Jordan’s Best Off-Court Sneaker Moments


You already know about MJ‘s sneaker exploits in games, but we highlight 30 of the best off-court sneaker moments from His Airness over the years. From commercials to photo shoots to pre- and post-game snapshots, it’s not only signature Jordans Michael has laced up in documented moments. Dating all the way back to 1986 and the Jordan I to nowadays when MJ was captured rocking the ‘Concord’ Jordan 11 Lows playing beer pong, these photos will sure bring up some great memories for any type of Jordan fan.

Air Jordan I "Black Toe"

Year Worn: 1986

Of course we had to include one of the most iconic Michael Jordan ads of all time…the origin of the Jumpman. This ad, from 1986, had MJ rocking the “Black Toe” Air Jordan I, and established the Jumpman logo in the minds of fans worldwide. Though the logo itself didn’t make it onto an actual sneaker until the Air Jordan III in 1988, the Jumpman logo was emblazoned all over hang tags on the Is and IIs.

Air Jordan I "Black/Red"

Year Worn: 1986

We all know the story of the NBA “banning” the black/red Air Jordan I. Which is why it’s awesome to see this old shot of His Airness and Dave chatting about the controversy on MJ’s first Letterman appearance in 1986.

Air Jordan I "Black Toe"

Year Worn: 1986

MJ’s love for golf, and competitive attitude, carry over even on the putt-putt course. Here he is back in 1986, dropping shots while rocking the “Black Toe” Air Jordan I.

Nike Air Trainer 1 Mid

Year Worn: 1987

One of our favorite athletes of all time rocking one of our favorite Nike silos of all time…this one speaks for itself.

Nike Air Force II

Year Worn: 1987

Lots of internet sneakerheads get on Mike for his off-court style. But don’t get it twisted; back in the day, MJ had flavor! Just look at those Air Force IIs.

Air Jordan II

Year Worn: 1987

MJ with the Kangol! Over the years, the Air Jordan II has very much become known as a lifestyle sneaker, but back in the day it was a cutting edge hoops shoe. Here, MJ is lacing up a crispy pair in pre-game. Beautiful.

Air Jordan III Black Cement

Year Worn: 1989

Possibly one of the greatest athletics advertisements ever, the “Best on Earth, Best on Mars” campaign, featuring none other than Spike Lee, gave us countless gems. These posters are some of our favorites. Throwback!

Air Jordan VI "New Maroon"

Year Worn: 1991

With 2014 being the year of the Air Jordan VI retro, we’ve been seeing some previews of dope OG colorways returning. One we’ve yet to hear about (so far, anyway), are the fantastic “New Maroon” AJ VIs, which Mike is seen sporting in this ad from 1991. Fingers crossed guys.

Air Jordan VI "Sport Blue"

Year Worn: 1991

If this 1991 photo of MJ rocking the Air Jordan VI “Sport Blue” doesn’t get you hyped for the upcoming retro, you better check your pulse. It’s been nearly 25 years, but these VIs still go HARD.

Air Jordan VI White/Infrared

Year Worn: 1991

This old Nike ad may confirm Nike’s suspected clairvoyant powers. Not only is it a nice little dig at the Rose City’s infamous weather, but the Bulls burned the Blazers the very next year in the NBA Finals. ILLUMINATI!

Nike Air Huarache LE

Year Worn: 1992

After shrugging his way past the Portland Trailblazers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, MJ celebrated his second title in style by rocking these dope OG Huaraches.

Air Jordan VII Bordeaux

Year Worn: 1992

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but we think this one’s worth a bit more than that. This MJ vs MJ showdown occurred in 1992, filming the King of Pop’s “Jam” music video. While Jackson went with understated loafers, His Airness opted for the Air Jordan VII “Bordeaux.”

Nike Air Max 180

Year Worn: 1992

The recent run of Air Max 180 retros has been much appreciated. But His Airness was rocking these “Concord” 180s way back in 1992. One of his favorite off-court sneakers during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, MJ often subbed these in when he got tired of the infamous Air Jordan VII “Olympic.”

Air Jordan VII "Olympic"

Year Worn: 1992

Speaking of the Olympic VIIs, this was actually one of our favorite photos found, throughout all our research. If walls could talk…

Air Jordan VI "Carmine"

Year Worn: 1992

MJ didn’t JUST rock the Air Jordan 6 during the Olympics. For some promotional shots, he also laced up the OG Air Jordan VI “Carmine.”

Air Jordan VIII "Aqua"

Year Worn: 1996

This 1996 poster really brings back the memories. With Space Jam burning through VCRs across the country, MJ was seen in tons of promotional material with iconic Looney Tunes characters. This one, where he’s rocking the Air Jordan VIII “Aqua,” is one of our favorites.

