Sneakers, Sports Memorabilia & Modern Collectibles

Curating Your Sneaker Collection: The Best Air Jordans For Men

By Oliver Vonderahe
Shop a curated selection of the most popular Jordans, including rare Jordan Retros, at our Online Sneaker Shop .

Air Jordans are the very foundation of sneakerhead culture: no other shoes are more iconic or essential to collectors. In 1984 Nike signed rising star Michael Jordan to an unprecedented $500,000 a year endorsement deal. Sporting the infamously dress-code violating black and red Nike Air Ships that the NBA “threw out of the game,” MJ became synonymous with boundary-breaking talent. But it was the release of the first Air Jordans in 1985 that truly propelled the Jordan brand to new heights. AJ1s were an instant hit, kicking off modern sneaker collecting as we know it. Today, the Air Jordan line represents the pinnacle of sneaker design. The best Jordans are unmatched when it comes to quality, craftsmanship, materials, innovation, performance and, of course, style. Read on to find our team’s picks for the most popular Jordans to add to your collection.

Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Chrome Hearts Off-White NRG

The AJ1 is one of the most popular Jordan designs, and for good reason: the first shoe in Michael Jordan’s groundbreaking signature line, it paved the way for the many coveted player collabs we see today. These specially commissioned retro Jordans upgrade the iconic sneaker with Off-White branding and striking Chrome Hearts hardware. Virgil Abloh’s signature flourishes—zip-ties, exposed foam, labeled shoelaces, and sans-serif branding in quotation marks—get the Chrome Hearts treatment with branded dubrés, adjustable lace locks and metallic eyelets. Jordan Retros like this 2017 commission are very rare and highly sought after, making them some of the best Jordans to add to a growing collection.

Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro Lightning 2006

Released in 2006 alongside the “Thunder”, these “Lighting” Jordans are an eye-catching take on the Tinker Hatfield-designed Air Jordan 4 silhouette. The classic design – Hatfield’s second Air Jordan – stands out for its distinctive triangular support wings and visible Air unit. Featuring a Tour Yellow nubuck upper, with accents of gray on the side panel and outsole, the racing-inspired Jordan Retro colorway takes its cues from the seasonal colors of MJ’s Michael Jordan Motorsports team. Jordan branding on the tongues and heels of the sought-after Air Jordans finish the look.

Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Doernbecher

Released in 2013, these retro Jordan 5s were designed in collaboration with 12-year-old athlete Isaac Arzate. After his tragic passing, Isaac’s family finished the creative process on his behalf. Glow-in-the-dark detailing, including the text of a poem written by Isaac, illuminates the black patent leather upper. The Air Jordans also feature Arzate’s basketball and baseball jersey numbers, initials, birthday, and date of passing on the tongue tag.

Nike Air Jordan 9 Boot University of Florida PE

Designed in anticipation of the 2018 SEC Tournament, these Air Jordan 9s celebrate the University of Florida athletics program. Never publicly released, these ultra-rare shoes are among the best Jordans for Gators fans and sneakerheads alike. Orange and blue accents pay tribute to the school’s colors, with “GATORS” embroidered on the heel tabs. Weather-resistant uppers, with extra tread on the soles for slippery conditions make these Jordans ready for winter weather.

Nike Air Jordan 10 OG Orlando 1994

Originally released in 1994, the Air Jordan X was introduced while Michael Jordan was on a hiatus from basketball. To commemorate MJ’s legendary career, designer Tinker Hatfield featured 10 milestones on the outsole of the Air Jordans. One from each year, the list begins with Jordan’s rookie of the year award in 1985 and ends with a 1994 line that simply reads "Beyond." These OG 1994 Jordans, part of the "City Series," are dressed in the Orlando Magic colorway, with white and black uppers splashed with a Royal Blue interior lining and accents on the outsole.

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