During the mid 80’s Nike released a basketball shoe that changed the shoe game forever, and the most iconic sneaker line “The Air Jordan” was born. Soon after the release of the Jordan shoes, NBA banned them as they featured “non-regulation” colors. But Michael Jordan and Nike didn’t care about the ban and MJ continued to wear them on the court every day even if it means he had to pay a fine for it. In this post, we will take a look at all the Jordan releases and the brief history behind them, prepare yourself to take a trip down memory lane with this post.
Air Jordan I – “The Banned Shoes” – 1985 :
After MJ signed with Nike , the most iconic silhouette was born known as the famous “Air Jordan”. Till this date Air Jordan I is the most sought after shoe from the entire Jordan lineup. Air Jordan 1 was designed by Peter Moore and the sneakers had the retail price of 65$ but soon after the release of these “Banned Jordans” they became so popular that they were almost always out of stock which caused the sneaker resell market to grow drastically.
Air Jordan II – 1987 :
Soon after the massive success of Air Jordan I and Nike Basketball designer Peter Moore came up with the Air Jordan II, the first Nike sneakers that did not have the signature Nike Swoosh on them. However, the shoe did not receive as much love as the Air Jordan 1’s did and MJ was also not satisfied with the shoe and was about to leave Nike to explore other brands to take the Jordan shoe line forward. The original retail price for these sneakers was 100$
Air Jordan III – “It’s Gotta Be the Shoes” – 1988 :
Air Jordan III is when Tinker Hatfield was brought in, to design the next Air Jordan shoe and to convince MJ that there’s no other designer on earth who can deliver him what he can. After the presentation of the shoe MJ liked the technology and the design that Tinker Hatfield was able to infuse into the shoe and decided to stay with Nike to continue the Air Jordan lineup.
Air Jordan IV – 1989 :
After the massive success of Air Jordan III , Tinker Hatfield continued to surprise us with the futuristic designs through Air Jordan IV. The shoe was designed to “Take Flight” and land softly after those vicious dunks of MJ.
Air Jordan V “The Fighter” – 1990 :
During 1989-90 Season MJ stepped up his game on court with 69 points against Cleveland. That season he had 92 three-pointers making it clear that he is the alpha on the court. Tinker Hatfield took inspiration from the American WWII fighter plane and designed the Air Jordan V to compliment MJ’s on-court performance.
Air Jordan VI – 1991 :
During the design of the Air Jordan VI silhouette, Tinker Hatfield took inspiration from one of MJ’s German sportscar. The shoe was designed to deliver speed and insane stopping power with its translucent rubber sole.
Air Jordan VII – 1992 :
The Air Jordan VII was the iconic shoe that was worn by MJ during his first repeat as NBA champion, Finals MVP, and also was worn by him during the 1992 summer games where the USA won Gold.
Air Jordan VIII – 1993 :
Michael Jordan won his first three-peat as well as consecutive 3 MVP in regular-season wearing the Air Jordan VIII’s. The sneaker featured a bold, strapped-up design and a chenille tongue graphic, and proved to be a distinctly ’90s sneaker.
Air Jordan IX – 1993 :
After his three-peat, MJ decided to retire from basketball and took a shot at becoming a baseball pro. But his retirement from NBA and Basketball did not stop the release of the Air Jordan lineup. The sneaker has a multilingual homage to his attributes on the sole, including words like independence, freedom, athletic, and force.
Air Jordan X – 1994 :
Designed while Jordan was away from the game, the Air Jordan X featured clean lines and lateral stripes on the soles that paid tribute to his 10-year career milestones. He then would return during the 94-95 season in time to play in the AJ X, with jersey number 45.
Air Jordan XI – 1995 :
The Air Jordan XI’s featured a shinny patent leather and instantly became the most sought after shoe of the year. MJ appeared in the animated series Space Jam wearing these and also secured his fourth ring wearing the iconic Air Jordan XI’s.
Air Jordan XII “The Flu Game” – 1996 :
Mj put on a legendary performance, while suffering from a 103-degree temperature against the Utah Jazz wearing the iconic Air Jordan XII’s. Also MJ secured his fifth ring wearing this silhouette.
Air Jordan XIII – 1997 :
AJ XIII’s featured innovations that were never seen before. Tinker Hatfield used carbon fiber plate and zoom air insole to give the shoe swiftness of a cat; which later on became the infamous nickname for MJ “Black Cat”.
Air Jordan XIV “The Last Dance” – 1998 :
During 1998 finals, Tinker Hatfield sent a sample of Air Jordan XIV to MJ and asked him to not to wear it on court as it was just a prototype. However MJ liked the shoe and ended up wearing them and won his sixth and final ring. This would also be the last silhouette worn by MJ with Chicago Bulls.
