No one questions that Michael Jordan changed the face of basketball, but few people realize that the former Chicago Bulls guard also changed the world of men’s footwear. The year was 1984, Jordan was a rookie fresh out of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the shoe was the Air Jordan, a high-top sneaker with a red sole, a black trademark Nike “swoosh,” and white leather uppers with bright red trim.

Though tame by contemporary standards, the shoe was almost scandalous, prompting the NBA to ban the kicks from regular-season play. Jordan wore them anyway, eating the $5,000-per-game fine.

Jordan and the world would have to wait two full seasons for the Air Jordan II, which debuted at the beginning of the 1986 professional basketball season. Made of Italian leather and sold in both high- and low-top styles, the II was the first Nike shoe not to feature the company’s famous logo. Jordan was now a bigger brand.

Collectors seek the Air Jordan III from 1987 for several reasons. First, it was the first Air Jordan shoe to feature the new “Jumpman” logo, which depicts MJ silhouetted in midair, with a basketball in the palm of one hand. Second, the III was featured in a series of very popular television ads, which paired Jordan with director Spike Lee, who reprised his Mars Blackmon character from “She’s Gotta Have It” for the campaign. In 2005, ESPN readers named it the “greatest sneaker of all time.”

Since 1986, Nike has introduced new Air Jordans at the start of every basketball season, even after Jordan retired for good in 2003. But two other sneakers stand out.

The 1993 Air Jordan IX is notable because it was introduced the year Jordan decided to take a break from professional basketball to pursue a career in baseball—that detour proved unsuccessful for the otherwise talented Jordan. A version of the IX made a small appearance in 1996 in “Space Jam,” an animated film starring Jordan, Larry Bird, Bill Murray, and a host of Warner Bros. cartoon characters.

The other shoe to appear in “Space Jam” was the Air Jordan XI. The combination of Jordan and Hollywood made these shoes irresistible to shoppers in 1995 and 1996, which is why few pairs of this particular model in pristine shape have survived.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

All About Shoes

All About Shoes

From Canada's Bata Shoe Museum comes a visually impressive exhibit focusing on the history of the shoe from traditi… [read review or visit site]

The Black Tie Guide

The Black Tie Guide

Peter Marshall became an authority on formalwear out of necessity — he needed a tux to wear on the maiden transat… [read review or visit site]

Virtual Shoe Museum

Virtual Shoe Museum

This virtual museum from Shoe Icons Publishing showcases over 800 pairs of shoes and related reference information.… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro High Shattered Backboard 10Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro High Shattered Backboard 82010 Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro High Black Red Ban 8.5Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Shattered Backboard Sz 10.52013 Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro High Royal 121990 Nike Air Jordan 5 V Original Fire Red 23 Sz 8 Tokyo 10 1985 Ultra RareDs Nike Air Jordan Xii 12 Retro Rising Sun 8.5Nike Air Jordan Iv Iii Sz 11 Lot Collection Vintage Fire Red Mars Military FlipOriginal Air Jordan 1 Hi Unc White Carolina Blue Og 1985 Nike Michael Jordan WowNike Air Jordan Iii 3 Retro Db Doernbecher 132016 Air Jordan Retro 1 High Og Bred "banned" Size 92012 Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Black Red 11Nike Air Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard Size 12 Deadstock2016 Nike Air Jordan I Retro 1 High Og Banned Ban Bred Black Red White New 9.52013 Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro High Og Royal 8.5Nike Air Jordan 1 Bred Chicago 2016 Ftb Shattered BapeDs Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Concords Size 8 Sz 100% Authentic Og BoxNike Air Jordan Kubo Xv. Size 10, Limited Edition 1989 Air Jordan Iv 4 Original Og Ultra Rare Military Blue Sz 7.5 100% AuthenticAir Jordan 1 Og Chicago 2015 Size 10. Yeezy, Ultra Boost, Nmd , Jordan2016 Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Banned Bred Sz 11.5, I Black Red 11 12Nike Aj1 Air Jordan 1 Retro High Pinnacle Vachetta Tan Sz 9.5 Dead Stock!!!Nike Air Jordan 15 Xv Kubo. Mens Size Us 13 Limited Edition Tinker Hatfield 100% Authentic Air Jordan 12 Ovo Size: 10.5Air Jordan 4 Retro Men's Size 102010 Nike Air Jordan Ix 9 Retro Ftlotg For Love Of The Game White Powder Blue 11Nike Air Jordan Retro 4 Iv Premium Pinnacle Snake Skin Size 11 New DsNike Air Jordan 6 Retro Black Varsity Red Sz 13 2010 Release 384664 061New Nike Air Jordan Retro 1 Shattered Backboard 100% Authentic Size 9.5 New Mens Air Jordan Retro 1 High Og Black Red Bred Banned Nike 2016 Sz. 9Deadstock Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Banned 2016 BredAir Jordan Retro 1 Bred Banned 2016 High OgNike Air Jordan Collezione Cdp Pack Xi Xii Bred Playoff Ds Sz 9.5 Og Pe Rare 23Air Jordan 12 Retro Ovo Drake White Metallic Gold Size: 12 Air Jordan 1 Bred Banned Size 8.5 20162013 Vnds Nike Air Jordan V 5 Db Doernbecher 2013 Size 10.5 100% Authentic2016 Air Jordan Banned 1's Size 9.5Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Sz 10.5 Bred 2016 Black Red White DsNike Air Jordan Kubo Xv 15 Sz 11 In Hand Special Box And Dust Bag Kubo 2 StringsNew Nike Air Jordan Retro 1 Shattered Backboard 100% Authentic Size 9.5 Air Jordan 4 Iv Retro Prm Premium Pinnacle Black Sail 819139-010 Size 10.5Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Banned Bread Nike Air Jordan Kubo 15 Sz 10.5 In Hand Special Box And Dust Bag Kubo 2 StringsAir Jordan Retro 1 Bred Banned High Og 2016 BnibAir Jordan 10 X Retro Ovo 819955-100 Drake Summit White Metallic Gold Size: 11.5Nike Air Jordan 12 Retro WingsNike Air Jordan X 10 Retro Ovo Drake 819955-100 Summit Size 102016 Air Jordan Retro 1 Og Bred "banned" Size 10.5 New With ReceiptAir Jordan 5 Premio Bin 23Air Jordan 11 & 6 "defining Moments Pack"Ds *new* 2016 Men's Nike Air Jordan 1 High Og Banned/bred Size 10Nike Air Jordan 10 Retro OvoNike Air Jordan 12 Retro Wings Psny Yeezy Sz 13Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Sz 9.5 Bred 2013 Black Red White DsNike Air Jordan 5 Retro V Oreo Black Cool Grey White 136027 035 Size 13 DsAir Jordan Vi 6 Xi 11 Dmp Size 6-14 Defining Moments (message Me)Nike Air Jordan Kubo 15 Sz 11.5 In Hand Special Box And Dust Bag Kubo 2 StringsKubo Air Jordan 15 Xv Laika Banned 1 Bred Limited Nike Max 90 95 2016 Flyknit Nike Air Jordan 1 Jeter Ds Nike Air Jordan 1 Bred 2016