue sports a fuzzy chenille Jumpman graphic, and the Black/Bright Concord — Aqua Tone colorway made it a “distinctly ’90s sneaker.”

AIR JORDAN IX

Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

After three years on top, Michael Jordan announced his retirement, a move in part prompted by the murder of Jordan’s father earlier in 1993. Although Jordan took a hiatus from basketball, his brand was still turning out coveted kicks. The shoe represented MJ’s global superstar status and designer Tinker Hatfield incorporated elements from many different cultures. The AJ IX has a “rising sun” on the back with the Jumpman logo and features multilingual translations of Jordan’s attributes like independence, freedom, athletic, and force on the sole.

AIR JORDAN X

air jordan x
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Jordan traded in his sneakers for basketball cleats and had a brief stint as a minor league baseball player. Nike and long-time designer Tinker Hatfield thought it was the end of Jordan’s basketball career, so they designed with that in mind. The AJ X sole features a list of MJ’s accomplishments from each of his season’s in the NBA. But Jordan was far from done, and on March 18, 1995 he sent the Chicago Bulls a fax with two words: “I’m back.” In his first game back, MJ, wearing the AJ X and the number 45, dropped 55 points on the New York Knicks in the now infamous “double nickel” game. The official commercial for the AJ X even poked fun at Jordan’s career switch suggest that is was all a dream.

AIR JORDAN XI

AIR JORDAN XI
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

MJ was officially back with a vengeance: “En route to one of his most impressive years to date, Jordan clinched MVP, All-Star MVP and Finals MVP before securing his fourth championship ring.” For the AJ XI, designer Tinker Hatfield wanted something that embodied performance and aerodynamics. He drew his inspiration from a shiny convertible body and created the base of the shoe out of patent leather. Jordan reunited with old pal Bugs Bunny for the Space Jam movie, and the AJ XI were featured in a scene that pans upward from MJ’s sneakers to his face.

AIR JORDAN XII

AIR JORDAN XII
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The Air Jordan XII is considered to be one of the most durable Air Jordans of all time. And both the shoe and the legend were in fine form for the 1996-97 NBA season. MJ recorded 38 points in the legendary “Flu Game,” where he battled a 103-degree temperature and still bested the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the Finals, on his way to his fifth ring. Designer Tinker Hatfield borrowed from the Japanese Nisshoki shoe and Rising Sun flag (the side stitching resembles sun rays). Like many Air Jordan models before it, the AJ XII featured Jordan’s number 23, but this time it was on the tongue and written as “Two 3.”

AIR JORDAN XIII

AIR JORDAN XIII
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Jordan had a lot of nicknames: “Air Jordan,” “His Airness,” “Jumpman,” but the one that sometimes gets lost is “Black Cat.” The AJ XIII pays homage to MJ’s stealthy prowess with a black panther as the inspiration. Tinker Hatfield designed the outsole to look like a panther’s paw and placed a green holographic eye featuring the number 23, a basketball and the Jumpman logo by the heel. Jordan wore the AJ XIII during the 1997-98 NBA regular season in route to another three-peat and his sixth and final ring.

AIR JORDAN XIV

AIR JORDAN XIV
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

During the 1998 Finals, designer Tinker Hatfield slipped Jordan a prototype for the AJ XIV, asking Jordan not to wear or reveal it. But MJ, took an instant liking to the sneakers and laced them up. Jordan was wearing the AJ XIV when he hit his famed “Last Shot” to clinch his sixth and final championship over the Utah Jazz. This was the last model MJ wore as a Chicago Bull. Like many other shoes in the Air Jordan franchise, the AJ XIV take inspiration from Jordan’s fast cars, this time his Ferrari 550 M (the Jumpman logo is placed in a Ferrari-like crest on the side of the sneaker). Each sneaker also squeezes in a total of seven Jumpman logos, making the pair add up to 14.

AIR JORDAN XV

air jordan xv
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Jordan retired for the second time at the end of the 1997-98 season and the AJ XV was the first Air Jordan that would never see playing time on his foot. In the commercial for the AJ XV, Jordan embraced his new role outside of the player spotlight as as a savvy businessman. The ad features rising sports stars like Derek Jeter and Ray Allen and MJ himself in a suit. The AJ XV also marked the 13th consecutive Air Jordan model that Tinker Hatfield designed. It would be the iconic designer’s last until he was brought back for the AJ XX. The shoe was modeled after the record-breaking X-15 fighter jet and featured a woven Kevlar aramid fiber upper and a protruding tongue reminiscent of MJ’s own when he would soar in for a dunk.

