Ever aback Michael Jordan sported that aboriginal brace of Nike sneakers aback in 1984, arena for the Chicago Beasts and aloof starting to get people’s absorption as basketball’s abutting big star, Jordans accept been capturing the acuteness of sneaker wearers about the world. No added shoe has the aforementioned cult-like cachet and all-around following.
Perhaps you’re a absolute b-ball alarmist who’s watched and re-watched every memorable Michael Jordan moment out there. Or maybe aggregate you apperceive about MJ comes from Netflix’s The Aftermost Dance. Either way, you’ll be acquainted that (a) the man plays basketball like no one abroad on Apple and (b) he takes cossack seriously.
Today, there are 35 altered Air Jordan models available, not counting countless colourways, collaborations, bound editions, and awakening Jordans. From 90s artery appearance staples and on-court speed-optimised bliss to high-fashion collabs, there are Jordans out there for every mood, taste, and event.
We adulation our Oliver Cabell sneakers for their affordable minimalist appearance and our Koio sneakers for their around-the-clock Italian craftsmanship. But for pure charisma, antic legacy, and championship cool, the brawl is durably in the Jordans’ court.
We’ve put calm a account of what can be advised the best iconic, popular, innovative, high-performing, and about best Jordans of all time by absolution dates. These are the luxury sneakers that accept fabricated the cossack band the delinquent success it is today. The Jordans that get bodies aflame about Jordans. The Michael Jordan shoes that accept basically defined sneakers as we apperceive them in the 21st century.
The 23 best Jordans of all time
- Air Jordan I: Appear in 1985
- Air Jordan III: Appear in 1988
- Air Jordan XI: Appear in 1995
- Air Jordan IV: Appear in 1989
- Air Jordan VII: Appear in 1992
- Air Jordan XII: Appear in 1996
- Air Jordan V: Appear in 1990
- Air Jordan II: Appear in 1986
- Air Jordan VI: Appear in 1991
- Air Jordan XIV: Appear in 1998
- Air Jordan XIII: Appear in 1997
- Air Jordan XVI: Appear in 2001
- Air Jordan VIII: Appear in 1993
- Air Jordan XVIII: Appear in 2003
- Air Jordan XV: Appear in 1999
- Air Jordan IX: Appear in 1993
- Air Jordan XVII: Appear in 2002
- Air Jordan XIX: Appear in 2004
- Air Jordan X: Appear in 1994
- Air Jordan XX8: Appear in 2013
- Air Jordan XX3: Appear in 2008
- Air Jordan XX: Appear in 2005
- Air Jordan XXXV DNA: Appear in 2020
Air Jordan I: Appear in 1985
The OG Air Jordan, this was the actual aboriginal Nike shoe to be sported by MJ on the cloister and the alone one you’ll acquisition with the Nike Swoosh—two affidavit why it’s absolutely one of the best Jordan shoes in existence.
The Air Jordan I is the shoe that not alone started the attraction with Air Jordans that continues today but additionally created above controversy back its atramentous and red colour aggregate bankrupt the NBA’s 51% white adjustment apropos sneakers.
A top aces if you’re all about the authentic details, this archetypal is additionally accessible as a brace of low top Jordans.
Air Jordan III: Appear in 1988
The Air Jordan I ability booty pride of abode in any sneakerhead’s accumulating but the Air Jordan III is appealing revolutionary too. This was the aboriginal architecture by Boggle Hatfield, amateur and artist angry sneaker taste-maker.
Hatfield started as he meant to go one with this clear sneaker, bottomward the Nike Agitate logo and abacus elephant book panels, atramentous and white uppers, and, of course, the now iconic Jumpman Logo. The sneaker acquainted beginning and futuristic back it was aboriginal appear in the backward 80s and continues to be at the beat of sneaker architecture today.
Air Jordan XI: Appear in 1995
Another game-changing, risk-taking, and ground-breaking design, the Air Jordan XI begin its way assimilate the cloister aback in May 1995 as allotment of the NBA playoffs and bound became a pop ability favourite afterwards starring (alongside MJ) in the cult archetypal sci-fi action Space Jam.
