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    

Wood Art Air Jordan 1 Retro Basketball Shoes 23 Michael Bulls Chicago Collectors2009 Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Black Space Jam 112009 Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Black Space Jam 13Ds Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Shadow 2013 Sz 9.5 555088-014 New 10 Bred BaNike Air Jordan Dmp V 5 Retro Raging Bull Red Suede 9.52013 Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro High Og Royal Blue 112009 Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Space Jam 11.5Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro Sb Black Lance Mountain 13Ds Nike Air Jordan Iii 3 Retro Mocha 9Air Jordan 1 Retro "bred" Banned Royal Doernbecher Chicago Og2005 Nike Air Jordan Iv 4 Retro Rare Ra Laser Black Fire Red 312255-061 9Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Pantone 8.5Nike Air Jordan 2 Just Don Quilted Blue Size Us 14 Uk 13 Eu 48,52001 Nike Air Jordan I Retro 1 Black Royal Blue White Og High 136066-041 Sz 1008 Nike Air Jordan I Retro 1 High Strap Og Bred Black Red White 342132-061 10.5Air Jordan 1 Dmp Pack Size 10.5 Bred Celtics Retro High OgNike Air Jordan 1 Bred Retro High Og Sz 10.5 100% Authentic W/ Receipt 400pp2015 Nike Air Jordan Retro 1 High Og Chicago Size 8.5 Brand New With Receipt DsNike Air Jordan Retro 3 88'sNike Air Jordan 11 Xi Retro Black/gamma Blue-black-varsity Maize 378037 006Air Jordan 1 Retro Size 9.5 Deadstock And Worn Old Love New Love 2007 2 PackJust Don X Air Jordan 2 Sz 10 Bred Royal Fragment DsmAir Jordan Retro 5 Laney ( 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11)2015 Nike Air Jordan Retro 1 I Hi High Og Chicago Red, White, Black Ds Db Sz10.5Nike Air Jordan Viii(8) Retro Doernbecher Db Caden 2014 Ds Sz 10.5 729893-4802015 Nike Air Jordan Retro 1 I Hi High Og Chicago Red, White, Black Ds Db Sz8.5Air Jordan Bred 4s 1999 DsW/store Receipt Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Sz 13 Black Red Banned Bred 2013Air Jordan Retro1 Lance Mountain Nike SbDeadstock Nike Air Jordan Vi 6 Retro Slam Dunk Varsity Red 717302-600 Ds Size 11Mens Air Jordan Retro 11 Size 11 Concord W Copy Of Receipt Nike Air Jordan Retro I 1 Mid Pinnacle 24k Gold 705075-030 12 Supreme Bape Nike Air Jordan Xi 11 Retro Bred Size 14 Ds 378037-010 Bnib [$550 At Flightclub]Nike Air Jordan 2 Retro 2 Don C Size 13 Unworn 100% Authentic New Authentic Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Chicago Size 12 W/ ReceiptNike Air Jordan Retro 4 Bred 1999 Og2000 Nike Air Jordan Vi 6 Retro Size 11 Infrared Og 136038-061 DeadstockAir Jordan 1 Retro High Og Chicago 2015 **size 10**Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Varsity Red "chicago" Nib W/receipt Size 11 MensOvo X Nike Air Jordan Retro 10 Pe Sample Drake Friends & Family Only Rare Sz 13Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Chicago Size 8 Ds Bred Royal May 30 Brand New 2015Air Jordan 1 Pinnacle Presale Size 10 NikeAir Jordan 12 Retro "taxi" Size 10.5 DeadstockAir Jordan Xiii 13 Ray Allen Pe Sample Ovo Pit Crew Oregon Doernbecher HofNike Air Jordan 3 Retro White Fire Red Cement Grey Black - Size 9.5Brand New! Air Jordan 11 Pantone/ 11s Only Ds Size 10.5New Nike Air Jordan 4 Iv Retro Pure Money White Chrome 25th Anniversary Sz 10.5Nike Air Jordan Collezione Countdown Pack 18/5 5/18 332565-991 Size 11 New CdpNike Air Jordan 1 Retro I High Og Chicago Size 10.5 2015 555088-101Nike Air Jordan 1 Dmp Bred Celtic Black Red Bulls Aj1 Chicago Infrared Sz 10.5Air Jordan Retro 6 Db Doernbecher Authentic (retro 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13)Air Jordan 6 Retro X Slam Dunk Size 11 Style Code: 717302-600Nike Air Yeezy 1 Tan Size 11 Red October Blink Solar Air Jordan Boosts KanyeNike Air Jordan 6 Rings Black/varsity Red-white Bred 322992-071 Sz 9Lot Of Authentic Air Jordan 4 6 9 13 Columbia 4 Infrared 6 Olive 9 Grey Toe 13Nike Air Jordan 8 Retro Dorenbecher Caden Lampert Db Size 13 NewAir Jordan 1 Pinnacle AuthenticDs Air Jordan 1 Lance Mountain Sb Qs Size 13 With Receipt NewDs Air Jordan Retro 11 Gamma Blue Size 7.52015 Nike Air Jordan Retro 1 I Hi High Og Chicago Red, White, Black! Size 8