For those who play ball, summertime is all about having the chance to play hoops outside and we highlight 20 of the best Jordans you could rock on the blacktop. Some options are more obvious than others such as the Jordan 2012 and Jordan 2010 Outdoor models, but both the Jordan 12 and 9 provide plenty of ruggedness to allow you to do you thing when it comes to streetball. With many of these boasting ample ankle support and/or lock down straps across the midfoot, when it comes to playing ball outside, what is your go to Jordan? Please let us know in the comments section below!
Air Jordan 2011
The Air Jordan 2011, like many post-XIV Jays, are super-underrated. But we think that’s interesting because frankly, it’s one of the best ball shoes Jordan Brand has ever made. Not only did the lightweight upper look clean and play fast, but the interchangeable midsoles provided cushioning for whichever surface or play style you preferred. Add to the fact that it was the first Jordan Brand signature to hit Nike ID and you’ve got winner in our eyes.
Air Jordan 18.5
Yeah, we know the type of hate that the .5 or half-step models usually get online, but the Air Jordan 18.5 was different. Not only did many think it actually looked better than the Air Jordan XVIII proper, but it may have even been a better basketball shoe, particularly for outdoor use. Not only did it keep all the dope tech from the original XVIII, but shaking that love-it-or-hate it sheath cover the XVIII was notorious for didn’t hurt either.
Air Jordan IX
When Tinker Hatfield designs your sneaker, like he did with the Air Jordan IX, you just know it’s going to be a banger, off court and on. We’re particularly fond of the IX’s performance in outdoor situations because of it’s rugged build, superior ankle support and traction. That really comes in handy, particularly if you frequent the post.
Air Jordan VII
So, you might think that, because the Air Jordan VII debuted way back in 1992, that it’s lacking on the performance front. But you would be wrong. The Air Jordan VII still competes on-court with even the newest hoop silos. Not only does it look fantastic, but it’s lighter than it’s predecessors and features full length Air (albeit of the non-visible variety) and a Huarache-style inner sleeve that delivers performance and versatility. The total package.
Air Jordan 2012
Building on the strong foundation (and retail success) JB had regained with the Air Jordan 2011, the 2012 model took things just a bit further. Not only could you swap out the mid-sole cushioning depending on what worked better for your feet, but the awesome setup that came with the kicks threw in two different boots to help match your style of play. High-top or Mid, the choice is/was yours.
Air Jordan VIII
The Air Jordan VIII isn’t for everyone, and it may not be the first choice of ballers looking to hoop it up indoors. The VIII is great for outdoor play. Solid padded high-top styling mixed with great traction, durability and ankle support, the Air Jordan VIII is a great shoe for running game at your local park. Oh, and there are some pretty dope colorways out there too.
Jordan Jumpman Team 1
Our personal favorite Team Jordan silhouette of all time, the Jordan Team 1 recently returned in time to hit the courts this summer. And hit the courts they shall because this stunner isn’t all beauty. It’s also got the brawn and durability to take on even the most strenuous of 3-on-3 sessions. BALL. UP.
Jordan Melo 1.5
After a decade under the Jordan Brand wings, Carmelo Anthony saw his first signature silo retro’ed in early 2014. Not just a re-release, the Jordan Melo 1.5 is back and better than ever. With lighter construction, better stability and greater ventilation, and that same rugged durability, the Melo 1.5 is perfect for killing ’em on the courts this summer.
Air Jordan XII
Perhaps the most highly-recommended Air Jordan silhouette for hooping in outdoors, the Air Jordan XII is built like a tank. Not only is the XII structurally sound, but the carbon fiber shank, carried over from the infamous XI, and the full-length Zoom Air unit, give the Air Jordan XII the performance bite to back up the aesthetic bark.
Another gem from the Team Jordan vault, the Jumpman Pro made it’s retro rounds recently, and frankly, we’re all better for it. These kicks are just built to take on all you can throw at them. Debuting back in 1997, and a favorite of perennial All Star Kevin Garnett when he was with Nike, the Jumpman Pro is for true hoop heads.
Jordan Super.Fly 2
What the Hyperdunk series is to Nike Hoops, the Super.Fly is to Jordan Brand. And the latest in the line, the Super.Fly 2, can keep pace with even the most technically advanced sneakers on the market. Blake Griffin’s go-to silo this past season, the Super.Fly 2 combines the best of Nike/JB’s top technology, including the dynamic HyperFuse, the revolutionary Flight Plate, as well as the super-responsive Zoom Air. Though it was designed as an indoor performance sneaker, you can’t go wrong lacing these beauties up…even outdoors.
