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- Best Overall – Air Jordan XXXII
- Best Wide Range Options – Jordan B. Fly
- Best High End – Air Jordan 12 Retro
When you hear the name Michael Jordan, you automatically know who that person is. He’s probably one of the most well-known and influential people in the whole world. He’s made such an impact on a global scale simply because he’s such an amazing player.
The former basketball athlete is mostly the one responsible for leading his iconic team, the Chicago Bulls, to winning 6 NBA championships and he has also earned the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award with an astonishing number of five times! Moreover, he has five regular-season MVP’s and three All-Star MVP’s.
The legendary man himself made a great endorsement partnership with Nike, and it’s important to note that back then, Nike wasn’t as famous as it is now. Honestly, Nike owes it to the Air Jordans for making their brand so popular. The Air Jordan shoe line has got to be the most influential basketball shoes known to man. That isn’t an exaggeration because anything with Jordan’s name on is something that makes people believe that they can also be like their idol.
This is why we are gladly introducing you to our list of the best Jordan basketball shoes for you! You may scroll down further to see a more detailed review of each shoe.
Brief History on the Air Jordans
After Jordan graduated from the University of North Carolina, he signed with the Chicago Bulls. After making a name for himself as the star player of his team, he got noticed by a particular brand—Nike. This deal cost a whopping $500,000 a year and it was the most expensive endorsement made ever, especially for a rookie!
Phil More, the Founder and CEO of Nike, recruited Peter Moore to conceptualize the Air Jordan and make it come to life. The man behind the creation of the first pair of Air Jordan’s was none other than Nike’s Peter Moore. Like Jordan himself, these basketball shoes did not disappoint. The Air Jordan 1 was the first-ever shoe to sport the Swoosh logo. Then, the other logos that are on the shoe are the Jumpman logo and the Wings logo (the basketball with wings stretching from both sides), then the “Air Jordan” is printed above the ball. The designs on this shoe are obviously inspired by Jordan himself, well, since he is known to “fly” in the air when dunking.
And did you know that the iconic red and white colorway of the Air Jordans were banned by the NBA commissioner, David Stern, because it went against the ‘51 per cent rule’ which means that the majority of the color of the footwear must be white.
When it comes to how popular these pair of Air Jordans were, well, to put it plainly, in April 1985, Nike has sold over \$70 million worth of Jordan shoes! During the peak of Jordan’s career, he has just shown the entire world that he is one explosive player. Everybody wanted to be like Mike.
Are Jordans Worth It?
Yes. Air Jordans are totally worth it. Whether you’d be using them to dominate the court or to flaunt it out on the streets, this timeless shoe line will always impress anyone. If you’re the type of person who’s willing to spend a hefty amount of cash on a pair of basketball shoes, then the Air Jordans must be on your bucket list! These perform extremely well, especially the latest models. The previous models, the ones that look like sneakers aren’t really that great for playing aggressively in basketball (and if you’ve watched The Last Dance you’ll know that when Jordan wore his Air Jordans during a game his foot bled).
Also, if you’re a fan of collab shoes, then the Air Jordans have numerous famous collabs like Dior, Travis Scott, and Off White. These of course, cost more than your regular Jordans, but still, nothing beats the style that the Air Jordans have.
Overview Of The Best Jordan Basketball Shoes
Be Like Mike! Soar High With The Best Jordan Shoes
1. Air Jordan XXXII by Nike
5/5 Overall Rating
Looks are amazing according to many consumers
Very comfortable to wear on and off the court
The balance and cushion of the shoe is superb
Materials are high-end
Traction is more than excellent
A lot of buyers have no complaints about this shoe
Flyknit material offers very good lockdown
The material of the shoe allows it to mold to your foot nicely
Absence of internal slippage
Sizing selection is limited
In the beginning, the Flyknit material is too tight but loosens after a few runs
Some claim that this shoe is too tight and not wide-feet friendly
Heavy and bulky
Cushioning feels stiff, requires some time to break in
What do most people think of this product?
This has got to be one of the best additions to the legendary Air Jordan line. It’s made out of premium materials that perfectly balances modern innovation and heritage-inspired style. It goes beyond the luxurious design and is a great pair of basketball shoes overall. In terms of the material, the Flyknit upper is paired with high-quality leather for enhanced support and flexibility while the mid-top collar enhances lateral stability. It’s equipped with the FlightSpeed technology which allows you to shift your weight on the hardwood floor of the court and take flight like the iconic Michael Jordan himself.