Air Jordan XV – 1999 :
After the last dance with the bulls, MJ went back to retirement again but the Air Jordan line would continue with Tinker Hatfield designing The AJ XV. The Shoe was styled after the world’s fastest manned aircraft to date.
Air Jordan XVI – 2001 :
MJ went ahead and became part-owner of the team Washington wizards, and for the first time over a decade, Jordan lineup had a new designer Wilson Smith III. MJ had surprised the world, walking on the court with the wizards in the “Ginger” Colorway of the AJ XVI.
Air Jordan XVII – 2002 :
During the 2001-02 NBA season, MJ returned to NBA again. A special shoe was designed to celebrate his comeback. At the time the Air Jordan XVIII’s were the most expensive Jordan shoe ever created. The shoes came with the brand’s first Tuned Air system, a full-length shank plate, and a TPU heel stabilizer.
Air Jordan XVIII – 2003 :
April 16, 2003, MJ took his final bow while wearing Air Jordan XVIIIs. Like many other Jordan sneakers, the shoe took inspiration from sports cars. Although MJ would no longer wear a uniform, his brand would continue with innovative sneakers infused with high-end technologies.
Air Jordan XIX – 2004 :
Designed after a poisonous African snake, the Air Jordan XIX was a performance shoe. The shoe had Tech-Flex upper and Zoom Air cushioning to make it both agile and comfortable on the court.
Air Jordan XX – 2005 :
In the past 20 years, MJ and Jordan brand had totally changed the sneaker game. Tinker Hartfield came back to design this special Air Jordan XX silhouette. This sneaker told MJ’s whole life story and it had over 200 icons embedded in the upper and through them, MJ’s biography came to life. 69 dimples along the side spoke of MJ’s highest-scoring game. To date, Air Jordan XX remains an art piece and extremely sought after.
Air Jordan XX1 – 2006 :
Designer D’wayne Edwards was handed with the responsibility to design the Air Jordan XXI. The shoe featured a full grain leather upper, a diamond quilted inner bootie, an independent podular system that let players choose between Zoom and encapsulated air unit. In a single world it was one of the most luxurious Air Jordan silhouette to ever release.
Air Jordan XX2 – 2007 :
As D’Wayne Edwards continued to design the Air Jordan shoes, he created Air Jordan XX2 with first-ever titanium shank plate, a chevron traction pattern and customizable IPS cushioning technology that let players choose between double-stacked zoom Air-sole unit or shock absorbing encapsulated air. D’wayne took inspiration from an iconic fighter jet to design the Air Jordan XX2 which was extremely futuristic at its time.
Air Jordan XX3 – “The Number of Greatness” – 2008 :
23 is the most iconic number in NBA history, and to design the 23rd shoe of the Air Jordan lineup Tinker Hatfield was appointed to design the shoe as failure was not an option. The Air Jordan XX3 was crafted with insane details and care. The most important details of the shoes are MJ’s thumbprint on the tongue and his autograph on the toe.
Air Jordan 2009 – 2009 :
Designed by Jason Mayden Air Jordan 2009 is the second shoe in the series to become part of the Nike considered category for its use of environmentally friendly Materials. The Air Jordan 2009 honored the most underrated aspect of MJ’s game which is his defense, also its the first Jordan sneaker to use its release year in the name.
Air Jordan 2010 – 2010 :
Inspired by MJ’s ability to see through his opponents, Tinker Hatfield introduced transparent TPU windows to the side.
Air Jordan 2011 – 2011 :
Air Jordan 2011 aka. Air Jordan 26 is the first-ever sneaker to introduce interchangeable midsole which was designed by Tinker Hatfield.
Air Jordan 2012 – 2012 :
Designed by legendary Tinker Hatfield Air Jordan 2012 aka. Air Jordan 27 had 3 removable booties. Flywire technology and a leather outer-shell gave the AJ 2012 lightweight and durability.
Air Jordan XX8 – 2013 :
Russell Westbrook unveiled the Air Jordan xx8 in December 2012. The shoe was made by Tinker Hatfield and build to provide high performance on court and insane responsiveness.
Air Jordan XX9 – 2014 :
Air Jordan xx9’s are the world’s first woven basketball shoe ever. The shoe had an entirely woven upper and designed to attain maximum performance. It was undoubtedly another masterpiece from Tinker Hatfield.
Air Jordan XXX – 2016 :
Tinker Hatfield chose the cosmos as the design of Air Jordan XXX to represent MJ’s otherworldly talents.
Air Jordan XXXI – 2016 :
The first Air Jordan silhouette to have all three legendary logos, the Nike Swoosh, legendary Jumpman and the wings logo.