Flying High With 30 Years of Air Jordans

A visual history of the greatest basketball sneakers of all time.
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A visual history of the greatest basketball sneakers of all time.

Call them the Dream Team of sneaker culture: Hoops legend Michael Jordan and Nike visionary Tinker Hatfield (who designed 19 out of 29 Air Jordans) together created one of the most beloved sneaker brands ever. And though Jordan retired for the third and final time back in 2003, J’s are still flying out of stores. Air Jordan sales jumped 17 percent last year to $2.6 billion, according to SportScanInfo, which means they sell eight times the annual number of Nike LeBrons, the signature shoe of the NBA's most popular active player. Why are Air Jordans still scoring with sneakerheads? Well, as Spike Lee's alter-ego Mars Blackmon used to say, “It’s gotta be the shoes.”

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan I, revisit all 30 pairs with this sneaker-savvy slideshow. Then geek out on everything A.J. with Maxim's Gustavo Gonzalez, who also happens to be co-founder of The Comeback Kicks,  Obsessive Sneaker Disorder's Sean Williams, and Jordan Heads Brooklyn owner Calvan Fowler in the three-part video below.



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