Pile of Retro Jordans
Pile of Retro Jordans

7 Retro Jordans That Get Better With Time.

I’ve noticed as I scroll through Instagram mindlessly, the unquestionable love for old sneakers. Particularly the love for OG Jordans. I think we as consumers have reached a breaking point, quality matters. I’m a huge advocate on quality over quantity. I believe consumers should be more materialistic in its truest sense…but I digress. 

Jordan is forever iconic, not only for the blood, sweat and tears he’s left on court. But, also his love for looking good while bustin’ your ass. It’s only natural that vibe follows you off the court. Decades later, that swagger still lingers. With the hands of Tinker and the persona of Jordan, this duo was able to create timeless classics within Jordan’s Brand, that actually get better with time. 

In this article, I’ll list out 7 of the best Jordans…that get better with time. 

Coming in at the 7th spot is the Air Jordan I. My favorite Jordan hands down but…I’m lowkey tired of seeing this shoe. I say that because it’s a beautiful shoe, but consistently seeing this sneaker is getting the best of me. Nonetheless this sneaker ages well, I’m talkin’ real well. One of my favorite Jordans of all time… 

6. Air Jordan II

This sneaker antagonized Jordan’s almost departure from Nike. Mj would definitly consider this shoe as “washed”. But, luckily for you, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Another buy, hold and actually wear. This sneaker is for sure a sleeper. 

5. Air Jordan XI

At the 5 spot we have MJ’s personal favorite – Air Jordan XI. With the gum bottoms and patent leather, these kicks make perfect sense to hold onto for the long term. 

Thanks to great performance coupled with an innovative design, the Air Jordan XI (particularly the Concord colorway) is one of the most-loved sneakers ever. Sole Collector magazine voted the XI the top shoe of all time.

Tinker Hatfield watched video of Michael Jordan and noticed MJ’s foot would roll off the foot bed on hard cuts. So Hatfield took that opportunity to blend substance with style, adding patent leather for the first time on a basketball shoe. Patent leather was stronger, and it fit MJ’s reported desire to have a shoe that could be worn with a suit.

Jordan 11 Concord

4. Air Jordan V

The Air Jordan V was a statement of Michael Jordan’s aggressive nature on the court. Released in February 1990 for $125, the AJ V featured a sharktooth design on the lateral (outer) midsole that designer Tinker Hatfield drew from a World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane.

Hatfield also reflected the attitude of “aggression” both in the traction the shoe offered, and by molding foam into the upper. The AJ V also introduced the concept of “iced” outsoles of translucent rubber, as well as the inclusion of lace-lock toggles.

Recently this sneaker has been given a second chance amongst consumers…thanks to Virgil. Nonetheless this kick only gets better with time. I prefer an aged Jordan 5 rather than a brand new pair.

3. Air Jordan III

Architect-turned-designer Tinker Hatfield took the lead on this, the first of more than two dozen Air Jordans he would go on to design. Hatfield sparked some style trends on the AJ III that have continued well into the 21st century.

Most notably, he introduced elephant print overlays on the upper that have resurfaced periodically – in reissues of the AJ III as well as other Jordan models – ever since.

Forever a classic and another timeless sneaker. The yellowing on this sneaker is nuts. It never makes the shoe look extremely old. If you can snag a pair – grab the Fire Red IIIs or any of the three pictured below.  

Jordan 3 Black & White Cement
Jordan 3 Pure Money

2. Air Jordan VI

Holding down the number 2 spot – The Air Jordan VI. A fixture in basketball history. Released in February 1991, Michael Jordan wore it to the Chicago Bulls’ first championship just a few months later. Not only are they historically great, but aesthetically pleasing. 

1. Air Jordan IV

Hitting the number one spot – Jordan IV. My second favorite sneaker of all time. These (biasly speaking) are the best Jordans that get better with time. The midsole yellowing coupled with yellowing on the upper. Make this a great shoe to keep for the long run. 

Wearing the AJ IV, MJ was voted to his fifth consecutive All-Star game and won the league scoring title for the third consecutive year. One of the most memorable AJ IV moments was when Michael hit the series-clinching, hanging jumper over Cleveland’s Craig Ehlo in the first round of the playoffs – better known as “The Shot”

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