The 20 Rarest Air Jordans To Release


The demand for a limited Jordan release will always reach tremendous heights and we spotlight the 20 rarest that were available to the general public in some fashion. There are plenty of Jordans out there that have been one-off samples or available to friends and family only, but while these 20 were super rare and produced in limited numbers, you were still able to get your hands on them. Sure, you probably had to be in the right place at the right time or willing to shell out more than your average in certain cases, but at least you had a fighting chance without having an extra special hookup or be a member of an exclusive club. Let us know in the comments section below which is your favorite among these 20 or how pumped you were to acquire any of these releases at retail. And we give honorable mention nods to the white Jordan V “Quai 54″ and ‘Laser’ IV releases!


Air Jordan XIV Mid White/Columbia Blue

Year of Release: 2001

The Air Jordan XIV Mid “Columbia” is an interesting sneaker for a number of different reasons. Released just two years after the original low-top version, the mid-top ‘Columbia’ colorway was an Eastbay exclusive. You see, back in the day, old sneakerheads purchased shoes through a magazine! Archaic as it may have been, the mid-top Columbia XIVs were so hot, they sold out before the magazine could get to print. If you were one of the few to get your hands on these, consider yourself lucky.

Air Jordan IV "Undefeated"

Year of Release: 2005

Ah, the “Undefeated” Air Jordan IV. One of the rarest and most sought-after sneakers in the Jordan canon, broke a lot of hearts back in 2005 with an uber-limited release. The 72 pairs created were sold via a raffle that you could enter either in-store or online. Nowadays the UNDFTD IV is a rarity, even at the highest end of the resale market. Not since the 1985 NBA draft have so many people been sour and screaming about a conspiracy.

Air Jordan XI "DMP" 'Gold Eyelets'

Year of Release: 2006

Yes, the Air Jordan XI/VI “Defining Moments Package” is one of the best, and similarly most expensive colorway combos Jordan Brand has ever released. However, there are a few pairs out there, hiding in plain sight, whose rarity trumps it’s peers. Back in 2005, the release of the DMP had to be pushed back a few times due to an issue with the Air Jordan XI samples which had the word “Jordan” written in gold on the eyelets, bleeding onto the laces and upper. Usually, JB would have just chalked those pairs up as samples and called it a day. But, because of how many they had actually produced at that point, Jordan Brand actually released the existing “Gold Eyelet” versions to Nike Factory stores. So, if you were one of the lucky few to cop the DMP pack, and you got it from the factory store, you better double check to make sure as you could be sitting on a goldmine (sorry).

Air Jordan I XQ

Year of Release: 2007

Originally released in 2007, the Air Jordan I XQ was a China-only release. Even if you had a Chinese connect, production numbers were rumored at a paltry 240 pairs, so the chances of a pickup were slim. And, even though they recently retro’ed in wider circulation, those were also a China-only release, and were a high-top, as opposed to the OG mid-top version.

Air Jordan XX3 "Finale"

Year of Release: 2008

With rumors that the “Finale” colorway of the Air Jordan XX3 would be MJ’s last signature sneaker, the limited numbers produced were incredibly difficult to get your hands on back in 2008. Though nowadays that can be remedied by simply paying a lot of money for them, the XX3 “Finale” is still extremely rare. Each of Jordan Brand’s 23 top retail accounts received just 23 pairs of the Finale colorway, making just 529 pairs available worldwide.

Air Jordan XX3 "Titanium"

Year of Release: 2008

The “Titanium” colorway was actually the first of the Air Jordan XX3s released, laying the groundwork for the Finale’s limited-release. In the case of the “Titanium”, production was twice that of the “Finale”, with 529 pairs released stateside and another 529 earmarked for international release (23 stores got 23 pairs each – MATH!). Even so, the “Titanium” XX3 is still quite the collectors item.

Air Jordan VIII "Quentin Richardson" & "Ray Allen"

Year of Release: 2008

We’ve discussed player-exclusive releases on this site before, and specifically, their rarity. Typically, even if you could get them in your size, and you know, actually afford them, the opportunity simply doesn’t present itself often. Which is why in 2008, House of Hoops dropped bombs by releasing not one, but two dope PE colorways of the Air Jordan VIII. Limited to roughly 24 pairs each, sneakerheads who acted fast got to choose between a Quentin Richardson “Q23″ and Ray Allen “Sugar Ray” colorways, done up in their respective team colors at the time.

Air Jordan VII “Miro”

Year of Release: 2008

The “Miro” Air Jordan VII is an amazing sneaker, with an interesting pedigree. Inspired by a sculpture from a Spanish artist named Joan Miro, this OC or “Olympic Celebration” colorway of the Jordan VII was limited to less than 1,000 pairs, and released in Europe only. Miro passed away shortly before MJ’s first Olympic gold in 1984, but Jordan wore the VII in his quest for a second gold medal in 1992, in Miro’s hometown of Barcelona, Spain.

Air Jordan II "The Way I Am"

Year of Release: 2008

Created in celebration for Eminem’s song of the same name off The Marshall Mathers LP, the “The Way I Am” Jordan II is extremely rare. With only 313 pairs released online via JB’s now-defunct “Flight Club”, Em’s second Jordan Brand collab may have been slightly easier to obtain than the first. But, not by much…

Air Jordan I x Levi's "23/501" Pack

Year of Release: 2008

As you can tell, 2008 was a crazy year for limited Js, and this collab, teaming two American classics, was no exception. The package included a pair of the aforementioned Air Jordan Is, a pair of jeans, and a t-shirt. And with only 2,323 sets put together, and a retail price of $395, this pack was highly limited.

