Nike Air Jordan is without a doubt one of the world's most iconic shoes. Today, certain pairs can sell for as high as $2,000 or even more.

So, what's the story of the Nike Air Jordan high top, and where did it all begin?

Read on to learn more about the evolution of these highly coveted shoes and some of the changes they've gone through over the decades.

The OG: Air Jordan 1

Air Joran 1 is the very first shoe under this line, and it was also the very first and only Air Jordan to feature the Nike Swoosh. Designed in 1984, the shoe featured the iconic black, white, and red colorway. Originally, Michael Jordan said that this was the "devil's" colorway, yet he wore a fresh pair every time he played.

Not only are these the very first pair of Nike Air Jordan high tops, but they actually cost Jordan himself money. Every time he wore them, he got a $5,000 fine from the NBA since they broke the organization's official uniform rules.

Before Nike, Michael Jordan always wore Converse and Adidas. Nike's Peter Moore finally convinced him to wear the Nikes, and that's what started the incredible journey of these retro sneakers.

Jordan 3: 1988

The Jordan 3 was the third design of the Air Jordan, and it featured the new Jumpman logo. It featured elephant skin styling on the upper that gave it a more high-end, streetwear-inspired look.

The shoes also had a cutaway in the soles for the Nike Air pods. Famous director Spike Lee starred in the Nike ad campaign along with Michael Jordan. The ads intrigued consumers and really sparked interest in the many iterations of these Nike sneakers to come.

 

 

The original price of the Jordan 3 was $100. Today, in mind condition, these shoes could likely rake in several hundred dollars or more.

Nike Air Jordan High Top 4, 5, and 6

The Nike Air Jordan 4 is one of the most comfortable, and also features the Jumpman logo on the tongue. The word "Flight" is also shown underneath it for added flair.

Similar to the Jordan 3, the 4 also has the Air unit, padded tongue, and padded collar. However, this version featured mesh for the first time which gave the shoes more breathability. It also included plastic with a small triangle-shaped plastic piece attached to the heel with a lace holder.

The Jordan 5 was released in 1990 for $125 and featured a shark tooth design on the outer midsole. The design was paying homage to Michael Jordan's aggressiveness on the court and resembled a World War II fighter plane.

These shoes also had foam molded into the upper and iced outsoles and lace-lock toggles for better support. The Jordan 5 also featured an embroidered Jumpman logo on the tongue and an offset ankle collar. It was also the very first time that the grape purple/emerald colorway appeared on any basketball shoe which made it even more popular and unique.

In 1991, Nike released the Air Jordan 6 which was worn by MJ during the Chicago Bulls' first championship. This version features leather overlays with the numbers 2 and 3 honoring Jordan's uniform number. The white/navy/red colorway of the shoe became popular when Jerry Seinfeld wore them on almost every episode of the famous sitcom.

High Jordan 11

Perhaps the most iconic Nike Air Jordan high top is the famous High Jordan 11. This beloved shoe features a variety of colorways, with the Concord colorway being the most coveted and popular of the bunch. The shoe was voted the top shoe of all time by Sole Collector Magazine.

These shoes featured patent leather for the first time ever on a basketball shoe. Not only was the material stronger, but it also echoed Michael Jordan's desire to find a pair of basketball shoes he could also wear with a suit.

The High Jordan 11 also featured a thin nylon ballistic material on the upper and padding on the collar and tongue for more comfort. It also featured the translucent "frosty" outsole that added extra bounce and a full-length Air-Sole unit.

Perhaps what really makes these retro sneakers so iconic is that Michael Jordan wore the black/varsity royal/white version in the movie Space Jam. He also wore them during the playoffs, and other versions have been worn by famous athletes over the years, including Celtics player Ray Allen.

Retro Jordan 13

Over the years, Michael Jordan earned himself the nickname the "black cat" thanks to his quickness and power on the court. The Retro Jordan 13 is modeled after Jordan, although at the time, Tinker Hatfield had no idea that his friends were calling him that name.

The Air Jordan 13 was released in November of 1997 and was chock-full of features including a hologram on the upper that looked like a panther's eye. The outsole featured a paw-inspired design and Zoom Air in the heel and forefoot.

Many feel that the Retro Jordan 13 is the most comfortable in the series. It also had a carbon fiber shank in the midfoot and an asymmetrical collar for ankle support and flexibility. The shoe was originally released in five colorways for the mid, and two for the low.

Michael Jordan tended to prefer white-based colorways when he wore the shoes at home and black-based when he was on the road. He wore the mid throughout the 1997-98 season and even into the playoffs until the Jordan 14 was introduced in 1998.

A Legacy of Design

Over the years, the Nike Air Jordan high top continued to evolve with new features, new colorways, and new designs. This shoe continues to be one of the most sought-after collectible shoes on the market.

if you're looking for Air Jordans or other awesome shoes, check out our extensive collection online or contact us today.