The 25 Most Underrated Jordan Releases Of The Past 5 Years


A lot of different Jordan’s are released all the time and we look back at the past five years to present the 25 most underrated…for real this time! From select Countdown Pack pairs that may get overlooked or overshadowed to slept-on colorways on some of the most beloved models, we agree that heads certainly have their favorites, but feel these are underrated from a standpoint that maybe they aren’t your absolute favorite. Jordan’s are always hotly debated and the fanbase is unparallelled, so please let us know in the comments section what release you think is most underrated from the past five years!


Jordan X "CDP"

Release Date: 1/19/2008
Retail Price: $310

One half of Jordan Brand’s second installment of the Countdown Pack series, the Shadow X came packaged with the XIII. Though slightly varied from the OG Shadows that released back in 1994, this updated version sports a darker upper than the original, as well as the stitched “23”. We feel this modernized version could go toe to to with the original.

Jordan XX3 "Stealth"

Release Date: 2/23/2008
Retail Price: $185

Post-retirement Js are like Rodney Dangerfield, they get no respect. But these “Stealth” XX3s are undeniably gorgeous. Considered by many to be the first colorway of the silhouette, the Stealths are actually the third (but the 1st global release), as the first two were limited edition releases.

Jordan XVII "CDP" Black/Silver

Release Date: 5/24/2008
Retail Price: $310

Another much under-appreciated Jordan silhouette is the XVII, but this particular retro isn’t on this list because it didn’t sell well. It’s presence here is to highlight how under-appreciated it was compared to it’s CDP counterpart the Carmine VI. Though this was the first time they retro’ed this particular XVII colorway, the masses of Jordan heads had been waiting 17 years to see the Carmine again, typically buying the pack and attempting to flip the XVII to recoup some of that retail price. No love.

Jordan XVI "CDP"

Release Date: 6/21/2008
Retail Price: $310

Another Countdown Pack castaway, the black/red XVI was simply overshadowed by it’s CDP counterpart, the “Hare” Jordan VII. Aside from the classic colorway and the versatility brought by the removable leather shroud, this release also marked the first model of the XVI to be retro’ed.

Jordan I Retro High "CDP"

Release Date: 9/20/2008
Retail Price: $310

One of the more underrated items on this list, the black/white Jordan I from the 8th Countdown Pack is crazy slept-on. Perhaps due to it being paired with a less popular silo (the XXII), or perhaps it’s the minor changes from the original (Jumpman, instead of the Nike swoosh). But, this is an OG colorway of the I, and it’s not everyday you can pick up one of those.

Jordan I Phat Low Black/Royal

Release Date: 12/1/2008
Retail Price: $85

Not quite a basketball shoe, not quite a skate shoe. But, due to it’s resemblance to a JB icon, this black/royal Phat I Low , is an easy add to this list. This one was so under appreciated that many sneakerheads passed at retail, and were still able to cop them on the low from an outlet.

Jordan I Retro High Black/Max Orange

Release Date: 2/14/2009
Retail Price: $105

Another under appreciated Jordan I is the black/max orange colorway. Resembling a Nike infrared colorway, the contrasting colors on this one are practically visible from space. Crazy to think how many people missed this I.

Jordan I Retro High "Shadow Grey"

Before the very latest Jordan I High ‘Shadow Grey’ retro release earlier this year, this plush iteration from 2009 dropped. Featuring quality leather and subtle elephant-print pattern across the soft nubuck grey, if you’re not familiar with this slept-on version, you may just now be thinking about how you can trade-in your most recent edition. These are dope no matter the season.

Release Date: September 2009
Retail Price: $110

Jordan XII "Flu Game"

Release Date: 11/27/2009
Retail Price: $150

The story behind the “Flu Game” XII is the stuff of basketball legend. Aside from being a marketer’s dream, these black/red XIIs swap the traditional leather upper for durabuck to commemorate MJ’s stunning 38-point performance in game 5 of the ’97 NBA Finals. Also included are special embossed graphics, on various parts of the upper, celebrating his stats from that game.

Jordan Spiz'ike "Fresh Since 1985"

Release Date: 2/20/2010
Retail Price: $175

Many consider the Spiz’ike to be the bastard child of the Jordan line, mixing elements from several iconic silhouettes. But, the “Fresh Since ’85” Spizikes got that recipe right. Pulling the black/red colorway from the fan favorite IV, as well as hits of the III’s elephant print on the heel and toe, this colorway made a seriously compelling argument in favor of the Spiz’ike silo.

Jordan VI "Lakers"

Release Date: 5/15/2010
Retail Price: $150

JB has made a killing retro’ing signature silhouettes done up in the colors of an opposing team facing MJ during his countless iconic performances (see the 60+ DMPs). But, one of the most under-appreciated of those non-OG colorways is the “Lakers” VI. Wrapped in black suede and trimmed up with purple and gold stitching, this VI is a menacing reminder of MJ’s first championship win over the Lakers…maybe that’s why it’s “under-appreciated”.

