Jordan Brand had one of its biggest years on the resell market in 2020, with retro Air Jordans more popular than ever. That led to Highsnobiety crowning Michael Jordan the (still) GOAT of sneakers in our yearly industry report. And while several high-profile collaborations, such as the Off-White™ or Union LA Nike Air Jordan 4s dominated headlines, general release Jordans remain as popular as ever.
A new year brings new releases, and now a quarter into 2021, there is still a host of highly sought-after Air Jordans waiting for us. Some are all but confirmed, such as the “University Blue” Nike Air Jordan 4, while others are still only rumored, such as the "Reverse Bred" Nike Air Jordan 13.
Below, we’ve rounded up our selection of the most noteworthy Air Jordans that may (or may not) be released in 2021. Some may be more familiar due to their color-blocking, while others are brand new, non-OG colorways.
Read on for more on the best general release Jordans to look out for.
Air Jordan 5 “Anthracite”
Release Date: February 6
Editor’s Notes: After celebrating its 30th birthday last year, the Air Jordan 5 is set to return very soon in a stealthy new colorway. The upcoming pair combines hits of anthracite, black, and wolf grey, all coming together to deliver an enticing iteration of the Tinker Hatfield-designed silhouette. The 5s are branded with the customary "23" at the heel and the Jumpman logo on the tongue and heel.
Air Jordan 1 “Neutral Grey”
Release Date: February 10
Editor’s Notes: The "Neutral Grey" Nike Air Jordan 1 is one of a few original colorways from 1985 to have never been retroed — until now. The "Hi '85" designation points to the silhouette having a higher and more traditional collar. The sneaker is predominantly constructed from premium leather and suede and comes with the classic Air Jordan hangtag.
Air Jordan 6 "Carmine"
Release Date: February 13
Editor’s Notes: Nike is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan 6 by bringing back the prized "Carmine" colorway. Arriving in OG fashion, the pair — which was the first Air Jordan 6 to incorporate colored panels on the upper — looks exactly like the 1991 model, complete with Nike Air branding on the heels.
Air Jordan 1 "Silver Toe"
Release Date: February 19
Editor’s Notes: The "Silver Toe" Air Jordan 1 is one of multiple Jordan Brand women's releases to keep an eye on. The colorway offers a twist to the "Gold Toe" iteration. As the name suggests, gold is swapped for silver, which is supposedly a nod to space innovation and the future of flight.
Air Jordan 3 "Cool Grey"
Release Date: February 20
Editor’s Notes: The "Cool Grey" Air Jordan 3 is widely considered one of the best non-OG colorways of the silhouette. The popular model is finally primed for a return following its most recent release in 2007. The 2021 iteration comes across as identical to the aforementioned variation, so expect this one to fly off the shelves on release day in February.
Air Jordan 4 “Taupe Haze”
Release Date: February 27
Editor’s Notes: By now, you've probably seen the “Taupe Haze” Air Jordan 4 numerous times. Some, including us, have likened it to a friends and family colorway of Travis Scott's Air Jordan 4, making it one of the most sought-after non-OG colorways this year. Unfortunately, Nike has delayed its release multiple times already. Currently, it's scheduled to arrive on February 27 — fingers crossed.
Air Jordan 3 "Midnight Navy"
Release Date: March 20
Editor’s Notes: Georgetown University is one of a handful of collegiate basketball programs sponsored by Jordan Brand. And although this "Midnight Navy" colorway of the Air Jordan 3 bears no Hoya-specific branding, it's clearly a nod to the university program. The sneaker incorporates navy-colored tumbled leather on the upper, perforated gray collars, and the customary elephant print on the mudguards and heel. Further tying to the Georgetown theme, the "Midnight Navy" makeup is slated to arrive in conjunction with NCAA March Madness on March 20.
Air Jordan 5 “Stealth 2.0”
Release Date: March 27
Editor’s Notes: If this Air Jordan 5 colorway looks familiar, that's because it should. Officially dubbed the "Stealth 2.0," the 2021 release is a follow-up to the Air Jordan 5 "Stealth" from 2006. The pair, which also goes by "Hyper Royal," boasts a clean white upper accented with blue details and silver trim, including the OG reflective silver tongue. With its connection to 2006's "Stealth" colorway, expect this Air Jordan 5 to be considerably coveted.