Its absolution in the black-and-white Accord colourway infamously led to fights and riots across America as bodies approved to get their easily on a pair. Proof, if you bare it, that this is one of the best accepted Jordan shoes ever. The archetypal is additionally accessible as a brace of low top Jordans.
Air Jordan IV: Appear in 1989
Another brace of Air Jordans to affection on the big screen, the Air Jordan IV starred in Fasten Lee’s Do The Appropriate Thing.
What makes the IVs some of the best Jordans of all time? Lots of things but mostly the lacing abutment system, accepted as ‘wings’, which can be customised according to the wearer’s specific preferences.
These were the first brace of Air Jordans with a all-around release, cementing the shoe’s superstar status. The Authentic Money all-white colourway, in particular, was one of the best accepted Jordan shoes anytime back it was appear in 2006.
Air Jordan VII: Appear in 1992
This was the aboriginal J to be appear as allotment of the Jordan cast rather than Nike (hence the abridgement of exoteric Nike branding and Air window). It can be apparent to symbolise the alpha of MJ’s career as a businessman as able-bodied as actuality the world’s best basketball player.
With these Air Jordan VII sneakers on, MJ again as an NBA champion, Finals MVP, and MVP, and helped the USA defended gold at the 1992 Barcelona summer games. In the Black Bittersweet colourway, in particular, it’s one of the best accepted Jordan shoes anytime released.
Air Jordan XII: Appear in 1996
All Jordan shoes are associated with grit and perseverance acknowledgment to the man abaft the brand, but none added so than the XIIs.
These are the sneakers Michael Jordan wore during the acclaimed 1997 Flu Game area he managed to account no beneath than 38 credibility while adversity from a bad case of flu. No admiration these are advised some of the best Jordan shoes anytime made.
One of the standout appearance is the ribbed checky panels on the upper, aggressive by Japan’s Ascent Sun flag, as able-bodied as the pebbled rather than apparent leather. The XIIs are additionally accessible as low top Jordans.
Air Jordan V: Appear in 1990
Taking afflatus from a WW2 Mustang fighter jet, the Air Jordan V is as fierce, determined, and uncompromising as MJ himself. The sneaker appearance bland covering and nubuck, cobweb ancillary panels, and shark-tooth shapes on the midsole.
The actuality that these sneakers were worn by Will Artisan in The Beginning Prince of Bel-Air probably additionally contributed to authoritative them fan favourites and some of the best accepted Jordans about today.
Air Jordan II: Appear in 1986
Consider the affected Air Jordan II one of the line’s best comfortable models. It was the aboriginal of all Michael Jordan shoes to use choice capacity such as faux-lizard skin, for example, and appearance brogue-like perforations and Italian craftsmanship, lending it some austere flush panache.
With these nods to high-end appearance (and a college amount tag), this absolute sneaker was one of the aboriginal to alternate the worlds of sportswear and the red carpet. The Air Jordan II can absolutely be beat with a tux and is additionally accessible as a brace of low top Jordans.
Air Jordan VI: Appear in 1991
The Air Jordan 6 is all about acceleration and accomplished performance. Every detail has been advised for game-optimisation, from the two anchor holes on the argot for accessible access to the neoprene sleeve lining, advocacy abundance and minimising the accident of blisters.
Apparently, the sneaker was aggressive by Michael Jordan’s Porsche 911 and the brilliant won his aboriginal championship title with a brace of these ultra-cool creations on his feet, authoritative it hands-down one of the best Jordan shoes of all time.
Air Jordan XIV: Appear in 1998
Perusing this account of the world’s best Jordans, you’ll bound ascertain a accepted theme. Fast cars. Many of the best Js were aggressive by top-of-the-range vehicles, including the Air Jordan XIV, which draws on the appearance and appearance of MJ’s Ferrari 550M. Also, attending out for the Jumpman logo which appears 14 times on this sneaker—a advertence to this actuality the 14th in the Jordan series.
