Air Jordan III "Denim"
Not all samples are created equal. Some are justifiably left on the production room floor, never to see a retail release. But others, like the above “Denim” Air Jordan III, are head-scratchers. One of the most beloved Jordan silhouettes, sporting a clean, all-denim upper and a dope gum sole, seems like a no-brainer. How could you go wrong? Unfortunately, these never released…but we can always dream.
Air Jordan IV "UNC"
We know that while at UNC, His Airness wore Converse…that much is fact. But, considering the connection (and even sponsorships) it’s surprising that we don’t see more releases like these Air Jordan IV “UNC” editions actually make it to market. It’s a shame too, because these IVs are fantastic.
Air Jordan V "Clippers" Chris Paul
Being a signature Jordan Brand athlete certainly has it’s perks, and, considering some of his recent social media posts, CP3 definitely takes advantage of those perks. Aside from having his own signature sneaker, which have been awesome in their own right, Chris Paul also has some of the dopest player exclusives ever, like the above Air Jordan V. Done up in plush red & blue Clippers colors, these Vs go hard.
Air Jordan XI "Ray Allen Championship PEs" Miami & Boston
Oh Ray-Ray. Not many people, even the ones in possession of some of the kicks on this list, have the sneaker closet Ray Allen has. Likely the most successful Jordan Brand athlete, outside of MJ himself, the artist formerly known as Jesus Shuttlesworth broke necks in an Air Jordan XI “Championship Celebration” PE on TWO separate occasions. For his first chip with the Boston Celtics in 2008, he broke out a green/gold colorway. And, most recently, this year he debuted what is essentially the same colorway, this time done up in Miami Heat red/gold. Salute.
Air Jordan III "Lakers" Kobe Bryant
No matter how you feel about the legendary Kobe Bean Bryant, one thing is for certain; the man has got some amazing sneaker heat. From his early days with adidas and the myriad of colorways his current Nike signature sees, to his wild Jordan PEs, like the Air Jordan III above, the Mamba’s got more heat than you.
Air Jordan VI "28 Days of Flight"
To promote the release of the Air Jordan XX8, Jordan Brand put together another interesting showcase collection recently with the “28 Days of Flight”. The XX8 debuted in early 2013 in an interesting black/neon green colorway. So JB used that same color palette on each of their silhouettes I-2012, and ran a social media contest to give away each 1-of-1 makeup to their followers. Our personal favorite was the Air Jordan VI. Look, we understand that the exclusivity was the driving factor behind this contest, but that doesn’t make us any less envious of the winners.
Air Jordan XI Low Candy Red/Gum
With all the Air Jordan XI Low colorways that have dropped over the past few years, it’s no surprise that we would inevitably see some samples that didn’t quite make the cut. This Air Jordan XI Low, in a red/gum sole colorway, likely fits into that category. That’s too bad too, because with all the talk of a “Red October” this year, these would have filled in quite nicely.
Air Jordan III 'Gold'
Though he’s often spotted rocking some dope Jordans, Usher has never been at the top of the list, when it comes to celebrities with ultra-limited sneaker heat. But, that all changed recently, with a few social media clicks he revealed a few gifts he received from Tinker Hatfield himself. One of those gifts was the ridiculous all-gold Air Jordan III teased above. Not much is known about these at the moment, but for the time being we can all gaze and wonder.
Air Jordan IX 'Silver'
Another of the aforementioned kicks that were gifted to Mr. Usher Raymond, was an all-silver take on the Air Jordan IX. Though we can’t see the whole sneaker, and not much is known about these either, with Nike playing with these metallic silver/gold colorways in their “Liquid Metal” Air Max and Dunk Sky Hi releases, it’s possible that a future release could be on the horizon.
Air Jordan IV "Oregon" Black
Speaking of missed opportunities, with all the heat being gifted to University of Oregon athletes, it’s a shame that us regular sneakerheads don’t get a chance to cop any of them…even if it were in quickstrike (or even hyperstrike) fashion. The black “Oregon” Air Jordan IVs are one of the best colorways the IV has ever seen.
Air Jordan V "Wedding" White/Black-Gold
It’s not just the athletes at Jordan Brand that get all the custom love. Back in 2006, an unnamed Jordan Brand executive got married in this amazing white/black-gold Air Jordan V colorway. Though these will almost certainly never release (even without the custom wedding date tags), we think this colorway is pretty fantastic.
Air Jordan VIII "Lakers" Kobe Bryant
Another of Kobe Bryant’s ridiculous PE collection cracks our top 25, this time, it’s the Air Jordan VIII. Done up in the color-scheme of the Lakers’ white alternate uniforms, these VIIIs are absolute bangers. Even without Mamba having worn them, we think they’d fly off shelves, if they ever released that is.