Air Jordan XIII
The design of the Air Jordan XIII was inspired by the elusive black panther, and that’s fitting because the shoe is an absolute beast on the streetball courts. Heel and forefoot Zoom Air, paired with a Phylon midsole and paw-like outsole, give the Air Jordan XIII the flexibility, responsiveness and traction to tear up the courts, especially outside.
Jordan Melo M10
Yet another celebration of Melo’s ten years with Jordan Brand, his tenth silhouette is his best yet. Even with the beauty of a Tinker Hatfield design, and those wild JB/Nike colorways, don’t let the good looks fool you, it’s perfect for breaking down defenses…even outdoors. Backed by Jordan Brand’s Dynamic Fit system for proper stabilization and assisted by the industry-leading Flight Plate, the Melo M10 is a great sneaker for balling.
Jumpman Pro Quick
A staple of the late-90s Jordan Brand athlete, the Jumpman Pro Quick is one of our favorite original JB designs ever. Built for guards and wings, but also solid enough to handle the wear and tear of the big men, these bangers could be spotted on the feet of JB athletes like Eddie Jones and Vin Baker. And really, if they’re good enough to stand up to the useage of two players with such opposing demands in footwear, they’re good enough to shake some fools at your local courts. Now, if JB would give us a proper retro, we’d be in business.
Air Jordan Six Rings
Okay, we understand the distaste for the Air Jordan Six Rings…we get it. But respectfully, we ask you to look again and consider what you’re getting when you pickup the Six Rings. Sure, they’re a “hybrid” or “fusion,” but the right colorways are not only reminiscent of your all-time favorite Js, these were actually meant to hold up to whatever weather or outdoor conditions you could throw at em. If you’re looking for a solid performer in any condition, you really should reconsider the Six Rings.
Air Jordan XX2
Inspired by an F22 Raptor fighter jet, the Air Jordan XX2 just screams performance. Often overlooked in the pantheon of Jordan silos, the Air Jordan XX2 keeps growing on us. Not only are there some really dope colorways out there, but the XX2 is a real performer, particularly on the streetball courts. Featuring a seamless inner bootie and the first titanium coated shank plate, as well as an independent podular suspension system, the Air Jordan XX2 gives you all the support and shock-absorbency you could ever ask for.
Air Jordan XIX SE
The Air Jordan XIX was yet another highly polarizing Jordan silo that got some more shine (both on-court and off) once the SE version dropped. While we’re particularly fond of the excellent black/gold colorway, the XIX SE isn’t all good looks. That infamous carbon fiber shank plate makes it’s return paired up with the terrifically responsive full-length Zoom Air unit to give the XIX SE all the performance you can handle. Match that up with the touch of flashiness of the patent leather toe box, and the XIX SE is a streetball sleeper.
Jumpman Pro Strong
Another awesome Team Jordan, the Jumpman Pro Strong was built for the big in all of us. Perfect stabilization for bangin’ on the blocks, the Pro Strong not only looks right, but gives you that support and stability you’re looking for in an outdoor hoop sneaker. On top of that, we have actually seen a recent retro of these late-90’s gems, back in 2010.
Air Jordan XX3
Obviously, with the symbolism and significance of the number 23, you knew Jordan Brand was going to come with their best for the Air Jordan XX3, and they did not disappoint. The XX3 is a monster on the court and provides the traction and responsiveness you need to dominate outdoors. Pairing that performance with the lowest profile midsole of any preceding Air Jordan, the XX3 get’s it’s oomph from that wonderful Zoom Air and IPS pillars. The XX3 is another one of those post-retirement Js that we love more and more as the years go on…particularly if you’re balling in ’em.
Air Jordan XIV
Depending on what position you play, the Air Jordan XIV may not be your go-to choice for hooping outside. But for those of us who enjoy the lightweight freedom a mid-to-low-top sneaker affords, you simply can’t go wrong with the Air Jordan XIV on the blacktop. Widely considered the best performing Jordan silo ever made, the XIV is an icon, plain and simple.
Jordan 2010 Outdoor
The name says it all! Featuring lock-down straps across the midfoot and plenty of ventilation in the toe box, this Jordan was definitely constructed with the outdoor ball player in mind. While they are built to hold up to the rigors of playing on the blacktop, they still feature plenty of cushioning with a full-length Nike Zoom unit to give you a lightweight feel. If you picked these up a few years ago, you’ve likely already played through them and got your money’s worth.