To call a pair of kicks “Team Jordans” is like calling somebody a “hypebeast”. What exactly does that mean anymore? Is it a pair of Jordan kicks that you don’t care for? Jordans that the internet doesn’t approve of so therefore you don’t approve of them either? The commentary on the quality of Js? A way to clown others when really you’re just hiding your own insecurities and actually have several pairs in your closet? Despite the millions (possibly billions) of dollars it generates for Jordan Brand and Nike, there is a very vocal group out there (you know, that place Matt Powell calls the “echo chamber”) that thinks we would be better off without these Jordans that lack “Air”.
In the late 1990s when Brand Jordan was first starting out, people weren’t laughing at releases like the Jumpman Pro or the Jordan Team 1 and deriding them as ersatz Jordans. It was an opportunity for those of us who wanted Jordans but either weren’t feeling the signature model or did not have the budget to afford them. If you’re like me, you read that special edition of SLAM! that introduced Brand Jordan to the world and wanted to believe that they were making the Jumpman accessible and affordable to everyone while still maintaining a high level of quality. That badge on the tongue on the Jordan Team 1 meant the world to a young sneakerhead. You knew (or believe because the marketing was that good) that when you bought a Brand Jordan product, you were buying into a “Performance Brand Of Excellence.”
It wasn’t until the retro craze started blowing up during the late 2000s that the so-called Team Jordan concept started going south. Whereas people before were all about wearing the most technologically advanced Jordans (albeit not always the best looking) on the market, the pendulum swung the other way and style overwhelmingly started winning over function. It was no longer about who was most comfortable and playable kicks on the court, it became who could flex the most off the court. And not surprisingly, those who never get on the court started talking and talking until you couldn’t get a word in edgewise if you even so much as praised a “Team Jordan”, which is now comprised of everything that isn’t a canon Air Jordan. Even Jordan signature shoe athletes like Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook get lumped into the conversation now.
But just like there are terrible Team Jordans out there, there are equally terrible Air Jordans (even retros) as well. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about because we’re taking the term back to mean a “Performance Brand Of Excellence.” You know, so as long as we’re not talking about True Flights because yikes…
Anyways, enjoy this list of the Top 30 Team Jordans Of All-Time as part of our Road to the Air Jordan 30.
Chris Paul’s latest signature release really falls in line with his previous kicks from an aesthetic and performance aspect, but it recently got a shot in the arm thanks to a pair of friends and family colorways that got the attention of the hype crowd. Amazing what the word “limited” will do for a sneaker’s reputation.
29Jordan Flight Runner 2 Golf
Jordan Brand is no stranger to the golf game, but let’s be honest, their initial forays into golf shoes were not well-received (remember these?). The Flight Runner 2 was the first step towards a more modern golf shoe as it uses the same tooling as Tiger Woods recent offerings and a breathable mesh upper. It didn’t make waves in the sneaker world like the Air Jordan 6 Golf shoes that shook things up late last year, but we’ll be looking forward to see how Jordan Brand evolves their golf offerings.
28Jordan Melo 1.5
A hybrid of the Air Jordan 1 and 2, the Jordan Melo 1.5 was really trying to play up the story that ‘Melo was supposed to be Jordan’s successor and that Anthony took the best elements of Jordan’s game and kicks and fused them to make it his own. While that “fusion” theory has taken Jordan to all sorts of places (some good, mostly bad), the Melo 1.5 was a great first attempt for the at the time fresh-faced kid out of Syracuse.
27Jordan Trunner Dominate Pro
The Trunner has been synonymous with Jordan Brand since practically the beginning, and the Dominate Pro stands stall as the current best pair of kicks to carry that name. With the Flight Plate technology that is found on the flagship Air Jordan XX8 (well, “similar” more than “same” to be honest), these made for an amazing ride that favored the explosive type of player that was in the market for an excellent trainer.
26Jordan Jumpman Pro 2
The Jumpman Pro was so good that few people even remember that it received a sequel. The bulkier look and feel probably had a few things to do with it, but the other reality is that there aren’t that many images of the shoe online, not to mention Jordan athletes didn’t seem to latch on to the shoe like previous iterations.
25Jordan Team Flow
Older fans might remember these as one of the kicks that many of Jordan Brand athletes wore during the mid-2000s, including players like Jason Kidd, Mike Bibby and Gary Payton and schools like North Carolina. Considering those three names were at the or near the top of the point guard food chain, the Team Flow was getting plenty of love for sure.