AIR JORDAN XVI

AIR JORDAN XVI
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

For the first time in over a decade, the Air Jordan franchise had a new designer in Wilson Smith III. The marching boot-like AJ XVI was designed with a detachable magnetic shroud that could “instantly transformed it from technical game shoe to fashion statement.” It mirrored Jordan’s own transition from player to President and part-owner of the Washington Wizards. During the 2001-02 NBA pre-season, MJ’s career morphed again and he surprised the world by coming out of retirement and joining the Wizards as a player. The commercial for the AJ XVI featured a poetic flow from musician Mos Def, proving once again that Jordan’s brand was about way more than a shoe.

AIR JORDAN XVII

AIR JORDAN XVI
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

For Jordan’s first steps back on the court Wilson Smith III designed a shoe that referenced MJ’s mid-air wizardry and his ability to improvise. The AJ XVII was highly personal: inspiration for the silhouette came from Jordan’s Aston Martin, the pattern on the soles was modeled after a golf course Jordan frequented, and music notes referencing Jordan’s love for jazz were included on the lace caps. The ads for the AJ XVII featuring Darius Miles and Ray Allen also included a jazzy soundtrack. The AJ XVII had the heftiest price tag for an Air Jordan to date: $200. But the kicks did come packaged in metal briefcase with an accompanying CD-ROM.

AIR JORDAN XVIII

AIR JORDAN XVIII
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

MJ stepped off of the court for the last time on April 16, 2003 with the AJ XVIII on foot. First-time Air Jordan designer Tate Kuerbis continued the lineage by taking inspiration from fine design and sports cars: the “rubber heel wrap” was influenced by race car driving shoes and the stitching was modeled after Italian dress shoes. The original Black/Sport Royal colorway was packaged with a towel, brush and a driver’s manual. The AJ XVIII commercial featured a look back at Jordan’s storied career, closing with MJ asking “What is love? Love is playing every game as if it’s your last.”

AIR JORDAN XIX

AIR JORDAN Xix
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Before Kobe Bryant was officially deemed the “Black Mamba,” the AJ XIX were modeled after the poisonous African snake. Lead designer Tate Kuerbis continued to push design and technology limits with the AJ XIX. The shoe introduced Tech-Flex to the basketball world. The stretchy, braided fabric resembles reptile scales and conforms to the foot. Although not quite a metal briefcase or packaged with a driver’s manual, the AJ XIX came packaged in a two-tone box that split open to reveal the Jordans.

AIR JORDAN XX

AIR JORDAN Xx
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Famed designer Tinker Hatfield returned to the helm for the 20th edition shoe in the Air Jordan franchise. Jordan’s life story was laser etched with over 200 icons into the upper part of the AJ XX by Nike’s laser expert Mark Smith. The symbols include: Jordan with his mom in a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, crossed golf clubs, and a toolbox with the word “POPs” for Jordan’s dad. Along the side spoke and near the back heel, there are 69 dimples to represent MJ’s highest scoring game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 28, 1990. Jordan’s life also took center stage in the commercial for the AJ XX.The brand again teamed up with longtime collaborator, Spike Lee, with the director reading from the storybook of MJ’s life.

AIR JORDAN XXI

AIR JORDAN XXI
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The AJ XXI embodied luxury. The simple design by first-time Air Jordan designer D’Wayne Edwards let the high quality materials shine. The shoe featured a full grain leather upper, a diamond quilted inner bootie, an embossed number 23, grille-like lower foot vents and a molded heel counter. The AJ XXI also snuck in a hidden message that would only be revealed under black light. When the capital letters of the message were rearranged they spelled out “AUTHENTIC.” As Jordan himself became more removed from his player days, Jordan the brand focused on outfitting and inspiring the next generation of stars. The commercial for the AJ XXI featured young athletes recreating some of MJ’s famous moves.

AIR JORDAN XX2

AIR JORDAN XX2
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The AJ XX2 had a look that was “built for battle.” Designer D’Wayne Edwards took inspiration from the F-22 Raptor Strike Fighter jet and added rader-like stitching and reflective camouflage. The AJ XX2 also featured the first-ever titanium (atomic number 22) shank plate, a piece that sits between in insole and the outsole and prevents the shoe from folding over on itself.

