Ranking the Jordans: Atholton’s favorite Air Jordan Sneakers
Almost everyone has heard the name Michael Jordan, the legendary (and possibly greatest) basketball player. His accomplishments include Five-time NBA MVP, Six-time NBA champion, Six-time NBA Finals MVP, Ten-time All-NBA First Team, and some more. But his sneakers may be even more universally recognized. The Air Jordan line has been around since 1985, and since then the brand has made leaps and bounds. Scroll down to see Atholton’s favorite Jordan models!
The Jordan 1s were actually predicted to be in 1st place, and the 11s were predicted to be in 2nd place. The two biggest surprises were the Jordan 2s and 5s. The Jordan 2s were expected to do worse, because of its treatment as the black sheep in this family of sneakers. The 5s were ranked in last place, much to the surprise of some of the writers here at the Raider Review. The 5s are quite popular, and people have spotted students wearing them around the school.
Release year: 1985
Michael Jordan’s first sneaker with Nike, and it was designed by Peter C. Moore. It is an absolutely iconic sneaker, and something that most people would be able to pick out in a lineup of red shoes. This shoe had a $60 price tag at release, which was quite pricey for a shoe at the time. “The timeless classic, so many different colorways, suits any style,” said Sam Nixon, a Senior.
Release year: 1995
These Jordans are probably the 2nd most iconic jordans after the Jordan 1s. They are the first Jordans to feature patent leather, which is the shiny material that wraps around the shoe. What most people know these shoes for, however, is that Michael Jordan wore these in Space Jam. These shoes also happen to be his favorite Jordans. “[when asked what his favorite is] My favorites? It’s hard, you know, because it’s like saying which one of your kids do you like the most?” said Jordan, “11s are my favorite, threes are my next favorite and probably the 12 or the 13 comes in third,”). The original price point was $125. Harrison Coon, a Senior that voted for these, said “Not only is it my 2 fav colors (red and black) but it has such a cool and amazing design that also looks very comfortable to wear,”
Release year: 1990
These Jordans were released in 1990, at a price point of $125. This was during the height of the Magic vs Jordan rivalry, so these shoes were quite popular. Elements of the shoe were taken from Michael Jordan’s Porsche car, like the winged pull tab and the two holes on the tongue.
Release year: 1989
These Jordans featured cutting edge technology on the upper, featuring plastic mesh and plastic lace cages. The customizable lace options were uncommon, which helped these shoes sell. The original price point was $100. These shoes were worn by Michael Jordan in the picture ‘The Shot.’ “The fire red 4’s (the above colorway) are my favorite because I actually own a pair and they look good and I love the colors for real,” said Trazarie Gladden, a Freshman.
Release year: 1988
The Air Jordan 3’s were the first Jordan designed by Tinker Hatfield, the world renowned sneaker designer. The story goes that Michael Jordan was getting more and more restless with his deal with Nike, until he saw this shoe. This model was actually the first shoe that Michael Jordan liked, with the uniqueness of the elephant print, and the sleekness of the shoe that wasn’t there with the previous 2 models. After that, he was sold to stay with Nike.
Release year: 1993
The Jordan 9s are a very interesting case. Michael Jordan quit basketball and went to baseball for a short time, and these shoes were designed by Tinker Hatfield during that period. Jordan never wore these on court, but Nike released them anyway to keep up with the popularity of the Air Jordan line. The original price point was $125.
Release year: 1994
These Jordans were also created during Jordan’s hiatus, and were released with a cleated version for baseball enthusiasts that wanted a pair of fresh Js for the field. At the beginning of the basketball season, Jordan announced his return to basketball, and was able to wear these on the court. The original price point was $125.
Release year: 1986
The Jordan 2 is arguably one of the least popular Jordans within the sneaker community. This was a pretty big departure from the standard of Nike shoes, and not in a good way. A lot of people did not like this design when it was first released. Designed by Peter C Moore and Bruce Kilgore, this shoe was designed with luxury in mind. WIth a $100 price point, in 1986, this shoe was incredibly expensive (approximately $250 in today’s money).
Release year: 1991
These were released the same year as Michael Jordan’s Olympic Dream Team, and the above color style chosen is known as the ‘Olympic’ colorway. This shoe was created with West African tribal art and Afro-pop in mind. The original price point was $125.
Release year: 1993
These Jordans are the first to feature a strap on the midfoot. Released in 1993, this shoe was designed to be lightweight, with a lot of emphasis on cushion and lateral support. It was somewhat designed after Nike’s Air Huarache. The original price point was $125.
Release year: 1996
These Jordans were inspired by the Japanese rising sun flag, with the lines extending from the center leather piece. They feature a very odd material, a sort of scaly, reptilian leather, contributing to the uniqueness of this shoe. This specific colorway is known as the “flu game,” because Michael Jordan came down with food poisoning during a game when these shoes debuted. The original price point was $135.
Release year: 1997
The Jordan 13s were designed after a black panther, which is shown in the sleek design and the bubble on the back that resembles a cat eye. The outsole is designed to look like the paw of a black panther. These shoes became quite popular after their use in the movie He Got Game, wherein the main character, Jake Shuttlesworth, wears them. The original price point was $150.
Release year: 1990
The Jordan 5s were designed after the World War II Mustang fighter plane, represented in the shape (the paneling and style is similar to the plane) and features such as the shark teeth on the midsole. The 5s have a similar plastic mesh to the Jordan 4s. The original price point was $125. This was quite a surprise to come in last place, because these shoes are quite popular among sneaker fans.
From being a sneaker line for an up and coming basketball rookie, to a massive worldwide brand, the Jordan brand has come a long way. Everything involving the culture and technology has grown immensely. Nike wasn’t the biggest brand before the Jordan line, and now Nike is the biggest shoe brand in the world, as well as the most worn brand of shoe in the NBA. They have come a long way, and they will continue to go places.