What do you remember about Michael Jordan? Apart from his tremendous skills in the basketball arena, we cannot forget him for initiating the birth of the famous Air Jordan sneakers. When a name like Air Jordan rings in our mind, we remember basketball legend Michael Jordan. A courts monster who had all it takes to impress his fans, whether with a ball on his hands or not. If you were asking are air jordan basketball shoes? Yes, they are.

Air Jordan is one of the famous basketball shoes, casual wear, and athletic shoes. They serve both in courts and outside the court purposes. Not forgetting they are produced by Nike, a leading industry in the production of sports shoes and clothing.

Air Jordan was first created for Michael Jordan, a six-time winner of MVP Finals from NBA. In 1984, Peter Moore designed the first original Air jordan 1 blue and red, that was exclusively meant for Michael Jordan, thus the name Air Jordan. In the same year, Air Jordan made the first debut in the public market, and that’s when we came to know and buy them.

In this article, we shall look deeper into the types of Air Jordan shoes that were released the years after the launching. It is wise to note that Michael Jordan's silhouette inspired the 'Jumpman' logo of the brand.

Air Jordan I

   Peter C. Jordan designed the first Air Jordan 1 in 1984 for Michael Jordan. It was a blue and red jordan 1 prototype. However, the black and red prototype was banned from the market for failing to adhere to the rule of 51 per cent, which stated that Air Jordan 1 Had little white colour on them. The NBA Commissioner at that moment David Stern outlawed the colourway of the Nike Air Ship which was annulled later in the 2000s. During the Nike Air Ship ban, Michael Jordan, in support of Nike, introduced more colourways of Jordan 1. They claimed that the sneakers imposed an unfair competitive advantage, using the Nike Air Ship ban as an advertisement tool. The original set of Air Jordan 1 was released from 1985 to 1986, with numerous retros from 1992 to present. Some of the colourways retros are;

  • Black and Red Air Jordan 1 on September 15, 1985.

  • White and Black or Red Air Jordan 1 on September 15, 1985.

  • Black and Royal Blue Air Jordan 1 in 1985.

  • White and Blue AJ 1 in 1986.

  • Pewter and Black Max or Orange AJ 1 on January 31, 2009.

  • White and Sea Green AJ 1 on July 4, 2009.

  • Black and Shadow Grey or White AJ 1 on September 1, 20009.

  • Wolf Grey and Spice White AJ 1 on July 1, 2010.

  • Altitude Green and Black AJ December 1 11, 2010.

Air Jordan II

     Success is an inspiration on its own. That is what a business needs. Nike was impressed by the massive sales of Air Jordan 1, leading to a release of Air Jordan II. Peter Moore and Bruce Kilgore designed air Jordan II in the new 1986 basketball season. The uniqueness in the original Air Jordan II was that it had a better polyurethane midsole and a full length condensed Nike air bubble to enhance comfortability. It was also the first Nike shoe brand to lack the Nike swoosh at on the upper textile. The original Air Jordan was retailed at $100 being released from 1986 to 1987. Its retros were also introduced in 1994, 2004-2005, 2008, 2010, 2014-2018.

Air Jordan III

     In 1988, Tinker Hatfield designed the Air Jordan III. Tinker works as Nike's designer for its stores and offices. The new Air Jordan III introduced features like; visible air unit on the heels, an elephant print trim, cement leather upper, and the new Jumpman logo. The design came at the moment Michael Jordan was planning to leave Nike, but it changed his move giving him a reason to stay for the next NBA season. Additionally, Air Jordan III featured numerous famous ads that showed Spike Lee, the film director, as Mars Blackmon. This was the character he played in his film ‘She’s Gotta Have It.’ The campaign known as Mars and Mike was one of Nike’s successful advertisement campaigns.

      Air Jordan III sneakers were the first Nike brands to feature the NIKE AIR logo on its back. They were also named as Michael's favourite boots, wearing them in numerous events during his career including 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. During its first introduction inn1994, AJ III made poor sales, which later improved during its second introduction in 2001.

