If you quickly want to know my recommendation for the best Jordan basketball shoes, then go for the Air Jordan 36.
There’s no bigger icon in the sport than his Airness, Michael Jordan. Ever since the Chicago Bulls drafted him in the 1984 draft, everything he wears can easily capture a fan’s heart.
It is one of the reasons why most people will want to wear what the GOAT wears. Whether he’s wearing Jordan shoes, caps, t-shirts, shorts, or any accessory, fans can quickly buy them for themselves.
Having his name and his logo on your shoes can easily inspire you to try and achieve some level of greatness. In this article, I will be reviewing the following best Jordan basketball shoes:
- Nike Men’s Air Jordan 36
- Air Jordan Zoom Separate
- Jordan Why Not Zer0.4
- Air Jordan XI
- Air Jordan IV
- Air Jordan XIII
- Air Jordan VI
- Air Jordan XII
- Air Jordan III
- Air Jordan II
- Air Jordan XIV
- Air Jordan V
- Air Jordan X
How To Choose The Best Jordan Basketball Shoes [Tips & Tricks]
The following are my tips and tricks to assist you in making the right decision when choosing the best basketball Jordan shoes.
Comfort And Fit
As a rule of thumb, your toe and the end of the shoe should have a little space for added comfort. Ensure that everything fits perfectly and snugly.
You don’t want something that goes back and forth whenever you run as it may increase the risk of injury. If you leave plenty of space at the end, your shoes will feel loose, and remedying them with a shoelace is not the best way to go about it. You may consider using sports insoles for added comfort.
Jordan shoes are not cheap. Some of the most popular Jordans are also the priciest. So, searching for the best one within your budget over the internet is better.
Jordans are typically expensive, but it doesn’t mean that the cheapest ones are neither reliable nor great. It’s just finding that sweet spot of performance, fit, and style.
Fun Fact: One of the most expensive Jordans ever sold was his first Air Jordans. It was sold for around $560,000 at an auction in 2020.
Most Jordans are made of durable materials so durability won’t be an issue here. Jordans have an upper material based on patent leather, canvas, mesh, suede, or just normal smooth leather.
Synthetic leather is known to be durable. But, whichever Jordans you choose, they are all made of high-quality and durable materials.
The outsole is the outermost layer of the shoes. This part is usually made with synthetic and rubber materials.
Your shoes’ outsole should give you plenty of traction to avoid slippage during basketball play. Herringbone and hexagonal patterns are popular as they can grip the hard court more than any other pattern.
Fortunately, Jordan shoes are known for their toughness, and it is because they are made of high-quality and durable materials that are tested and proven to withstand the test of time.
Their toughness is not one to scoff at. Most of them can last around two to three years, depending on your usage. They might be pricey, but they sure do last you far longer.
The general feel of a basketball sneaker has a great impact on your performance on the court. If shoes are made with tough and stiff materials, you might not run as fast as you would normally.
Choose something that has features including a lacing support system or a zoom air cushioning, as they are great for comfort and feel. Fortunately, some of the most popular Jordans have this feature in them.
13 Best Jordan Basketball Shoes
One of his most popular sports items is the Michael Jordan Shoes; there are around 38 Air Jordan shoes and countless colorways of different models.
I’ve listed the 13 best Jordan Basketball Shoes on the market today. Come and check them out!
Note: My list consists of the best Air Jordan Shoes for basketball, not the best Air Jordan sneakers for daily use.
1. Air Jordan 36 – Best Overall
The Air Jordan 36 is one of its finest creations in terms of versatility as it features a full-length Zoom Air Strobel that offers comfort and bounciness with an added layer of protection with its Air Zoom Unit.
What I really love about these Jordans is that they are playable in different conditions.
Whether outside or inside, the performance is never affected. It allows me to be the best version of myself on the court.
The traction doesn’t easily fade and the lacing system is far better than the previous ones.
I suggest going for these Air Jordans if you prefer comfort, design, and functionality. Nothing beats this basketball shoe at its price point.
- Amazing cushion
- Impressive traction
- Impact protection
- Not for wide-footed players
2. Air Jordan Zoom Separate – Best Value
Their recently released Air Jordan Zoom Separate was debuted by NBA’s up-and-coming superstar, Luka Doncic.
