7. Air Jordan III
Originally Released: 1988
The Air Jordan III is a hard shoe to describe for me because I don't consider it the most functional design, but in a way it is the most important basketball shoe ever created. Nike was in a bad spot in the mid 1980s. A lot of the shoes that had sold well had been overstocked because they were selling so well which led to them making too many shoes that didn't bring back nearly enough profit. On top of that their budding star, Michael Jordan was on the verge of signing with some German company. Then comes some architect that builds the perfect foundation for what would become the greatest sneaker product line ever. That architect went by the name of Tinker Hatfield and he had the mentality to create a highly stylized product around function. So in essence the shoe would exceed at performance but look like nothing else the world has ever seen. The Air Jordan III ushered in a complete revolution for what sneakers would become and still manages to look current 25 years later. What makes this shoe great is that there are so many reasons as to why it is important to so many people. For some, it's the nostalgia of MJ jumping from the free throw line and scoring the perfect 50 to give him his second consecutive slam dunk title. For others, it was one of the first shoes with a window to allow them to see the infamous Nike Air. For me, it's the first shoe to capture my imagination. To make me think, "you can do that to a shoe?! It doesn't just have to be white?" It is those feelings that make this shoe so iconic and allow it to live forever.