Source: Jordan.com

AIR JORDAN I // THE ONE THAT STARTED IT ALL

Original Release // September, 1985

Designer // Peter Moore

It could be said that Michael Jordan was the genesis of basketball as we know it today. Throughout a fiery and storied career, the tireless MJ overcame his hurdles, soaring above challenge after challenge to realize the unexpected. Along the way, he redefined basketball's relationship to style, the sport’s connection to youth counter-culture and the game’s creative potential.

Like Jordan himself, his eponymous footwear arrived with a bang, sharing its namesake’s tradition-breaking bravado. A black and red colorway violated the league’s uniform policy, earning a stern letter from league officials and generating a $5,000 fine each time the player wore the shoes on court. It is with this brazen charisma that the Air Jordan lineage was born.

AIR JORDAN II // THE JOURNEY OF JORDAN BEGINS WITH SIGHTS SET HIGH

Original Release // November, 1986

Designer // Peter Moore / Bruce Kilgore

With the introduction of the Air Jordan II comes a new era in footwear. On the heels of Michael Jordan’s masterful entry into the game, and with calculated precision, the AJ II laid the visionary foundation for a long and prosperous footwear dynasty.

Made in Italy, with faux lizard skin, sleek lines and no swoosh, the shoe was an elegant design that added sophistication to MJ’s soaring style. Throughout 1986/1987, Jordan scored a league record 23 points in a row on his way to professional basketball’s second-ever 3,000-point season.

AIR JORDAN III // THE BEGINNING OF AN ERA AND THE ARRIVAL OF AN ICON

Original Release // January, 1988

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

With MJ’s second slam dunk contest win, this time wearing AJ III White Cements, came an inspiring and memorable image of flight. And with it, another icon is born — the Jumpman. Here, and with the help of his MVP nomination and a certain Mars Blackmon, Michael Jordan and his sleek footwear are shuttled to fame.

What is now one of the sneaker world’s most notable silhouettes was brought to life with an architect’s keen eye. Tinker Hatfield, the auspicious name behind much of the Air Jordan franchise, was the visionary behind this classic. At the request of MJ, Hatfield developed the now iconic elephant print.

AIR JORDAN IV // ON A TRAJECTORY ALL HIS OWN, JORDAN PIONEERS A ROAD TO SUCCESS

Original Release // February, 1989

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

Proving his preeminent athletic prowess and distinctive style, Jordan closed the 1988/89 season with one of the game’s most notable plays. With 6 seconds left in game 5 against Cleveland, MJ sinks “the shot”, a dexterous, buzzer-beating move that continued to propel MJ along on his awe-inspiring journey.

The Air Jordan IV was the first global market release of the franchise. Another first, the shoe appeared in Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing, transcending the game of basketball to make a significant impact on pop culture. All eyes were on Jordan as he continued to rise.

AIR JORDAN V // PUSHING THROUGH THE NOISE, A FIGHTER RISES

Original Release // February, 1990

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

In his 1989 — 1990 season, it was clear that MJ was better than ever. Setting a points per game personal record, he drained 69 points against Cleveland. He hit 92 three-pointers, compared to only 68 in all prior seasons combined. Every aspect of MJ’s game was flawless, but it was his dogfight-like flight that separated him from every other player on the planet.

Tinker Hatfield took inspiration from Jordan’s biting style and, likening it to an American WWII fighter plane, he designed the Air Jordan V with shark-tooth shapes on the midsole. Paired with a clear outsole, the shoe a imbued a ferocity reminiscent of its relentless muse.

AIR JORDAN VI // VICTORY VALIDATES THE WARRIOR’S DEDICATION

Original Release // 1991

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

During the 1990–91 season, in the face of a cool adversity from their long-standing Detroit rivals, the Bulls stayed strong to advance to The Finals for the first time ever. There, Jordan’s mid-air elegance was put on full display. And it was while wearing a pair of Air Jordan VIs that Michael Jordan claimed his first championship title.

The design of the AJ VI silhouette was famously inspired by MJ’s German sportscar. It’s very essence conveyed speed and class, laden with touches like a neoprene sleeve, a translucent rubber sole and visible air. As if to validate these design decisions, the AJ VI could be found on the feet of several of pop culture’s iconic figures during its debut year.

