While the concept of deadstock can mean different things in different marketplaces, in the sneakerverse, it has come to mean new, unopened or unworn shoes. Handling a deadstock sneaker is like stepping into a time machine, especially for collectors who remember rocking the original release. The look and feel of a “brand new” shoe from yesteryear isn’t the only appeal—original packaging and accessories enhance their timeless allure.
While there are many coveted deadstock sneakers out there, nothing beats the cultural impact of an Air Jordan release, arguably the most famous basketball shoe of all time. Our team at Sotheby's Streetwear has put together this collection of must-have deadstock retro Jordans to excite even the most seasoned collectors. Cop a pair to lace up for a stroll down memory lane—that is, if you’ve also got a pair to stock!
6 Deadstock Jordan Retros to Add to Your Collection:
Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Royal
Even if you don’t remember the OG 1985 release of this famed sneaker, its pedigree made the 2017 reissue a memorable event of its own. This classic colorway, in black and Royal Blue, boasts the honor of being the first publicly available Jordan 1—one that Jordan famously never wore on court, but remains coveted nonetheless. Stamped with the iconic “Wings” Air Jordan logo, these deadstock Jordan Retro 1s sport black and blue premium leather and come in their original box.
Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Doernbecher
This Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro was designed in collaboration with 12-year-old Isaac Arzate. After his tragic passing, Isaac’s family finished the creative process of the Jordan 5 Retro on his behalf. The black patent leather upper features glow-in-the-dark detailing, most notably the text of a poem written by Isaac the day before he passed. The Air Jordan 5 also includes his basketball and baseball jersey numbers, initials, birthday and date of passing on the tongue tag.
Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Baron
Released in 2008, these retro Jordan 1s sport a pinstripe motif inspired by MJ’s stint on the Chicago White Sox AA affiliate team, the Birmingham Barons. Featuring baseball stitching on the uppers prominently juxtaposed with the Air Jordan logo, these Jordan 1 Retros beg the question: “Is there anything his Airness can’t do?”
Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High UNC
This UNC Air Jordan 1 Retro pays homage to one of the silhouette’s original 1985 colorways. Released as part of Jordan Brand’s Holiday 2015 Retro Pack, the powder blue and white palette pays tribute to the alma mater of MJ himself. Signature branding, including the Nike Air logo at the tongue and Jordan Wings on the collar, complete the classic look.
Nike Air Jordan 3 Retro Black Cat
MJ’s ‘secret’ nickname among teammates and close friends was “Black Cat,” thanks to his panther-like ability to study his opponents and strike at just the right moment. These 2007 Jordan 3 retros evoke the same feline sleekness as their namesake. In an ideal stealth configuration, the Black Cat sports a black-on-matte-black colorway, with Jordan elephant print hitting the mudguard and laces. Pounce on this pair fast!
Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro Laser 2005
Fans of the Air Jordan 4 silhouette surely remember the iconic Fire Red colorway from the OG release, popularized on court by MJ himself. In 2005, Nike gave the design a meta-makeover: this Jordan 4 Retro upgrades the original’s rubber wings for leather, and features laser-etched designs of classic Jordan models on its white leather upper. Truly a sneakerhead’s sneaker.
Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Sequoia
Released in 2013 alongside a Jordan 3 and Jordan 4, this Air Jordan Retro 5 completed the "Fear Pack." The neutral suede upper is finished in a blend of Medium Olive and Sequoia. The signature AJ5 shark-tooth detailing (a reference to WWII-era fighter planes) is represented in Olive with Fire Red speckling, and contrasted with an icy blue outsole. As branded on the insole, the "Fear Pack" was inspired by a Jordan Brand commercial narrated by Michael Jordan himself, which featured the line, "I’m scared of what I won’t become, and you’re scared of what I could become."