Air Jordan 1 Zoom CMFT "Stadium Green"
Release Date: April 3
Editor’s Notes: Purists may not be on board with Nike's new(ish) Air Jordan 1 variant, the Air Jordan 1 Zoom CMFT, but that hasn't stopped the brand from whipping up a batch of fresh colorways. One of the most enticing iterations has emerged in a green, white, and black look, with familiar AJ 1 color-blocking. The Zoom CMFT materials differ from the typical Air Jordan 1, and that's okay. Plus, we're into that cut-out Swoosh.
Air Jordan 4 “University Blue”
Release Date: April 28
Editor’s Notes: Similar to Georgetown, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is also team Jordan Brand. Michael himself did play there, after all. Included in the brand's Spring 2021 collection, this UNC-themed Air Jordan 4 is one of the clear standouts from the seasonal assortment. UNC Jordans have become insanely popular over the years, so prepare yourself for this one to be rather difficult to secure.
Air Jordan 13 “Red Flint”
Release Date: May 1
Editor’s Notes: While some initially believed the colorway harkens back to MJ's days with the Chicago Bulls — which is a broad spectrum for inspiration — Nike has since revealed that the "Red Flint" Air Jordan 13 is a flip of the "Flint Grey," with an infusion of "Gym Red." The color-blocking is a clear nod to the beloved Flints, and we believe the red variation will soon become considerably sought-after, too.
Air Jordan 1 "Shadow 2.0"
Release Date: May 15
Buy: Nike SNKRS
Editor’s Notes: The classic black and grey "Shadow" colorway has been given an update, aptly referred to as "Shadow 2.0." With a scheme that would make any Raiders fan smile, the 1s pair a genuine black leather upper with light smoke grey nubuck overlays. The silhouette's signature Swoosh logo is implemented on the side, while the ball and wings motif appears at the collar and "Nike Air" is added to the tongue and insoles.
Air Jordan 3 "Rust Pink"
Release Date: TBC (Rumored to be May 28)
Editor’s Notes: Yet another women's drop, the Air Jordan 3 "Rust Pink" is one of our favorites from the upcoming general release colorways. The pair draws similarities to Aleali May's Air Jordan 6 “Millennial Pink” from 2019, featuring a pink nubuck base layer complemented by brighter pops of pink and matching elephant print.
Air Jordan 4 “White Oreo”
Release Date: TBC (Rumored to be June 19)
Editor’s Notes: Still waiting for the "White Cement" Air Jordan 4 to return? Then you may want to go ahead and snag the "White Oreo" colorway in the meantime. This lookalike has yet to be announced by Nike, but we have come across official images of the anticipated pair. The shoe's gray speckled midsole has led many to call it the "Oreo," although an Air Jordan 4 with that nickname already exists.
Air Jordan 13 “Reverse Bred”
Release Date: TBC (Rumored to be Spring 2021)
Editor’s Notes: Nike has taken the beloved "Bred" color scheme and flipped it for this upcoming take on the Air Jordan 13. The same shades of black and red are at play, albeit with reversed placement, as red is the dominant color on this impending release. The silhouette's signature holographic emblem appropriately marks the pair at the heel.
Air Jordan 6 “Gold Hoops”
Release Date: TBC (rumored to be July 1)
Editor’s Notes: Recently, we've gotten our first look at what could be the Air Jordan 6 “Gold Hoops.” Nike hasn't announced the new colorway, so for now, we have a mere mockup by @zsneakerheadz. MJ wore the Air Jordan 6 during his first championship run with the Bulls when they beat the Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals. It remains to be seen if the "Gold Hoops" iteration bears any connection to Jordan's first title, but expect to hear more about the women's colorway as we near the rumored July release.
Air Jordan 3 "Racer Blue"
Release Date: TBC (rumored to be July 10)
Editor’s Notes: The all-new "Racer Blue" Air Jordan 3 is essentially a flipped version of the "Sport Blue" colorway from 2014. Boasting an undeniably clean look, the Tinker Hatfield-designed sneaker sports white tumbled leather on the upper and reflective elephant print panels for a classic look. Nike Air branding is absent from the heel, however, which instead bears the Jumpman Air insignia.
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