The cushion on this shoe is seen on the heel and forefoot and uses a low-profile Nike Zoom Air unit which offers protection from impacts and lightweight responsiveness. The newly improved FlightSpeed technology is placed over the Forefoot Air bag in order to maximize responsiveness. The moderator plate of the FlightSpeed distributes the compression force. This means you get to do springy moves all over the court.
The solid rubber outsole of the shoe has a fresh traction pattern to prevent slipping when you’re on the court. The blade-like shapes on the shoe that spell out the XXXII are designed that way for added grip. The fit on this Air Jordan runs true to size, and both normal and wide foot players are advised to order these pairs based on their foot’s actual size. We recommend you do the fitting in person just to be sure that you get the right fit.
For the newbies out there, the lockdown is also referred to as the lacing system of the shoe. The Flyknit upper is integrated by the lacing system which provides comfortable support and distraction-free lockdown. The materials that make up the shoe are made from premium stuff, they made sure to construct the Flyknit material in areas where support and stretch were needed the most to enhance the performance of the shoe. It gives a perfect snug to your feet, it’s lightweight and has breathable comfort. Compared to previous Air Jordan’s, this one has a much more flexible upper. The role of the said flexible upper is to reduce any stiffness on the forefoot.
Overall, this is indeed a very popular shoe and many professional players out there have proved that the Air Jordan XXXII provides the best performance any baller could ask for.
2. Air Jordan 34 by Nike
4.7/5 Overall Rating
These pair of shoes have a perfect lockdown
So far, this is the lightest Air Jordan model
Herringbone traction pattern performs really well
Support is superb
A lot have praised the materials of this shoe to be breathable and lightweight
Cushioning on these are top-notch and regarded as one of the best shoes equipped with the Zoom cushioning
Consumers believe that this is the best Air Jordan model
Court feel may not be the best
Materials look cheap according to some consumers
Requires quite a bit of time to break-in
What do most people think of this product?
Like any Air Jordan model, this particular shoe was designed to provide the best performance. The Air Jordan 34 has been jam packed with innovative features that will surely be a game-changing shoe for the new generation of basketball players. According to Tate Kuerbis, they have removed any other feature on the shoe that isn’t needed and only left out the materials which players needed in court. In turn, this has made the shoe lightweight. Players will experience dynamic control, responsiveness, and explosiveness with the Air Jordan 34.
Perhaps one of the main highlights that this shoe boasts is the Eclipse Plate. This is made out of molded TPU and what this feature does is it provides aerodynamic stability and support when players make side-to-side movements. Another thing, this makes players sprint down the court faster and perform higher jumps, overall—have more control. The Zoom Air cushioning is now visible because the Eclipse Plate has been placed on the side which unlocks the full capacity of the Zoom Air Unit for added responsiveness and bounce.
As for traction, you don’t need to worry about anything since the trusty herringbone pattern on these will allow players to fully stop their step and change the direction of their movements in a snap. You won’t be slipping around the court with the Air Jordan 34. One thing that people seem to love is the lockdown of the shoe. It makes use of the traditional tongue and lace-up closure which gives players the freedom to tailor the fit according to their own preference. The mid-top collar is padded which keeps the heel and ankles in place.
The Air Jordan 34 is made out of textiles and other lightweight materials that reduces the overall weight of the shoe. Thanks to its light weight, the shoes become more breathable without sacrificing its support and stability.
Overall, the Air Jordan 34 is actually considered to be one of the best basketball shoes of 2019. We can’t argue with that because this shoe just proves to us how amazing it is by flaunting its superb cushioning, traction, support, and lockdown. The aesthetic of the shoe is indeed a head-turner and you can sport this look in both the streets and on the court. We highly recommend this shoe ‘cause you can never go wrong with Air Jordans!
3. Air Jordan 12 Retro by Nike
4.7/5 Overall Rating
These are a very stylish pair of shoes
Players have claimed that these feel light on the feet during play
Traction is good. Minimal wiping is needed when playing on dusty courts
The Air Jordan 12
Retro is quite durable
People are pleased with the shoe’s quality
The fit on these are precise
Consumers have claimed these shoes to be perfect for playing hoop
Out of all the Air Jordan Retros, this one has got to be the the best model out of all
The high-top collar provides enough support and lockdown
It may take a while for these to break-in
These get dirty easily especially on dusty courts
Some have claimed these pair to be poorly made. There have also been reports of manufacturing defects like glue marks
What do most people think of this product?