The best accepted colourway of this archetypal is the Aftermost Shot, a black-red combo immortalised back MJ wore them for his acceptable attempt in Bold 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.
Air Jordan XIII: Appear in 1997
If you’ve watched Netflix’ The Aftermost Dance, then you’ll absolutely recognise the Air Jordan XIIIs—the shoes Michael wore for best of the 1997-1998 season.
The sneaker looks absolutely and aboveboard luxurious—appropriate, really, accustomed it was beat by Jordan at the acme of his fame. The afflatus comes from a panther—an allusion to Jordan’s ability and predator-like reflexes on the court, as able-bodied as his ‘Black Cat’ nickname.
Indeed, the outsole resembles a panther’s paw and there are holograms on the basal and abate that represent a cat’s bright eye.
In the atramentous and red Bred colourway, in particular, the XIII is one of the best accepted Jordans ever. There are additionally low top Jordans accessible in this model.
Air Jordan XVI: Appear in 2001
The best notable and arresting affection of the XVI is the disposable gaiter, lending these Michael Jordan shoes a vibe that is at already technical and trendy, fashion-forward and functional.
With Michael Jordan now Admiral and part-owner of the Washington Wizards, the XVI was accurately conceived of as a sneaker that could be beat both on the court and in the boardroom.
Air Jordan VIII: Appear in 1993
One of the best characterful sneakers in the Michael Jordan shoes line, the VIII is chunky, defiant, and daring. With a chenille argot clear and accompanying straps that cantankerous over the laces, the AJ VIIIs are best definitely a 90s-style sneaker and a acceptable best for anyone gluttonous article a little different. Attending out for the low-top adaptation of the VIII, appear in 2003.
Air Jordan XVIII: Appear in 2003
One of the best alluring and attention-grabbing sneakers of all times, the XVIII was beat by Jordan during his final adieu in Washington in 2003. It featured a driving shoe heel—another advertence to the star’s affection for ultra-fast cars—and came with a towel, brush, and driver’s manual.
Then there was the attract cover—more like article you’d acquisition on a choice Italian dress shoe. Absolutely a brace of sneakers that no one will balloon for a while.
Air Jordan XV: Appear in 1999
It was about this time that the Air Jordan appearance took a about-face appear the cool and quirky, cartoon on all sorts of offbeat and camp references. We’re not complaining. We adulation the different and high-impact aesthetics of the XV, which was inspired by NASA’s X-15 fighter jet while the aerial absorptive collar takes its advance from (rather surprisingly) moccasins.
The XV was the aftermost sneaker to be advised by Boggle Hatfield and while MJ never absolutely wore it on the court, it charcoal a notable accession to the cossack line.
Air Jordan IX: Appear in 1993
The AJ IX was appear during a aeon back MJ was demography his aboriginal of three break from basketball, aggravating his duke at accessory alliance baseball instead. As a result, this sneaker resembles a baseball cleat.
It additionally references MJ’s growing all-around influence, with different languages—including Japanese and Swahili—on the outsoles, and words such as dedicated, independence, freedom, and force—all allotment of the Michael Jordan ethos.
Air Jordan XVII: Appear in 2002
Created to mark the much-anticipated acknowledgment of MJ to basketball for the 2001-2002 NBA division as allotment of the Washington Wizards, the AJ XVII initially fabricated after-effects on the sneaker arena for its elevated amount tag—the accomplished of all Jordans ever.
But the amount wasn’t the alone noteworthy aspect of the sneaker. It was additionally aggressive by jazz music, cartoon parallels amid the genre’s improvisational qualities and MJ’s own adeptness to extemporaneous on the court, and originally came in a metal attache with a CD-ROM.
Air Jordan XIX: Appear in 2004
All Jordan shoes are accepted for pushing the boundaries of sneaker architecture with artistic and avant-garde spins on what we all anticipation a basketball shoe should attending like.
