Released in 1987 during Michael Jordan’s first MVP season, the Air Jordan III has been labeled as one of the most significant sneakers of all-time. An evolution from its predecessors, the Air Jordan 3 was a refreshing take for the Jordan series. Its signature elephant print combined with Jordan’s accomplishments in them transformed them from an on-court staple to a main-stay in all rotations.
Created by Tinker Hatfield, the Air Jordan 3 changed the entirety of the sneaker landscape. Constructed using Jordan’s recommendations for a mid-cut sneaker that would be comfortable upon-wear and Hatfield’s design ability, the sneaker differentiated itself from its competitors. The sneaker is well known for several iconic design features: a visible air bubble, soft-grain leather, elephant print, and Jordan’s logo on the tongue. One of the most iconic colorways, the “Black Cement,” was worn during the 87-88 All-Star Game. Other staple colorways include the “White Cement,” “True Blue,” and “Fire Red” Air Jordan 3s. Since Jordan’s playing days and beyond, the sneaker has been produced in a multitude of colorways and iterations that have gathered love and recognition from many.
The Air Jordan 3 continues to be released and re-retroed every couple of years. Its immaculate design along with its history has produced a timeless sneaker that continues to thrive 20+ years later. No matter the changes in the world of sneakers, look for the silhouette to remain a Jordan Brand classic for years to come. While there are no dates set for the Air Jordan 3 to return anytime soon, we will keep you posted on our page for new Jordan shoe releases.
Without further ado, we have ranked for you the 10 Best Air Jordan 3 colorways of all time.
10. Solefly x Air Jordan 3 Retro “Lotto” (2014)
The Solefly x Air Jordan 3 kept something great within the family. Miami based Solefly is co-owned by Michael Jordan’s brother-in-law which granted the shop an immediate plug to greatness. The shoe’s color scheme takes its inspiration from State of Florida lottery tickets and the pairs released with special limited edition scratch offs.
9. Air Jordan 3 Retro “Doernbecher” (2013)
Since the first time a retro Jordan was included in the Doernbecher Freestyle Collection, many have chased these limited pairs. The Air Jordan 3 DB was so good that it was the only pair to get a second release which drew few complaints given that all of the money went to support the children’s hospital.
8. Air Jordan 3 Retro “Hall of Fame” (2018)
While the HOF Air Jordan 3 looks like it could have been an OG it wasn’t. And it didn’t have a crying emoji associated with it either. The pair is pretty much the White/Cement colorway swapping the midsole color from black to red. Something so simple, but so clean.
7. Air Jordan 3 Retro “Mocha” (2001 & 2018)
The Mocha Air Jordan 3 has had a complicated history. It was the first retro Air Jordan to release just a couple of days after the tragedy that took place on 9/11 in 2001. Just 5 days after that fateful Tuesday, the last thing on anyone’s mind was a new pair of sneakers. The shoes ended up hitting clearance racks at outlets and disappeared from the market rather quickly. A long-awaited retro came in 2018 and was received with a lukewarm response – not a good look for a coffee-flavored retro. Travis Scott and Jordan linked up on an AJ1 utilizing the Dark Mocha color and well, I’m sure you know how that played out with these and their market price. #traviseffect
6. Air Jordan 3 Retro “Cool Grey” (2007)
Jordan has had a string of great Cool Grey Retros and these rank high up on that list. The first two Cool Grey drops were monochromatic, but the Cool Grey Jordan 3 was the second retro to release adding some other hues of yellow. A touch of red on the Jumpman Jordan logo was a unique touch that set these apart from the rest of what we had seen to date from Jordan Brand.
5. Air Jordan 3 Retro “Black Cat” (2007)
In 2007, Jordan Brand was in its second year of taking retro Jordans to an all-white and all-black look. The All White colorway was dubbed “Pure Money” and the blacked-out pairs were known as “Black Cat” which tied in one of many nicknames for His Airness.
4. Air Jordan 3 Retro “Fire Red” (1988, 2007 & 2013)
The Fire Red Air Jordan 3 was interestingly the least loved of the original four Air Jordan 3s, but still a colorway that deserves all the praise. The Fire Red colorway had a unique blocking to it with red added to the panel around the collar of the ankle that tied to the full length color on the midsole.
3. Air Jordan 3 Retro “True Blue” (2001, 2009, 2011 & 2016)
The “True Blue” Air Jordan 3 was said to be created for Michael Jordan to wear in the 1988 NBA All-Star Game. While Mike wore them for a team photo shoot, he opted for the White/Cement for the free-throw line dunk and the Black/Cement for the actual All-Star Game where he snagged MVP. The 1988 NBA All-Star Weekend was a big coming-out party for Michael Jordan being played in his hometown of Chicago.
2. Air Jordan III “White Cement” (1988, 1994, 2003, 2011, 2013 & 2018)
Four words: Free-throw Line Dunk.
1. Air Jordan III “Black Cement” (1988, 1994, 2001, 2008, 2011 & 2018)
If there is a Mount Rushmore of Jordans and the Black/Cement Jordan 3 isn’t on there, your head has probably had a few collisions with the cement sidewalk in your life time. One of the greatest Jordans and sneakers OF ALL TIME.