Only rarely would any sane man pay over $200 for a pair of shoes that were not imported from Italy and made from ancient leather. But what would you say if I told you that some people do this every week and blow an entire paycheck on gym shoes alone? You would say those people are obsessed with playing basketball, but then I’d tell you that they were just buying Air Jordans and you’d come to your senses and go out and buy the next new pair valued over $300.
For nearly 25 years now, Michael Jordan has had his name imprinted on these shoes. Beginning in 1984 in Jordan’s first year out of college, Nike knew they had struck quite the deal when they signed MJ to endorse their new pair of basketball sneakers. Little did they know that they had just signed a deal with the greatest player in basketball history and that their shoes would be breaking the bank for decades to come.
It is 2010 now and the 25th anniversary pair of Air Jordan’s are due to come out within the next week. But first, let us see where it all began.
Air Jordan 1
First released in March of 1985. When Jordan brought these out for the first time they were banned by the NBA. Apparently the red and black were not a part of the color scheme of NBA regulation sneakers, but little did the management know that they would soon be worshiping the player wearing them as somebody finally made the NBA something worth watching and talking about.
Air Jordan 2
Not exactly the most eye-popping of the Jordan brand, but he averaged 37 points per game and won his first dunk contest in these bad boys. Buying these shoes will not allow you to jump higher than usual, but you’ll certainly feel a spring in your step (it might come from being 2 bills lighter, but none the less.)
Air Jordan 3
A somewhat similar design to that of the II’s and another fantastic season for Jordan and Nike. While Jordan won his first MVP and another slam dunk contest, Nike was cashing in on the success of these shoes, as the Sneakerheads finally began to emerge,. and buy these shoes by the crate full. If anyone saved them they’re worth serious wood today!
Air Jordan 4
Alright, what the hell just happened? The Jordan brand just went from 0-60 in the span of a year as we now see netting, straps, and the face of Mars Blackmon on the back of the shoe. No complaints from here though as these sneakers look just amazing. The Mars Blackmon emblem was an idea from Spike Lee who not only was featured in the commercials endorsing the shoes, but also directed movies that showed of the shoe as well.
Air Jordan 5
Let’s take it in a different direction shall we? The Five’s are some of the most popular brand of Jordan’s today, as the heads at Nike seem to be going in a different direction again with this one. The design is said to be that of the World War II Mustang planes mostly because of the unique design on the midsole of the sneakers. No doubt about it though, these shoes are progressively getting better.
Air Jordan 6
Just to give you perspective on how much Nike banks on these shoes. The shoes above are valued at $800. Some people work an entire month couldn’t afford these. Once again we see Jordan brand going off into another direction with a number of designs all over the shoe. In fact, if you look at it in the right light and direction, you can see the number 23. Jordan’s first championship came in these shoes as well.
Air Jordan 7
Met with criticism due to the new design, the Jordan 7’s are no doubt a classic. They were re-released recently and were met with high regards from the millions of sneakerheads around the globe insatiably buying them up. MJ won his second championship and was a part of the 1992 USA Dream Team while wearing these shoes. A unique fact about the Olympic edition of the 7’s is that there is a number nine on the back and not a 23 which had been on all the previous shoes. The nine represented Jordan’s number while a part of the Dream Team.
Air Jordan 8
It got a little strange with the eight’s. The design was so much more different from the others that nobody knew what to say. It did win Jordan his third consecutive championship and the shoes were a success then and now with the re-release. The straps were new, and as was the distinct collage of colors on not only the sole of the shoe, but the midsole. It’s also interesting to point out that because of the padding of the inside, it made your foot warmer than usual. Jordan got many athlete’s foot infections over the course of the year possibly due to the shoe. I think Nike was just trying to make it fair for everyone else in the league.
Air Jordan 9
Looks like the designers at Nike decided to stop tripping acid and get simple again. There is not too much to say about the shoe as Jordan’s from this point got a lot simpler from that of the Jordan 4’s to Jordan 8’s. The release of these sneakers came out a few months before Jordan’s retirement to play baseball which sent the NBA and its fans into a tizzy. It’s remarkable how much this design has inspired so many of the designs you see on sneaker racks today. It may very well have been far too before it’s time
Air Jordan 10
The design of the shoes are so simple, that it’s actually quite beautiful. Nike released five of these shoes for five different teams in the NBA including the Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, and Seattle Supersonics in their respective colors. It was also later in the year that MJ broke out the #45 in his return to the hardwood and back to doing what he did best: playing basketball.
Air Jordan 11
Like I said before, the Jordan’s got a lot simpler. It’s mostly what Jordan did in these shoes that raised eyebrows. He managed to lead his team to a championship, an NBA record 72 wins, and an all-star game all one year removed from coming back to the NBA. Also what I stated before, the Jordan brand will certainly make you look cool, but there’s no proof of the average human being able to complete such a feat that Michael has done for his career.
Air Jordan 12
A fairly interesting design by Nike, this was the first Jordan that actually was a part of the Jordan Brand collection by itself. The previous eleven were all strictly owned by Nike. The design was inspired by Japan’s rising sun. It is not clear in the specific shoes above, but the red and white sneakers clearly show where the idea come from. Jordan won another championship in these shoes, so nothings changed as MJ was still kicking ass and taking names.