Seen as some of the best sports shoes in history, Jordans command a large segment of the sports shoe market and for good reasons. These exquisite shoes are beyond perfect when it comes to flexibility, traction, mobility, and adherence on pretty much any surface. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to call them THE best sports shoes ever made because they’re more or less in a class of their own. Initially designed as basketball shoes, they have sinced elevated to much more than that.
Having said that, we should point out that their popularity gave rise to quite a hefty competition in the industry, but that they are considered the very best to this day still. Even so, you cannot expect every Jordans pair to meet everyone’s needs, not just because of how much each model differs from one another but also because of how each model is built and the unique characteristics they possess. With that in mind, let us find out what are the ten best Jordans the market has to offer and what to look for when buying a pair.
Best Jordans – Top List
10NIKE Jordan FLTCLB ’91
Designed in a classic style, the FLTCLB ’91 Jordans boast a leather-and-synethetic construction with rubber soles and lace-up closures. They also benefit from a shaft that’s slightly taller than what other sneakers in this range have. Interestingly enough, these shoes boast cushioned inner soles for added comfort and visible air-sole units in the heels for an improved cushioning on rough terrain. Overall, they are some of the most comortable Jordans ever made.
9Jordan Air 9 Retro Men’s Basketball Shoes
These synthetic Jordans enjoy a retro look that blends a Bred-themed style with a more modern approach to cushioning. Mostly designed in dark shades, these shoes deliver a clean look with a mix of full grain leather for extra shine on their upper. Not just that bu their bold red accents aim to guarantee a much bigger visual impact on account of their ingenious chromatics. On a related note, let us point out that their fabric/leather construction also makes them a lot more durable than most.
8Jordan 12 Retro Wool
Jordan 12 Retro Wool stand out by their wool upper, a design which you don’t normally find in sports shoes. Combined with synthetic elements, this retro shoe blends fabric, rubber, and wool in a union of smoothness and comfort rarely found in shoes built for mobility. Relatively light in weight and rather comfortable to wear over long periods of time, they are perfect for almost activity that involves jogging or fast walking.
7NIKE Jordan Men’s Jumpman Pro Quick
With these leather-based shoes, you get a truly unique design and a very aesthetically pleasing blend of colors. In terms of actual design, you get a shoe with design cues taken straight from the old 1998 model, combined with modern-day technologies. Among them, a responsive air-sole unit in the heel and a solid rubber outsole for durable traction. Not just that but the shoe can also be considered one of the most lightweight in its class which says a lot about its overall quality.
6Air Jordan 13 Retro
As the name suggests, this is a commemorative shoe at its core, one that also features all the benefits of modern, high-end sports shoes. Built in the style of Chicago Bulls home-ground coloring, these simplistic yet sublime shoes can be expected to meet all the flexibility and mobility standards of nowadays sports apparel. At the same time, however, they also impress through their exquisite theme and retro look.
5Jordan Air 11 Retro Low Men’s Shoes
The Air 11 is a low-cut model, the type that you wear if you live an active lifestyle. Made with a leather & synthetic upper and a rubber outsole with a multi-directional pattern, they can surely be considered some of the most flexible and reliable sports shoes out there. Speaking of their upper, they also exhibit a leather and Durabuck segment with premium patent leather details for good measure.
4Jordan Men Eclipse
Simplistic in their design yet highly reliable on the court, the Eclipse is seen as one of the best Jordans due to its impressive flexibility. This lightweight mesh shoe has a 3.5-inch shaft, a mesh upper, a rubber sole, and an encapsulated air-sole unit in its heel for an improved cushioning. At the same time, it enjoys a Herringbone pattern outsole to deliver an improved traction and on-court flexibility.
3Air Jordan 6 Retro
If you are looking for stability as well as protection and breathability, then look no further than the Air Jordan 6 Retro. Unlike other Jordans, this one focuses on ankle protection and an increased airflow, without sacrificing any of its flexibility in the process. On top of that, it also stands out through its strong suede sole which is designed to both increase your mobility on the court and to provide you with a high standard of comfort as well.
2Air Jordan 4 Retro LS
The Legend Blue is a true classic in every sense of the word, both in design and sturdiness. A remnant of an age long passed, this particular shoe employs the same seemingly rigid yet highly protective design as old-school sports shoes, with the added benefit of being much more breathable. Made from a leather & synthetic blend of materials with a rubber sole, you will find this ingenious shoe to be just as reliable as it is comfortable.
1Air Jordan 11 Retro Low
Employing a truly exquisite modern design, the Retro Low Infrared represents all that Air Jordan stands for. This flexible and reliable shoe offers a great deal of stability and grip on almost any type of surface with no limitations whatsoever. Made from a leather & synthetic blend of materials with an impressively lightweight sole, it stands apart as one of the most comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing sports shoes on the market today. Furthermore, this ingenious shoe usually comes dressed in a sleek black upper with a grey heel panel and a wide range of vibrant infrared on the branding.