The Super.Fly was special from the moment they first debuted back in 2012. With Hyperfuse construction and Lunarlon cushioning, it was designed to be a performance marvel. It even has a memorable moment attached to it because during the first game of the 2012-13 NBA season, Blake Griffin shocked the sneaker world when he wore Super.Fly, signaling his departure from Nike to Jordan Brand.
23Jumpman Pro Quick
Before Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, there was Eddie Jones and Vin Baker to carry the Jordan legacy into the next generation. Like what Nike did with Flight and Force, Jordan Brand created kicks for the swingmen like Jones who were “Quick” and big guys like Baker who were “Strong” (which you’ll see later on in this list). The Pro Quick was Jones’ pseudo-signature that has earned cult status through the years.
22Jordan Team J
Between this, the Air Jordan XX8, the Zoom Flight Gloves and the Air Jordan 16, we really need to stop acting all indignant whenever a pair of kicks with a shroud comes out.
21Jordan Super.Fly 4
I personally never wore the Jordan Super.Fly 3, but it seems like the community was down on them after the excellent Super.Fly 2 (another pair you’ll see later on in this list). The Super.Fly 4 corrected that mistake with a more visually pleasing upper and a better cushioning system that allowed for more flexibility than its predecessor. During our weartest of the shoe last year, the Marvin the Martian colorway ended up being way better than the atrocity that was the Air Jordan 7 of the same name.
The RCVR is an amazing off-court shoe that really caught on with many Jordan Brand athletes as their comfort kicks of choice postgame or whenever they have to go out for a casual strol. Even Michael Jordan himself has been pictured walking around in the RCVR and PGA Tour golfer Keegan Bradley (along with Jordan) has RCVR golf shoes. That’s versatility…
19Jordan Camp 23
If there was a better and bigger picture of the actual pack online (it included a pair of awesome slides and a bag), we’d feature it here. The original Jordan pack did not include retros and was priced for less than $200. We might be slightly underrating this pair the more that I think about it.
18Jordan 3 Percent
The name comes from Michael Jordan’s body fat during his playing days and was worn by Jordan Brand athlete Randy Moss during his early years with the Minnesota Vikings. The 3 Percent recently saw a basketball-themed retro in the form of the Alpha 3 Percent Hoop a few years back, but those Moss PEs from late 90s are what stands out in the minds of many fans that couldn’t get enough of seeing the Jumpman in the gridiron.
17Jordan Melo M10
Yes, it looks like a mix of the Air Jordan 9 and Air Jordan XX8 (Jordan 9.XX8?), but considering Tinker Hatfield – designer of both the Air Jordan 9 and Air Jordan XX8 – played a role in the design, no one should really take that as an insult. Performance reviews for these have been fairly positive as an alternative if you don’t like the look of the XX8 or XX8 SE and it also can lay claim as having the single best ‘Melo shoe ever made (the Jordan Melo M10 “Black History Month”).
16Jumpman Quick 6
Nowadays, Quick 6 sounds like a horrible touchdown nickname somebody at ESPN made up for their countless hours of NFL coverage but back in the days, it was another pseudo-signature for Eddie Jones. Hopefully, Jordan Brand will get around to bringing these back so Jones can be appreciated retroactively for the trail blazer that he was for the brand.
Go ahead and call these the Jordan Roshes, it’s perfectly fine. They’re comfortable, functional and easy to slip on and off. In all honesty, they might be a better value than the Roshes that some are saying have lost relevance lately. We just love them for their simple nature and for not sucking like the Jordan Shine… or the Galaxy… or the Spike 40…
14Jordan CMFT 11
Kind of like the Air Jordan Future, but instead of taking the midsole and outsole, they took the upper and played around with it by incorporating colors that would never work on the standard 11 while also giving them the most comfortable (pun intended) ride ever. If you’re the type of sneakerhead that loves to save their 11s for special occasions but still wants the look of the classic and doesn’t give f**k about what other cool kids think, make these your next Nike outlet store purchase. Be comfy (seriously, they’re great).
Seen most prominently during the 2010 NBA Finals on the feet of Ray Allen, the Jordan Icons stood out from the sea of non-signature Jordans with their unique style and patent leather upper. One could even argue that with a few tweaks here and there, these could have easily passed that “thing” people called the Air Jordan 2010.
The Jordan CP3.VII is a great hoop shoe that got plenty of attention when they debuted thanks to CP3 actually getting airtime on national TV courtesy of Jordan Brand coupled with his State Farm ads with long-lost twin brother Cliff. Thanks to the magic of the NIKEiD, they managed to do what seemed impossible and made argyle relevant again. That’s the true power of the assist.