But we take that as a common aspect in the marketing industry. The Jordan Brand also collaborated with Spike Lee in 2007 in releasing a retro of Air Jordan IIIs with a blue-yellow colourway poster for Lee’s film ‘Do the Right Thing.               Moreover, the Jordan Brand reintroduced an international-only release, highly sought after AJ III in True Blue colourway in 2009. Later in 2011, it introduced a Black History Month (BHM) Air Jordan III colourway to honour the 35th anniversary of Black History Month. AJ III also saw a series of release in the years after including the following;

  • True Blue III on June 4, 2011.

  • The Stealth colourway of AJ III in September 2011

  • Black Cement in November 2011

  • The Black Flips on December 3, 2011

  • The special edition of AJ III released in February 2013. It was also referred to as the AJ III Retro 88 White Cement.

  • The latest version of AJ III SE Red Cement on February 15, 2020. The shoe was released to celebrate the Chicago, Illinois for hosting the NBA All-Star Game. The 2020 version featured Nike Chi branding on the heel, to replace the initial Nike Air branding.

The Air Jordan III also has a couple of retros and new colourways from 1994 to date.

Air Jordan IV

       Nike released the first Air Jordan IV brand on the global market. Tinker Hatfield designed the shoe in 1989. Michael Jordan first wore the AJ IV when making 'The Shot'. The shoe had four colourways; White/Black, White/Fire Red-Black, Black/Cement Grey, and White/Military Blue. Spike Lee was also featured in the AJ IV ads. AJ IV was featured in his movie Do the Right Thing. There are numerous re-releases of AJ IV running from 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010-2013, and 2015-2020.

Air Jordan V

        Tinker Hatfield has been doing an excellent job for the Nike designing shoe after shoe. He still the brain behind the designing of Air Jordan V. The new version of AJ sneakers was released in February 1990. Although the boots carried some features of AJ IV, it was an entirely new thing.

AJ V came with new features including; a new protruding reflective tongue, lace locks, and translucent rubber soles. However, the rubber soles turned yellow when exposed to moisture, being the source of many complaints. The inspiration of the AJ V was drawn from the World War II fighter planes, notably visible in the shark teeth shapes on the midsole.

     In 2000, AJ V was reintroduced and had new colourway, including Michael Jordan's high school colours. There were additional reintroductions in 2006 including the LS Grape Vs, LS Burgundy Vs, Fire-Red Vs. Green Bean Vs, and Stealth Blue Vs. Numerous retros of the shoe were also released in 2000, 2006-2009, 2011, and 2013-2017. The popular sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air used AJ Vs severally. Will Smith also wore the Metallic Silver in his numerous episodes.

Air Jordan VI

      Released in 1991 and designed by Tinker Hatfield. It was initially released in five colourways; White/Sport Blue, White/Infrared, Black/Infrared, White/Carmine-Black, and White/Maroon. Air Jordan VI had features like;

  • A new reinforcement around the toe.

  • Two holes in the tongue.

  • Molded heel tab on the back, the feature suggested by Michael Jordan to protect his Achilles tendon.

  • Translucent rubber.

  • It was the last to have Nike Air logo.

  • The first to have inner bootie.

  • A Porsche-inspired rear tab.

In 1991, the Bulls defeated the Lakers in NBA Finals when Michael Jordan was wearing the Black/Infrared colourway of Air Jordan VI and was named as MVP. It also marked the first NBA Championship to be won by the Bulls and MJ. The film white men can’t jump, produced in 1991 and released the following year, also featured Air Jordan VI.

The Nike brand has retro-ed the AJ VI in several colourways as from 2000, 2002, 2006,2008-2010, 2012, 2014-2017, and 2019. Hanamichi Sakuragi, the Slam Dunk protagonist, first used the shoe in the competition. Nike released both AJ VI and Jordan Super Fly 3 in 2014, and they featured artwork from the series. Sakuragi’s number 10 was also embroidered on the heels.

