most popular Jordans of all time

30 Most Popular Jordans of all Time

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Nike became a popular brand when some of the most popular Jordans of all time established the groundwork for sneaker culture. It’s no wonder that every sneakerhead gets excited whenever a new pair of Jordans is unveiled. Nike continues influencing countless sneaker designs throughout the years—acting as a canvas for creativity and innovation.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the 30 most popular Jordans of all time. But before we proceed with our list of most popular Jordan shoes, let’s walk through the iconic and original pair of sneakers that started it all.

Air Jordan

In 1984, Brand Jordan (a division of NIKE, Inc.) created the popular annual collection of sneakers, called teh ‘Air Jordan’. Created for thesis-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, the original line of Jordans debuted in retail in 1985. The Jordan 35, the sub-35th label’s signature model, is the most popular and successful athlete-specific sneaker line ever manufactured. Peter Moore, Bruce Kilgore, Wilson Smith III, Tate Kuerbis, and Tinker Hatfield are the original designers of the Air Jordan. These designers have also designed some of the best air jordans.

Air Jordans are popular due to two reasons. Firstly, Michael Jordan’s influence on basketball. And secondly, due to its iconic design, which had a significant impact on the shoe industry owing to its style. The Air Jordan 1 was the first basketball sneaker to transcend the sport while it was still in its infancy. In addition, the launch of Air Jordans in 1985 heralded Michael Jordan’s debut in the NBA.

The Air Jordan line has featured popular collaborations with UNDEFEATED and Supreme, among others, during the last 36 years. Furthermore, the legacy of Air Jordans was elevated when popular athletes such as Ray Allen, Mike Bibby, Carmelo Anthony as well as Russell Westbrook received unique Friends & Family and Player Exclusive (PE) pairs.

Due to their exclusivity, certain Jordans are already deemed nearly unattainable, while others are sleepers with the ability to spark any rotation.

Let’s take a look at the 30 most popular Jordans of all time.

1. Jordan I Chicago

most popular Jordans of all time

The one who got it all began. The Air Jordan 1 Retro Chicago is unquestionably the most popular Jordans of all time. Being one of the most popular Air Jordans, it is a collector’s dream. From a revolutionary air cushioning to the wings emblem symbolizing the high-flying rookie, the AJ1 is a collector’s holy grail. This famous silhouette, which was last launched in 2015, has become a standard for street ballers and basketball lovers alike. Since its debut on ‘The Last Dance’, the Chicago colorway has soared in popularity. However, you may still get your hands on some.

2. Air Jordan XI “Bred”

most popular Jordans of all time

In 1995, combining the traditional black and red, Bred colorway with the elegant shape of the Air Jordan 11 was a winning combination. The combo is still popular among fans, collectors, and sneakerheads today.

The Air Jordan XI “Bred elicits a plethora of emotions. It is known as the “murder shoe.” It’s a game-changing combination of patent leather and top-tier performance.

3. Air Jordan III White Cement

most popular Jordans of all time

The Air Jordan III debuted in 1988 and polarised fans due to its distinctive style.

Tinker Hatfield, who took over from Peter Moore, created the original design. Hatfield not only maintained the Swoosh-free style begun with the AJII, pushing Air Jordans as a distinct category in their own right, but he also added eye-catching elephant print panels to the black or white uppers. The debut of Jordan’s gravity-defying form as the emblem, now known as the Jumpman, cemented the shoe’s place in the pantheon of greats.

4. Air Jordan IV “Bred”

most popular Jordans of all time

The Air Jordan IV is an undisputed classic. The 2019 throwback of the “Bred” colorway, one of the more comfy sneakers from the collection, saw sneakerheads unflinchingly copping numerous pairs as a need rather than an opportunity to earn some money. As the first Jordan to have a global release, the IV elevated the brand to new heights. The “Bred” hue is a one-of-a-kind Air Jordan calling card that looks almost flawless on the IV.

5. Air Jordan II

most popular Jordans of all time

Consider the exquisite Air Jordan II to be one of the most luxurious models in the collection. As the first Michael Jordan sneaker to have premium elements like faux-lizard skin, it’s one of the best Air Jordans. These popular Jordans of all time also have brogue-like perforations and Italian workmanship, offering it significant posh panache.

The Air Jordan II abridged the gap between athletics and the red carpet with its references to high design. The Air Jordan II goes smooth with a tuxedo. Additionally, these most popular Air Jordans are also available as a pair of low-top Jordans.

6. Air Jordan XII “Flu Game”

most popular Jordans of all time

These are the sneakers Michael Jordan wore during the historic 1997 Illness Game, in which he scored 38 points despite being sick with the flu. It’s no surprise that they are regarded as among the greatest Jordan shoes ever created.

