Top 10 Best Air Jordan Silhouettes of All Time

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When you think of the phrase “sneakerhead,” you almost always imagine a crisp pair of Air Jordans; laced and styled to perfection with minimal wear, the sneakers sit on a shelf, sealed in glass, hoping to keep those precious kicks in pristine condition. Due to the legacy, iconic status and almost fairytale nature of Michael Jordan’s life and basketball career, the Air Jordan has become a mainstay of pop culture and fashion, the sneaker being strong for over 40 years now. Michael Jordan, Nike and company. would go on to release 35 (and counting) pairs of them, and with the number of Air Jordan re-releases slated for this year alone, we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate the coveted shoe by browsing through the top ten Air Jordan Silhouettes of all the time.

Have your say in the comments section with your favorite Air Jordan silhouette.

Jordan Brand/Getty Images

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You really can’t discuss the greatness of the Air Jordan 12 without addressing the history of the Flu Game, the sole reason for the 12’s iconic reputation. Locked in a battle against the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals in 1997, MJ had become sluggish and almost motionless. As he winced in pain and stumbled across the field, a teammate quickly realized that MJ was not feeling well. But, as the Bulls emerged from a two-game skid against these powerful and tactful Jazz players, something had to give if MJ and the boys wanted another championship. The change came in Game 5 as MJ battled both the Jazz and the disease. However, in historic MJ fashion, he stormed the Jazz, tearing through their defenses and scoring 38 points. Donning the Air Jordan 12, MJ soared through the air, dazzling the arena as the Chicago Bulls emerged as winners of the 97 NBA Finals, making the 12 a championship shoe in the process with the colorway. dubbed the “Flu Game” 12s.


9. Air Jordan 7

Raptors (2012)

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Michael Jordan was looking for his second title in the 1991-92 season. Throughout the offseason, until the start of NBA games, the sports media had highlighted the inevitable meeting between Michael Jordan and the Portland Trail Blazers Clyde Drexler. After Magic Johnson retired due to AIDS and Larry Bird announced it would be his last season, the NBA was looking for its next big rivalry and had already sown the seeds of its future. Clyde and Michael would meet in the 1992 NBA Finals and it was there that MJ’s latest shoe, the Air Jordan 7, gained notoriety. In Game 1 of the Finals, MJ donned the AJ7 and took to the court strong; throwing threes from every crevice in the floor, MJ broke the record for most points in a first half of the playoffs (previously held by NBA legend Elgin Baylor). MJ would finish the game with 39 points and break out again in Game 5 with 46 points. As the Bulls beat the Trailblazers 4-2, MJ earned his second title, Finals MVP and sixth scoring title.


8. Air Jordan 5

Fire Red Silver Tongue (2020)

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Hey, fun fact: did you know the rubber soles of the Air Jordan 5 were inspired by the Nike Marty McFly from the movie? Back to the Future II? Yes, Tinker Hatfield had created these shoes for the movie and loved the technology used in the rubber sole and chose to bring it to MJ’s signature, starting with the 5. Debuting in February 1990, the five are released with five colorways with two of the colorways, Metallic/Black and Fire Red having the 23 on the heel. Limited to 100 pairs for sale, they were exclusively distributed to the less fortunate or sold at auction. Tinker added a personality aesthetic to the 5 with the added detail of a flame decoration on the side of the iconic shoe. Tinker felt that MJ behaved in the field “like a fighter plane” and so he looked to a British World War II fighter plane, the Spitfire MkVIII, for inspiration.


7. Air Jordan 9

Pearl Blue

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Welcome to retirement. It was the moment of a lifetime when the greatest basketball player on the planet made the decision to retire from the NBA. But by the time he made that announcement on October 6, 1993, the Air Jordan 9 was already in production and close to being a finished product. With Michael’s decision final (for now) and without MJ on the court wearing the next iteration of the Air Jordan, what would happen to the next silhouette? Well, in a move that changed history, Nike felt it was time to give players a special colorway of another player’s shoe as they looked to market the Air Jordan 9 to fans. masses without “His Airness”. Giving birth to the PE, Nike gave Penny Hardaway her own version of the Air Jordan 9 which donned the colors of the Orlando Magic rather than the colors of the Chicago Bulls. But the shoe will end up being worn by MJ himself, but never on the field. During MJ’s NBA retirement, he played in Minor League Baseball and sported a version of the Air Jordan 9s as his cleats.


