February 8, 2016 BY John Kim
This Friday, Jordan Brand will hit a major milestone by releasing the 30th Air Jordan in franchise history. With 29 different models to choose from, we’re sure you all have taken the time to jot down your personal lists of the best Air Jordans in order, and ESPN, the sports media site that has covered the sports footwear/apparel industry for years, but only recently has dived into the cultural aspect of Air Jordans and Nikes. Adam Reisinger of ESPN, with the help of sneaker collector Chad Jones aka “Sneaker Galactus”, just published the official ESPN ranking and we must say, the list is fair. We’d place the Air Jordan 6 much higher, given that its significance as the first shoe MJ won an NBA championship in, and the list itself is skewed heavily to the Tinker era. See their Top 10 rankings below and read their full breakdown of all 29 Air Jordans here.
10. Air Jordan IX
Adam: This shoe deserves a lot of credit for proving the line could be viable even if Michael wasn’t playing basketball. Plus, you have to admit, it looked pretty good as a baseball cleat.
Chad: Some of the best player-exclusive colorways were made for other players. Why? MJ wasn’t wearing them. By the way, who is Johnny Kilroy?
9. Air Jordan VI
Adam: These could easily get lost when compared to the shoe that came before and after, but the striking tongue design really helps this model stand out. Plus, it was the first shoe MJ wore while winning a ring.
Chad: MJ wins his first championship and Finals MVP in style. The tongue, heel tab and toe were unlike anything seen before .
8. Air Jordan XIII
Adam: It’s not often a pair of Jordans — particularly one worn during MJ’s run with the Bulls — gets elevated by someone other than MJ, but that’s the case with these, thanks to what was essentially a commercial starring Denzel Washington slid deftly into the movie “He Got Game.”
Chad: Holograms and design inspiration from a Panther? Yeah I’ll take two pairs!
7. Air Jordan VII
Adam: These were the shoes on Michael’s feet when he played with the Dream Team in the 1992 Olympics. That itself would be worthy of a high ranking, but they also look and feel really good.
Chad: Design hints taken from the Huarache line made this shoe a love-it-or-hate-it model. MJ was featured on the Team USA Dream Team that literally destroyed every other country’s team in the 1992 Olympics. Also you had to love the Hare Jordan!
6. Air Jordan V
Adam: As a kid growing up, I remember these more for Will Smith wearing them on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” than for Michael wearing them on the court. Either way, they looked damn good.
Chad: Clear rubber soles, reflective tongues and inspiration taken from the WW II P-51 Mustang fighter made this shoe a cut above the rest.
Filed under: Air Jordan
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