5 best black Air Jordan sneakers of all time

Five exciting black Air Jordans released over the years (Image via Sportskeeda)
Five exciting black Air Jordans released over the years (Image via Sportskeeda)

It all started almost four decades ago, in 1984, when Air Jordan was initially created for basketball legend Michael Jordan. As a result of Michael’s immense popularity, the shoes quickly sold out after their wider release on April 1, 1985. Over the years, these shoes have seen the evolution of their offerings, swiftly turning into a collector’s footwear.

Sneakerheads and Jordanheads have seen a plethora of colors and designs worn by various Jordan Brand models over the years. But no other colour, believe it or not, can ever supplant black. Black shoes are a must-have for any wardrobe. As a result, all the black Air Jordan iterations attract more interest. Although numerous black AJ sneakers have been introduced over the years, here is a rundown of the ones that have garnered greater attention.


Five black Air Jordan releases that gained notoriety in the sneaker world

1) Air Jordan 1 High Stash

Take a closer look at the AJ1 High Stash shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)
Take a closer look at the AJ1 High Stash shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)

When Nike or Jordan Brand puts the word "Utility" on any footwear, it's usually accompanied by zippers, straps, grippy soles, and pockets. This can be seen in pairings like Air Trainer 1 and Travis Scott's Air Jordan 6. The recently released Air Jordan 1 Hi SP Utility footwear deviated from the custom by attempting to conceal its own compartments.

The Jumpman paid homage to the classic "Shadow" variant, albeit with darker black and a satin-like sheen, to keep the style more familiar. The lustre was due to the upper's complete nylon structure, which also made it weather resistant.

The toe's perforations weren’t fully packed in, to guarantee that the water wouldn't slip inside. However, this was just done to better imitate the original AJ1. The most notable addition was a pouch on the mid-panel. The pouch was hidden beneath Swooshes and dark black shades.

The Air Jordan 1 High “Stash” was released recently on May 3, 2022. These pairs were priced at $175 and were sold by Nike’s e-commerce stores, alongside other stores.


2) Air Jordan 4 Pinnacle “Pony Hair”

Take a closer look at the AJ4 Pinnacle Pony Hair shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)
Take a closer look at the AJ4 Pinnacle Pony Hair shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)

Michael Jordan's fourth signature basketball sneaker, the Air Jordan 4 "Pinnacle," was a special edition. The brand’s Pinnacle range originally debuted on April 9, 2016, when the first "Pony Hair" colorway was made public for $400 per pair.

This AJ4 Pony Hair was effectively marketed as a premium edition of the iconic style. The minimalist silhouette was complimented by tonal fake pony hair across the tongue and vamp portion, which was inherited from a tumbled leather design coated in black.

Compared to its classic renditions, the use of these materials fundamentally emphasized its opulent construction for a more fashionable look.

The design was finished with corresponding quilted insoles and waxed laces, as well as a leather Jumpman hangtag. This hangtag truly enhanced its look. The package was complete with a blacked-out box adorned with elephant print, packed with a supplementary pair of laces, a dust bag, and a special note.


3) Air Jordan 12 Winterized Black

Take a closer look at the AJ12 Winterized shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)
Take a closer look at the AJ12 Winterized shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)

The Air Jordan 12, first introduced in 1996, delivered both performance and elegance to the court. The design of these Winterized Black AJs, in particular, mirrored the NBA star’s maturity as well as finesse as he grew into his venerable status.

The product’s account as written on the shoe label’s official website,

“First released in 1996, the Air Jordan XII brought performance and luxury to the court. Its design reflected the maturity and refinement of a superstar who had settled into his status as a legend. The latest edition is equipped with an updated lining to give an extra layer of warmth to the iconic silhouette.”

The Winterized Black version of AJ12 was a revamped model, equipped with an additional layer of coziness and warmth. Jordanheads are well aware of the fact that the classic Air Jordan 12 silhouettes are mostly released during winters.

Similarly, the shoe label released this all-black variant of AJ12 in 2018. With extra padding and warmth, the brand gave the pair a facelift to battle the cold.

The Black/Anthracite AJ12 focused on the usage of a sturdy canvas upper rather than the model's distinctive soft leather construction. A terry cloth-like interior for extra insulation as well as a rough nubuck section over the midsole rounded out the design.

These “Winterized” shoes arrived on December 15, 2018. These pairs were released with a price tag of $200, through select Jordan Brand sellers and the Nike SNKRS app.


4) Air Jordan 6 Black Infrared

Take a closer look at the AJ4 Infrared Black shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)
Take a closer look at the AJ4 Infrared Black shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)

The Air Jordan 6 Infrared Black, arguably one of the most anticipated releases of 2019’s NBA All-Star Weekend, was initially released on November 28, 2014 as a standalone. These AJ6s fetched $185 for each pair, and they were sold via the Jordan Brand and their affiliated stores. They were delivered in men’s as well as grade school sizes.

These legendary Air Jordans were obtained by Michael Jordan during his first-ever NBA Championship in 1991, and these “Infrared” AJ6 have since then been one of the most iconic Jordan shoes ever. Due to its acclaimed nature and 30 years of history, these shoes have become a must-have among Jordan fans.

The black nubuck uppers of the shoes featured perforations on the sides, which are customary of AJ6 shoes. These all-black shoes were accented with red highlights on the tongue flaps to make the Jumpman emblem, on the heel pull tabs, as well as on the medial sides of these shoes. Ultimately, the milky translucent sole units were added to match the rest.


5) Air Jordan 3 Retro OG Black Cement

Take a closer look at the AJ3 Black Cement shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)
Take a closer look at the AJ3 Black Cement shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)

The product description on the shoe manufacturer’s official website says,

“This is the shoe. The one MJ wore during his break-out 1988 season, when he earned his first league MVP and took flight from the free-throw line. The one that made "one to rock, one to stock" a thing. The first one you tried to keep clean. The last one on the list article you read about the 50 Greatest Sneakers of All Time, and the other, and the other, and the other. It's back. This time, in honor of MJ's birthday and the 30-year anniversary of its debut, it keeps the Nike Air branding to reach true OG form.”

This Air Jordan 3 featured a black tumbled leather dominating the upper with additional black accents on the laces and midsole. Cement Grey was prominent on the tongues, inner lining, ankles, and outsole units.

The finishing details boasted "Fire Red" employed for the inners of the tongue as well as the Jumpman insignia on the tongue flap. Furthermore, the signature black and grey elephant print was added to the toe as well as heel counter. The Nike branding was placed on the insoles and outsoles, followed by the beloved Nike Air marking on the heel in white.

The AJ3 Retro OG “Black Cement” were originally dropped on February 17, 2018. Each pair was sold for $200 by the Jordan website as well as by other select sellers.

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Edited by Somava