From the most minimalist to the most bulked up, the transition from Air Jordan 7 (Air Jordan VII) to Air Jordan 8 (Air Jordan VIII) was the most extreme since going from the original to the Air Jordan 2 (II). Fitted with criss-crossing straps, a heavily padded ankle collar and a circular, carpet-like Jumpman tongue patch, the overbuilt VIII seemed to be a direct retribution of the Huarache
-inspired VII. Whatever principles went into the build, they weren’t the same as they were a year before. And Jordan suffered some foot problems that year, that could possibly be traced back to his shoes.
was still at the helm, of course, so even the more baroque design had flair. The straps added a streamlined touch to the puffy uppers, and brightly colored segments around the midsole and on the outsole drew the eye. Like the Air Jordan 7, the Air Jordan 8 didn’t feature Visible Air. And it continued the clean-toe look. The All-Star colorway (by then Jordan’s appearance in the game was a formality) included teal and aqua on a black base, perfect for the early ‘90s, while the “Bulls
” versions stuck with the more traditional accents. Bugs Bunny came aboard to help sell the Air Jordan 7, and he returned for the 8, as did diminutive galactic supervillain Marvin the Martian, who attempted to steal all of the Air Jordan 8s. No word on whether the latest Mars exploration found any of them.
Like he did in the Air Jordan 7, Michael Jordan
would win multiple titles (both scoring and NBA
) in the Air Jordan 8, defeating his old friend Charles Barkley (sporting his very own strapped signature shoe) and the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. The Bulls were an unquestioned dynasty, Jordan at the top of his game. But how fast those things would come to an end.