These shoes have been on a path towards greatness for the price of $120 since their release.
It features an oval-shaped, bottom-loaded Zoom unit that protects your sole from sudden impact and the forefoot zoom unit makes it feel like your foot is on the bed due to its cushioning system.
While the design can be as basic as it can be compared to its predecessors, the cheap price tag makes the shoes even more enticing to buy, even if you don’t need one.
Traction-wise, these are superb, with no slips on sudden stops. Great value for money, I highly recommend this product.
- Great traction for indoors
- Lockdown is impressive
- The upper material is durable
- Best Jordans for the price
- Dust magnet
- Not a lot of colorways
3. Jordan Why Not Zer0.4 – Best Budget Pick
Considered the best Air Jordans for outdoors, the Jordan Why Not Zer0.4 was specially made for Mr. Triple-Double himself, Russell Westbrook.
The forefoot zoom unit makes your feet cushioned even when going for loose balls and rebounds, while the lightweight phylon materials are tested and proven to withstand any outdoor balling.
Whatever surface you try, it can easily bite. The traction is almost second to none, and most basketball players love playing in these on various surfaces.
The color combination makes it all the more enticing, and they perform well regardless of playing conditions and surfaces.
- Comfortable fit
- Durable upper material
- Cool design
- Prone to creasing
4. Air Jordan XI
Finding its way back onto the court around 1995, the Air Jordan XI is another game-changing sneaker that sparked a frenzy when Jordan returned during his first retirement.
This model is one of the most popular shoes ever to grace the market, and some NBA players are still using it until now. Apart from the Jordan I’s, the Jordan XI is the best sneaker to cop.
It has been a topic of debate for most resellers as they can hardly get one of these in their local chain stores.
Another reason why this Air Jordan XI is more famous than any other Jordans is that it was MJ’s shoe when he filmed the Space Jam.
- Amazing ankle support
- Secure fit
- Superb quality
- Reliable traction
- Dust magnet
- It needs to be broken in
5. Air Jordan IV
By 1989, the Air Jordans were already a sneaker phenomenon. And by dropping the Air Jordan IV, everything went great, as this Jordan model was famous for the right reasons.
As MJ was tantalizing his NBA fans with his aerial acrobats and high-flying antics, it was also the first model to be released worldwide.
It was an innovation for the sneaker industry, using molded plastics, mesh, and nubuck leather for the first time on a shoe.
The shoe was even more famous when he shot “The Shot,” which eliminated one of their bitter conference rivals, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If you’re rocking these, you’ll remember what it was famous for.
Truly, these are some legendary Air Jordan sneakers, and they would have been great if sold today as these are amongst the best-performing Jordan shoes ever.
- One of the best-looking Jordans with a Jumpman logo
- Versatile sneaker
- Durable construction
- Not the best Jordan basketball shoe for playing
6. Air Jordan XIII
Of all the shoes Michael Jordan wore, the Air Jordan XIII is the most luxurious due to its inspiration.
The XIII features a holographic eye, an outsole modeled from a panther’s paw, and a textured surface that has become a staple shoe since 1997.
It was also the last shoe Jordan wore for the bulls.
I don’t know what will happen if it doesn’t get more iconic than that. Overall, the design and performance are superior to their predecessors.
It is one of the reasons why Michael Jordan wore it almost every game during his final year with the bulls.
- On-court traction is superb
- Amazing court feel
- Supports ankle
- Materials could be improved
- Breathable issues
7. Air Jordan VI
The Air Jordan VI was built for speed and performance. Every detail of the shoe is designed for complete in-game optimization.
The two grip holes on the top part are specially designed to have an easier entry of your foot, and the neoprene sleeve lining boosts comfort and reduces the risk of blisters when playing for too long.
Out of all the basketball shoes Jordan played, this is dedicated to performance and play.
It was also the first sneaker of Michael Jordan when he won his first NBA championship and was named the finals MVP.
In addition, the VI’s were inspired by the first Porsche 911 Jordan bought, and his first championship title inspired the star design from the bottom sole.