AIR JORDAN VII // THE SPIRIT OF JORDAN GOES GLOBAL

Original Release // 1992

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

The Air Jordan VII was the shoe worn by MJ on his way to becoming a international icon. Not only did he repeat as a NBA champion, Finals MVP and MVP during the regular season, he also led the USA to a gold medal at the 1992 summer games in Barcelona.

As MJ’s prominence rose, the AJ VII steered the Air Jordan line in a new direction. In an effort to distinguish Air Jordan from Nike as a whole, the shoe saw two daring omissions by design — exterior Nike branding and a visible Air window. Foreshadowing even bigger changes to come, the Air Jordan line now began to be marketed separately from Nike Basketball.

AIR JORDAN VIII // JORDAN DOMINATES THE FIELD AND LEAVES HIS MARK

Original Release // 1993

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

The Chicago Bulls were just the third team history to claim three straight titles, and MJ was the first player ever to capture Finals MVP in 3 consecutive seasons. Strapped into his AJ VIIIs, he claimed his third straight championship and solidified a reputation for being unstoppable.

The 1993 release of the Air Jordan VIII culminated the end of the first epoch of Michael Jordan’s career and sneaker line. Featuring a bold, strapped-up design and a chenille tongue graphic, the Air Jordan VIII would prove to be a distinctly ’90s sneaker, now synonymous with the era in which it was born.

AIR JORDAN IX // PROVING THAT THE GAME WILL NEVER REALLY END

Original Release // 1993

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

After three consecutive years as the league's champion, MJ left the hardwood — his first of three total retirements. But his hiatus from one game didn’t hinder his athletic vision. Jordan took to the baseball diamond instead, playing a single season in the minor leagues.

Neither did this professional pivot stop the release of the Air Jordan IX. His status as an international icon inspired a multilingual homage to his attributes on the sole, including words like independence, freedom, athletic, and force.

AIR JORDAN X // MJ MARKS HIS PLACE IN HISTORY WITH A DRIVE THAT WON’T QUIT

Original Release // 1994-1995

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

Designed while Jordan was away from the game, the Air Jordan X featured clean lines and lateral stripes on the soles that paid tribute to each of his 10 early career milestones. Little did anyone know, MJ was eager to take care of some unfinished business. He would return during the 1994–95 season in time to play in the AJ X, with his temporary number — 45 — emblazoned on its side.

The Air Jordan X wasn’t solely built as a tribute to its eponymous legend. Just like the other nine shoes in the series, its superior performance translated to the court, and MJ proved it with his 55-point onslaught in his first game back in New York City on March 18th in 1995, the infamous “double nickel” game.

AIR JORDAN XI // BACK WITH A VENGEANCE, GREATNESS RETURNS

Original Release // 1995

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

His feet back on the court, and his eyes set firmly on the prize, Michael Jordan returned strong with his familiar break-neck pace. En route to one of his most impressive years to date, Jordan clinched MVP, All-Star MVP and Finals MVP before securing his fourth championship ring.

The Air Jordan XI lent MJ’s return a touch of class. Its patent leather shine spoke of aerodynamics while embodying an informal elegance. It was an instant favorite among players and a made a blockbuster appearance in the animated classic, Space Jam.

AIR JORDAN XII // JORDAN EARNS HIS STRIPES

Original Release // November, 1996

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

Jordan’s 1996–97 season is one for the history books. In Game 5 of The Finals, MJ put on a legendary performance, scoring 38 points, grabbing seven rebounds and handing out five assists while suffering a 103-degree temperature against the Utah Jazz. MJ would ultimately lead his team to yet another title.

Similar to MJ’s enduring drive, the technology and construction of the Air Jordan XII helped solidify it as one of the most durable Air Jordans of all time. And like Michael’s own style, the design of the shoe communicated a bold and striking elegance.

AIR JORDAN XIII // BLACK CAT RISES

Original Release // November, 1997

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

Michael Jordan’s creative dexterity and stealth put his opponents on edge and threw them off balance, earning him the infamous nickname “Black Cat”. Throughout the 1997–98 season Jordan consistently outmaneuvered his rivals with a remarkable deftness all his own.

Appropriately inspired by a panther’s predatory nature, Tinker harnessed its tenacity to create the Air Jordan XIII. The shoe featured an unconventional holographic eye and an outsole resembling a panther paw. The AJ XIII also featured innovations like a carbon fiber plate and Zoom Air, to give players the agility of a cat.