AIR JORDAN XX3

AIR JORDAN XX3
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The Air Jordan team knew that number 23 in the franchise had to be special — it was the mark of greatest. Designers Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith put MJ’s DNA into this shoe: Jordan’s thumb print on the tongue, an imprint of his fingerprint as the pattern on the sole, double helix-inspired stitching, and Jordan’s signature on the toe. The AJ XX3 was billed as the “world’s first sustainable basketball shoe,” using Nike’s Considered Design principles. The shoes launched with a “Become Legendary” campaign that with a commercial featuring MJ saying “It’s not about the shoes. It’s about what you do in them. It’s about being who you were born to be.”

AIR JORDAN 2009

AIR JORDAN 2009
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

After releasing shoe number 23, the Air Jordan brand retired the “I – XX3” numbering scheme and adopted year dates instead to honor Jordan’s legacy. The AJ 2009 paid homage to one “the most underrated aspect of MJ’s game: his defense.” The Jason Mayden-designed shoes featured a pleated-silk side panel inspired by Jordan’s belief that man-on-man defense was much like the sport of fencing. The AJ 2009 introduced the basketball world to Articulate Propulsion Technology, famous for its use in prosthetic legs of paralympic athletes. Team U.S. amputee sprinter April Holmes, the first female and first track and field athlete on Team Jordan, helped inspire the use of the new technology.

AIR JORDAN 2010

AIR JORDAN 2010
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

“Inspired by MJ’s ability to see through his opponents,” Tinker Hatfield designed the AJ 2010 with transparent TPU windows on each side. The 25th anniversary shoe was built for speed and featured a thinner outsole and a lower profile tailor for on-court responsiveness. Hidden in the base of the midsole in a graffiti-like treatment was this famous quote from MJ: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” The commercial for the AJ 2010 featured newly signed Team Jordan athlete, Dwayne Wade, as every team’s worst nightmare.

AIR JORDAN 2011

AIR JORDAN 2011
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The AJ 2011 featured the franchises first-ever interchangeable midsole. Designer Tom Luedecke compared it to the idea of “selecting a weapon before battle.” The midsoles had two options: the blue “quick” midsole, which placed the wearer’s foot close to the ground and catered to speed and agility; and the red “explosive” midsole, which offered more cushion for power plays. On the outside, the bottom was designed to look like elephant hide. NIKEiD was also included for the first time on an Air Jordan shoe, allowing the wearer to customize their kicks.

AIR JORDAN 2012

AIR JORDAN 2012
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Building off of the interchangeability from the previous year’s model, Tinker Hatfield applied a “One Shoe, Three Flights” concept. The AJ 2012 came with three removable booties to adapt to a player’s game. Wearers had two inner-sleeve choices (low flexibility or high support) and three midsole options (“Quick”, “Air”, or “Explosive”). The shoe’s wingtip shapes were inspired by zoot suits from the 1920s and 1930s. The AJ 2012 was the last model in the franchise to use the year in the name, and the following year returned to traditional roman numerals.

AIR JORDAN XX8

AIR JORDAN XX8
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

On the outside, the AJ XX8 is regarded as the most flamboyant and daring design of the franchise, caring the highest price tag ($250) for an Air Jordan shoe. Designer Tinker Hatfield compared it to a concept car: “We’re looking to push for higher levels of performance and actual change the way a basketball shoe, not only performs, but change how it looks.” The entire shoe is covered in a zippable shroud that folds down to reveal a vibrant inner boot a number that is both a 2 and a 3. The AJ XX8 also introduced new technology with the Flight Plate, which provides for a “sprint spike” and allows players to be quicker. The flashy shoes were the perfect match for Russell Westbrook, who rocked his own special “Why Not?” edition.

AIR JORDAN XX9

AIR JORDAN XX9
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The AJ XX9 was the world’s first woven basketball shoe and set the bar for lightweight performance. The entirely woven upper part of the shoe was influenced by Italian tailoring practices. The shoe technology weaves the strength right into the design — a higher thread count is used on portions that need more support like the forefoot and the heel. The shoe “Tailored for Flight” also employs a redesigned Flight Plate for quicker, responsive moves. The commercial for the AJ XX9 features brand favorite Russell Westbrook and WNBA star Maya Moore, the first woman to sign an endorsement deal with the Jordan franchise.

