Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. Wherever you go, no matter what age you are, basketball is a leading sports followed by almost everyone. There is no argue in that, of course. But with this huge popularity comes great following, not just on the athletes, mind you, but also on the shoes that they wear. This leads to a multitude of basketball shoe designs and styles from giant footwear companies ready to be endorsed by basketball superstars. A good thing, really, considering that different players require different shoe preferences.
Now if you are starting on your basketball journey or just an avid fan of one of the world’s major sports, let us introduce you to one particular shoe brand that has taken the world of basketball by storm—the Air Jordan.
Air Jordan Sneakers Review
No Introduction Necessary
One of the most notable basketball shoes today, the Air Jordan needs no further introduction. Exclusively produced and worn by the world’s best basketball player in the history of the sports, Michael Jordan, it is not a surprise that Air Jordan is sought-after worldwide.
But before Air Jordan received this massive fanbase, its manufacturer, Nike, at first, had little credibility in the world of basketball. In 1984, Nike, compared to world leading athletic companies such as Adidas and Converse, have not yet been able to sign high-profile basketball players to endorse its products. To turn things around, Nike decided to persuade the then Chicago Bulls 21-year-old rookie, Jordan, to sign a $2.5 million sneakers contract with them. This five-year contract with Nike also entailed an exclusive line of shoes.
The first Air Jordan, or more commonly known as Air Jordan 1 or AJ1, designed by Peter Moore, was first used by Michael Jordan in November 1984. The red, black and white shoes was designed by Moore to match the Chicago Bulls uniform, not knowing that the National Basketball Association that time only allows players to wear white sneakers. Regardless of the requirement and the subsequent warning and fines, Jordan wore the shoes. Fun fact: he wore the AJ1 from his rookie year until April of 1986.
When the AJ1 was finally released to the market, at $65 a pair in early 1985, it flew off the shelves. Thanks in large part to Jordan’s play and Nike’s tireless marketing strategies, the AJ1 reached a sneaker hype no one has witnessed before.
Michael Jordan’s retirement turned the world upside down for basketball fans, and his comeback, along with the release of the Air Jordan’s own line, sure was a massive wave that hit the sneakerworld. Jordan has worked with a couple of designers and produced a wide range of Air Jordan silhouettes embraced by old fans while drawing in new ones. From sneakers in black and white colorways, Air Jordan designs has become more creative and relevant with the addition of graphic prints and patent leather as well as inspirations from fighter planes and even luxury cars.
Among the numbered Air Jordan silhouettes, Jordan 11s has gained a huge popularity among basketball fanatics and is said to be one of the the most well-loved signature silhouettes of all time. Made by designer Tinker Hatfield, Air Jordan 11 is the first sneaker in history to showcase patent leather. The pair has been worn by Michael Jordan himself during the entire first season of his comeback game after his unexpected retirement and in his motion-picture feature debut in the 1996 movie Space Jam, undoubtedly increasing the shoes’ memorable popularity.
Another legendary sneaker from the line is Air Jordan 3 which, in many ways, was a lot of firsts in the sneaker department. Air Jordan 3 is Michael Jordan’s favorite sneaker, to say the least. Jordan 3 was the first of many Air Jordans designed by Tinker Hatfield which features tumbled leather and elephant skin print wrapping the shoe’s toe and heel of the shoes. It was also the first mid-top basketball shoe and the first one to feature a visible air sole. On top of all that, Air Jordan 3 was the foremost to feature the Jumpman logo instead of the Wings logo found in its predecessors. No doubt, much of the Air Jordan line’s success is owed to Air Jordan 3, said to be Michael Jordan’s favorite sneaker among the entire collection.
From basketball courts to the streets
Arguably the greatest shoe collaboration between an athlete and a brand, Air Jordan remains to be the most recognized line of shoes that has transcended sports and became a part of the fashion world. Even after the retirement of Michael Jordan, Nike still continued to redesign the Air Jordan line, releasing a new pair with new looks and color schemes each year. The Air Jordan line has indeed become one of the most marketable basketball shoes which has reached a status comparable to that of watches or ties. Timeless, contemporary, and iconic, Air Jordan is a pair you can easily take from the basketball court to the streets.