The ribbed quilted sections on the top, inspired by Japan’s Rising Sun flag, are one of the striking characteristics, as is the pebbled rather than patent leather. Low-top Jordans are also available for the Air Jordan XII “Flu Game”.

7. Air Jordan VI “Infrared”

most popular Jordans of all time

It’s been said that you never forget your first, so it’s no surprise that the sneaker Michael Jordan wore when winning his first NBA title (and Finals MVP) makes the list. Even if he didn’t, the all-black nubuck Air Jordan VI with its vivid Infrared highlights and transparent outsole was a knockout in its own right. 

8. Air Jordan V “Grape”

most popular Jordans of all time

During its initial release in 1990, the Air Jordan V “Grape” has cool color names—Grape Ice and New Emerald. The Grapes embodied the early 90s cool and refreshing lifestyle album, way before ‘lifestyle’ was a trending concept. After undergoing rigorous design changes, Tinker Hatfield finalized the purple tongue with the green Jumpman. To date, the Purple Grapes are one of the most popular Air Jordans of all time.

9. Air Jordan VI “Carmine”

most popular Jordans of all time

Jordan’s first title, in 1991, was linked with the VI, and when he grabbed the Larry O’Brien trophy in the locker room, the sneaker he wore became a crucial part of his history. The “Carmine” colorway stands out with a vibrant red upper that truly glows, distinguishing it from prior colors’ toned-down reds like “University Red” and “Bred.” Fans of the VI see the shoe as unique since it was the last of the Air Jordan series to include the “Nike Air” emblem; newer retros alternate between the Jumpman and the Nike Air stamp on the heel.

10. Air Jordan Retro XI “Space Jam”

most popular Jordans of all time

The Air Jordan XI, another game-changing, risk-taking, and ground-breaking design, first appeared on the court in May 1995 as part of the NBA playoffs and rapidly became a pop culture favorite after featuring (together with MJ) in the cult classic sci-fi cartoon Space Jam.

Its introduction in the black-and-white Concord colorway notoriously resulted in fighting and riots across America as individuals attempted to obtain a pair. The model is also available as a pair of low-top Jordans.

11. Air Jordan V “Fire Red”

most popular Jordans of all time

The V Fire Red Retro OG may not appear to be new, yet it is one of the most recent additions to the Air Jordan lineup. As part of the silhouette’s 30th anniversary, the retro design was introduced in early 2020. This version is very identical to the original from 1990, with a smooth white leather top and a ferocious black midsole with Fire Red shark teeth.

12. Air Jordan VII “Olympic”

most popular Jordans of all time

The Air Jordan VII ‘Olympic’ was launched under the Jordan brand rather than the Nike one. Therefore, it lacks the exterior Nike branding and Air window. These popular air Jordans mark the beginning of Michael Jordan’s career as an entrepreneur and the world’s best basketball player. It’s one of the most popular Jordans of all time, especially in the Black Infrared colorway.

13. Air Jordan VIII “Bugs Bunny”

most popular Jordans of all time

Jordan brand with Bugs Bunny may be one of the biggest marketing crossover occurrences of all time. The “Bugs Bunny” colorway adorns the 1993 silhouette and includes a carpeted tongue (the first of its type) to round off the red, grey, and white color scheme. The signature double velcro strap and booty sock insert take influence from Nike’s Huarache series, making the VIII aesthetically and mechanically unique.

 14. Air Jordan IX “Cool Grey”

most popular Jordans of all time

In theory, an all-grey shoe should be a total snoozer. It’s a good thing the Jordanians aren’t interested in theories. The “Cool Grey” Air Jordan Retro XI was an instant hit, spawning a flurry of “Cool Grey” and “Wolf Grey” Air Jordan versions. Not to add how great the contrasting greys on the top looked.

15. Air Jordan VII Bordeaux

The Bordeaux was one of the first “Hare Jordan” VII releases, with nubuck on the soft, minimalist upper and a tribal-based design on the neoprene bootie. Tinker Hatfield’s Huarache idea gave a luxury makeover.

16. Air Jordan I Retro High “University Blue”

Despite being a recent edition, the “University Blue” 1s are quickly gathering pace and popularity, selling out immediately upon its arrival. The “University Blue” generation of the Jordan 1s is notable for its cloud white upper and baby blue overlays, and it remains a difficult buy for popular sizes.

17. Air Jordan XII “Obsidian”

It’s odd that Michael Jordan didn’t wear them to the 1997 All-Star Game and keep the black and white pair for the playoffs, but perhaps he didn’t really want to be in Blue Devils colors. Even without Mike’s on-court assistance, the Obsidians went on to become one of the most beloved XIIs.