- Amazing grip on indoor courts
- Stylish look
- Breathable materials
- Comfortable to wear
- Cushioning isn’t great
- Dust magnet
8. Air Jordan XII
Released in 1996, these sneakers were famous because Jordan used them during “The Flu” game. The black and red colorway of these shoes was simply iconic.
One of its prominent features is the quilted panels on the shoe’s upper half, as Japan’s Rising Sun Flag inspired it.
It is considered one of the best Jordans for the story behind the sneaker.
The Air Jordan XII also has a low version that is also amazing for playing either indoor or outdoor courts and would be a great addition to any of your on-court antics if you ever happen to cop one.
- Amazing playability
- Supportive collar
- Ankle support is good
- Stylish design
- It needs to be broken in
- Dirt magnet
9. Air Jordan III
The Air Jordan I’s might take the place of being the OG out of the bunch, but the IIIs were also a historic Jordan shoe as it was the first Jordan Shoe Tinker Hatfield designed. He took the reins of designing MJ shoes from Peter Moore.
And because Tinker wanted to separate Jordan from the Nike branding, he dropped the Nike swoosh while adding elephant print panels at the forefront.
Once these dropped from the local stores, it went into a frenzy as these are revolutionary shoes that changed the sneaker culture forever.
- Supportive collar
- Comfortable feel
- Appealing elephant print design
- Reliable lockdown
- It doesn’t offer much impact protection
- Narrow toe box
10. Air Jordan II
It’s already hard to top the Jordan I’s, but the Air Jordan II were some of the most luxurious models of the Jordan Brand.
It was the first Jordan shoes to use luxurious details such as the brogue-like perforations and faux lizard skin, lending some much-needed fire and flair, considering the Air Jordan I’s were already hard to top.
With these newfound designs, it was one of the first Jordan shoes to walk the worlds of sportswear and the red carpet. Most artists wear these Jordan shoes with a suit for their elegance.
- Good ankle support
- Details are superb
- Perfect cushioning
- Great for indoor courts
- Lacks forefoot lockdown
- Not breathable enough
11. Air Jordan XIV
If you have read through some information about Michael Jordan’s shoes, you’ll know how much he loved fast cars. MJ’s Ferrari 550M inspired the Air Jordan XIV.
This Air Jordan basketball shoe is more iconic because it was released right before MJ’s second retirement to commemorate his fourteen years in the league; the Jumpman logo was placed on the shoes 14 times!
Having a watchful eye can go a long way. If you have one of these, you can count the number of Jumpman logos in all shoe parts.
- Comfortable to use
- It fits true to size
- Great feel
- Durable upper material
- Quite heavy
- Not breathable enough
- Dust magnet
12. Air Jordan V
The Air Jordan V was another iconic model of Jordan as it was featured on Will Smith’s show called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
These shoes carried quite a few elements of the Air Jordan IV, including the mesh side panels and a mix of smooth and nubuck leather. The design elements also included aggressive lines inspired by WWII-era fighter planes.
These Jordan shoes were even made more famous as these were the shoes Jordan used when he dropped 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was also the first model that included a translucent sole design.
- Great cushioning
- Attractive design and style
- Fantastic airflow
- Great on-court feel
- The forefoot section is wide
- Somewhat heavy
13. Air Jordan X
The Xs were among the few Air Jordans that suffered from its global release. It was poorly executed as it was released while MJ fulfilled his father’s dream of playing baseball.
The Jordan X sneaker design was a bit bulky, and it almost feels like you’re wearing a baseball cleat. Its release was primarily a tribute to Michael Jordan’s years in the NBA.
It was even made obsolete when Jordan returned and quickly used the XIs instead of the Xs. Still, many pundits and naysayers think it was not the best Jordans ever released.
Performance-wise, these Jordan basketball shoes were fire but left something to be desired from the design department.
Most shoe collectors might want to keep it, but from a design point of view, it pales compared to some of the best Jordan basketball shoes ever released.
- Excellent cushioning
- Traction is superb
- It comes in various colorways
- Nice heel support
- Expensive models
- Not breathable
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You can read below for additional information if you have questions about Michael Jordan’s shoes.
Are Jordans Good for Basketball?
Of course! The Jordan Brand has been known to produce and provide players with the best basketball shoes on the planet for quite some time.
