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A History of Air Jordan Sneakers

Blog Introduction: The Air Jordan sneaker line is a yearly set of sneakers originally serving as the signature model for Michael Jordan. The Air Jordan line is now sold by the Jordan Brand, a sub-brand of Nike. With new designs released each year, the Air Jordan line continues to be one of the most popular sneakers in the world. Here is a brief history of the Air Jordan line.

Air Jordan 1 (1985)

The first Air Jordan sneakers were released in 1985 and were designed by Peter Moore. The Air Jordan 1 was banned by the NBA due to not meeting the league’s uniform criteria, but that only made them more popular. Worn by Michael Jordan during his rookie season, the Air Jordan 1 quickly became a must-have sneaker.

Air Jordan 2 (1986)

The second installment in the Air Jordan line was designed by Bruce Kilgore and released in 1986. The Air Jordan 2 was not as successful as its predecessor but is now considered one of the rarest and most collectible Air Jordans.

Air Jordan 3 (1987)

The third installment in the Air Jordan line was designed by Tinker Hatfield and released in 1987. The design was inspired by the Nike’s previous running shoe, the Dunk. The Air Jordan 3 was worn by Michael Jordan during his Chicago Bulls’ first NBA Championship win.

AirJordan 4 (1989)

Again designed by Tinker Hatfield, the fourth installment in the Air Jordan line was released in 1989. One of its most distinct features is its plastic lace toggle – a design which has yet to be replicated on any other Nike shoe since. The fourth installment was also worn during another one of Michael Jordans’ Chicago Bulls’ Championship wins.

5 (1990) & 6 (1991)

The fifth and sixth installments in the Air Jordan line were designed by Tinker Hatfield and introduced in 1990 and 1991 respectively. Both shoes are quite similar with their design, with subtle differences between them such as visible air sole units and slightly different upper designs. The shoes were once again worn during two more of Michael Jordans’ Chicago Bulls’ Championship victories – bringing his total number of wins while wearing an Air Jordan sneaker to six.

7 (1992), 8 (1993), 9 (1994)

The seventh, eighth, and ninth installments in the Air Jordan line were designed by Tate Kuerbis and respectively released in 1992, 1993, and 1994. These shoes reached peak popularity when they were worn on the court by Michael Jordan during his first retirement from professional basketball in 1993 – leading to even greater speculation about his return to the sport later that year. All three shoes are now highly collectible among sneaker heads and casual fans alike.

10 – 14 (1995 – 1998)

Designed by Eric Avar, these next five installments in the AirJordan line were introduced from 1995 to 1998 and are some of the most iconic sneakers ever designed – particularly the “Concord” color way of the 11s which have been retroed multiple times since their original release date in 1995. Each shoe has unique features which make them stand out from other offerings on the market at that time such as full-length zoom air units or translucent outsoles housings and incredibly detailed upper designs inspired by Japanese culture among other things. Michael Jordan wore each shoe during his highly successful second return to basketball during this period – culminating in another NBA Championship victory in 1998 wearing the 12s followed shortly thereafter by his iconic “LastShot” wearing the 14s which cemented his legacy as one of basketball’s greatest players of all time.


Today, the Air Jordan line stands as one of Nike’s most successful sneaker lines and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon with new releases peppered throughout the year carrying on the legacy established by Michael Jordan himself all those years ago back in 1985 with the release of the very first pair of Air Jordans!