The 23 Best Air Jordan 3s of All Time

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Arguably the most iconic basketball shoe ever made, the Air Jordan 3 has been a fan favorite ever since its initial release in 1988. The AJ 3 was a game changer in the Air Jordan sneaker line for a number of reasons. Designed by the legendary Tinker Hatfield, the Air Jordan 3 raised the bar when it came to the production of basketball sneakers. It was the first Air Jordan to feature the “Jumpman” logo, the first to utilize Nike’s Visible Air Unit, and the first to sport elephant print along the upper. With MJ’s phenomenal skill level and Tinker’s keen sense of innovation, the Air Jordan 3 helped launch Jordan as a brand into a league of its own. Over the last few weeks, we have seen this silhouette in array of new colorways, so we decided to take the time to rank our favorite Air Jordan 3s to date. Survey our list below, and be sure to let us know which colorway ranks number one on your personal list of favorite AJ 3s in the comment section.

23. Air Jordan 3 “Harbor Blue”

Photo via @djskee

Kicking off our countdown is one of the most slept on women’s Air Jordan releases of all time. The Air Jordan 3 “Harbor Blue” kept things simple, featuring a white leather upper with subtle harbor blue accents.

22. Air Jordan 3 “ Stealth”

Air Jordan 3 Stealth

One of the 2011 non-OG colorway releases, the Air Jordan 3 “Stealth” possesses a grey covered base with multiple varsity red hints throughout the upper to provide another subtle yet stylish Air Jordan 3 colorway.

21. Air Jordan 3 “Sport Blue”

Sport Blue makes the move from the Air Jordan 6 to the Air Jordan 3 for a very clean colorway.

20. Air Jordan 3 “5Lab3” Black

The Air Jordan 3 “5Lab3″ shines bright among other Air Jordan 3s on this list. Sporting 3M made famous by the Air Jordan 5, this sneaker flashes everywhere but the midsole and outsole.

19. Air Jordan 3 “Joker”

Air Jordan 3 Joker

In 2013, we saw the release of an All-Star edition AJ 3, also known as the Air Jordan 3 “Joker”. The iconic silhouette was treated with electric green and canyon purple to contrast a mostly black upper.

18. Air Jordan 3 “Do the Right Thing”

Air Jordan 3 Do the Right Thing

Easily one of the loudest colorways on our list, the “Do The Right Thing” Jordan 3 took inspiration from the colors of the movie’s poster to thank Spike Lee for his work with Nike and Jordan over the years.

17. Air Jordan 3 “Black History Month”

Air Jordan 3 Black History Month

In early 2011, Jordan Brand teamed up with Nike and Converse for a “Black History Month” Collection, which also includes a Kobe VI and a Converse Star Player EVO. The elephant print on this special release, which is traditionally incorporated on the Air Jordan 3, is replaced on this particular pair by laser sketches that hold significance to MJ and Black History Month.

16. Air Jordan 3 “Bright Crimson”

Air Jordan 3 Bright Crimson 136064-005

The “Bright Crimson” Air Jordan 3 is named after the vibrant crimson color that is featured on the shoe’s midsole and branding that stands out from the shoe’s predominantly black upper.

15. Air Jordan 3 “Pure Money”

Air Jordan 3 Retro Pure Money

Sporting Jordan Brand’s all-white Pure Money theme, these Air Jordan 3s flew off shelves in 2007.

14. Air Jordan 3 “Fear”

The Air Jordan 3 “Fear” makes great use of grey and black tones of premium leather, set off by gradient midsole and orange accents to capture you attention.

13. Air Jordan 3 “Oregon”

Air Jordan 3 "Oregon Ducks" Away
Air Jordan 3 “Oregon Ducks” Away (photo via Complex)
Air Jordan 3 "Oregon Ducks" Home
Air Jordan 3 “Oregon Ducks” Home (photo via Complex)

The Oregon Pit Crew Air Jordan 3s, seen above in black, were gifted to the University of Oregon’s most dedicated fans. Also coming in a player exclusive white/green colorway, these editions of the Air Jordan 3 were produced in very small numbers for the die-hard hoops supporters to cheer on the Ducks and for Oregon athletes themselves.

12. Air Jordan 3 “Black Cats”

Air Jordan 3 "Black Cat"

At first glance, the Air Jordan 3 “Black Cats” seem to be a simple monochrome sneaker, but this shoe really has a lot going on. Composed of nubuck, the use of elephant print and patent leather provides a nice material contrast.

11. Air Jordan 3 “Flip”


One of the highlights of the 2007 Jordan Brand releases, the “Flip” Air Jordan 3’s nicknamestems from the fact that the position of the elephant print has been swapped from just the heel and toe cap to adorning entire upper.

10. Air Jordan 3 “5Lab3” Black

Picking up where the inaugural silver iteration left off,  the Black Air Jordan 3 “5Lab3″ is outfitted with a tonal black upper flush with reflective detailing that is definitely more wearable than its silver counterpart. 

9. Air Jordan 3 “Legends of the Summer”

Justin Timberlake’s “Legends of the Summer” Tour with Jay Z sold tickets and made sneaker lovers salivate, as the exclusive “LOTS” Air Jordan 3 turned heads and landed in a couple giveaway winners’ closets.

8. Air Jordan 3 “ Cool Grey”

Bring 'em Back: Air Jordan 3 "Cool Grey"

The Air Jordan 3 “Cool Grey” of 2007 was a jewel in a retro AJ 3-filled year. While other famous Jordans were already constructed with a cool grey upper, few experimented with bright accents quite like these.

7. Air Jordan 3 “Mocha”

Air Jordan 3 "Mocha"

The Air Jordan 3 “Mocha” added a jolt of caffeine to the sneaker game. Serving as the first Non OG colorway of the Air Jordan 3 to ever hit the selves, it paved the way for many more to follow.

6. Air Jordan 3 “Black Flip”

Air Jordan 3 "Black Flip"

During December 2011, Jordan Brand blessed us with a release of the Air Jordan 3 “Black Flip.”  Constructed with the same design concept as the “Flip” AJ 3, black elephant print dominates the majority of the base, while tumbled leather of the same color appears on the heel.

5. Air Jordan 3 “Fire Red”

The Air Jordan 3 “Fire Red” took flight for the first time in 1988. This colorway was one of four OG editions and also one of three that was worn on court in original form by Michael Jordan. The “Fire Red” Air Jordan 3 was the last of the original colorways
to be retroed when it finally returned 18 years after its debut.

4. Air Jordan 3 “ True Blue”

Wizards hues do right by the Air Jordan 3, and the “True Blue” rendition of the MJ’s third signature remains a tried and true favorite in both OG and retro life.

3. Air Jordan 3 “Doernbecher”

The only Doernbecher Jordan to ever be retroed, this AJ 3 lands pretty high on our list. The Air Jordan 3 “Doernbecher” was designed by Cole Johanson, a participant in the Doernbecher Freestyle program in 2010, who had the opportunity to tell his story through the iconic silhouette.

2. Air Jordan 3 White/Cement

Made famous by Jordan taking flight from the free throw line in the ’88 Slam Dunk Competition, the White/Cement Air Jordan 3s are a timeless symbol of MJ’s greatness.

1. Air Jordan 3 Black/Cement

While we have seen many different colorways of the Air Jordan 3 hit shelves, the general consensus is that the Air Jordan 3 Black/Cement is one of the best, if not the best, sneakers to ever release. Whether the “Nike Air” appears on the heel tab or not, people flock in droves to attempt to cop a pair whenever they release.

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