Air Jordan XI "Silver Anniversary" with Jumpman

Year of Release: 2010

In 2010, Jordan Brand did their best Willy Wonka impression, giving sneakerheads a golden – or in this case silver – ticket. With that year marking the 25th anniversary of the Jordan Brand, they dropped this dope all-white colorway of the Air Jordan XI. One of the interesting features of the Silver anniversary release, was that the ‘Jumpman’ was missing, but not on all of them. Jordan Brand randomly sprinkled 25 special pairs of XIs with the ‘Jumpman’ in with their shipments, so only 25 of these beauties are in existence.

Air Jordan IX Premio "Bin 23"

Year of Release: 2010

Another significant release from 2010, Jordan Brand introduced us to the luxurious Bin 23 Collection. The second release from this “Premio” line was the gold-trimmed Air Jordan IX. Likely the most sought-after release of the Bin 23 collection, and with only 1,331 released, this gilded IX can set you back as much as four digits nowadays.

Air Jordan VII Premio "Bin 23"

Year of Release: 2010

With just 2,059 pairs produced, the wildest colorway among the Bin 23 collection, the Air Jordan VII Premio truly brought the heat. Sporting that crazy color-scheme inspired by tribal/African art, the super-limited VII is likely one of the best colorways the silhouette has ever seen.

Air Jordan XIII Premio "Bin 23"

Year of Release: 2010

Following right along in its peers’ footsteps, the Air Jordan XIII Premio from the Bin 23 collection is also super rare. Sporting super plush deep red suede and a ‘clay’ nubuck upper, the colorway improved significantly on the OG colorways. And with only 1,734 pairs produced, getting your hands on a pair of these was a very tricky proposition.

Air Jordan I x Dave White "Wings for the Future" All-Star

Year of Release: 2011

In 2011, Jordan Brand teamed up with UK artist and sneakerhead Dave White to collaborate on a pair of Air Jordan I colorways to benefit an LA-area high school. The first makeup, the All-Star, featured an outstanding red, white and gold colorway, of which only 23 pairs were created. Those pairs were then auctioned off, and the proceeds donated to the school. A second colorway, a black-toed version released later, in wider circulation, but with the extremely limited number of Jordan “collaborations” floating around, this gold toed version will go down as a legend.

Air Jordan I "Banned"

Year of Release: 2011

One of the stranger releases in Jordan history is, naturally, one of their most desired. The Air Jordan I “Banned” is a little piece of retro brand history. For the newly initiated, the black/red Air Jordan I went against NBA dress code rules, and was quickly banned by the league. Nike sensed that they had an opportunity at hand, and told MJ to keep wearing the shoes and paid the fines themselves. This 2011 drop featured some unique branding highlighting that ban, but the most interesting part of this shoe was the seemingly random, and highly limited outlet-only release.

Air Jordan V "Tokyo23"

Year of Release: 2011

Just like the Air Jordan “Quai 54″ releases, the “Tokyo23″ Air Jordan V was a super limited, international-only release. Coinciding with the JB-sponsored Tokyo23 streetball tournament, in Tokyo, Japan, this mustard-color V commands a crazy price on the resale market…that is, if you can find them.

Air Jordan XIII "Ray Allen"

Year of Release: 2011

With only 700-900 pairs worldwide, and the location-restrictive releases, the second of Ray Allen’s Air Jordan player exclusive to make it to market, are super limited. Releasing primarily in both Miami and Boston, this dope colorway of the Air Jordan XIII also carries a significant piece of NBA history with it as Ray-Ray was wearing this colorway when he broke the NBA record for career three-pointers made.

Air Jordan V Premio "Bin 23"

Year of Release: 2011

If the release of another installment of the Bin 23 collection wasn’t enough hype, the series’ final release, an Air Jordan V Premio, was also a Black Friday release. Dropping alongside the Air Jordan XIII “Flint” retro, those that didn’t come up on the Bin 23 Vs had a nice consolation prize as this premium iteration had just 2,133 pairs produced.

Air Jordan I x Don C. "Just Jordan BHM"

Year of Release: 2013

The most recent release on this list, is also one of the most limited. With only 37 pairs made, auctioned off via eBay, this collaboration between Jordan Brand and designer Don C. celebrated the 37th anniversary of Black History Month. Don C. provided his usual artistic flare to this pack, comprised of a crazy dope strapped version of an Air Jordan I High, and a plush black Jordan snapback.


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  • quorfu

    Q rich 8s and ray 13s would be instant classics, the rest are subpar or poorly executed

  • I have a DS pair of Jordan II Eminem shoes in size 13 on eBay…

    • bretski

      with 1097 pair worldwide, why did the Jordan 2 Bin 23 Premio not make the list??

  • seth

    the eminems were just named after the song not the album

    • Kicks Deals

      You’re right. Thanks for bringing our mistake to our attention. We’ll fix.

  • Jim

    What about eminem 4s or any motorsports

  • johnny appleseed

    sleeping on the columbia 11’s.

  • Time2ballup

    What about the Blackout XIs? It’s rumored that only 6 pairs exist.

  • Dik Dangler

    How about the Raging bull V pack? I would consider both of them classics.


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