The Biggest Surprises in Sneaker History

The first Jordan retros bomb.

Year: 1994
Sneaker: Nike Air Jordan I/II/III

When Michael Jordan retired for the first time in 1993, Nike (and everyone else) was caught off-guard. Signature lines weren't yet the norm, and no one, not even a rookie guard in Orlando or a reigning MVP forward in Phoenix, was ready to take Mike's spot atop the sneaker heap. But someone in Beaverton had an idea: What about re-issuing Jordan's first three sneakers, done up in special packaging? In theory, it was terrific. In reality, it was a disaster. A market unfamiliar with the concept of "retro" spurned the re-issues, leaving them to rot on clearance racks. Five years later they'd do better. Much better.

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