AIR JORDAN XXX

AIR JORDAN XXX
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

For the 30th shoe in the franchise, designer Tinker Hatfield drew inspiration from Jordan’s “otherworldly talents” to create the forward looking AJ XXX. Hatfield started to sketch and drew inspiration from a famous photo of MJ preparing to dunk with the basketball cocked behind his head. XXX, the roman numeral for 30, appears several times in the design, including a graphic that wraps around the heel and on the bottom of the sole. The shoes feature maps on each tongue: Africa on the right shoe, and North America on the left.

AIR JORDAN XXXI

AIR JORDAN XXxi
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Designer Tate Kuerbis, in his first Jordan shoe since 2004, reimagined the very first Air Jordan for the AJ XXXI model. The classic silhouette includes, for the first time ever, the original Air Jordan Wings logo, the Nike swoosh, and the Jumpman logo. The shoes also pay homage to the lore around Jordan’s first pair of kicks being banned by the NBA — “BANNED” is written in big block letters on the sole and in an X on the inside of the tongue. The AJ XXXI, deemed the “anti-gravity machines,” used new Flyweave technology and were the lightest Air Jordans ever made at the time of their release.

AIR JORDAN XXXII

AIR JORDAN XXXII
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

For the AJ XXXII, designer Tate Kuerbis again referenced a shoe 30 years prior in the AJ II. The AJ XXXII has a lot of heritage elements including the original Air Jordan Wings logo, faux lizard skin and folded leather trim. It sits at the “intersection where luxury craft meets modern innovation,” utilizing all the best technology pioneered by the Jordan brand like Flyknit and FlightSpeed. The AJ XXXII was also the first shoe in the franchine to do a simultaneous release of both the high and the low model.

AIR JORDAN XXXIII

AIR JORDAN XXXIII
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

Like the other Air Jordans post XXX, the AJ XXXIII gives a historic nod to one of the first models — this time the AJ III. The AJ XXXIII has an extra large tongue to showcase the Jumpman logo, which was first debuted on the AJ III. The outer straps and pulls reference space flight suits, with Jordan Brand Vice President of Design David Creech saying, “Flight has always been part of our Jordan DNA.” The shoes also feature Nike’sFastFit technology, a tightening system that creates a “full 360-lockdown” for the wearer’s foot.

AIR JORDAN XXXIV

AIR JORDAN XXXIV
Courtesy of Nike/Jordan Brand

The AJ XXXIV is one of Jordan’s lightest game shoes ever made. The shoes boast the new Jordan Eclipse Plate to help “provide optimal explosion off the foot.” Parent company, Nike called the AJ XXXIV an “exercise in reductive design:” non-essential materials were stripped back, leaving the athlete only what they need. That focus on flight was on full display when NBA rookie and the newest face of the brand, Zion Williamson, threw down a monstrous between-the-legs dunk at the AJ XXXIV’s unveiling in Harlem.

Best Air Jordan Collaborations

Collaborations have been a major part of Jordan Brand’s popularity and a huge selling point. That’s obvious because the most expensive kicks are mostly collabs! However, some collaborations stand out more than others. So now we’re going to talk about the best Air Jordan collaborations:

Travis Scott x Air Jordan

Air Jordan x Travis Scott
Courtesy of Flight Club

It’s true that Travis has an extensive history of collabs, but his signature Jordan sneakers were groundbreaking in every way! With a massive fanbase and sneakerheads on the lookout, every drop is a battleground for the cook. However, if you actually manage to cop any Travis Scott signature kicks, flipping them is worth a small fortune. Our personal favorite pair is the Air Jordan 1 with the reverse swoosh!

Release Date: 5/11/2019
Retail Price: $175
Average Resale Value: $1,300+

Off-White x Jordan

Virgil Abloh, the streetwear icon, took a bunch of Nike sneakers and deconstructed them in 2017. But naturally, the most popular design would end up being a pair of Air Jordans. He made a name for himself in the sneaker industry. However, as time passes, Virgil and his designs evolve. The most obvious example is his latest drop, the Air Jordan 5, that took a sentimental detour there. But that doesn’t stop us from putting him among the top 3 Jordan collaborators! Our, and probably the industry’s, favorite pair of Off-White x Jordans is the deconstructed Chicago Air Jordan 1!