These iconic shoes are also known as the “Flu Game” shoe. Why? Well this is because Jordan still performed like a badass during their match against the Utah Jazz while suffering from a 103-degree fever. He even finished the game with 38 points, seven rebounds, and five assists! The Air Jordan 12 Retro has been an all time favorite by everyone. The shoe’s construction is also favored by many since it has proved to be quite durable. These classic shoes are made out of synthetic leathers that give off that luxurious vibe. For great responsiveness, the shoe features a carbon shank while a full-length Air sole unit is used to cushion your every step.
The cushioning on the Air Jordan 12 Retro utilizes the full-length Zoom Air bag which is known to provide a lightweight feel on the feet. A Phylon carrier is embedded into the Zoom Air unit which keeps the feet comfortable during play. For enhanced responsiveness, a carbon fiber plate is responsible for just that. For the traction, the shoe has a durable rubber outsole and it sports a herringbone pattern which has great grip on any type of surface, however, some have complained that these attract dirt on dusty courts so frequent wiping is needed.
These fit true to size but if you have wide or narrow feet, it’s ideal to go and check your size out at physical stores just to be safe. The carbon fiber shank plate offers support when players make lateral and medial movements. With the lacing system it has, you won’t have a hard time securing your feet in these.
The materials that make up the upper depends on the colorway of your choice, it could either be made of leather or supple suede. The overlays on the upper add to durability while the perforations on the leather offer breathability.
The style on these shoes are admired by many simply because it looks so good! The design was inspired by the Japanese rising flag and a women’s cleat from the 19th century. The print design on the overlays resemble a lizard print and the stitching on the upper resembles the sun’s rays. There’s also the “TWO 3” stitched on the tongue. With the story behind the shoe and all the features it has, the Air Jordan 12 Retro has become a staple for many.
Overall, the Air Jordan Retro 12 is considered to be one of the best performing basketball shoes in the market. Among the retro shoe line, this one has got to be the superior model. You’ll get everything you need during matches if you choose to purchase these pair. Traction is good, style is pleasing, quality materials, superior lockdown, support, and a responsive cushioning all packed into one shoe! A must buy indeed.
4. Air Jordan 6 by Nike
5/5 Overall Rating
Consumers highly recommend people to cop these
The traction on the Air Jordan 6 works very well on clean courts
People are satisfied with the quality of the shoes. They are also very durable too
Very stylish pair of shoes
Comfortable on the feet
Some say this model is better than the original retro
Gives decent performance
Fits true to size
Frequent wiping must be done because the outsole attracts dirt easily
Cheaply made according to some
Colors differ in person compared to what you see on websites
What do most people think of this product?
Michael Jordan wore the Air Jordan 6 during the match between the Chicao Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. He won his very first NBA title and Finals MVP award during this legendary match. This shoe has become a part of Jordan’s career and is notably a fan favorite. This particular Air Jordan shoe is also known for its innovative changes such as a reinforced toe box, molded heel tab with Achilles pillows for protection, and two holes on the tongue.
As for the cushioning, the shoe sports a PU foam midsole that gives that lightweight feel on the feet. The Nike Air unit is placed on the heel and forefoot area for enhanced responsiveness. The outsole sports a combination of translucent and solid rubber that has a unique traction pattern that works well on clean surfaces.
The molded heel tab with Achilles pillows adds to the lockdown of the shoe and also enhances the protection and comfort of the Air Jordan 6. Additional support is provided on the forefoot area all thanks to the reinforced toe box. The materials that make up the shoe is a combination of synthetic and genuine leather that offer comfortable support. Perforations are placed all throughout the upper for enhanced breathability.
Jordan brand designer, Tinker Hatfield, brought Jordan along when designing the Air Jordan 6. Jordan himself was the one who added the reinforced toe box and the two holes on the tongue of the shoe. The overall style of the shoe is unique and the story behind the shoe makes it so much more special.
Overall, these are decent basketball shoes, but there are better models out there. A lot have claimed that these just have the poorest craftsmanship and it shows when you use it during matches. If you would like to cop these pair for streetwear use, feel free to do so since they don’t come up to par with other Air Jordan shoes.
