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The Complete History of Air Jordans The 8 Ways It Should Have Been Told


Do you know the real history of Air Jordans?

Michael Jordans shocked the sporting world by announcing that he had decided to leave college early to pursue a career with Nike. It has long been believed that Jordans signed with Nike because of their ability to market him. 

However, it turns out that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In this article, we’ll be reliving the true story of how Air Jordans came to be for all the sneakerheads out there. 

So take a look! By the time you’re done, you’ll know the real scoop about your favorite shoes.

Beginning History of Air Jordan


First, when it comes to the history of Air Jordans, you have to go back to the ’80s. It was in 1984 when Nike approached Jordans with the idea of endorsing their product. The idea of sponsoring MJ didn’t align with his deal for Adidas, but he wanted to work out a compromise. 

Nike agreed and Jordans ended up getting royalties from the sale of Nike products bearing his name. This was eventually phased out in 1993 because Jordans felt like he wasn’t getting enough money from royalties. 

In 1984, Nike was just starting to break into the basketball shoe market so Jordans helped them get their start. It’s strange to think about how if Nike hadn’t approached Michael, shoes like the Jordans Futures wouldn’t exist!

First Releases

When Michael Jordans debuted his first pair of Air Jordans, they were a hit! The next year he signed a deal with Nike for $500K per year plus royalties. MJ’s game continued to evolve and by the late ’80s, his style started evolving as well. 

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AJ2 High Top

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His new line of shoes (the AJ 2) featured a high-top design that prevented your ankle joints from bending too much. Although this was an improvement over previous designs, the bulky look wasn’t too attractive.

AJ 3 Michael Influenced

Next, in the history of Air Jordans, we have the AJ3 release. Michael liked to have his input on certain things regarding the shoes he wore. When they came out with a new shoe, like the AJ 3, MJ let them know that he wanted to be more involved in its design. 

Nike had an engineer take Michael’s Air Jordans 3 and create a prototype without any branding or logos. The response was positive from Jordans, so Jordans brand shoes were now officially known as Air Jordans!

When it comes to basketball shoes, you can’t make just one model and call it a day. In the late ’80s, Nike introduced two more models of Air Jordans for their fans – the Air Jordans IV and V (aka Turbo). 

Air Jordan IV


The first Air Jordans commercial ever to air was for the release of the Air Jordans IV. The commercial featured some pretty awesome animation of Jordans in action.

The popular shoes also had a cameo appearance in a Spike Lee movie called, “Do The Right Thing”. Spike Lee both acted and directed Nike commercials for the Air Jordans IV, so it only made sense for him to feature the shoes in his film.

Did you know the Air Jordans IV comes in different color combos? For instance, there are the white/black, white/red-black, white/blue, and black/grey combos. 

Air Jordan V

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A few elements from the Air Jordans IV’s carried over to Air Jordans V, but just a few. Otherwise, the Air Jordan V’s provided customers with an entirely new shoe, and look. 

The V’s are one of the most sought-after Air Jordans because they were released in limited quantities and sold out pretty quickly. The line also has a variety of colorways. For instance, there’s the most popular black/red, infrared, cement and others. 

Jordans switched to wearing 4’s during his 2nd three-peat with the Bulls so there weren’t many people who owned them before that period. Customized shoes are all over eBay these days which can be very tempting for collectors, but beware! 

Fake shoes aren’t always made of quality material. Some sellers have been known to use plastic as opposed to real leather or make them wider than what was originally intended. Click here if you want more info on how fake NBA sneakers are made. 

Air Jordan VII

In the entire history of Air Jordans, what are the best basketball shoes? The Air Jordans VI’s were arguably the best model of Air MJ to ever exist. These shoes feature a black and red colorway with metallic gold trim. 

The VIs were also a little more lightweight than previous models. The design made the Air Jordans VI’s easier to wear for long periods, without getting too tired from lugging around heavy sneakers.

Air Jordan VII Athletic Footwear

Next, we have the Air Jordans VII. Although these weren’t necessarily popular when they first came out people love them now. This was the first time since 1984 that the iconic Jumpman logo was used by Nike for a pair of Air Jordans. 

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It makes sense, the VII’s should be one of the most expensive pairs of Air Jordans sneakers. They’re popular with collectors these days which is why a lot of people have gotten into customizing their own 7’s!

Air Jordan VIII for Sneaker Heads

Next, we have the Air Jordans VIII. Are you wondering why there isn’t a picture of Michael Jordans wearing these shoes? That’s because it was very rare for Jordans to wear them during games. 

It was even rare for Jordans to wear the shoes in commercials (other than ones that he did specifically for the release of these shoes). The black/gym red color combo makes this pair as close to perfect as possible.

As far as Jordans performance goes, this is easily one of the most comfortable pairs ever created. The sole is unlike any other sneaker on the market today. It feels almost like walking barefoot! 

Enjoying the Best Athletic Shoes

Now you know the truth about what the history of Air Jordans is all about. From the day Nike approached Jordans, to the long line of shoes, it’s an exciting story. 

As you can see, each shoe offers its unique appeal and style. If you’re willing to do a bit of hunting, it is possible to track down Air Jordan’s that aren’t for sale anymore. However, remember to be wary of fake sneakers from unreputable sources.

Go ahead and pick your favorite shoe today, and start tracking it down! For more fun facts, read another article of Jordans .

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