Ever since the Jordan Brand released its first shoes, there’s no looking back, and everything went north for them. Apart from Nike, the Air Jordan Line has become one of the most sought-after shoes in the market.
Which Jordan Model Is Best for Playing Basketball?
All of Jordan’s shoes are great for playing basketball. He used every single one of them until he retired. From the Jordan I’s to XVIII’s, he used every single bit of them until they were replaced with a new addition of shoes.
However, I feel that the newer models are better for playing basketball because they are well-equipped with innovations that weren’t known back in the day.
Still, whichever shoes of Michael Jordan you choose, you can never go wrong with them. Nothing beats the feeling of using a signature line of shoes from one of the greatest players to play the game.
Which Air Jordan Is the Best of All Time?
Undoubtedly, the best Air Jordans of all time is the Jordan 1 Chicago. It is the one that started it all, the OG of all OGs in Jordan’s shoes. It is the first Nike shoe Michael Jordan used with the brand.
From the wings logo to the revolutionary air cushioning that represented his high-flying antics, the Air Jordan 1’s are the holiest grails among sneaker enthusiasts and collectors.
Why Are Jordans as Popular as They Are Now?
Jordans are still popular because most superstar athletes endorse or use them when playing basketball.
The Jordan Brand has been innovating and changing its designs over the years to catch players’ and fans’ tastes in good basketball shoes.
What makes them popular is their different colorways. Each model has different colorways that correspond to different stories and inspirations.
Are the Jordan 5s Good for Basketball?
Of course! The Jordan 5s are great for basketball. It features a reflective tongue with a forefoot zoom unit offering good reactions and comfort even if you’re playing for long periods.
However, they can be a bit heavy as they have prominent features that add to the entire facade of the shoes. Still, these are incredible in terms of performance and durability.
Fun Fact: It was not the first Jordans to grace the silver screen. The first shoe was the Air Jordan IV which appeared in Spike Lee’s film, Do The Right Thing.
What Were the Last Jordan Basketball Shoes MJ Used?
These were two Air Jordans released before his stepping down as the President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards. These are:
First: Air Jordan 17
It was the model Wilson Smith III designed for Michael Jordan, and Jazz Music inspired the shoe. Looking at them closely, you can see the molded jazz notes embedded into the shoes.
What’s impressive about the shoes is it’s packed with luxurious features, such as a carbon-fiber sheath, Zoom air sole, dynamic-fit sleeve, patent leather uppers, and a removable midfoot strap.
It was also the day and age wherein various innovations and technologies were put into the shoes. As a result, it is one of Michael Jordan’s best-performing shoes since his last and final retirement.
Last: Air Jordan 18
Considered the last dance of the best Jordan basketball shoes, the Air Jordan XVIII was the last shoe he wore during his time with the Washington Wizards.
Michael Jordan wasn’t the player he once was when he was playing for the organization. Still, his scoring prowess and his killer instinct wreak havoc amongst players. It featured a driving shoe heel, an inspiration to Michael’s love for fast cars.
Sneaker design-wise, it was one of the top-selling Jordans during his time, as most people have already seen the last glimpse of Michael Jordan donning a basketball jersey.
The Awesome Choices
Here are my top picks across the different categories to help you pick the best Jordan basketball shoes.
Best Budget Pick – Air Jordan Why Not Zer0.4
The design, traction, heel, and forefoot lockdown are really impressive. This sneaker is the best Jordan model that was recently released.
Best Value – Air Jordan Zoom Separate
This is one of the cheapest Jordans out there. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly sneaker with many features, this one is the best Jordan for value.
Best Overall – Air Jordan 36
By far, one of the best Jordan models, with impressive traction, comfort, and breathability. If you have the budget for it, go for these shoes!
Jordan’s love for the game was never in question. He played at the highest level with sheer focus, determination, and will to win every game. No wonder almost all players consider him the Greatest Of All Time.
Apart from his high-flying skills, his shoes have become one of the best and most marketable products. The Jordan Brand is now worth a whopping $10 billion.
Michael Jordan’s shoes are popular because every model has a different story to tell, and that story can easily captivate anyone’s heart and soul into the game of basketball.
Thank you for reading and I hope that you find a perfect pair from the Jordan basketball shoes list that I have listed above.