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Finding The Best Jordans
Seeing how reputable Jordans are compared to other sports shoes, you definitely want to put some serious thought into buying a pair when the time comes. Going by reputation alone doesn’t cut it, not considering how many different types of Jordans are out there and how much they differ from one another. So before you actually settle on a purchase, it couldn’t hurt to educate yourself on the nature of Jordans and the specifics that stand them apart from other types of sports shoes. In this respect, you should take the time and learn about the subtle differences between models and the unique characteristics that recommend them.
The first thing you want to consider is the overall design of the shoe because you don’t really want to buy a pair just for the brand alone. If you prefer wearing the shoes both for training and for casual purposes, then perhaps you should go for a modern outlook, a shoe made of synthetic materials and with a decent airflow. If, however, you are mostly focused on your workout experience and the gains you can achieve, then you should go for a pair of retro style Jordans because they offer the best ankle and foot protection possible. By going for a mix between the two, you are limited to only a handful of Jordans, but you then get the certainty of a greater versatility.
The Age Issue
Now, this is the part that some people feel a bit uncomfortable discussing – the way their age impacts their need for certain sports shoes. Seeing how many of the new Jordans are generally designed for young performers, you shouldn’t necessarily aim towards new designs if you’re not a young person yourself. If you are, however, then expect the new models to command a considerably bigger price tag when compared to old-school, retro style Jordans. On the other hand, it has to be said that some of the new models are a lot more breathable, flexible, and comfortable than most of the older models, mostly a result of the higher quality materials used in making them.
Benefits Of A Retro Design
Apart from the nostalgic feeling some people get from old fashion shoes, they do possess their undeniable benefits. Among them, their capacity to bode well with almost any outfit as long as the coloring matches. Bear in mind that these shoes are also usually built to meet a rigorous standard when it comes to stretching and general toughness. As a matter of fact, some of these shoes are a lot more durable than newer models. Again, this is owed to the different materials used in their making, which affects their capacity to withstand damage over time.
The Disadvantages Of A Retro Design
We talked about the benefits of a retro pair of Jordans but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to sports shoes. Of course that these shoes will stand out through their aesthetics, but good looks alone shouldn’t be used to determine the overall value of a pair of shoes, be them Jordans or other brands. For the most part, Jordans have to adhere to a certain quality standard, but even among them, we find low-end versions in regards to durability and general comfort.
The Quality – The quality issue is highly debatable with Jordans, because it mostly comes down to what you use them for. Were you to wear your Jordans only in a social environment, then you can expect them to last quite a lot. With regards to actually working out or playing sports, you definitely want newer models for their increased durability. Made from higher quality materials, they can withstand a lot of damage before tearing or breaking down in any way that might impact your wearing experience.
The Popularity – Even though we would recommend that you didn’t use a product’s popularity to gauge its usefulness, this certainly isn’t true when it comes to Jordans. In fact, the more people talk about a specific pair of Jordans the more likely it is that they are of a superior standard. With retro models, there is always a risk that they might fall out of grace, meaning that they will also drop in value over time. This is the last thing you want after you’ve already spent a lot of money making the initial purchase.
The Colors – You also have to keep in mind that older Jordans were built according to a more rigid design, in the sense that they lack the coloring of newer models. This may not be too much of a problem for people who mainly use them for sporting purposes but it definitely matters for those who wear them casually. Not just that but bland, retro versions are also more difficult to blend into any modern attire, which means that they will not match whatever clothes you commonly wear.
Consider Buying More Than One Pair
Here’s an interesting suggestion – why not buy more than a pair of your favorite Jordans? If you can afford it, of course, you should perhaps consider buying not one but two pairs of Jordans; and they don’t both have to be the same model. Many Jordans fans do this to some extent, they buy a cheaper version for daily usage and a more exquisite model for going out. They call the inexpensive shoes ‘beaters’ on account of how much abuse they subject them to and they refer to the pricier version as ‘everyday’ shoes for obvious reasons.
Make Sure They’re Original
Not many people consider this, unfortunately, but high-end sports shoes are often subjected to duplication due to their popularity and steep price tag. To ensure that you’re getting the real deal, examine the quality of the box. Real Jordans come in a box with the Jumpman logo on the lid and on the side of the box. The coloring of this box has to be even and uniform, with no type of fading to speak of. You also want to look for the manufacturing sticker on the outside of the box and the nine-digit manufacturing number. With that out of the way, take a close look at the actual shoes and examine the label under the tongue along with the detail around the laces.