Jordan IX "For the Love of the Game"

Release Date: 8/11/2010
Retail Price: $180

In the past, we’ve highlighted the IX – and the II – as the most under-appreciated silos of MJ’s playing days. Which is why, despite selling out at retail and rumored production limited to only 2,000 pairs, the “For the Love of the Game” IX finds itself on this list. Give it up for Carolina blue and white patent leather.

Jordan II "Candy Pack" Red

Release Date: 10/30/2010
Retail Price: $135

We’ve highlighted the Jordan II “Candy Pack” elsewhere on this site in the past, but the II could always use some more love. Dropping just in time for Halloween, the standout shoe from that pack was undoubtedly the candy red colorway. While these “Candy Pack” IIs might not be for everyone, we feel they definitely haven’t gotten the shine they deserve.

Jordan XIII Retro "Altitude"

Release Date: 12/11/2010
Retail Price: $160

The XIII is a banger, no matter what colorway you’re talking about. But, because it wasn’t an OG colorway, the “Altitude” XIII tends to fly just under the radar. Originally released as a new colorway in 2005, Holiday 2010’s retro, though lacking the woven 3M upper of the originals, did sell well. However, it finds itself on the under-appreciated list because it released between the much beloved Flint XIII and the Christmas-inspired insanity of the ‘Cool Grey’ XI.

Jordan 2011 "Year of the Rabbit"

Release Date: 2/3/2011
Retail Price: $180

Following in the footsteps of some of the most innovative and iconic silhouettes in sneaker history is a tall task, and each post-retirement JB signature model has faced the near-impossible challenge of pleasing Jordan fans both old and new. Those challenges are why we put the AJ 2011 on this list…frankly, the silhouette is just dope. Simple, clean and sporting innovative tech (at the time), if the 2011 were another brand’s sneaker, it would have been a flagship shoe. Up above, we highlight the limited “Year of the Rabbit” edition of the 2011, our favorite.

Jordan 6-17-23 "Aqua"

Release Date: 3/12/2011
Retail Price: $145

Another fusion that gets the sneaker message boards heated is the 6-17-23. Many dog the silhouette itself, but are irked that it gets such dope colorways like the VIII-inspired “Aqua” or it’s predecessor, the Carmine. While maybe hated on, Kemba Walker certainly put this colorway in the spotlight during UConn’s 2011 run to the NCAA title and we bet that subsequently started a few new eBay hunts.

Jordan V "Wolf Grey"

Release Date: 5/14/2011
Retail Price: $150

Always the beneficiary of new or experimental colorways, the Jordan V is the perfect canvas for JB artists to do their thing. Case in point, the “Wolf Grey” V. Sporting a neutral grey nubuck upper, contrasting hits of speckled graphite, and that smooth icy sole, we’re surprised this colorway didn’t come around sooner.

Jordan XI Retro Low IE Black/Varsity Red

Release Date: 7/16/2011
Retail Price: $120

One of the main reasons most fans love the XI is because of it’s awesome use of patent leather. And, because of that, most prefer the low editions that have been dropping (and instantly selling out) over the last few years. But back in ’96, when the OG XIs dropped, that silhouette didn’t exist (those came around in 2001). Instead, low top fans got this patent leather-free “IE” version. We love that JB recognizes what it’s customers want, by pushing new iterations of it’s classics, while staying true to those roots by retro’ing colorways like the IEs.

Jordan III "Black Flip"

Release Date: 12/3/2011
Retail Price: $175

Holiday 2011 was loaded with JB releases. Just a few weeks ahead prior to the madness of the “Concord” XI drop, Jordan blessed us with these sweet IIIs. Rocking an upper consisting of black-on-black elephant print, as well as a few premium hits like a leather lining and perf collar, the Black Flip IIIs were an awesome pickup. Particularly for those of us without tunnel vision on the Concords.

Jordan 2012 "Tinker Hatfield"

Release Date: 3/14/2012
Retail Price: $223

Sneaker legend Tinker Hatfield designed the early versions of the Air Jordan 2012. So, this colorway paid homage to your favorite designer’s favorite designer. Sporting the same black and white colorway of Tinker’s original sketches, this subtle limited edition version of the 2012 is certainly under-appreciated.

Jordan IX "Olive"

Release Date: 11/17/2012
Retail Price: $160

The ‘Olive’ IX is a hot topic among Jordan purists…some love it, some hate it. But, let’s put this to bed right now. It’s a Jordan that looks like a dope boot…’nuff said.

Jordan Spiz’ike "BHM"

Release Date: 2/9/2013
Retail Price: $175

With Jordan Brand’s 2013 Black History Month offerings, they ran with Brooklyn as the theme. JB’s lineup included a Jordan I, a Melo M9 and a Spiz’ike, as all three of the inspirations for those silos were born in Brooknam. The clear standout from this pack though, couldn’t have been more obvious if it were highlighted. This volt-wrapped Spiz’ike is the definition of a head turner.