Air Jordan IX 'Powder Blue'

Year Worn: 1993

We love this Footlocker ad from 1993. Not only is it a throwback, with Mike rocking his old UNC threads, but this is one of our all-time favorite Air Jordan IXs, the OG ‘Dark Powder Blue’ colorway.

Air Jordan IX 'Olive'

Year Worn: 1993

Just look how 90s this photo is! While we love the ‘Olive’ Air Jordan IX (and have expressed that opinion often around these parts), the real star of the show is that outfit. Oooh, kill ’em MJ!

Air Jordan XI "Concord"

Year Worn: 1995

Bringing together the combination of high-fashion and upper-echelon performance, the Air Jordan XI “Concord” was the talk of the town back when it debuted in 1995. And, just looking at these promo pics today, it still has that effect on us some 20 years later.

Air Jordan XI Low "Concord"

Year Worn: 1996

Man, MJ and the folks at Jordan Brand really know how to keep the sneakerheads thirsting. After bringing a fourth title back to the CHI in 1996, Mike victoriously sported the never-before-seen Air Jordan XI Low “Concords” during the victory parade. A sneaker that wouldn’t hit retail until 2014…nice slow-play there JB.

Air Jordan XII White/Red

Year Worn: 1997

This is such a great ’90s shot of the 1997 Chicago Bulls muggin’ for the camera. Just look at the fearsome faces of Jud Buechler and Luc Longley…vicious. Oh, and MJ’s white and red Air Jordan XIIs are pretty dope too.

Air Jordan XIII "He Got Game"

Year Worn: 1997

This is an awesome shot of Jordan rapping with the legendary Zenmaster Phil Jackson, while sporting his cap backwards and the dope OG Air Jordan XIIIs (we refuse to call them “He Got Games”). See? MJ didn’t ALWAYS rock that #NTDenim.

Air Jordan XIV "Black Toe"

Year Worn: 1998

We can’t forget to include this one. One of our favorite on-court Jays of all time, the Air Jordan XIV “Black Toe” being rocked off-court by MJ himself. Just look at that face…it just oozes “my kicks are more comfortable than yours.”

Air Jordan XVI Black/Red

Year Worn: 2001

Due to MJ’s retirement, the Air Jordan XV didn’t sell well at retail. And, after all the heat they took for what appeared to be a ‘step down’ in the signature line, Jordan Brand knew they needed to come with it for the XVI. But, perhaps more importantly, they needed to show MJ actually wearing the XVI. Like the XV, the XVI may not be our favorite Jordan silo of all time. But we love the piece of history and MJ lore that these ads embody.

Air Jordan XVII+ Low "All Star"

Year Worn: 2002

This is such an awesome photo of MJ, Kobe and Garnett. Taken back in 2002, during MJ’s final All Star Weekend appearance (as a player anyway), His Airness sported the fantastic XVII+ Low “All Star.” A sneaker we’re STILL waiting on a retro of. Hint, hint!

Air Jordan III "Pure $"

Year Worn: 2010

Rocked in 2010, while promoting the 20th anniversary Jordan collection alongside the legendary Tinker Hatfield, MJ sported the fantastic “Pure Money” Air Jordan III. And, while this image is a bit bittersweet, because we wanted the whole collection to hit retail, at least we got a shot at the XI (not to mention the aforementioned “Pure” colorway retros of the III and IV). Those are pretty solid consolations in our eyes.

Air Jordan VII "Hare"

Year Worn: 1992 (Magazine release in 2011)

A bit of the old and a bit of the new. The February 2011 GQ issue featured a 1992 His Airness on the cover while rocking the fan-favorite Air Jordan VII “Hare”. Another cover for the collection, eh Mike?

Air Jordan XI Black/White-Gum

Year Worn: 2012

This one hurts the feelings a little. Look, we know Jordan’s got countless sneakers we’ll never have, likely including future colorways years ahead of the retail curve. But, when MJ breaks out the XI Low that appears to be a “Space Jam” colorway, we get hyped and disappointed all at the same time. This one’s got us feeling some type of way.

Air Jordan XI Low "Concord"

Year Worn: 2013

By the time MJ rocked the XI Low “Concords” again in 2013, we knew of their existence…but we had no idea that we’d actually get a shot of them at retail. These pics of Mike on vacation in Miami, playing beer pong no less, and rocking neck-breakers, truly started to get the internet hype machine churning.

Air Jordan XIII (Unreleased)

Year Worn: 2014

MJ brought these dope XIIIs out back in January 2014, while watching his Bobcats courtside. Ah, the perks of being MJ. We guess being a billionaire athlete and the greatest NBA player ever does not suck.


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