Air Jordan, the man and the 23 shoes that changed footwear forever.
March madness is right around the corner, and you are sure to find a pair of Nike Air Jordan’s on many college athletes. Before we start with Michael and his shoes, let’s rewind a few years, talk about Nike and how it all came about. The year was 1959 and Phil Knight had just written a paper, not just any paper but one which became the blue-print for Nike. Nike’s mission is to make great shoes for remarkable athletes. Who would have thought it all started with a boring kitchen appliance – a waffle iron. For the founders, no shoes were good enough or light enough. Guess it was time to pass the syrup.
In Greek the word “Nike” means victory. Carolyn Davidson designed the logo. 35 dollars is all that was paid for the now infamous Nike logo. In English, I think that means “good deal.”
Michael Jordan never wore a pair of Nike’s until he signed with them and scary to think that he almost signed with Adidas. On this the 23rd of February, we wanted to feature the first 23 pairs of Air Jordan shoes in the number 23. Most of these shoes entered the market in February and we thought it was only fitting. From the beginning of the “2” to the bottom of the “3” are some of the most incredible shoes on the planet. We will highlight a few of our personal favorites, and the rest are for you to enjoy.
Air Jordan I. The first pair of Jordan’s made their debut in March of 1985. The first and last shoe to bear the Nike Swoosh. Black, red and awesome.
Air Jordan II. Released in November, 1986, designer Bruce Kilgore ditched the logo and Michael flew from the foul line winning the dunk contest!
Air Jordan III. Released in February, 1988. Tinker Hatfield was the designer for the 1988 Jordan III. Tinker, if you are reading, thank you. Thanks for designing this shoe and the iconic logo figure we all know as the “jumpman.”
Air Jordan IV. Released in February, 1989 (My personal favorites) I remember the occasion well. I had to convince my mom that I needed these shoes. Somehow after much persuading, begging and promising, we walked out of the store with my new pair. Although they are worn, tattered and barely intact I still have them today.
Air Jordan V. Released February 1990. I remember first seeing these shoes featured on a full-page ad in Sports Illustrated. They couldn’t come soon enough. Tinker, thanks again. His design inspiration came from the P-51 Mustang fighter Air plane. I thought I could fly like one too.
Air Jordan XI. In November, 1995 came the Air Jordan #11, This was Jordan’s tribute to formal dress. With Patent leather on the front, not only was this the shiniest shoe on the court, but became the most iconic of all the Nike Air Jordan’s. It even became fashion appropriate to wear a tuxedo. While Jordan was dominating the court, “boys to men” were dominating something else as the first to wear the shoe with a tux.
Air Jordan XX3. February, 2008 Michael Jordan’s Air 23 arrive. These Jordan’s featured Michael’s thumb print, slightly modified, so no one could copy it – phew, those guys at Nike think of everything. Some people waited in line for FIVE days when these shoes were released. Us? Well, we just waited long enough for them to be listed on eBay. The Air Jordan 23’s are most successful shoes in all of sports. Mr. Hatfield said that the 23’s are the most beautiful shoes of all of the Jordan shoes. Remember, he’s a designer, so we better take his word for it!
Here is to you Mr. Jordan the 23, Jumpman, shoes of the day!
Is it the shoes?