The XIX is case in point, with its radically abnormal silhouette. Allegedly afflicted by the atramentous mamba snake, it’s absolutely got one eye on the appearance border with its braided sleeve in abode of laces. There’s additionally a carbon fibre abutment brand and feature Zoom Air bag with a acceptable Air assemblage in the heel, authoritative these some of the best adequate and best Jordan shoes around.
Air Jordan X: Appear in 1994
Released in anniversary of a 10-year affiliation amid MJ and Nike, as able-bodied as commemorating MJ’s acting retirement from basketball to accompany the MLB, the AJ X is notable for its failing and clean-lined architecture and aggregate of leather, nylon, and Zoom Air cushioning. 10 crabbed stripes forth the sole admonish bodies of the action star’s illustrious aboriginal 10 years breaking basketball records.
Air Jordan XX8: Appear in 2013
A newer but no beneath acclaimed copy to the AJ line, the XX8 was accustomed by Russell Westbrook, the basketball superstar accepted for his blatant dunks and atomic style.
This is a show-stopping sneaker that takes no prisoners appearance or function-wise with its never-before-seen boot-high casing or ‘shroud’ (partly aggressive by military action boots) and acknowledging architecture with a adjustable yet admiring high and solid traction.
Air Jordan XX3: Appear in 2008
Given that it was the aforementioned cardinal he wore on the court, the 23rd archetypal in Michael Jordan’s shoe band was consistently activity to be extra special. And the XX3 absolutely is a masterpiece.
The ultimate sneaker for die-hard MJ fans, the bond is meant to represent Michael Jordan’s DNA arrangement and you’ll additionally acquisition the player’s thumbprint arresting on the rear and his autograph on the toe.
As allotment of the trend for more eco-friendly sneakers (with Allbirds arch the way) the XX3 is additionally fabricated application as little toxins, waste, and bi-products as possible.
Air Jordan XX: Appear in 2005
Designed to admire the 20th ceremony of the Jordan Brand, the AJ XX represents annihilation beneath than MJ’s activity adventure in sneaker form. An aggressive ambition and one that designers Boggle Hatfield and Mark Artisan accept pulled off with appropriate verve.
There are over 200 symbols categorical by lazar into the upper, accretion up the sportsman’s absolute biography, including Michael sitting in the backseat of a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with his mum, Deloris. 69 dimples forth the ancillary batten are references to his highest-scoring game.
Air Jordan XXXV DNA: Appear in 2020
The final sneakers on our account are additionally some of the wackiest, weirdest, and best memorable Michael Jordan shoes of all time, somehow evoking both the spirit of a fighter jet and 90s awakening Jordans at the aforementioned time.
The XXXV DNA appearance the brand’s apparent Concealment Bowl 2.0, which extends up into the shoe’s upper, alms energy return, stability, and cushioning. A partially apparent Zoom Air bag in the heel helps with admiration while high-end abstracts like nubuck and suede beggarly this sneaker wouldn’t attending at all out of abode with a clothing for a smart-casual look.
Buyers guide: how to accept a brace of Air Jordans
Before we analyze the catechism of which Air Jordans are best for you, aboriginal a bit of accomplishments advice on this oh-so-famous sneaker.
Air Jordan history
The first-ever brace of Air Jordans were appear to the accessible on April 1st, 1985, afterward a affiliation amid Nike and now world-famous basketball figure Michael Jordan.
Despite the actuality he was aloof a amateur at the time, Nike offered MJ an impressive 5-year deal. While at this point the cast was bigger accepted for authoritative clue footwear, they were additionally exploring new active shoe technology and the aboriginal brace of Jordans fabricated their admission on the cloister in 1984, called the Air Jordan 1s, and were game-changers from the get-go.
The sneaker featured the archetypal Nike Agitate logo alongside the Wings symbol. And, as the adventure goes, they were banned by the NBA for actuality red and atramentous rather than mostly white as per regulations. Nike had to pay $5,000 per bold for breaking the rules but the publicity was account it, establishing the sneaker’s adventurousness and non-conformist acceptability that endures to this day.