Release Date: 9/9/2017
Retail Price: $190
Average Resale Value: $3,800+

Jordan x KAWS

Air Jordan KAWS

collaboration that we can never really forget. This collab managed to blur the line between art and sports. Although the artist Brian Donnelly isn’t a sneakerhead himself, he created a pair of kicks that made every sneakerhead in the world want it. Two Air Jordan 4s dropped, but we love the OG Cool Grey collab. The kicks feature a full grey suede upper with all the KAWS detailings we love! The kicks dropped along with special apparel and were very exclusive.

Release Date: 3/31/2017
Retail Price: $350
Average Resale Value: $1,700+

Trophy Room x Air Jordan

Air Jordan x Trophy Room

A Jordan on Jordan collab! MJ’s son, Marcus Jordan, is the owner of Trophy Room, the shop that takes you to Jordan’s trophy room without really being there. So it’s natural for the two brands to collaborate on many different Air Jordan kicks. Our favorite Air Jordan x Trophy room collab unfortunately never made it to the public! It’s the F&F Trophy Room x Air Jordan 4.

Release Date: Unreleased
Average Resale Value: $5,000+

The Most Expensive Air Jordans

Jordan 4 Retro Eminem Encore (2017)

Air Jordan 4 x Eminem Encore

The original version of this pair dates back to 2005. 50 pairs were made for the artist’s friends and family to celebrate his fifth album “Encore” that dropped in late 2004. 12 years later, the kicks dropped once again, and they somehow were even more exclusive! Only 23 pairs were available for purchase.

Release Date: 12/15/2017
Average Resale Value: $18,000

Jordan 11 Retro Premium Derek Jeter

Jordan 11 Retro Premium Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is a Major League Baseball player who played his entire career for the New York Yankees. As a tribute to him, Jordan brand dropped 5 pairs of Air Jordan 11 in his name. The kicks featured a navy suede upper and semi-translucent white outsole. The heels feature Jeter’s number “2”  throughout his career. The 5 pairs were available via a scratch-off auction at a pop-up store next to the Yankee Stadium.

Release Date: 5/14/2017
Average Resale Value: $18,257

Jordan 4 Retro Travis Scott Purple (Friends and Family)

Jordan 4 Retro Travis Scott Purple (Friends and Family)

Who doesn’t want to be La Flame’s friend since 2018? When Chase B (Travis’ DJ) rocked the pair during the Cactus Jack block party, the public went absolutely crazy! We all had hopes that this would be the second Travis Scott x Air Jordan collaboration. However, the kicks stayed exclusive to friends and family.

Release Date: Unreleased
Average Resale Value: $13,250

Jordan 4 Retro Eminem Carhartt

Jordan 4 Retro Eminem Carhartt

With Shady Records turning 15, Eminem teamed up once again with Jordan Brand to release a new pair of kicks. The kicks featured a black Carhartt upper and chrome wings. The kicks were sold on eBay via auction. All proceeds went to the Marshall Mathers Foundation.

Release Date: 11/23/2015
Average Resale Value: $10,200

Jordan 1 Retro Fragment Friends and Family

Jordan 1 Retro Fragment Friends and Family

When Jordan Brand and Hiroshi Fujiwara decide to collaborate, we know it’s gonna be explosive. And when the pair of Air Jordan 1 dropped in the blue colorway with the Fragment stamp, we loved it! However, little did we know that there will be a friend & family version and another public version. The difference between the two is the fragment motif on the heels. The motif on the F&F jordans is embossed in black. The public release has a tonal embossing. The differences may be subtle, but the resale value speaks for itself.

Release Date: 12/27/2014
Average Resale Value: $7,720

Top 3 Air Jordan Packs

Jordan packs were every sneakerhead and collector’s dream. So managing to own at least one of the packs back in the day meant that you’re one of the Jordan fanatics. But because there are many, we decided to share our favorite 5 packs with you!

Jordan Defining Moments Pack (6/11)

A pack celebrating memorable moments is something Jordanheads live for! So imagine dropping a pack of two cool silhouettes with a story. This was the first two-pair pack, and one of the highly-coveted releases, even today! The pack includes a pair of black and gold Air Jordan 6 and a pair of black, white, and gold AJ 11s. The pairs tribute the championships that the Bulls won in ‘91 and ‘96 respectively.

Release Date: 1/28/2006
Retail Price: $296
Average Resale Value: $1,000

Jordan Raging Bull Pack (5/5)

Jordan Raging Bull Pack (5/5)

The most “Chicago Bull” pack out there because the inspiration is Jordan’s time with the Bulls. Two Air Jordan 5s dropped in the Chicago Bulls colorway: Black and Red. One pair features a red suede upper, while the other dons a reflective black upper. Detailings such as the shark tooth midsole and the “23” on the heels make the pack a must-have.