6. Air Jordan 11

Space Containment (2009)

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First debuting the Air Jordan 11 in his return to the playoffs and to the league after an early and brief retirement, MJ spoke in the detailed patent shoe against the Orlando Magic. At this point, the Air Jordan 11s were an example of a prototype shoe known as the
Jordan Beyond, but fans (as well as the NBA) were shocked to see what MJ wore on his feet: the model that would soon be known as the Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam.” The Magic would send MJ and the Bulls home early in this playoff series, but he would be back. Michael returned with a chip on his shoulder the following year and sported 11 new colorways, specifically the “Concord” and “Playoff” he wore in the 1995-96 playoffs.


5. Air Jordan 8

Aqua (2015)

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In great Air Jordan tradition, the Air Jordan 8 is synonymous with Michael’s three-round run with the 1992/1993 season. Debuting in February 1993, the 8s came in two colorways: OG Bugs Bunny which sported the Chicago colors for league rules purposes and then, arguably one of the best colorways in the entire Jordanian pantheon, the “Aqua 8”, equipped in Black, Concord and Aqua. But the iconic “Playoff 8s” would debut in April 1993, just in time for the approaching finals. Threading the “Playoffs,” MJ would take the stand against the Phoenix Suns for the chance to secure the coveted lineup, something no team had done in the NBA since the 1959-61 Boston Celtics. The Chicago Bulls would do it, thanks to John Paxson’s three game binders, and MJ would be crowned his third championship and yet another MVP.


4. Air Jordan 6

Infrared black (2000)

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Continuing the dominance established by the creativity and genius of Tinker Hatfield, the Air Jordan 6 was released in 1991, priced around $125. Featuring a transparent rubber on the outside of the instep and infamous lace locks. Emphasizing breathability, the sneaker has been perforated throughout the silhouette to ensure comfortable performance on or off the court. Design aside, this sneaker is best known for being the sneaker that MJ would sport while earning his first NBA championship in the league. Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers (of course), this finale represented something of a changing of the guard for the NBA as the aging Magic took on the rising GM – it was the start of a dynasty. The Bulls would win it 4-1 as Michael Jordan averaged 31.2 points on 56% shooting, 11 assists, 6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks as he clinched both the NBA championship and MVP of the final. Could it be because of the sneakers? Probably not, but the way MJ played and how gracefully he wore his signature sneakers, he made you believe.


3. Air Jordan 4

High (2019)

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A worthy sequel to the 3, the Air Jordan 4 was the shoe that was associated with “The Shot”, the last-minute shot attempt MJ took on the Cleveland Cavaliers, with seconds remaining. Coming in the 1989 NBA playoffs, MJ found himself in a moment that could potentially add to his rapidly growing legacy, and he did. Wearing the striking silhouette’s Black Cement colourway, MJ celebrated as he leapt into the air pumping his fist with pride, vigor and the trademark Jordan swag we’ll remember him for. And it is thanks to this performance that the 3 have become a cultural phenomenon. Maybe fans couldn’t be freaks of nature like MJ, but with the purchase of the shoes they could at least dress like Mike, creating a more approachable version of MJ than the league had seen. until there.


2.Air Jordan 3

Black cement (2018)

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Designed by the great Tinker Hatfield (and would serve as an extension of a positive working relationship for the next twelve pairs of sneakers), the Air Jordan 3 was one of the sneakers that made MJ, MJ. Wearing the sneakers in the 1988 NBA All-Star Game, MJ was crowned MVP, in Chicago, “cementing” him as an early fan favorite. Although he didn’t win his first NBA championship until 1991, sneakerheads were more amazed by the sneakers that apparently allowed the Chicago Bull legend to soar through the air like an eagle. Decorated with an elephant print along the outside of the toe box and heel, the Air Jordan 3 was significant for being one of the first basketball sneakers to be worn as a luxury brand instead of a luxury brand. a sporting item. It was also significant to be the first Jordan to wear the Jumpman logo, and thus began the process of parting ways with the Nike shoe brand through very specific creative decisions (notably the luxury aspect). He also launched the “His Airness” campaign, injecting more of his personality into the marketing of the shoe.


1. Air Jordan 1

High (2001)

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This sneaker has become one of the most recognizable sneakers in sneaker history. Think about it. It’s not just one of the most popular Jordans of all time, but one of the most popular sneakers of all time. And for good reason. While it’s true that the Air Jordan wasn’t quite what it was about 15 years ago, the shoe’s multiple golden ages are one of the reasons this shoe is number one. one on the list. But there is also the Michael Jordan aspect. The Air Jordan 1, especially in Bred and Chicago colorways, has become synonymous with the Air Jordan brand. MJ made the AJ1s an iconic staple when he scored 63 points over the Boston Celtics in Boston in 1986. With the Chicagos freshly laced, MJ departed, dazzling Bulls fans and awe-inspiring Celtics fans in the process.

Did your favorite Jordan make the cut? Have your say in the comments below and let us know what your top 10 would be.

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