In 1986, the Air Jordan II was released, followed by the III in 1988, at which point the Nike Agitate was replaced with the Jumpman logo—Michael Jordan, airborne.
Today, you can aces up a brace of Air Jordans for about $145 on average. But you could calmly pay a lot more. MJ’s first-ever Air Jordans awash for $560,000 at auction in 2020, for example. The best big-ticket Jordans ever, however, are Drake’s custom OVO X Air Jordans, made of solid gold and account $2 million.
Air Jordans: architecture and signature style
What makes Air Jordans so unique? What specific capacity accomplish all Jordans iconic and recognisable?
Some of the appearance that accept contributed to authoritative Air Jordans such a cardinal allotment of sneaker ability accommodate the Jumpman logo, a contour of Michael Jordan leaping through the air. There’s additionally the bright elastic sole, as originally begin on the Air Jordan V, and the loop at the aback of the shoe that makes it accessible to get on and off.
Patent leather is a accepted accession to abounding Jordans, a affection accurately requested by Michael Jordan himself. He capital a shoe he could abrasion with a clothing as able-bodied as on the court.
Nike’s Zoom Air technology is additionally begin in best Jordans, advocacy responsiveness, abbreviating pronation, and alms that quick-off-the-ground feel that top basketball players depend on.
The artificial applique lock found on Jordans is addition notable feature—designed to accumulate laces in abode during all-overs and dunks.
Other appearance you ability acquisition on Jordans accommodate a disposable shroud or gaiter—used to burrow the laces for a dressier vibe—and a carbon fibre brand plate for abutment and stability.
How to accept a brace of Jordans
With so abounding models on offer, it can be adamantine to accept the appropriate brace of Air Jordans. There’s the catechism of aesthetics, of course, but additionally able-bodied performance.
How technically avant-garde do you appetite your Michael Jordan shoes to be? Or are you added absorbed in awakening Jordans with air-conditioned best flair?
If you appetite article you can abrasion to formal occasions, seek out collaborations amid the Jordan cast and high-fashion houses, such as Off-White, LA men’s bazaar Union, or appearance stylist and blogger, Aleali May.
If you appetite a brace of authentic and old-school Jordans, attending for awakening variations on the classics, such as the Air Jordan 1 Awakening Chicago or 5 Blaze Red Awakening OG.
The best high-performing Air Jordan at the moment is the Jordan 35, featuring the latest sneaker technology, such as an concealment bowl for aerial activity return, as able-bodied as a Zoom Air sole.
Frequently asked questions about Jordans
The best accepted Jordans are the Air Jordan 1s. The aboriginal sneakers in the line. They were the aboriginal to become a common pop ability phenomenon. With their aboveboard yet iconic administration and accomplished functionality, they’re absolute winners.
The top-selling Jordans accommodate the Air Jordan 1 ‘Black Toe’, the Air Jordan 1 ‘Chicago’, the Air Jordan 1 Awakening Aerial OG Bordeaux, and the Air Jordan Mid Bred 1, a mid-top in a atramentous and red colourway, originally banned by the NBA.
The best Jordans to buy appropriate now accommodate the Air Jordan 35, alien in 2020—a austere high-performing basketball sneaker. For street-style appeal, the best Jordans accommodate appearance collaborations such as the Fair x Air Jordan 4.
MJ’s favourite Jordan shoe is the Air Jordan 11 Concord. The shoe is accepted for its avant-garde aesthetics, including apparent covering that meant MJ could abrasion it for academic occasions. The sports brilliant wore it for the absoluteness of the 1995-1996 season.
There are abounding altered Jordan 1 colourways on the bazaar now and all accept the aforementioned aerial affection as the aboriginal Jordan 1s, fabricated from full-grain calfskin with added cushioning and support. One of the best colourways is the Air Jordan 1 Atramentous Toe.