Evolution of the Nike Air Jordan Shoe Series: 1984-2020

Evolution of the Nike Air Jordan Shoe Series: 1984-2020

Shoes were just shoes for the first 80-some-odd years of the 20th century. Then in the mid-1980s, Nike released a pair of basketball shoes featuring a certain ex-Tarheel. The Air Jordan was born, and the rest, as they say, is history.

As legend has it, the iconic Air Jordan sneaker series almost never lifted off. Soon after Michael Jordan debuted the Air Jordan I, the NBA stepped in and banned the shoe because they featured "non-regulation" colors. Suffice it to say, Jordan didn't listen and thusly, the great basketball shoe boom began.

Below is a look at each and every pair of Air Jordan shoes released by Nike, a total of 35 in all (not counting the many colorways and retro variations). Next to each pair is Nike's motto for the shoe (if any) and the year in which they debuted.

Shop for popular Air Jordan editions at Nike.

Nike also produces popular sneakers for Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

In addition to the sneakers, Jordan fans have many other collectibles to track down.

Check out more MJ options with our various guides:

Complete Air Jordan Sneaker Guide and Gallery List

Air Jordan IEvolution of the Nike Air Jordan Shoe Series: 1984-2020 1 - "Notorious" - 1985

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Air Jordan IIEvolution of the Nike Air Jordan Shoe Series: 1984-2020 3 - "Italian Stallion" - 1986

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Air Jordan IIIEvolution of the Nike Air Jordan Shoe Series: 1984-2020 5 - "Gotta Be the Shoes" - 1988

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Air Jordan IVEvolution of the Nike Air Jordan Shoe Series: 1984-2020 7 - "Taking Flight" - 1989

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Air Jordan V - "The Fighter" - 1990

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Air Jordan VI - "Promised Land" - 1991

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Air Jordan VII - "Pure Gold" - 1992

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Air Jordan VIII - "Strap In" - 1993

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Air Jordan IX - "Perfect Harmony" - 1993

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Air Jordan X - "The Legacy Continues" - 1994

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Air Jordan XI - "Class Act" - 1995

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Air Jordan XII - "The Dynasty Continues" - 1996

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Air Jordan XIII - "Black Cat Pounces" - 1997

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Air Jordan XIV - "Race Ready" - 1998

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Air Jordan XV - "Speed of Sound" - 1999

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Air Jordan XVI - "Marching On" - 2001

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Air Jordan XVII - "Jazzed Up" - 2002

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Air Jordan XVIII - "Last Dance" - 2003

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Air Jordan XIX - "Full Flex" - 2004

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Air Jordan XX - "Living Greatness" - 2005

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Air Jordan XX1 - "Performance Luxury DNA" - 2006

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Air Jordan XX2 - "Hit the Afterburners" - 2007

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Air Jordan XX3 - "The Number of Greatness" - 2008

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Air Jordan 2009 - "Beyond" - 2009

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Air Jordan 2010 - "Full Speed Ahead" - 2010

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Air Jordan 2011 - 2011

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Air Jordan 2012 - "Choose Your Flight" - 2012

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Air Jordan XX8 - "Dare to Fly" - 2013

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Air Jordan XX9 - 2014

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Air Jordan XXX - 2016

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Air Jordan XXXI - 2016

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Air Jordan 32 (XXXII) - 2017

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Air Jordan 33 (XXXIII) - 2018

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Air Jordan 34 (XXXIV/XXX4) - 2019

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Air Jordan 35 (XXXV) - 2020

The global release date is October 17.

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User Comments

  1. I am loving the Nike Jordans, my husband says if he and his kids can’t wear Jordans then it don’t make sense :) he has always worn them and now he even has me crazy about them and I’m a more flipflop/ sandal type girl. Also would love 2 know and see more of the jordan sneaker boots, especially love a cute pink and white pair my sis in law has a picture of. Keep bring the hot styles.

  2. I love the Jordans Phat low the most. Got 6 of them. The hightops is not my thing.

  3. Extremely helpful page… trying to figure this out in a store is impossible. thank you!

  4. Nice organization. Earlier model looks better than newer ones. :)

  5. Jordan needs to produce more to put out in stores so that stores wont have to sell tickets or raffles. There should be enough for everyone that wants to purchase if they want. Thats one reason that people are starting to not want to buy. It cause a lot of conflick.

  6. I like the early jordans but the later ones aren’t as appealing visually. Although the Jordan 2010’s are a return to form.

  7. There were 2 versions of the first jordans, i.e. the red white and blacks (shown above, first picture) and the red and blacks (not shown). Jordan would usually wear the latter with his away/road uniform, but very seldom wore the former. Instead, at home he would typically don the the version shown in the 2nd pic with the black front. This version however, was not available to the public. As a side note, my friend bought a pair of the red / blacks, and I bought the red/white/blacks, then we swapped one and had the cool mismatching one on each foot.

  8. I had a pair of every style 1- 16. After XVI the J’s were complete garbage. Even the 15’s and 16’s were questionable. My favorites are the 2, 9, 10, 11,12, 13, 14. Thats it.

  9. I love Jordan’s because they are the center of the world for basketball shoes. I have four Jordan, and let me just say that I would never trade any of them, no madder how much money they offer. what im trying to say is that Jordans shoes really changed my life.

  10. Back in 1996 I was in high school and got my first pair, the “Class Act” in black and white…Brings back a lot of memories…

  11. Love the 13 felt so good on my feet and they were crazy when it came to the look. I have 2 pairs white ones and black ones keep them in the box and wouldn’t trade for nothing, and can’t wait for them to come back out, 2 more pair. Ya heard.

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