18. Air Jordan IV Retro Black Cat

This variation on the iconic Air Jordan 4 has a Black and Light Graphite color combination that reminds us of Michael Jordan’s renowned ‘Black Cat’ moniker, a theme that is further developed throughout Jordan 13. It has a completely black upper with subtle grey undertones on the Jumpman Flight tongue tags.

19. Air Jordan XX “Retro Playoff”

The AJ XX is a shoe designed to honor the Jordan Brand’s 20th anniversary. It reflects nothing less than MJ’s life narrative in sneaker form. A lofty ambition, but one that designers Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith have accomplished with trademark zeal.

Lazar carved approximately 200 symbols into the top, summarising the sportsman’s whole life, including Michael riding in the backseat of a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with his mother, Deloris.

20. Air Jordan X Retro

The AJ X is renowned for its lightweight and clean-lined design, as well as its blend of leather, nylon, and Zoom Air cushioning and was released to commemorate MJ’s 10-year association with Nike, as well as MJ’s temporary retirement from basketball to join the MLB.

The 10 lateral stripes along the sole are a nod to the basketball legend’s spectacular first ten years of shattering records.

21. Jordan VI Retro DMP

The Jordan 6 DMP “Defining Moment,” which returns in 2020, is a sleek black and gold number that has a strong resemblance to the original DMP pack, which was initially presented in 2006. These Jordan retros will be available in April 2020, ushering in a new era for the legendary silhouette.

23. Air Jordan VIII “Black/Red”

Nike would have understood by 1993 that Jordan would require a playoffs/Finals shoe every year. The Air Jordan VIII was the Jordan mullet—all-black business in the front, colorful party in the back—constructed with everything but the kitchen sink. But that didn’t seem to slow Mike down.

24. Jordan XIII Retro Low Chutney

The Chutney is as hip as they come, taking a twist on the legendary Jordan 13 design. The cut is what distinguishes this chutney from a typical 13. These retros distinguish themselves from the original design by replacing the classic hightop style with a mid.

25. Air Jordan VIII “Black/Aqua”

Mike didn’t have a special All-Star sneaker during his first few years in the league; he basically wore whatever the newest hue was, or introduced the playoff colorway incredibly early. However, by 1993, All-Star was an occasion for a new shoe, and these pastel-accented VIIIs were ideal.

26. Air Jordan Retro V “Toro Bravo”

The “Toro Bravo” package included two pairs of Air Jordan Retro Vs, and while the black reflective pair looked spectacular, it was the all-red suede pair with tongues dangling like Michael Jordan’s that stole the show. All-red Jordans are surprisingly scarce – given the popularity of these and the red XX1s, we’re puzzled more haven’t appeared.

26. Air Jordan I Mid GS SE “Fearless”

There isn’t much to say about these—the Air Jordan 1 “Fearless” is unquestionably one of the hottest AJ1s ever. Maybe it’s the red outline on the black suede. The Fearless AJ1s are a must-have for any sneakerhead.

27. Air Jordan XIV “Last Shot”

Imagine the horror on Jordan and Nike staffers’ faces when Michael Jordan came to the floor with these black/red Air Jordan XIVs months before they were planned to be released. And one imagines those terror faces transformed into excitement as Jordan concluded the game — and the series — with one of the most memorable shots in NBA history.

28. Air Jordan IV “Pure Money”

most popular Jordans of all time

The Air Jordan IV Pure Money was a tremendous success when it was debuted in 2006, thanks to its sleek, all-white style with metallic embellishments. Even while it can be difficult to maintain clean, the style is still popular with admirers more than a decade later and is one of the most popular Jordans.

29. Air Jordan XXXV “DNA”

most popular Jordans of all time

The XXXV DNA incorporates the brand’s exposed Eclipse Plate 2.0, which goes all the way up into the upper of the shoe and provides energy return, sturdiness, and cushioning. A partially exposed Zoom Air bag in the heel improves responsiveness, and high-end materials like nubuck and suede ensure that this shoe would look great with a suit for a smart-casual appearance.

30. Air Jordan II Low “White/Black/Red”

most popular Jordans of all time

Michael Jordan is perhaps the last man who should have worn low-tops after missing much of his second season with a fractured foot. But he did, wearing these Air Jordan II lows in at least a few games during the 1986-87 season. The lower, 3/4-cut height of the III and IV was motivated by this decision.

The Jumpman: Dream It Do It 

This concludes our list of the 30 most popular Jordans of all time. In the end, Jordans is the most popular and prominent brand in the sport. This is due to its widespread reputation for superior performance, creativity, and flair. Furthermore, its popularity comes from Michael Jordan’s prominence connected with wearing them, strengthening the ‘Jordans’ brand name.

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