Release Date: 5/30/2009
Retail Price: $310
Average Resale Value: $1,000

Jordan New Beginnings Pack Retro High 1 & Nike Air Ship

Jordan New Beginnings Pack Retro High 1 & Nike Air Ship

A pack that tributes the 1984 rookie in 2020! Everyone loves this pack because it includes the rare Nike Air Ship and Air Jordan 1 High 1985. So starting off 2020 with a pack of good memories was exciting on many levels!

Release Date: 2/12/2020
Retail Price: $350
Average Resale Value: $1,602

Best Women’s Air Jordans

Air Jordans have been a cultural icon ever since MJ signed that deal with Nike. However, women sneakerheads weren’t as lucky as men if they wanted to pamper themselves. But Jordan Brand decided to go the extra mile and include women who loved sneakers by dropping a complete collection of women exclusive Air Jordan 1 sneakers. Today, women sneakers are becoming more popular, they’re even making men jealous sometimes! Although that step came a bit late, it’s better late than never. Let’s take a look at our favorite women’s Jordans.

Jordan 1 Retro High Satin Black Toe (W)

Release Date: 8/17/2019
Retail Price: $160
Average Resale Value: $682

Jordan 1 Retro High Satin Shattered Backboard (W)

A year before the Satin Black Toe, Jordan Brand decided to tribute the shattered backboard accident in a very classy satin rendition of the Air Jordan 1 SB colorway. Needless to say, this is one of the most popular colorways among women’s Jordans.

Release Date: 5/5/2018
Retail Price: $160
Average Resale Value: $689

Jordan 1 Mid SE Fearless Melody Ehsani (W)

A collaboration like no other! Melody Ehsani and Air Jordan took the concept of women’s kicks to a whole new level and dropped their first collaboration: Air Jordan 1 Mid. Kicks with a message are always a recipe for success. With a colorway inspired by something as simple as her nails’ color and some more awesome details, Melody made sure the ladies get a pair that they would flex really well! The kicks were a part of the “Fearless Ones” collection.

Release Date: 11/15/2019
Retail Price: $130
Average Resale Value: $558

Jordan 1 Retro High UNC Patent (W)

Jordan 1 Retro High UNC Patent (W)

As a tribute to Jordan’s UNC days, Jordan Brand decided to drop… A Jordan! The kicks dress up in a light blue, white, and obsidian patent leather upper. The look is complete with the Wings stamp on the heels.

Release Date: 2/14/2019
Retail Price: $160
Average Resale Value: $417

Jordan 5 Retro Stealth (W)

Jordan 5 Retro Stealth (W)

The second women’s Air Jordan 5 colorway, the Wmns Air Jordan 5 Retro ‘Stealth’ is also known as the ‘Shy Pink.’ The upper’s nubuck construction is finished entirely in silver, with mesh on the side wall for breathability. Hits of Shy Pink emerge on the 3M reflective tongue, with more pink on the lining and signature shark tooth midsole. The rest of the midsole appears in Stealth, with visible Air cushioning giving way to a translucent outsole.

Release Date: 10/21/2006
Retail Price: $135
Average Resale Value: $400

Jordan 6 Retro Aleali May (W)

Jordan 6 Retro Aleali May (W)

She’s a stylist, a model, and a fashion blogger. But most important of all is that she’s a sneakerhead! Her love for Jordans landed her a place on the design table. The end result is a batch of really really cool kicks. However, one of these kicks stands out, and that’s the Air Jordan 6 Millennial Pink. If you want kicks that are obviously streetwear-worthy and feminine at the same time, you got it!

Release Date: 3/15/2019
Retail Price: $160
Average Resale Value: $364

Jordan 4 Retro Off-White Sail (W)

Jordan 4 Retro Off-White Sail (W)

Fresh off an Air Jordan 5 collaboration, Virgil Abloh is releasing an Air Jordan 4 this in 2020. Featuring a Sail colorway, the shoe is reminiscent of the upcoming Air Jordan 5 in Sail as well. So if you don’t like tan sandy sneakers, it may be time to try to find some love for the theme.

