If you were a kid of the 80’s, chances are you had your very own pair of Air Jordan sneakers. We take a closer look at the most popular Retro Jordan’s ever made
When Michael Jordan, the famous basket ball superstar of the 1980’s collaborated with Nike to produce Air Jordans, they became the hottest sneakers ever to hit the streets. Their popularity began when Michael Jordan wore the sneakers as a rookie. Since then the company has produced new pairs of sneakers annually, incorporating different designs and styles.
Air Jordan’s were a must have item for any teenager who wanted ‘Street cred’. Which was your favorite pair?
It was just one of those retro 80’s things that every kid needed. I remember in high school being one of the last kids in my class to get Air Jordans. My mother said that labels and expensive brands were for show offs, a lesson I only understood many years later. At the time there was NOTHING more important than my Retro Jordans and I did just about anything to make sure I got the latest model. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular retro Jordans of the 80’s and 90’s . . .
1. Jordan Retro 4’s
Jordan 4’s came out in 1989 and were the first Jordan shoe to be released to the global market. It came in 4 colors: White/ Grey, Black/Grey, White/Red, and White/Blue. Jordan 4’s became famous when they were featured in the spike lee movie ‘Do The Right Thing.’ This edition shoe was also worn by Michael Jordan when he made the series winning basket known as ‘The shot’ in the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
2. Jordan Retro 11’s
Designed and produced in 1995 the Jordan 11’s were a far more advanced model as they came some ten years after the original sneakers. The mesh upper of the shoe gave this model a much lighter and more durable, flexible feel than previous sneakers in the range. A carbon fiber spring plate was also introduced into the outsole to give the shoe better torque. These shoes were worn by Jordan in the movie ‘Space jam‘
3. Jordan Retro 3’s
The Air Jordan 3 was a classic among sneakers and was originally released in 1988. It was the first Air Jordan to feature a transparent air unit on the heel. It was also the first model to feature the new Jumpman logo which showed Michael Jordan jumping mid-dunk. This logo replaced the wings logo from previous models. The Air 3’s were said to be Jordans favorite shoes and he wore them often as well as during the 1988 Dunk Championship.
4. Jordan Retro 7’s
The 7’s were a brand new design courtesy of Nike’s main designer Tinker Hatfield. This model, released in 1992 introduced the ‘Huarche technology’ which meant the shoes conformed and molded themselves better to foot of the wearer than previous models. A number of features were left out of this edition such as the Nike Air logo, the visible air sole and the yellowing soles. Many different colors were produced for this model many years later and it was a highly successful product.
5. Jordan Retro 13’s
Released to the public in 1997 this model was best known for the special cushioning along the feet. Interestingly, the black panther was the inspiration for the shoe as the sole is similar to the pads of the panther’s paw. It also featured a hologram on the back of the shoe which works like a panthers eye when light is shined on it. Jordan wore the 13’s in the movie He Got Game and of course their popularity spiralled when the move was released.
6. Jordan Retro 5’s
Very similar to the Jordan 4’s these sneakers were released in February 1990. Although similar in design to the 4’s these were different in terms of the look. They had lace locks, a reflective tongue and transparent rubber soles. The soles on this model proved to be problematic though as they yellowed when they got wet and were the source of many customer complaints when they were released.
7. Jordan Retro 6’s
Hitting the streets a year after the Jordan 5’s, the 6’s were a big hit. This model had a new and improved reinforcement around the toe as well as two holes in the tongue instead of one, it also boasted a molded heel tab. This sneaker was in fact the last Air Jordan to feature the Nike Air Logo on it. Nike ‘re-retro’ed‘ this model a few times from 2000 through 2012 but nothing was quite like the original Retro classic.
8. Jordan Retro 9’s
The 9’s were the first Air Jordan model to be released after Michael Jordan’s retirement and Jordan didn’t play a complete season wearing these shoes. The sneakers were more similar to baseball shoes which Jordan played at minor-league level. The Air 9’s had an inner sock sleeve and the sole had various symbols and languages on them. Its years of glory were 1993-94 but it was retroed on many occasions in the years that followed.
9. Jordan Retro 8’s
Air Jordan 8’s hit the market during the 1992-93 NBA basketball season. This model was significantly and noticeably heavier in weight than previous Air Jordans. The 8’s, as you may remember, were rich in detail. They had a jumpman on each shoe and two crossover straps. The Jordan 8’s were known as the ‘Punisher’ due to the ankle support, full air sole and polycarbonate shank plate making them one of the most supportive of all the Jordan sneakers.
10. Jordan Retro 10’s
By 1995 Nike were producing Air Jordans in a variety of funky colors. The 10’s came in Black/grey, Varsity-black, and then off- red, black and white, among others. It was the first model that had the ultra lightweight phylon midsole. When the Jordan 10’s were re-released in 2012 the lacing and tongue were totally black while the outsole featured an original striped design.