Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Air Jordan: The Rise and Popularity

Hoops and Fame: The Name of Jordan.

The Story 

The story of Air Jordan begins with the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan. In the early 1980s, Nike was a rising star in the athletic footwear industry, but they had yet to impact the basketball market significantly. In 1984, Nike saw an opportunity to change that by signing Michael Jordan, who had just left the University of North Carolina to find his place in the NBA. Jordan was a major prospect as many athletic companies, such as Adidas and Converse, were looking to sign him for publicity but Nike ultimately pulled through by crafting a heartwarming speech to present their one-of-a-kind personalized basketball shoe to Jordan.

Air Jordan 1 Sneakers -

The Air Jordan 1 basketball shoe was made to be special and new to represent Jordan’s importance to the company and his predicted impact on the professional league/sport. However, the NBA banned the Air Jordan 1 initially because it didn’t meet the league’s dress code because according to the league, in their letter to Nike: “shoes had to be 51% white and in accordance with what the rest of the team was wearing.” Consequently, Nike made the executive decision to ignore the league’s warning and instead pay the $5,000 fine every time Jordan wore the shoes in a game. This ban sparked much media attention therefore boosting the Air Jordan brand’s publicity. It not only became a popular performance shoe but also a stylish piece for everyday people.

Over the years, the Air Jordan line expanded beyond basketball to become a fashion and cultural icon. Sneakerheads (people like me who consider their hobby to be sneakers) and collectors worldwide began rising and eagerly awaited each new Jordan sneaker release. Additionally, many styles have gained a very expensive status; especially when made in collaboration with luxury and or well-known brands. Even after Michael Jordan retired from basketball, the Air Jordan brand continued to thrive, with new releases and retro versions of classic models maintaining their popularity. The legacy of Air Jordan grew far beyond the basketball court as it continues to influence the sneaker, culture, and fashion industry today.

“If you quit once it becomes a habit. Never quit.” – Micheal Jordan

Notable Jordans

  1. Air Jordan 1 (1985)

best jordan sneakers

This classic pair of Air Jordans were the original pair that was made to start the legacy. When Michael Jordan made his debut wearing these, the crowd definitely went wild. Today these shoes are still circulating the sneaker world as many sneakerheads and collectors look to buy, trade, and sell them. The original pair comes in at a retail price of $64.99; 38 years later to the present day these beauties come in at a resale price of $46,000 due to their rarity and story.

2. Air Jordan 3 (1988)

best jordan sneakers

Although many believe the Jordan 1 is a hard shoe to top, personally, I love the 3. Crafted and created by Tinker Hartfield, the Jordan 3 not only introduces the swoosh-free style, it also mixes white and black uppers with striking elephant print panels to elevate the Air Jordan 3 to a new status of their own. From there on out, the realm of shoe design was greatly expanded. Back in 1988, the shoe was released for a retail price of $100; today the original shoe goes for a resale price of $800 or more. But over the years there have been two releases of the shoe called the Air Jordan 3 Reimagined, and are constantly in high demand.

3.  Air Jordan 4 (1989)

best jordan sneakers

This shoe is a big trend today as many rock the Military Black style; the Air Jordan 4 (1989) originally featured a synthetic leather called durabuck as well as molded mesh panels on the upper. The Air Jordan line at this point had mainly focused on mixing luxury with performance to give all their customers what they wanted. As far as the shoes’ claim to fame goes, on May 7, 1989, Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers when a shocking turn of events occurred. Jordan made a buzzer-beating shot against the Cavaliers, putting the Bulls 101-100 with no seconds left on the clock. The original shoe was released at a retail price of $100. Today it is selling at a resale price of $1,350 or higher.

4. Air Jordan 5 (1990)  best jordan sneakers

The Air Jordan V, which was heavily inspired by WWII-era fighter planes includes fantastic smooth leather and nubuck from the mesh side panels to the shark-teeth or wavey design along the midsole. It was also the first Jordan to have a translucent sole, which would become a staple for future models. This original shoe was released at a retail price of $125 and today is sold at $2,400 or more.

Other Popular Jordans

1. Jordan 1 Retro High OG SP (Travis Scott Mocha)

Travis Scott Air Jordan 1 Official Release Date |

This highly anticipated Jordan 1 which was made in collaboration with famous rapper, Travis Scott, features a lovely brown suede with a giant reverse Swoosh logo that is unique to this collaboration. This shoe was part of a full Cactus Jack x Jordan apparel collection that included essential pieces such as a fleece hoodie, fleece shorts, tracksuit, and tees. This shoe was released on May 11th, 2019 at a retail price of $175 and it resales today at a price of around $1,440 on StockX.

2. Jordan 4 SB Pine Green

This shoe was released in March of 2023 and gained major publicity due to it being the first Jordan 4 SB. SB stands for skateboard and it is a special line of Nike shoes specifically designed for skaters. However, most of the line are Dunks. This shoe features a leather, suede, and green rubber construction and is finished with SB branding and Jumpman Flight tongue art. This shoe went on retail for $225 and is now reselling for $350 or more depending on the size.

3. Air Jordan 3 Retro SP (J Balvin Medellín Sunset)

How to Cop the J Balvin x Air Jordan 3 "Medellín Sunset" | The Sole Supplier

The J Balvin Jordan 3 is a collaboration with Nike and Colombian musical artists J Balvin. This shoe had a lot of controversy surrounding it because of its unique bright colors depicting a sunset. Nonetheless, it was and is still in high demand. The shoe features a simple off-white coloring on the upper and of course, the staple elephant print design on the panels to stay with the Jordan 3 look. It also has J Balvin’s signature smiley face on the right shoe and the special shoe tag. The shoe was originally released on September 23rd, 2023 for a price of $250 and is now reselling for a price of around $400.

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