Air Jordan VII

      Tinker’s new design of Air Jordan VII was released in 1992. No features from the previous modes were indicated on this new version such as; Nike Air logo, visible air sole, and translucent rubber soles. It was the first design shoes to have huarache technology that maximized comfortability to the wearer. AJ VII was the first to introduce Nike Air branding on the in-soles.

It had a successful ad campaign where Bugs Bunny was featured alongside MJ on its marketing. Nike released a unique Olympic colour combo of AJ VII with Michael Jordan's jersey number 9 instead of the usual 23 when MJ competed for US Men's Basketball Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

     Many AJ VII's were re-released in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2011 that had Orion and Bordeaux colourways, and 2012 with the Olympic and Charcoal colourways. Its retros include; 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008-2012, and 2015-2017.

Air Jordan VIII

     During the 1992-1993 NBA season, Nike decided to introduce its eighth version of Air Jordan. AJ VIII was precisely heavier than the previous models. Its exclusive features include;

  • Full-length air sole.

  • Polyurethane midsole.

  • Polycarbonate shank plate.

  • Two crossover straps for maximum stability and fitness.

AJ VIII was named as the ‘Punisher’ due to its advanced ankle protection and traction. Its retros include; 2003, 2007, 2008, 2013, and 2015-2017.

Air Jordan IX

     Air Jordan marked the first shoe to be released just after Michael Jordan retired from the NBA. It was released in 1993. MJ never had the chance to play any NBA season wearing the shoes. However, its design was inspired by baseball cleats used by Michael Jordan, mostly when playing minor leagues. Like its predecessors, AJ IX had inner sock sleeves and nubuck accents.

     There are several symbols and languages of different countries indicated on its soles. The AJ IX has seen numerous retros in 2002, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014-2018. The shoe was also chosen to beautify MJ’s feet for his statue in United Center, Chicago.

Air Jordan X

Released in 1994, AJ X came in three significant colourways;

  • White/Black/Light Steel Grey.

  • White/Black/Dark Powder Blue.

  • Black/Dark Shadow/True Blue.

Apart from being the first AJ shoe to have a lightweight Phylon midsole, the pump also had all MJ's accomplishments including his early retirement on its outsole. The AJ X re-release of 2012 was dubbed the Chicago Bulls since they are part of City Pack to represent five teams. The key features of AJ X are;

  • Completely black laces and tongue.

  • Red inner lining.

  • Red inserts on the outsole.

  • Stripped outsole design that lists MJ’s achievements.

AJ X was retro-ed in 2005, 2008, 2012-2016, and 2018. The shoes retail at $160.

Air Jordan Extra Shoes

     Apart from the above releases from the Air Jordan line, Nike also introduced many shoes in AJ line after collaborating with various celebrities.

  1. Spizike: Released on October 21, 2006, after collaborating with Spike Lee.

  2. Defining Moments: Released in 2006.

  3. Defining Moments II: The pack was released in 2009 and contained two Air Jordan 5s, the Toro Bravo, and 3m.

  4. Defining Moments III: the pack was released on July 11, 2009.

  5. Defining Moments IV: Contains Retro 6 Infrared Pack on February 14, 2013, and Old Love New Love(OLNL) on April 21, 2007.

  6. Air Jordan Sixty Plus: Released in August 2009.

Bottom line

      There is a lot to be said about Air Jordan shoes. But the fact remains a lot of Air Jordan releases depicts numerous Michael's accomplishments during his career. Ever since the release of blue and red jordan 1, Nike has continuously released new AJ shoes in honour of the basketball legendary Michael Jordan. blue and red air jordan 1. Moreover, there is a significant number of Air Jordan packages that were released in the same AJ line, out of collaboration with different celebs and companies.




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