Release Date: 7/15/2020
Retail Price: $200
Average Resale Value: $2,200

How to Take Care of Your Air Jordans

If you’re looking for a general sneaker cleaning guide, check out this video:

And here are some more Jordan-specific tips and tricks:

Laces

  • The first rule is to remove all visible stains and dirt with a brush.
  • White laces: Put them in a bucket full of water with a teeny tiny amount of bleach (3 tbsps). Oh, and you better wear gloves for that.
  • Colored laces/with prints: Bleach is a no-no. Soak the laces in a bucket of water with a little bit of liquid soap, then stir them.
  • The golden rule is to let the laces air dry, never blow dry them! And make sure they are 100% dry before relacing your kicks.

Insoles

  • Remove the insoles and air them out.
  • Use a soft brush to remove dirt and whatnot.
  • Prepare the cleaning solution by mixing a few drops of dishwashing liquid or cleaning serum in a bucket of hot water.
  • Clean the insoles with the soft brush after dipping it in the solution. (Make sure you use a circular motion)
  • After removing the soap with a cloth, leave the insoles to air dry.

Leather Uppers

  • Start by stuffing your jordans with a balled-up cloth.
  • Mix cool water and some sneaker cleaning serum in a bowl.
  • Using a soft brush, gently clean the uppers with the solution. You don’t wanna ruin the leather, do you? (Circular motions my friend)
  • Scrub the midsoles with a hard brush to remove all the dirt.

Outsoles

  • To finish off the cleaning process, redo the cool water – cleaning serum mix.
  • Start off by a superficial cleansing using a hard brush to remove the obvious dirt.
  • For the stubborn filth in the cracks, clean the hard brush, and go through every one of them thoroughly.

Once you’re done with the cleaning of the whole shoe, time to dry! Pat the Jordans with a microfiber cloth, and then leave them to dry on their own!

Best Air Jordan Sneakers Backstories

Air Jordan 12 “Flu Game”

Air Jordan 12 Flu Game

Words don’t make you the best in the game, actions do. That’s what we learned from Jordan the day he played his match while fighting flu-like symptoms on June 11, 1997. Jordan managed to drop 38 points on Utah Jazz and lead the series 3 -2. However, by the end of the game, he was so exhausted that he ended up being helped out of the court by Scottie Pippen. The kicks released again in 2003, 2009, and 2016. The “Flu Game” 12 is also one of the best red Jordans to exist!

Air Jordan 1 “Shattered Backboard”

Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard

We all know that Shaquille O’Neal has the reputation of being the backboard breaker, but Jordan had his share of a shattered backboard! In 1986, during an exhibition game in Italy, Jordan delivered a dunk so powerful it shattered the backboard. Glass shards rained over the players and an Air Jordan colorway was born years later! The black and orange are actually the color of the uniform he was wearing.

Air Jordan 1 “Royal Blue”

Jordan 1 Royal Blue

A colorway that never made it to the court on Jordan’s feet. Yet, it became one of the Air Jordan 1s coolest colorways. It’s one of the OG 1985 colorways, and Jordan wore them with a matching black and blue flight suit. Moreover, the same outfit was seen on Jordan on the deck of a ship while playing with the villains of the Hare Jordan commercial! The kicks restocked several times, the latest being a rework of the colorway that dropped in 2020.

Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam”

Air Jordan 11 Space Jam

Do we really need to explain this? Along with Hare Jordan, Air Jordan wore a special colorway in the 1996 movie Space Jam. However, Jordan rocked the pair earlier during the 1995 playoffs. The kicks restocked in 2000, 2009, 2016, and 2017. According to Nike, the 2017 Space Jam 11s were their most successful sneakers ever!

Air Jordan 11 “Bred”

This was the pair Jordan was wearing when he won his fourth ring (the first after returning from retirement though). However, it was a bittersweet moment for MJ because it was his first win after his dad’s tragic death. But little did the basketball world, the Bulls were on their way for a second three-peat!

The Future of Air Jordan in the Industry

Air Jordans, especially earlier silhouettes, always have been hype-worthy kicks. However, some releases are not as popular as others. This is one of the major things that influence their resale value. Moreover, a general release with a high stock will likely result in a lower aftermarket value. But you always get that valuable exclusive pair or very popular collab or sentimental pair!

As for the future, Jordan has made it clear to the sneaker industry that it’s here to stay. And to do that they’re regularly inking more and more athletes, celebs and artists! The diversity is a sure way to keep the brand alive and strong for so long. And finally, as long as Michael Jordan’s legacy lives on, so will Air Jordan sneakers.

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