5. Jordan B. Fly by Nike
4.4/5 Overall Rating
The Jordan B. Fly is highly recommended by a lot of people
The cushioning on these are responsive, soft, and provides enough impact protection
For the price point, ou get a lot of neat features
The lockdown would probably have to be one of the best things about the shoe. There’s no slippage whatsoever because your ankles are completely locked in
Traction works on any type of court surface
Very comfortable for all-day wear
The fit runs true to size
The shoes are well-made and require little to no break-in time
Very stylish shoes that can be worn for both casual and sportswear
These may not be suitable for wide-feet players because the toe area is narrow
Traction is not the best since it attracts and holds dust which lessens grip during lateral movements
What do most people think of this product?
This has got to be one of the lightest Jordan shoes to date. Players who love responsiveness and superior containment will surely fall in love with the Jordan B. Fly. It features a Zoom Air unit for that great responsiveness, an improved outsole for great traction, and a durable upper for support. These are meant to be an explosive pair when worn in court.
A full-length Phylon midsole is used for the cushioning which provides comfort and responsiveness and a Zoom Air unit is placed on the forefoot area. The Nike Zoom Air unit is known to deliver lightweight responsiveness while the Phylon midsole returns the energy for every step the player makes. The outsole has raised grooves that perform well on hardwood courts. The traction design prevents any slippage from happening.
The fit runs true to size for narrow-footed players so wide-foot players are advised to go up half a size if they can’t try the shoes on at physical stores. The lacing system that this shoe has keeps the feet secured inside. An internal shank plate improves midfoot support and offers torsional rigidity which is perfect for quick cuts and lateral movements.
Similar to the Air Jordan 29, the upper is also made out of durable weaves that provide flexibility and lightweight support. The style of the shoe is inspired by the Air Jordan 29’s upper, the Air Jordan 14’s heel panel, and the sole unit of the Air Jordan 11. The result? A high-performance basketball shoe. His iconic number can be seen on the heel panel of each shoe with the “2” on one shoe and the “3” on the other. The Jumpman logo is located on the lateral side of the heel which completes the Jordan signature look.
Overall, if you’re a fan of decent traction, secure lockdown, great fit, lightweight feel, and a well-rounded cushioning all for an affordable price, then the Jordan B. Fly is definitely the shoe for you. You’ll be surprised as to how great it performs despite being an affordable basketball shoe!
Factors That Determine Great Shoes For Jumping
Since Jordan is known for “flying” in the air (hence the name of his iconic shoe line) it’s important to note these factors when you’re choosing among all his Air Jordan shoes if you really want to soar as high as the legend himself!
Your shoes must have the perfect fit if you want to achieve that high jump.
Nothing is more uncomfortable than having shoes that aren’t snug on your feet. This will ultimately hinder you from jumping any higher and you’ll lose all your momentum and stability. If you think that your shoes aren’t the problem, then you may opt to search and buy performance basketball socks to get a better fit out of your shoes.
You can never go wrong with this first factor. Having a snug fit on your foot is the best! You will make the most out of your jump with tight shoes. Actually, basketball players even go half a size smaller just to achieve that tight fit!
Now I know I’ve mentioned that the fit on your shoes would be better if they are tight, but don’t go too far to the point that there’s no more airflow inside your shoe! Your shoes should have a decent amount of airflow to pass throughout your whole foot. This will make you avoid having sweaty feet and not get that hot feeling in your feet that causes so much discomfort and fatigue.
Slippery surfaces are your worst enemy if your shoes aren’t equipped with great traction.
When you’re practicing your vertical jump, you first have to run towards the basket and convert that horizontal speed into vertical speed. Just imagine what kind of catastrophe would take place if you were to slip while attempting that magnificent jump. Injuries must be prevented at all times!
Friction is imperative for executing a high jump. It’s really important to have enough traction on your shoes so you can execute that gnarly jump. This is considered as the foundation of having a good jump.
Responsive Cushioning with a Stiff Sole
I’ll tell you straight away that you don’t want to have a shoe that has too much cushioning because that could ruin your vertical jump. Why? Because the cushioning on the shoes absorb the energy from your sprints and that affects your jump.
The durability of your shoes are just as important as its breathability. You should look for the type of material that offers enough air flow and doesn’t wear and tear easily. Some really nice durable materials would be fuse or mesh.
It’s common sense that the lighter your shoes are, the better. Of course, since you’re plummeting into mid-air to dunk on that hoop, more weight on your feet will obviously weigh you down. So take in mind, avoid buying chunky and heavyweight shoes that keep you planted on the ground. Just remember, lightweight shoes are the best choice for jumping.