Updated on August 7th, 2017: The Air Jordan 3 OG “Black/Cement” releases in February 2018 for $220.
Jordan Brand defied all expectations in 2013 with the introduction of the Air Jordan III ’88, a retro release that at last brought the “Nike Air” branding back to that particular silhouette in its white/cement colorway. There had been retro models sporting that crucial detail a couple of times before, but they had been cut short as of 2001 and presumably tucked away for good. Now that Jordan Brand has been back to that well, even doing so to a much greater extent with this year’s lineup of Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG colorways, how far will they go? Is there another Air Jordan III ’88 release on the way? And would you approve of that heralded shoe coming back with the “Nike Air” in place where we’ve grown so accustomed to the Jumpman?
Speculation for such a release is nothing new. You’ll recall that talk of an Air Jordan III ’88 in “Black/Cement” mode first flared up back in February, when a shoe of that sort seemed to be tucked into an ESPN video chronicling the history of MJ’s footwear. Things went quiet after that, and it seemed like the “Nike Air” pair in those favorite colors wasn’t to be. Recently though a new sets of photos have been circulating on the regular, ones featuring what appears to be a freshly produced pair of the Air Jordan III ’88 in black/cement. Still, such samples can be tough to label as legit depending on the sources. But there’s one particular version that we can definitively present to you as the real deal.
That would the be the Air Jordan III shown here. The shoe, just the left, was on display at the recent Jordan Brand preview that Sneaker News was invited to, sitting innocuously on a wall consisting of Air Jordans ranging from 1 to XX8 in original colorways. Even without glancing at the tag it’s evident that the pair is of a slightly different build than the most recent, 2011 release. Where that pair had a slight tumble to its leather texture this did not, the black sections on the upper ending up just a bit smoother.
Confusing the issue is the tongue-tag, which labeled the shoe as a Spring 2013 product sample. Does that mean that they were planned to release alongside the Air Jordan III ’88 we saw back in February only to be eventually pulled? That seems like a fairly plausible scenario if you consider the historical moments associated with each. Keep in mind that the “White/Cement” was brought back on the 25th anniversary of MJ’s Dunk Contest performance in that colorway. And it was just a day later during that 1988 All-Star weekend that MJ debuted the Air Jordan III “Black/Cement” for the headlining game. Is it possible that Jordan Brand was initially planning to bring this pair back as well?
For what it’s worth Jordan Brand doesn’t have any official stance on the Air Jordan III ’88 “Black/Cement”. The shoe in question was a bit of an oddity at the Jordan Brand preview, one that isn’t on the release schedule for now according to the people present. But is it coming soon? Will Jordan Brand satisfy the masses by bring out this favorite colorway of one of Tinker Hatfield’s greatest works complete with the “Nike Air” branding? And is such a shoe even necessary given how pretty much all of us already have a pair or two of this staple in our rotation? Tell us how you feel about a Air Jordan III “Black/Cement” Retro with Nike Air down in the comments and stay tuned to Sneaker News for the concrete info should such a release go down.