Keep greatness alive with the Jordan Retro collection.
When Michael Jordan first hit the professional hardwood in 1984, observers weren’t surprised the dynamic former collegiate champion had an immediate impact on the game. What may have caught people by surprise was the degree to which he would change the game, on and off the court.
Every edition of MJ’s signature Air Jordan line is like a page from a yearbook. True fans can hold one in their hand and recall something special that Jordan did while wearing that model.
The Nike Air Jordan, later referred to as the “Air Jordan I,” started it all. And while the stories of it being banned and MJ incurring a fine that Nike paid may be more myth than fact, there is no question about it being the first basketball shoe that got us dreaming about being able to fly.
Another page from this memory book is the Air Jordan III, the first designed by the visionary Tinker Hatfield. It featured the now legendary elephant print on the upper and, given that the designers of the first two Air Jordans had left the company, the AJ III is credited with being the shoe that kept Jordan with Nike.
When Jordan returned from a 17-month retirement for his first full season of basketball in the fall of 1995, the occasion called for a special shoe that could live up to the moment. The Air Jordan XI did all of that and more. The patent leather was on his feet when he became just the second player in league history to pull off the triple crown of MVPs, netting the honor in the all-star game, the regular season, and in the finals.
Nike came to realize how nostalgic fans were getting for Air Jordans and began re-releasing favorite styles in 1994 as Jordan Retros. The Swoosh spun off Jordan as its own brand in 1997, and the Jordan brand continued the Retro legacy.
The Jordan Retro 1 recalls the Black/Red original that was made famous in photos from MJ’s second season. Nike released the shoe in two colorways on Sept. 15, 1985, and trafficked a TV spot claiming that the league had banned the shoe by Oct. 18.
The Retro 3 was most famously seen gliding along a flight path from the free-throw line toward the hoop during the 1988 dunk contest. It was the first Jordan shoe to feature a visible Air-Sole unit and was the first to feature the Jumpman logo. And fans will remember Mars Blackmon asking all of us how Michael Jordan could be so dominant, only to conclude that, “It’s gotta be the shoes!”
The grail of all Jordan Retros, though, is the Retro 11, an annual holiday-season release since 2008. The shine of the patent leather is always a head-turner, as are the countless colorways the shoe has worn over the years.
Wear it out
And if you’re looking for ways to complete your Jordan look, you have an array of options in hoodies, tees, fleece tops and pants, shorts, and hats. Choose the simplicity of the training tops that feature nothing more than the Jumpman logo front and center, to the bold colorblocking of the Rivals hoodie that features hits of enough colors to complement any Jordan Retro.
With sizes for men, women, and kids, there are enough options to let anyone Be Like Mike.