AIR JORDAN XIV // WITH HIS SIXTH RING, LEGEND IS ATTAINED

Original Release // October, 1998

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

The Air Jordan XIV quickly went from zero to legendary. During the 1998 Finals, Tinker slipped an early AJ XIV prototype to MJ, asking him to refrain from wearing it. But MJ took a liking to the shoe, wearing them en route to his sixth and final ring. The AJ XIV would also be the last signature model worn on court by Jordan with the Chicago Bulls.

The shoes came to be known as some of the most comfortable Air Jordans ever, but it was their revolutionary technology that truly set them apart. The model was low-cut, built for both speed and control with dual zoom units and breathable mesh vents on the outsole. It all added up to a shoe worthy of a legend’s game.

AIR JORDAN XV // THE SAGA CONTINUES

Original Release // December, 1999

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

With MJ embracing retirement again, there was no hint that the Air Jordan line would take any similar bow. The Air Jordan XV instead payed homage to MJ’s stealth with a woven Kevlar® aramid fiber upper inspired by the X-15 fighter jet. Its tongue was also designed to protrude, as came to be expected in Jordan’s jaw-dropping plays.

The AJ XV was styled after the world’s fastest manned aircraft to date. Promoting it were athletic leaders in several fields. Supporting them was Michael Jordan himself, donning a business suit and pointing toward the future. The XV was brash and sophisticated and it would lead the charge into the next unapologetic chapter of Air Jordan.

AIR JORDAN XVI // A NEW SEASON SHROUDED IN SURPRISE

Original Release // February, 2001

Designer // Wilson Smith III

For the first time in over a decade, a new designer took the helm. In a transitional period for Jordan — one that saw him rise to President and part-owner of the Washington Wizards — designer Wilson Smith created a shoe that both honored the brand’s heritage but was also fit for the front office.

Reminiscent of a marching boot, the Air Jordan XVI is best known for its magnetic shroud. Detachable and visually intriguing, this lace cover was a key design component that instantly transformed it from technical game shoe to fashion statement with a simple tug. In the 2001–02 pre-season, MJ surprises the world, walking on court with the Wizards in the “Ginger” colorway.

AIR JORDAN XVII // THE MAGICIAN RETURNS

Original Release // February, 2002

Designer // Wilson Smith III

It was the 2001–02 NBA season when MJ returned to the game yet again. A special Air Jordan was created for his first steps back on the court. Referencing MJ’s mid-air wizardry — his ability to improvise in flight — the AJ XVII’s design drew from the improvisational nature of jazz. Like a traveling jazzman, the shoes came with a metal briefcase and an accompanying CD-ROM.

At the time, the Air Jordan XVII’s were the most expensive Air Jordan ever created. They had their share of technological bells and whistles to back it up. They came equipped with the brand’s first Tuned Air system, a full-length shank plate and a TPU heel stabilizer.

AIR JORDAN XVIII // THE FINAL BOW

Original Release // February, 2003

Designer // Wilson Smith III

On April 16, 2003, MJ took his final bow. And wearing Air Jordan XVIIIs, he went out in style. Like several models before it, the shoe took Italian design and sports cars as its muses. It had royalty at its core, with tasteful colorways and notable craftsmanship. The “Black Royal” pair came with a towel, brush and a driver’s manual.

Although MJ would no longer wear a uniform, his namesake brand would continue to speed ahead with innovative designs and technologies and become a catalyst of creativity and athletic mastery across all games.

AIR JORDAN XIX // A NEW DAY DAWNS

Original Release // March, 2004

Designer // Tate Kuerbis

Although he never laced up a pair of Air Jordan XIXs for use during a game, Michael Jordan’s exact specifications helped create the future of flight. MJ had set the bar for performance. Air Jordans had set similar standards with technology and style. The AJ XIX now beckoned the next generation of athlete, while ushering in a new era of footwear.

Modelled after a poisonous African snake, the AJ XIX was a style-forward, performance-crafted shoe. It’s reptilian origins made for a striking aesthetic that took the trend of veiled laces to a new level of elegance. With a Tech-Flex upper and Zoom Air cushioning, it was notably agile on the court as well.

