Original Release: 1988

No hyperbole, it was the shoe that saved Nike. Designed by a former Nike architect named Tinker Hatfield, the Air Jordan III kept Michael Jordan with Nike when much of his original team had left, and turned an entire industry upside-down. Hatfield had the strange idea of incorporating an athlete's personality into his shoes — making a signature shoe more than just a shoe with a signature on it — an idea that would change forever the relationship between athlete and brand. Even today, the black/cement III retains the perfect balance between tech and style, performance and appearance. The best there ever was, the best there ever will be.