Air Jordan XIV 'Chocolate'
If you’ve been reading these features, you know that we at Kicks Deals have an affinity for brown or ginger-colored Jordans and this XIV ‘Chocolate’ sample from 2005 is right up our alley. Draped in rich brown suede, this XIV would make the perfect off-court retro. Can you hear us Jordan Brand?
Air Jordan XI "Pantone 284"
If you weren’t already jealous of Usher’s previous entries on this list, this one should get you. Recently gifted to Mr. Raymond by none other than Tinker Hatfield himself, Usher recently received this Air Jordan XI “Pantone 284″ signed by the iconic designer himself. Quite the come up.
Air Jordan III "Clear Sole"
Speaking of crazy Air Jordan III colorways, Jordan Brand has always pushed the envelope with materials and colors, and that much is evident with these sweet white/cement Air Jordan IIIs featuring a clear sole. Not much is known about these samples, but with JB’s recent push to put “icy soles” on all their retros, this clear-sole version of the AJ III would have made waves.
Air Jordan V "Knicks" Melo
Another player with a strongly established history of Jordan PEs is Carmelo Anthony, as evidenced by these Knicks-themed Air Jordan Vs. The blue/orange colorway always sells well (Knicks/Mets, heck even Cavs), so we think it’s crazy that these orange bangers haven’t made it to retail yet.
Air Jordan VI "History of Flight"
Being produced in ultra-limited numbers, the “History of Flight” Air Jordan collection eludes even the most thorough of Air Jordan collectors. Created as a promotional showcase collection, each Jordan signature silhouette was done up in a dope, minimalist white and red colorway and trimmed up with black laces. The whole collection is amazing, and each is likely worthy of a spot on this list, but our favorite is the Air Jordan VI.
Air Jordan VIII "New Orleans Hornets" Chris Paul
CP3 justifiably takes another spot on this list with his awesome Air Jordan VIII PE. These black “Away” VIIIs are from the 2007-08 season, back in his days as a New Orleans Hornet, and they are pretty incredible.
Air Jordan XI "Blackout"
The Air Jordan XI “Blackout” sample made the internet blog rounds earlier in the year. Aside from the murdered-out colorway on the most sought-after silhouette in the Jordan canon, this sample was noteworthy due to the astronomical five-figure eBay price tag. Though the tags indicate that it was intended as a holiday 2010 release, we’ll be getting a similar release this holiday season, with the Gamma Blue XI.
Air Jordan "Legends of Summer" Pack
Not much official information is available about the Air Jordan “Legends of Summer” pack, other than Justin Timberlake collaborated with JB to create these makeups in celebration of his 2013 summer tour with Jay Z. But, at this point, it looks to be made up of all-red colorways of 3 Air Jordan silos; the I (two versions), II and III. Getting our hands on just one of them would make our summer…for the next 10 summers. But, as we enter December, the name of the pack itself would seem to indicate a long wait in our future. That’s a shame too because these are absolutely killer.
Air Jordan XX3 "White/Gold"
With the exception of some limited releases and niche groups, the XX3 silhouette didn’t get a whole lot of love from the masses, that much is evidenced by the serious lack of retros or new colorways for it. However, if this gorgeous white/gold colorway would have dropped, the legacy of the XX3 might have been a bit different. Unfortunately for those of us who actually like the silo, these are (apparently) just a 1-of-1, created for MJ himself, who was seen wearing them during some drills for his Jordan Brand Flight School Camp back in 2008.
Air Jordan XII "Georgetown Collection"
Another set of unattainable Js from a showcase collection, these Air Jordan XII “Georgetown” editions are absolute fire. This is another instance where, pretty much any of these Jordans could have rightfully made this list, but our favorite is this clean colorway of the XII.
Air Jordan V "Oregon Ducks"
The most recent Air Jordan leak out of Eugene may be the best yet. This Air Jordan V “Oregon Ducks” player exclusive features a plush green suede upper, the “Fighting Ducks” logo on the heel, and just the right amount of bright yellow hits. A couple of U of O basketball players were recently suspended for selling some of their player-exclusive sneakers and, with photos of these beauties making the rounds, these would likely command a pretty penny as well. But, it’s obviously best to wait until the collegiate career is over!
Air Jordan XIII "Nuggets" Carmelo
Melo’s got crazy PE game, and these XIIIs are a perfect example. Carmelo laced up this particular PE colorway as a Denver Nugget, in the 2004-05 season. Sporting an upper with a beautiful royal blue, and a unique bright yellow outsole, this XIII would move units if it ever came to retail…they wouldn’t even have to include the “Carmelo” stitching on the tongue!
Air Jordan III ‘Pantone 284’
“If you get paid a dime or a dollar or nothing, you should still be playing the game of basketball no matter what.” MJ said that about his love for basketball when Jordan Brand spun up a “For the Love of the Game” showcase series featuring a Pantone 284 (re: Carolina Blue) version of each numbered silhouette in his signature series. Though one of the makeups, the IX, did release back in 2010, the rest remain in the hands of a select few. We think these IIIs are outstanding.