11Jordan Melo M9
Not everything can be an Air Jordan and knock it out of the park right from the beginning (and even the Jordans had to stumble with the Air Jordan 2, the 13, the 2009, the… you see where I’m going with this?); that thinking definitely applies to the Jordan Melo series. The Jordan Melo 1.5 was great but then we hit a snag for a while there and save for the fan-created Future Sole series, the Melos were kind of like Derek Jeter’s signature line in that they were practically anonymous. By the time Anthony made it to New York, Jordan Brand finally produced a shoe that was worthy of Anthony’s Brooklyn roots. Better late than never, right?
10Jumpman Pro Strong
Knowing what we know now, it’s kind of a bummer that Vin Baker is who we have to remember as being the marquee name wearing the Strong, but at the very least the OG Seattle-styled colorways were absolutely fantastic and better than anything the Air Jordan 13 ever came out with.
9Jordan Turn 2
While designed to be a trainer, the Turn 2 also worked as a nice and clean casual shoe that fit the style of the times. The white colorways were especially fitting during the hot summer months although it didn’t guarantee you would be as successful as Jeter was both on and off the diamond.
8Jordan 6 Rings
An amalgamation of the kicks Michael Jordan during six championship runs, the 6 Rings has stood out as one of the most successful non-signature Jordans. The fact that they they have brought back the silhouette multiple times over the years is a testament to their popularity among casual fans.
7Jordan Jumpman Pro
Worn famously by Kevin Garnett, the Jumpman Pro was what the Air Jordan 13 should have been; a natural extension of the iconic Air Jordan 12. The original colorways are grails to many Jordan fans that saw these as an entry point because they could not afford the signatures at the time. They came back as a retro recently, but Jordan Brand botched the release and now we’re hoping they will come back and get it right at some point. Lord knows how long the glue on the OGs will last (I would know).
6Jordan Dub Zero
There is an urban legend out there that Jordan Brand “leaked” the Dub Zero to make people believe they were the actual Air Jordan XX. Whether that’s true or not will probably never be debunked, but in 2005 we did see the debut of the Dub Zero, a tribute to Tinker Hatfield’s contributions to the brand, and the Air Jordan XX, a tribute to Michael Jordan’s career. Has to be more than a coincidence, right?
5Jordan Super Freak
If we judged athletes solely on natural ability alone, nobody would touch Randy Moss. There was a reason why he got the nickname Super Freak; his seemingly lackadaisical demeanor reminded you of the jerk who never studied in college but somehow graduated with honors. There would be times when you would forget he was even on the field, but when he did something, the whole world watched in awe.
4Jordan Super.Fly 2
Great shoes, even better commercial. Thanks, Dr. Drain…
3Air Jordan Future
Not to disrespect national treasure DJ Khaled in any way, but the Jordan Future played itself in 2014. The Future had everything going for it at launch; excellent marketing, a brilliantly realized concept that merged comfort with style, hot launch colorways, the co-sign of virtually every sneaker blog (us included) and the quite acceptance of the sneaker community (they weren’t going to get too excited for fear of being outed as liking Team Jordans). But then the summer and fall saw the release of too many colorways that it took away from what made the initial release special. They should have let the original Glow and Multicolor drops breathe a little and restock them instead of releasing new colorways on a near weekly basis like they were Roshes. By the end of the year, we were burnt out on the Future and 2015 saw the excellent Lows just sit on shelves because it became a little too much. Still an amazing silhouette from top to bottom and we have hopes the Horizon will breathe new life into the concept, but maybe some time away will do everybody good.
Without Spike Lee, Michael Jordan isn’t as mythologized as he is today. That’s how brilliantly sublime those early Air Jordans commercials were for building up the image of His Airness. So it was only fitting that Jordan Brand say thanks to their longtime partner by releasing a sneaker that took elements from the kicks he had a part in helping hype up. It’s a small miracle that the Spizike didn’t end up looking like crap because if there is one thing Jordan Brand has had a miserable batting average on, it’s their hybrid models.
1Jordan Team 1
These are the definitive team shoes and that’s not some sort of backhanded compliment. Worn by Eddie Jones and Ray Allen, the Team 1 was also rocked by the original Jordan Brand schools like Cincinnati and North Carolina A&T. The Team 1 also dropped in colorways that would make you think of Jordan’s real alma matter North Carolina and rival Michigan. Like the Jumpman Pro, these also got a retro a few years back in the form of the Jordan Hardcourt Classic 1 that was so bad that it… you know, it was just really atrocious and should never be talked about again. I had to nerve to call these the best retros of 2014 and I stand by that to this day. Now bring that those Cal/Michigan colorways, Jordan Brand, please…