The Jordan footwear brand remains one of Nike’s biggest earners. Even though recovering from the pandemic, the brand revenue rose to a whopping $4.7 billion in 2021.
Jordans have enjoyed decades-long success and dominate the market for basketball-related footwear. Nike and basketball star Michael Jordan partnered in 1984, and the iconic footwear has held a place in pop culture and fashion ever since.
Keep reading to learn more about the ten most popular numbered Jordans of all time!
1. Air Jordan 1
The first Air Jordans still hold their own as one of the most popular of the numbered Jordans.
Released in 1985, these shoes were worn by Michael Jordan himself on the basketball court. This move caused controversy because the colors weren’t up to NBA standards.
These high-top sneakers were the peak of comfort, style, and versatility. While they’ve faded in and out of fashion over the years, everyone always comes back to the original Air Jordans.
2. Air Jordan III
Released in 1988, the Air Jordan III really put the Jordans on the map and cemented the brand in pop culture.
This was the first sneaker design by the legendary Tinker Hatfield. They were the first Jordan to feature the Jumpman logo.
These mid-tops featured an elephant print and had maximum cushioning. This made them the perfect and stylish choice for both sports and leisure purposes.
3. Air Jordan XI
Released in 1995, this sneaker was another crowd favorite. The high tops had a revolutionary design, with leather uppers and translucent rubber soles.
Even if the shoes hadn’t been revolutionary in their design, there was enough pop culture significance for them to guarantee being forever favorites. Michael Jordan wore these sneakers in the 1995 NBA playoffs and made them famous in the now-cult classic film, Space Jam.
4. Air Jordan IV
The Air Jordan IV featured another revolutionary design. Tinker Hatfield was really taking sneakers to new levels, signified by these sneakers being the first Air Jordan global release.
Released in 1989, these sneakers included a customizable support structure for lacing, called wings. These chunky high tops were particularly loved in their all-white colorway.
5. Air Jordan XII
The Air Jordan XII had a lot to live up to. In 1996, the soaring popularity of the XIs was hard to beat, but somehow Hatfield did it!
Adding quilted leather to the top and pebbled leather to the bottom, these sneakers earned a reputation for being durable and resilient. Adding to this sentiment was Michael Jordan’s famous “Flu” Game, where he wore these sneakers and scored 38 points while being sick with food poisoning.
6. Air Jordan VII
These sneakers were similar in look to their predecessors, but they’re iconic in their own right. Released in 1992, these sneakers signify Michael Jordan’s coming into his own as a businessman while still thriving on the court.
These Air Jordans were released under the Jordan brand rather than Nike’s. This meant they didn’t feature any of the Nike swooshes or the Air window on the ankle.
Michael Jordan immortalized these sneakers as he won an Olympic Gold Medal against Barcelona, a second NBA Championship, and MVP and Finals MVP titles.
7. Air Jordan V
Inspired by WWII fighter jets, the Air Jordan Vs had a tough, aggressive, and uncompromising look to them. With sharp lines, shark tooth-inspired shapes on the midsole, a large tongue, and a panel of breathable mesh, these sneakers have their own spot in Air Jordan history.
Released in 1990, these sneakers were made even more popular by Will Smith and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air television series.
Check out the KicksCrew sneaker website to get your hands on a pair.
8. Air Jordan II
After the success of the first Air Jordans, it was clear there was a market for more. Nike released the Air Jordan II in 1986.
Designed by Peter Moore and Bruce Kilgore, this sneaker embodied luxury. While more expensive than the Air Jordan Is, these sneakers wouldn’t look out of place paired with a luxury suit.
This was the first sneaker actively trying to bridge the gap between sportswear and luxury fashion. While often forgotten because it was sandwiched between such iconic releases, make no mistake, this sneaker was an icon of its own.
9. Air Jordan VI
Unlike the second iteration of Air Jordans, the 1991 release was all about catering to the sport. These shoes were focused on optimization for speed and performance.
These sneakers also brought forward a focus on color in sneakers. With additional color blocks and an outsole that wasn’t just white or grey, these sneakers elevated what sportswear could look like.
Michael Jordan earned his first NBA Championship while sporting these sneakers, making them legends in sportswear history.
10. Air Jordan XIV
Inspired by his Ferrari 550M, this 1998 sneaker was an instant classic. This is evident by the mesh vents on the outsole, the technological-looking tongue, and the favored yellow Jumpman logo on the side.
Jordan debuted the sneakers at his final game for the Chicago Bulls, a game that holds one of the highest viewerships in basketball history. From here, they featured in one of the most iconic photos of the basketball legend and cemented themselves in footwear history.
Most Popular Numbered Jordans
The numbered Jordans are some of the most iconic shoes in the footwear world.
Even though they’re decades old now, the OG Air Jordan still holds its own in the footwear line’s popularity. But if that’s not your style, don’t worry—there are lots of options for you to choose from.
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