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History of the Air Jordan 3

The groundbreaker.

The Air Jordan line kicked off in 1985, but to many, the Air Jordan 3 is what started the line of greatness.

In so many ways, the Air Jordan 3 was a first in footwear.  The Jordan 3 was the first Air Jordan designed by famed and legendary sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield when it hit Michael Jordan’s feet for the 1987-88 season.  While we saw high-top and low-top versions of the Air Jordan signature shoe in the first two models, the Air Jordan 3 was the first mid-top basketball shoe.  The mid-top design allowed for greater flexibility than the high-tops but provided the right amount of stability for the 6-6 basketball prodigy.  Other firsts that the Air Jordan 3 highlight is the first Air Jordan to sport the famous Jumpman logo and the first with a visible Nike Air unit.

While the Air Jordan 3 shared a midsole/outsole with the Nike Air Revolution, with time, the sole has become synonymous to sneakerheads with the AJ3.  We have seen this midsole/outsole combination on a number of Jordan shoes, the Nike Air Assault retro, and even the Nike Air Yeezy.

23 Best Air Jordan 3s Of All Time

Inspired by luxury handbags, Tinker Hatfield graced the Air Jordan 3 with a touch of exotic skin like with the Air Jordan 2 by adding a toe cap, eye-stay, and heel accent featuring elephant print – leather that was altered to resemble elephant skin. The legacy of Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan 3 has inspired countless shoes, apparel pieces, and accessories to feature this unmistakable pattern.

Celebrating the Air Jordan 3

As if the unique look and revolutionary design of the Air Jordan 3 weren’t enough, what Michael Jordan did in the Air Jordan 3 further cemented the shoe into history as an all time great.  While Michael Jordan was not able to achieve an NBA Championship in the Air Jordan 3, he took home almost every other possible award the NBA had to offer including:

  • NBA All-Star
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP
  • NBA Slam Dunk Contest Title
  • NBA Steal Champion
  • NBA Scoring Champion
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • NBA Most Valuable Player

Michael Jordan had a career-defining season in the Air Jordan 3, but luckily for MJ and Chicago Bulls fans, he was only getting started.

Air Jordan 3 Colorways

The Air Jordan 3 had four original colorways that were released in 1988, but the retro lineup has brought out scores more.

Air Jordan 3 Commercials

The Air Jordan 3 was a first in many ways as a product, but in marketing efforts, it was the first Air Jordan shoe to be promoted with the tag-team duo of Michael Jordan and Mars Blackmon played by filmmaker and director Spike Lee.  The best Air Jordan 3 commercials, ads, and videos are highlighted in a feature we have put together below.

Retro Air Jordan 3 History

The Air Jordan 3 first saw its return when Michael Jordan abruptly left the game of basketball at the end of 1993.  For the first time in the history of Jordan shoes, a shoe was brought back as a retro.  Just like with the other retro Jordans from the 1994-95 retro era, the retro Air Jordan 3 was brought out in just two colorways: White/Cement and Black/Cement.

 A History of Retro Air Jordan 3s

Air Jordan 3 Release Dates

If and when any retro Air Jordan 3 is confirmed, you will find it listed on the Jordan release dates page along with all upcoming retro Air Jordan shoes.

Air Jordan 3 News

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