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    

Air Jordan Iv 4 Fear Pack Sz 13 Retro Black Cool Grey Pure Platinum 626969 030New Nike Air Jordan Retro 4 Premium Snakeskin 100% Authentic W.receipt- Size 14Air Jordan 3 Retro White Cement 88 Nike Lebron Kd Yeezy Boost Foamposite 1 2 5 6Shoezeum Sample Eminem Carhartt Nike Air Jordan 4 Iv Retro Black Canvas ShoesNike Air Jordan 5 V Retro Dmp Defining Moments Pack Raging Bull Red 360968-991Nike Air Jordan Retro 6 & 7 "gmp" Golden Moment Pack Sz 9.5 Brand New Free ShipSupreme Air Jordan 5 V - Camo - Size 9.5Nike Air Jordan Gift Of Flight Pack Xi Xx9 9.5 New Ds Chicago BullsNike Air Jordan 2 Just Don "beach" Size 14 In Hand2014 Ds Nike Air Jordan 11 Retro Pantone Sz 12 Gof Box Included 717602-900Air Jordan Retro 4 Db Doernbecher Bred Royal 750 Boost Nmd Infrared Cement 72 11Air Jordan 12 Retro Ovo Size 13Nike Air Jordan Retro 7 Viisize 11.5 2015 Bordeaux Ds Brand New RedAir Jordan Retro 10 "ovo" Pack Size 8.5Ds Brand New Air Jordan Retro 10 "black Ovo" Size 13 100% AuthenticAir Jordan 11 Retro "breds" Size 10.5 Ds 100% Authentic 378037-010Nike Air Jordan 10 Retro Ovo Size 9.5Air Jordan 11 Xi Retro Pantone Ultimate Gift Of Flight Sz 10.5Air Jordan 11 Retro Low "nightshade" Size 10.5 Ds W/footlocker ReceiptAir Jordan 4 Retro Premium Snakeskin Size 11.0 Ds 100% AuthenticNew Nike Air Jordan Retro Iv 4 Premium Pinnacle Snakeskin Sz 11Brand New Nike Air Jordan Retro Xii 12 Flu Game And Jordan 12 French Blue Size 8Nike Air Jordan 4 "fear" Pack Size 9Air Jordan Retro 3 2011 Size 11.0 Ds 100% Authentic Item #136064-105 W/receiptAir Jordan 4 Retro Premium Pinnacles Pony Size 10.5 Ds 100% Authentic W/receiptNike Air Jordan 3 (iii) Retro 2013 - White Cement 88 - Ds Size 13Air Jordan 12 Xii The Master 100%authentic Ds Size 9Nike Air Jordan Retro 6 Vi Doernbecher Db Size 11 Cdp Bmp DmpAir Jordan Retro 3 Black Cement Size 10.5 Ds 100% Authentic 136064-010Air Jordan Retro Ovo 12Nike Air Jordan Retro 12 Xii Wings 8,514/12,000 Sz 10.5 Ds 100% AuthenticAir Jordan 5 Supreme White Ds Size 12 Brand New 100% Authentic Ds Og Nike AirAir Jordan 12 Retro Flu Game Xii 2016 New Black And Red Bred Sz10 | 3 4 5 6 7 11Psny Air Jordan 12Air Jordan 8 Retro Champagne Championship Trophy White/gold Sz 13 Basketball Air Jordan 8 Retro C&c "championship Trophy" Men's 11.5 832821-030 Yeezy FluNike Air Jordan 10 Ovo Size 12 Ds Brand New 100% Authentic Fast ShipNike Air Jordan 11lab4 Size 10.5 Ds 100% Authentic #719864-600 W/rec2010 Nike Air Jordan Vi 6 Infrared Pack- 398850-901 Sz 10.5- DeadstockNike Air Jordan 8 Viii Retro C&c Championship Trophy 832821-030 Bnib! Size: 9.5Nike Air Jordan 8 Retro C&c Champagne Championship Trophy Sizes 9.5Air Jordan 12 11 4 13 Retro Yeezy Kobe "wings" Size 9.5 DsAir Jordan 12 Wings2004 Nike Air Jordan Xiii Retro 13 Wheat 309259 171 Men's Us Size 9Rare Nike Air Jordan Retro 1 I Bred High Og 100% Authentic Ds Limited Qs Hot HtfNike Air Jordan Bred 2013 Retro 1 High Og Deadstock Sz 10.5 Authentic W/receiptAir Jordan 8 Retro Champagne Championship Trophy White/gold Size 10Nike Air Jordan 10 Retro OvoAir Jordan Xx3 Retro 23 Trophy Room White/gold & Black/gold Size 10Nike Air Jordan Dmp Defining Moments Pack 2006Air Jordan Retro 8 C&c Champagne Championship Trophy 11Air Jordan Doernbecher 6Air Jordan Retro 12 Xii Wings Size 13 NewNike Air Jordan 8 Doernbecher Promo Edition! Air Jordan 6 & 11 Defining Moments Package Limited Edition Deadstock Size 11Nike Air Jordan Retro 8 Xiii Championship Trophy Champagne Size 10Air Jordan 1 Sbb Nike Air Jordan Mtm Retro 1 And 29 Pack Sz 10 Deadstock 802398-900 Ds Air Jordan X Retro 10 Ovo Size 10 Black DrakeAir Jordan 13 Barons/holograms Size 8.5 Bnib 100% Authentic