Yesterday, we were treated to the first installments of The Last Dance. Stories and footage spanning over two decades about the greatest of all time were finally released to the world.
Let that all sink in.
Yes, The Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls will have us all glued to our TVs for every foreseeable Sunday this spring. Can’t wait to learn more about the Chi-Town squad with six gold rings? Us neither. Trying to feed your Air Jordan cravings that resurfaced due to all this newfound nostalgia? We’ve got you covered. Check out 10 certified classics from the Air Jordan legacy that you can now get at GOAT.
Following Fire Red renditions on the III, IV, and V, the Air Jordan VI ‘Black/Infrared’ saw Mike's flame burn even brighter. Turning up the temperature on the already hot hue, the Infrared VIs ignited MJ to his first championship in a storied showdown.
Taking down his high school hero, Magic Johnson, and the Showtime Lakers, Jordan silenced his haters by attaining the ultimate team prize. Famously switching hands in mid-air, the torch would also switch hands in that series as MJ and the Bulls became the best in show for the better part of a decade.
A classic in every era on and off the court, the Air Jordan VI immortalized Jordan, and it doesn't get better than this colorway. Designed by the great Tinker Hatfield, the signature shoe for basketball's superhero was also the muse for that year's Batman boots on the big screen. On top of the mountain for the first time, the Air Jordan VI saw Mike's high heat feet planted firmly at the apex.
Long before Toronto was title town, and before they had an NBA team, Michael Jordan was busy bringing a second ring to Chicago in these Air Jordan VIIs. Nicknamed years after the '92 season thanks to the pops of purple likened to the dinosaur drip, the Tinker Hatfield design was not just ahead of its time in regards to Canadian colorways, it was also the first Air Jordan to feature Huarache styling.
Lighter and louder than the VI, the Air Jordan VII was both aggressive and artistic, like the prestigious performer who played in them. Basketball fans remember Mike rocking the ‘Raptor’ VIIs while downing Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA Finals. Taking home his second title by way of multiple triples, the Jordan Shrug would be invented in the series with another shrugging icon later making the ‘Raptor’ VIIs pop in retro life off the court.
Getting it done in the desert, Michael Jordan led the Bulls against his buddy Charles Barkley to finish the first title trifecta. Lacing up the Air Jordan VIII ‘Playoff’ against Phoenix, the strapped-up signature from Tinker Hatfield proved tough enough to take down the Round Mound of Rebound and complete the three-peat.
Big and brash, the Air Jordan VIII ‘Playoff’ spoke to the street influence that defined early '90s attitude and design language. Black basketball shoes were booming across the country on asphalt courts and on bald-headed ballers in Ann Arbor. Like Mike, the Air Jordan VIII was more decorated than its peers. Fuzzy branding and bold graphics were bolstered by All-Star play from the game's greatest while out of this world ads with Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian made them bigger than just basketball.
Heading into the 1996 NBA Finals, the Seattle Supersonics had a lot to feel good about. After all, they had Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp.
Lucky for the Chicago Bulls, they still had Michael Jordan.
A year and a half removed from retirement, Mike and the Bulls were very much back with a vengeance as they steamrolled the entire Association for a record setting 72-10 regular season. Back in black for the playoffs, Mike shelved the world-famous ‘Concords’ for that of the ‘Bred’ Air Jordan XIs.
Sporting Chicago's black and red hues highlighted by patent leather shine and translucent sole styling, the ‘Bred’ XIs were an even tougher take on the basketball shoe that changed the game. Both beautiful and functional, Mike took down The Glove and The Reignman for his fourth ring and the start of his second three-peat.
By 1997, it was well known that no individual player or team defense could stop this version of Michael Jordan.
Well, how about food poisoning?
Playing host to MJ and the Bulls in the '97 Finals, Utah's roster would shift, slide and swarm Michael Jordan in an effort to slow him down. Utah's fans, on the other hand, took another approach. As legend has it, they delivered MJ poisoned pizza. Per other reports, he just had a late night.
Feeling sick as a dog headed into the pivotal swing game, Jordan spent the whole day in bed before taking the court in Salt Lake City for Game 5. Running a fever and sweating a storm, a dizzied Jordan could barely sit with his head up on the bench when starting lineups were announced, appearing visibly off and clearly sick the entire evening.
