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”)

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]

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]

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]

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]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Nike Air Jordan Xiii 13 Retro Premio Bin 23 10Nike Air Jordan Ix 9 Retro Db Doernbecher 9.52011 Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Concord 10Nike Air Jordan V 5 Retro White Green Quai 54 10Nike Air Jordan 2 Limited Edition 2014 Retro Just Don Sneakers Blue 121985 Nike Original Air Jordan 1, Red & Blue, Size 10Nike Air Jordan V 5 Retro Black Red Supreme 102010 Nike Air Jordan Iii 3 Retro Db Doernbecher 9.52013 Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro High Og Royal 10.5Air Jordan 1 "shattered Backboards" Size 9.5 Brand New! 100 Percent Authentic!Air Jordan 1 Fragment Ds 100% Authentic W/ Receipt Size 12 Jordan Fragment2009 Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Space Jam 10Nike Air Jordan X 10 Retro White Ovo 14Nike Air Jordan 2 Just Don C Blue Sz 13 Ovo 6 3 4 7 8 9 10 12 Beach Ii 1 5 Db 11Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Jeter Sz 13 New Deadstock With BoxDs 2010 Nike Air Jordan Iii 3 Retro Doernbecher Db Sz13Nike Air Jordan Viii 8 Retro Db Doernbecher 9Air Jordan 11 Pantone Retro Size 9 Never WornNike Air Jordan Xii 12 Retro Public School New York Psny Cool Grey Black New 11Ds Nike Air Jordan Xiv 14 Black Indiglo 10.5Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Black Gamma Blue Varsity Maize 378037 006 Size 13Nike Air Jordan Retro Iv Ls 4 Lightning 2006 Ds 10 Yeezy Supreme Sb Dmp Bin Nike Air Jordan Retro 12 "psny" Public School Limited Qs - Men's Size 14 Ds Retro Air Jordan 10 Ovo White Size 14Nike Air Jordan V 5 S Sz 9 Oregon Ducks Pe Unreleased Sample 2013 Green RetroNike Air Jordan 2 Ii Just Don Beach Size 13 Deadstock With HatAre Nike Air Jordan 12 Retro Ovo Shoes Size 10 - Brand New Deadstock Drake Ds2009 Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Space Jam Black Royal Blue White 378037-041 12Air Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Beach Size 10.5 Nike Air Jordan Retro 11 Pantone New With Box Size 9Air Jordan 2 Just Don " Don C Beach " Size 10.5 100% Authentic!!!!!!!Nike Air Jordan V 5 S Sz 8.5 Tokyo T23 Retro 2011 Rare Varsity Maize Black GreyNike Air Jordan V 5 Sz 10 Oregon Ducks Pe Unreleased Sample 2013Nike Air Jordan 6 Doernbecher Ds Men Size 10Air Jordan 12 Psny Size 14 DeadstockNike Air Jordan Xii 12 Retro Sz11 October's Very Own Ovo Drake White Gold 456985Nike Air Jordan Retro Xi 11 Black/varsity Red-white Bred Patent 136046 061 Sz 13Nike Air Jordan 2 Just Don C "beach" Sz. 11 Ds (in Hand)Air Jordan Retro 2 "just Don", Size 10 834825-250 Don C Beach On HandNike Air Jordan 10 Black Ovo Drake Pre-order Size 8-13Air Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Beach Men's Us10 Rare Limited - 843825 250Nike Air Jordan 2 Retro Just Don C Beach Size 12Nike Air Jordan 2 Ii Just Don C Beach 10.5 10 1/2Nike Air Jordan Retro Xii 12 Psny Size 10 Public School New York Ovo Psny Yeezy Nike Air Jordan Retro 12 Public School Psny Sz.12Air Jordan Retro 1 Shattered Backboard Air Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Beach Men's Us8.5 Rare Limited - 843825 250Air Jordan Retro 12 "taxi" Sz 12 Deadstock W/ ReceiptAir Jordan 2 Retro X Don C 'beach' In Hand! Size 8.5 1.30.16 Box W/receipt DsAir Jordan 11 Space Jam Concord Bred Legend 72-10Nike Air Jordan Xx9 29 Xxix Sz 9 Oregon Ducks Unreleased Sample Pe Ds 2014Air Jordan Ii 2 X Just Don Size 9 Boxset With ReceiptNike Air Jordan X Public School Nyc Xii 12 Psny Size 9.5 Deadstock Jordan 12Nike Air Jordan Xi Black/red BredNike Air Jordan 3 Retro '88 White/fire Red/cement Grey/black Mens Size 11Vtg Og 2006 Nike Air Jordan Xi Vi 11 6 S Sz 10 X Retro Dmp Gold Eyelets ConcordAir Jordan 2 Just Don "beach" Size 9 In Hand Free Ems ShippingAir Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Men's Size 9.5 UsNike Air Jordan 2 Ii Retro Just Don "beach" Size 10 843825-250Nike Sb X Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Lance Mountain Black White Bred Royal Sz13