We’re still quite early into the year, but it’s never too soon to highlight our picks for the best Jordans of the year, so far.
Each weekend brings a laundry list of big releases, and we know all too well that keeping track of 2019’s best drops is no small task. At the end of the year, look out for our annual Highsnobiety Crowns awards, where we recap the best of the best, including the best sneakers that dropped over 12 months. In case you missed it, our pick for the best sneaker of 2018 was the Nike React Element 87.
From OG Air Jordan sneakers that were worn by Michael himself, to new updated color stories and much more, these are the best Jordans of 2019.
Nike Air Jordan 6 “Infrared”
Distinguished as the sneaker Michael Jordan was wearing when first hoisted the NBA championship trophy in 1991, the Air Jordan 6 was designed by Tinker Hatfield, who took inspiration from the Porsche 911 that Jordan was driving at the time. While features like the neoprene sleeve, translucent rubber sole and visible air have always been mainstays of the Jordan 6, this 2019 release of the original “Infrared” colorway comes with Nike Air branding on the heel, for the first time since the colorway’s 2000 release. Furthermore, the “Infrared” scheme is one of Nike’s most important color stories, popularized in part by the Nike Air Max 90 from 1990.
Nike Air Jordan 5 “Laney”
A nod to Emsley A. Laney High School, Michael Jordan’s high school in Wilmington, North Carolina, this “Laney” Air Jordan 5 features a predominantly blue color scheme, as a flip on the 2000 and 2013 “Laney” Air Jordan 5 which featured a predominantly white colorway with blue and yellow hits. His Airness himself famously failed to make the varsity basketball team at Laney High as a sophomore. “Laney” colorways are a recurring theme from Jordan Brand, alongside colorways inspired by Jordan’s university, the University of North Carolina.
Social Status x Nike Air Jordan 6
East Coast retailer Social Status collaborated with Jordan Brand for the first time, to re-work the Air Jordan 6. Referencing Jordan’s “Black Cat” nickname, which was a moniker given to him as a child, and later by Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, the special edition 6 was decked out with characteristic pony hair and reptilian print. To round out the collaborative design, contrasting “Concord” purple hits can be found on the midsole, lace lock, and heel.
Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 “Cactus Jack”
Following on the success of his Air Force 1 and Air Jordan IV silhouettes, Travis Scott took on the iconic Air Jordan 1, re-imagining the shoe like never before. Electing a brown, white and black colorway, the Scott-edition Jordans feature the addition of a velcro stash pocket, plus the shoe’s most eye-catching detail – an inverted Swoosh. Like his previous Nike collaborations, Cactus Jack branding is found debossed on the heel of the shoe.
This take on the Jordan 1 dropped on the Nike SNKRS app during the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, however a wider release will be coming later this year. Scott has also teased two low-top Jordan 1s that could be releasing in the near future, so stay tuned for more news on those.
Nike Air Jordan 4 “Bred”
A staple collectible for any self-respecting Jordan fan, the “Bred” 4 returns for 2019, after a 7 year hiatus since its last retro release in 2012. First released in 1989, the “Bred” version was one of the first four OG colorways, alongside “Fire Red,” “Military Blue,” and “White Cement” iterations of the Jordan 4. 2019’s version remains true to the original, with Nike Air branding on the heel, the same as the pair worn by Jordan in the 1989 NBA Playoffs when His Airness famously twisted to the foul line and the hit “The Shot” over Cleveland Cavaliers’ Craig Ehlo, winning the series for the Bulls and sending them into the semifinals.
Jordan 1 SB “LA to Chicago”
Jordan Brand’s affiliation with skateboarding can largely be traced back to the 1987, Stacy Peralta-produced movie The Search For Animal Chin, in which names like Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero and Lance Mountain appeared. Several skaters laced up Jordan 1s for the film, and this “LA to Chicago” colorway pays homage to the way that skateboarders adopted the high top basketball shoe. Over time, the Los Angeles-inspired colorway will wear down to reveal a Chicago-centric black and red color scheme, much like the original Lance Mountain Jordan 1 SB from 2014.
For a deeper dive into Air Jordans, watch the video below.
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