There isn't an athletic sneaker collection in existence that could hold a light to the flame of the Air Jordan Collection that continues to grow to this very day. Despite the fact that Michael Jordan's playing days are fully behind him, his personal brand and footwear products have become nostalgic grails for generations past as well as for the current youth that are discovering the greatness that is His Airness, Michael Jordan himself.
So, here at CrossCourt, we've broken down the top ten Air Jordan silhouettes to see the light of day thus far. Today we're debuting 10-5. Stay tuned for 5-1...
10. Air Jordan VIII
At number ten, the Air Jordan VIII might be raising some eyebrows but it was Mike's final silhouette he laced up before his first retirement and the sneaker that marks the end of his first-ever three-peat championship dynasty with the Chicago Bulls. The AJ VIII is considered the heaviest silhouette of the Air Jordan line but, it took some daring leaps of faith contextually adding a crossing forefoot strap, nubuck upper, and chenille-textured Jumpman logo at the tongue. Jordan dropped 32.6 points per game in the Air Jordan VIII in 1993 and who doesn't love the 'Aqua' VIIIs? Classics.
9. Air Jordan XIII
Originally released in 1997, the inspiration for the design of the Air Jordan XIII, executed by Tinker Hatfield, came from the black panther. The paw-inspired outsole and holographic Jumpman logo resembling the reflective eyes of a panther are nice touches but, the performance elements of the AJ XIII should be respected. The Zoom Air units located at the forefoot and heel of the sneaker, Phylon lightweight-foam midsole, midfoot carbon fiber shank, and asymmetrical collar for on-court lateral cuts helped Jordan secure his sixth and final NBA Championship and Finals MVP Award in 1998.
8. Air Jordan XIV
Mark Smith and Tinker Hatfield came together to curate the Ferrari-inspired Air Jordan XIV that eventually became the sneaker that Michael Jordan would wear when he took the 'Last Shot' against the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals. The Ferrari tail lights and Jumpman shield logo are appreciated by those that know their history of the silhouette. However, the AJ XIV has received several different renditions and received mixed reviews by sneaker enthusiasts everywhere. The AJ XIV might not have made it to the feet of the GOAT until late in the Bulls '98 playoff run but they are solidified in history for the moment that haunts Bryon Russell to this very day.
7. Air Jordan VI
The Air Jordan VI debuted in February 1991 and was the first sneaker that the Jumpman laced up to win his very first NBA Championship in. The journey was long and strenuous for a then young and determined Michael Jordan but it was worth it as he notched 31.5 points per game, earned his fifth straight scoring title, and MVP honors for the 1990-'91 NBA season. The Air Jordan VI is one of the more complex designs created by Tinker Hatfield, the visible Air unit, lacelocks, finger-loop rubber tongue are all nicely added touches. Also, doesn't hurt that Jerry Seinfeld would often lace up the AJ VI for episodes of his cult-classic sitcom, Seinfeld.
6. Air Jordan VII
6. Air Jordan VII
The West African art-inspired Air Jordan VII is one of the best on-court performance sneakers and aesthetically-pleasing silhouettes in sneaker existence. While almost completely flawless, the Air Jordan VII was worn by Michael as he seemingly easily glided his way to his sixth straight scoring title, second consecutive NBA Championship, MVP, and Finals MVP honors. However, the Dream Team colorway of the AJ VII became a fan-favorite as he and his notoriously elite NBA cronies dominated the 1992 Summer Olympics. With the satin tongue, complex paneling, Huarache collar, and so much more, you can't go wrong with the AJ VI.
5. Air Jordan XII
While the Air Jordan XII is known for being the first of the collection to feature an ultra-responsive Zoom Air unit and full-length carbon fiber shank plate, this has to be one of the most beautifully crafted pieces of footwear to exist in the realm of sports. Inspired by the Japanese Rising Sun flag, the dichotomy of the angular embroidery and faux reptilian-patterned forefoot overlay are mesmerizing. Also, it doesn't hurt to mention that Mike put up 38 points in the infamous 'Flu Game' in the 'Bred' AJ XIIs leading his Bulls team to their fifth NBA title. There's something about the contrast of the AJ XII 'Taxi' that will forever make this silhouette a must-cop amongst sneaker aficionados.