AIR JORDAN XX // STANDING THE TEST OF TIME

Original Release // February, 2005

Designer // Tinker Hatfield / Mark Smith

20 years. MJ and Jordan Brand had accomplished what no brand ever had before. They had built a lasting legacy, inspired millions of players around the globe and had given new meaning to the word greatness. Such accomplishment called for special shoe. MJ, alongside his old friend Tinker Hatfield, set out to remember the past two decades with the Air Jordan XX.

With a 20th anniversary shoe as his canvas, Tinker’s design sought to tell MJ’s life story. Over 200 icons were embedded in the upper and through them the legend’s biography came to life. The symbols traversed MJ’s childhood, his sports career and the legacy behind the Air Jordan empire. 69 dimples along the side spoke of MJ’s highest scoring game.

AIR JORDAN XXI // WORKING-CLASS LUXURY

Original Release // January, 2006

Designer // D’Wayne Edwards

Designer D’wayne Edwards was called upon to design the luxurious Air Jordan XXI. It featured a full grain leather upper, a diamond quilted inner bootie, grille-like lower foot vents and a molded heel counter. The shoe also came with a cipher message that could only be seen under a blacklight.

From first glance, the Air Jordan XXI is recognized as an item of luxury. Even at the core, comfort was a defining AJ XXI characteristic — but in no way was performance sacrificed. An Independent Podular System let players choose between Zoom and Encapsulated Air. Other features included a seamless inner-sleeve for comfort and a carbon fiber shank plate for lightweight support.

AIR JORDAN XX2 // FLIGHT AT NEW HEIGHTS

Original Release // January, 2007

Designer // D’Wayne Edwards

D’wayne Edwards returned and took design cues from an iconic fighter jet to design the performance-loaded Air Jordan XX2. Radar-inspired stitching and reflective camouflage gave the AJ XX2 a look that was built for battle, while its technology equipped players with weapons to take care of their enemies in the air.

Innovation in the Air Jordan XX2 led the way for future basketball shoes. It was built with the game’s first-ever titanium shank plate, a chevron traction pattern, and customizable IPS cushioning technology that let players choose between double-stacked Zoom Air-sole unit or shock absorbing Encapsulated Air.

AIR JORDAN XX3 // WHAT’S IN A NUMBER

Original Release // February, 2008

Designer // Tinker Hatfield / Mark Smith

For the the brand’s 23rd shoe, homage was in order and failure was not an option. Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith led the charge. The result, a sneaker worthy of the Air Jordan name. It’s style was sleek, its performance cutting-edge and perhaps best of all, sustainability rankings for the AJ XX3 soared.

The Air Jordan XX3 was crafted with an unprecedented amount of detail and care. Thoughtful touches brought it to life — MJ’s thumb print on the tongue, DNA-inspired stitching, his autograph on the toe.

AIR JORDAN 2009 // A PIVOT IN THE GAME

Original Release // January, 2009

Designer // Jason Mayden

The Air Jordan 2009 honored the most underrated aspect of MJ’s game: his defense. Inspired by fencing and MJ’s ability to control his opponents every move through spacing, the Air Jordan 2009 incorporated a pleated-silk upper, metallic mesh breathability ports and sword-slash traction pattern. Its panache leather took cues from the design of the AJXI.

Unlike other Air Jordans, the AJ 2009 is the first in the series to use its release year in the name, symbolizing the brand’s commitment to performance innovation. It was also the second shoe in the series — behind the AJXIII — to become part of the Nike Considered category for its use of environmentally-friendly materials.

AIR JORDAN 2010 // THE VISIONARY

Original Release // February, 2010

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

Inspired by MJ’s ability to see through his opponents, Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith introduced transparent TPU windows to the sides of the Air Jordan 2010. On the base of each midsole includes MJ’s famous quote: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

While the Air Jordan 2010 pays tribute to MJ’s game and the past, it also nods to the future with its innovation. It introduced the first independent forefoot for supportive, natural movement and borrowed a cue from running shoes by using a Zoom Air unit in the outsole for maximum responsiveness.

AIR JORDAN 2011 // CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON

Original Release // February, 2011

Designer // Tinker Hatfield / Tom Luedecke

Using MJ and his elite athleticism as inspiration, Tinker Hatfield returned with fellow designer Tom Luedecke to create a special Air Jordan — the AJ 2011. Singularly important to the design was the line’s first-ever interchangeable midsole. Luedecke, discussing the process once, noted the idea of selecting a weapon before battle.