Jordan XIII 'Squadron Blue'

Release Date: 2/9/2013
Retail Price: $170

Yes, the ‘Squadron Blue’ XIII was a new colorway. And yes, it did release alongside the 2013 BHM collection AND the Jordan III Retro ’88s. But, a few years down the line, folks who passed on these for a shot at another higher-profile release, are going to be kicking themselves.

Jordan III Black/Bright Crimson

Release Date: 2/23/2013
Retail Price: $160

Honestly, we’re a little dumbfounded with the slow sales for these “Crimson” IIIs. On paper, Jordan III + Infrared = crazy awesome success. However, in practice, this one was a bit of a retail dud for Jordan Brand, at least compared to most retro releases nowadays with familiar colorways.

Jordan Retro I '97 Black/White-Gym Red

Release Date: 3/2/2013
Retail Price: $130

Again that word fusion rears it’s head. Don’t worry though; in this context, it’s certainly a positive description. Combining the silhouette of an Air Jordan I, with the infamous dimple-patterned upper from the XIII, the Jordan Retro I ’97 dropped in two colorways, and was crazy underrated. So under appreciated in fact, that many of these are still sitting on shelves as of this writing. We feel that this one was overlooked because, releasing two weeks later, was the inspiration for that upper. So, rather than copping the new fusion, sneakerheads chose the familiar retro.


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  • gner

    ur missing winterized spizikes!

  • Dynamitehost

    The altitude 13s are the shoe that ushered in the current era of hypebeasts and shoe heads.

    • DRUMattX

      This, I don’t understand. They were popular but they were also a QS. They also dropped a month before 2010 Cool Grey XIs, which were FAR more hyped.
      2011 Concord XI Retro is hands down the ultimate spike in the buy sneakers to sell for profit & keep a pair to look like all the kids in the hallway era, followed by the riotous insanity that was the Galaxy Foamposite One ASG a couple months later. From that point forward, the “game” officially changed for the far worse.

  • DRUMattX

    There are some absolutely dreadful kicks on this list that aren’t “underated” they’re just awful. How TF are Stealth IIIs not on here? Or Cool Grey XIIs? And you put a garbage ’97 1 fusion as the FIRST spot but neglected the ’93/VIII AJ1 in Playoff & Bugs CWs that at least looked better than those XIII fusion shtz.
    Another list full of blunders. And Squadrons ahead of Altitudes??? WTF? Squadrons suck. The CW just doesn’t work. It sure as hell doesn’t belong several spots ahead of Alts which, while nowhere near their QS 2005 counterparts, are at least a better CW & execution.

    Other HUGE fails were the 2012 in ANY CW…such a shitty shoe; Those “flu Game” durabuck garbage XIIs that can’t hold a candle to OGs or ’03s, All Spi’Zikes & those gawdawful 6-17-23s in ANY CW. Those are also made uncomfortable & fit like shit.

    • Kicks Deals

      Thanks for checking out the list! They are not ranked…they are in order by release date. Stealth IIIs and Jordan 12 ‘Cool Grey’ were both considered as candidates to make the list.

      • DRUMattX

        Thanks for the clarification but those 2 should NOT have been left off the list. And white number the pics if they’re not ranked? It wasn’t at all explained they were by release year and that’s a very subtle thing to figure out, given the ranking 25 – to – 1 numbering that appears.

        One that should’ve likely been considered too (amidst the full gambit of AJ1s included here) are the 3M/Black/Red AJ1 Lows which are VERY underrated & sadly one of the last shoes JB’s made that utilizes actual 3M woven in the upper panels. The translucent red sole with the visible logos underneath was also a rad touch & it’s hard to screw up black & red.

        There are retro Team Jordans, Melos, all kinds of other pairs that are Jordans not fusions (which are the undead zombies of the Jordan Brand underworld) that should’ve knocked out all but maybe 1 Spi’Zike on this list. It seems this was very haphazardly slapped together with what was included & what was neglected.

        I’ll add that I’m happy the AJ2010 was ignored entirely & the AJ2K11 was included :)


    Hideous sneakers

  • max

    rttg 1’s

    • Kicks Deals

      We agree…those are very nice! And probably underrated for sure…

  • 17thletter

    Crimson 3s I agree and bhm spizikes forsure too bad nike killed the volt colorway this year smh the 6 17 23 whatever that garbage is should’t have even made the list

    • Kicks Deals

      Thanks for the feedback and appreciate you checking out the list!

  • Ricky Santana

    sorta mad orions didnt make this list … ppl still sleep on them

    • Eldude Castro

      sorry man but orions imo are just by far the worse colorway

  • Eldude Castro

    Black flip 3’s have to be #1 IMHO It’s one of my grails in collection.

  • EhKicks

    I love my 97 1’s! I wore mine like crazy I have to get another pair soon!


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