The Best Air Jordans of 2020 (So Far)

From OGs like 'Fire Red' Air Jordan 5s to Off-White collaborations, these are the best Air Jordans of the year, so far.

Best Air Jordans of 2020
Image via Complex Original
Best Air Jordans of 2020

Michael Jordan the man was a distant idea for much of the past decade. For a good chunk of that time he was a meme, a crying head jpeg to be spliced into an infinite number of appropriate situations. People who remember watching him actually play basketball lamented in the same span that, to kids today, he's merely a guy who sells sneakers. The line of thinking went that kids buying his retros might not have any idea what he actually did or why they're important. In 2020, that all changed. Michael Jordan the basketball player came back.

No, he didn't emerge from retirement for a fourth time. Rather, his career of dominance came back via The Last Dance, an ESPN series chronicling Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls. And you can't have Jordan without Jordans—his return to primetime meant a renewed interest on his sneakers, primarily via the resell market, where prices on old pairs crept up as they appeared in the series. They had to fight through a retail environment slowed by the novel coronavirus, but 2020 has already seen a number of impressive Air Jordan releases. Jordan is back, although, Jordans never went anywhere. These are the 10 best Air Jordans of 2020 (so far).

11. Air Jordan 1 High 85 'Varsity Red'

Air Jordan 1 High 85 Varsity Red

10. Air Jordan III 'Nike Chi'

Air Jordan 3 Nike Chi

9. Melody Ehsani x Women's Air Jordan OG

Melody Ehsani Jordan OG

8. Air Jordan III 'UNC'

Air Jordan 3 UNC

7. Air Jordan IV 'Black Cat'

Air Jordan 4 Black Cat

6. Air Jordan XIII 'Flint'

Air Jordan 13 Flint

5. Air Jordan 'New Beginnings' Pack

Air Jordan New Beginnings Pack

4. Air Jordan V 'Fire Red'

Air Jordan 5 Fire Red

3. Air Jordan VI 'DMP'

Air Jordan 6 DMP

2. Off-White x Air Jordan V

Off White x Air Jordan 5

Entering 2020, it appeared that the Off-White x Nike hype train was losing a bit of steam. While still solid in their own right, post-“The Ten” collabs like the Waffle Racer and Vapor Street were not met with as much enthusiasm. While his trio of Dunk Lows in late 2019 restored the feeling a little bit, Virgil Abloh’s Air Jordan V collab for NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago garnered the attention we had come expect from the designer’s work. Abloh tweaked Michael Jordan’s fifth signature sneaker with a ripstop upper, deconstructed liner for added casual appeal, and various circles placed around the shoe that could be cut out at the wearer’s discretion. Even though the V is three decades old, Abloh made it feel new, while still paying proper homage to the history it possesses. Alternate white laces, for instance, are a great touch that nodded to the preferred styling worn by MJ in the playoffs back in the day.

It seemed to be a passion project of sorts for Abloh, who proclaimed the Vs were his first Air Jordan and the Jumpman was his Superman logo growing up as a kid in Chicago in the '90s. He even struck the iconic pose on his own in front of the Eiffel Tower. It was a reminder just how great Abloh is at recreating classics. Not only is it the best Air Jordan of 2020 thus far, it is also easily a contender for the best sneaker we have seen all year. Abloh joked that everyone thought Vs were “wack” now. Well, he certainly helped reverse the narrative. —Mike DeStefano


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