After a seven-game series that saw Mike chasing Reggie Miller around screens and lifting the Bulls back to the Finals, he needed a new weapon for a familiar foe. Cue the Utah Jazz, enter the Air Jordan XIV.
Calling the ultimate audible after an amazing season in its panther paw predecessor, the Air Jordan XIV first surfaced on Mike's feet at arena arrivals and suddenly hit the hardwood midway into his last soirée with the Jazz.
Going into Game 6, the Ferrari-inspired design from Tinker Hatfield graced Mike's feet in a familiar black and red palette. They didn't have a nickname before the game. They would after.
In 2020, there might not be a stronger sneaker flex than pulling out a pair of 35-year-old OG ‘Chicago’ Air Jordan Is. In fact, a 35-year-old Michael Jordan broke out an old pair of ‘Chicago’ Is during The Last Dance for his final performance in Madison Square Garden as a Bull.
Thanks to encapsulated Air, a stitched sole, and leather that ages like a fine wine, an original pair of Air Jordan Is won't fall apart when you wear them, they'll actually build immense clout.
Worn by MJ throughout his first season in Chicago and once in his last, the model that put Air Jordan on the map has transcended every era and still defines a genre. What more could you want?
Life imitated art on the Air Jordan III. In 1988, when Michael Jordan soared from the free-throw line in front of a Chicago crowd at All-Star Weekend, he did so with visible Air and a Jumpman logo on his feet. Securing his title as alpha dog at the midseason classic in the Windy City, Mike won the Dunk Contest and All-Star Game MVP in the debut Jordan from Nike designer Tinker Hatfield.
Elevated by elephant print and ad work from Spike Lee, the Air Jordan III was a breakthrough in innovation, storytelling, and star power. Owning the league all season, MJ led the Association in scoring at 35 a night, won MVP honors for the first time, and was also named Defensive Player of the Year.
Mike didn’t win a title in the Air Jordan III, but he won over the world. From heavyweight boxers to hip-hop elite, the Air Jordan III was a style and status symbol in '88. Thirty-two years later, the shoe that propelled Mike from the free throw line remains just as fly.
The world's favorite shoe right now might be the Air Jordan I, but for a good two decades the Air Jordan XI was consensus top-two, and it was never two. Made famous by Mike in the record-setting 72-10 season, ‘Concord’ and ‘Bred’ XIs were rotated from regular season to postseason during his vengeful comeback campaign.
While the world has long loved the Air Jordan XI in midtop form, Mike was fond of it as a patent leather low. Debuting the ‘Concord’ Lows at the '96 Championship Parade, there was a moment when the patent leather low tops were strictly for #23. Even in retirement, Mike made it a mission to tease new colorways each summer at his fantasy Flight Camp.
The upcoming Air Jordan XI Low ‘Concord/Bred’ couldn't be more cut from the cloth of Jordan’s on-court greatness and personal taste palette. Combining the two most memorable Air Jordan XI colorways from his comeback campaign and dropping the top for the summer season, the remixed XI Lows are nostalgia ultra and unbeatably wearable.
Michael Jordan never played an NBA game in the Air Jordan XIII ‘Flint,’ this is true. While he could've brought them back for his extra innings in DC, the famed OGs have no hardwood heroics tied directly to Mike.
That doesn’t mean he never wore them.
Spending his summer in Spain at the Johnnie Walker Ryder Cup, the always active MJ enjoyed golf's greatest competitors teeing off from the comforts of a cart. Hanging off the back and hanging off his feet were the ‘Flint’ Air Jordan XIIIs, roughly half a year before they hit stores and months before he rocked Chicago colorways of the XIIIs on court in his quest for six.
Finally back in original fashion–reflective 3m mesh upper, hologram branding, paw-inspired sole–the ‘Flint’ XIIIs are as good as they've ever been. Good enough for MJ on his last summer vacay before The Last Dance, these are good enough for you too.
Michael Jordan was the best to ever do it and he still is. Defining style on the court and influencing it around the world, the greatest of all time did it all in the greatest shoes ever made. Shop these 10 classics and more from the Air Jordan legacy now at GOAT.