The revolutionary midsole in the Air Jordan 2011 allowed players to build a shoe that would complement their game. Athletes could choose between blue Zoom Air-sole unit for quickness or red Encapsulated Air cushioning for explosiveness.

AIR JORDAN 2012 // ROOTS RUN DEEP

Original Release // February, 2012

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

Referencing a history of the game beyond MJ’s alone, the Air Jordan 2012 looks back and pays respect to some of basketball’s ancestors and cultural heritage. Seen in the wingtip-like shapes and perforations, the AJ 2012 borrows from the story of a neighborhood in Portland, Oregon during the zoot suit era of the 1920s and 1930s.

Using the concept of “One Shoe, Three Flights,” Tinker Hatfield and Tom Luedecke riffed on their interchangeable technology model from the season prior, this time with 3 removable booties. Flywire technology and a leather outer-shell gave the AJ 2012 lightweight durability. Two inner-sleeve choices offer players the option of low flexibility or high support. And three midsole options, termed “Quick”, “Air”, or “Explosive”, let athletes build a shoe that fit their game.

AIR JORDAN XX8 // THE CONCEPT CAR OF BASKETBALL

Original Release // February, 2013

Designer // Tinker Hatfield / Josh Heard

In 2013, with the introduction of the AJ XX8, came a sea change for the Air Jordan line. Performance footwear had never seen anything like it. Within its unique, boot-high casing was veiled a surprisingly responsive shoe with less weight than players had reasonably come to expect.

Personifying this new wave was a new face for the Jordan brand. Russell Westbrook unveiled the performance-packed Air Jordan XX8 in December 2012, proving that it — like himself, and MJ before him — were not to be underestimated.

AIR JORDAN XX9 // THE WORLD’S BEST BASKETBALL SHOE

Original Release // September, 2014

Designer // Tinker Hatfield

As a pioneer of innovation for nearly three decades, the Jordan brand once again pushed the envelope with the Air Jordan XX9 — the world’s first woven basketball shoe. Drawing from Italian tailoring, the shoe had an entirely woven upper and set a new benchmark for the lightest Air Jordan ever.

Inspiration aside, the true drive behind the design was to attain maximum performance. A reengineered Flight Plate added explosiveness. An added tendril improved heel-to-toe transitions. A Flight Web fit system gave players superior mid-foot lockdown. This shoe wasn’t built to change the game, it was meant to change an industry.

AIR JORDAN XXX // THE NEXT FRONTIER OF FLIGHT

Original Release // 2016

Designer // Tinker Hatfield / Mark Smith

With the third X comes an epic milestone in the Air Jordan lineage. Three decades of innovation and accomplishment culminate here, in a shoe for the ages. A celebration is in order, as again, sights are set toward the next frontier.

For the Air Jordan XXX, Tinker purposely did not hint at any particular retro style. Instead, he chose the cosmos as the image that best represented MJ and his otherworldly talents.

AIR JORDAN XXXI // THE NEW ANTI-GRAVITY MACHINES

Original Release // 2016

Designer // Tate Kuebris

The AJ XXXI pays its respects to the Air Jordan heritage in a way no other model yet has. From the brash, energetic figure MJ was in his Air Jordan Is, to the 30+ year legacy of Air that he inspired, the XXXI is the uniquely positioned to carry the torch and hold it high.

At the hands of designer Tate Kuerbis, three decades of Air Jordan footwear innovation come together as the Air Jordan XXXI. For the first time ever, the iconic swoosh meets the legendary Jordan Jumpman and Wings logos on a single silhouette. With Flyweave, modern construction finds its voice and the runway for the future of Jordan is cleared.

AIR JORDAN XXXII // THE STYLE OF INNOVATION

Original Release // 2017

Designer // Tate Kuebris

Inspired by the Air Jordan II — the Italian-made, first-ever luxury basketball shoe — the Air Jordan XXXII represents the intersection where luxury craft meets modern innovation. But while its look may salute the past, the AJXXXII puts its foot squarely into the modern age, pairing premium materials with performance technologies and proving that style and function truly can be synonymous.

Brought to life by designer Tate Kuerbis, high-quality leathers accentuate an unmasked Flyknit upper, with integrated laces, and FlightSpeed technology for a more explosive step. An exaggerated and stylized collar delivers strengthened, lateral support. And for the first time ever in the Air Jordan line, the high and low model release together.


Timeless. Historic. The GOAT.

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