On Feb. 12, Brand release the Air XXX, the 30th signature model the Air line. The first Air came out more than 30 years ago and its legacy endures to this day. But which sneaker is the best of the best? To help with that, we brought expert: Jones, aka Sneaker Galactus. Jones has a collection of more than 1 pairs of sneakers, has been featured the BATA Shoe Museum, and had part of his collection exhibited Brooklyn during 2015’s All- Weekend. Still haven’t gotten your fill of sneakers? Check out Friedman’s Shoes, Films short about the shoe store all the players loved, on the 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter on Friday, February 12 or online here! : The saddest thing about this shoe is realizing might’ve actually worn these on court if he’d played one more season with the Bulls. And going out these would’ve been worse than going out a Wizards jersey. : Not even design cues taken from the X-15 fighter jet and woven Kevlar materials can save this shoe. : Two different sleeves, three different midsoles. Plain and simple, this shoe was just too complicated. As our friends at His & Hers would say, it’s doin’ too much. : At least Brand made the decision to go back to numbered models after this. That’s about the only good thing to come of this. : Something about this shoe — and I can’t pinpoint whether it’s the mesh shroud, the thick heel strap or the oversized outsole on the heel — always made it feel more like a boot to me. Also, the no-laces thing was weird. : This shoe might not have been the most aesthetically pleasing pair of Jordans, but was a decent pair of basketball kicks. Super supportive and very comfortable. Made you feel confidently locked down. Box design was also unique and pretty cool. : There’s a hole the side of the sneaker. Need I say more? : Dwyane was the top five points and rebounds while wearing this shoe. Also MVP of the All- Game. Nuff said. Give this shoe a few years and I think this shoe be a classic. : I always thought this looked like Air 2 that had a different shoe zippered to the back and bottom of it. And I was never a fan of the titanium midplate. : Best thing I can remember about the shoe was the commercial. Merp. 😐 : The first Jordans that were numbered by year, rather than sequence, were a departure from the line more ways than one. The split heel was a daring piece of shoe tech that never quite caught on. : UNC won the national championship with some of the team members rocking a player-exclusive colorway of this shoe. Danny Green of the Spurs was a member of that team. Been following his career since his high school days at St. Mary’s of Manhasset, New York, which happens to be my mater. : These were MJ’s last on-court edition of Jordans, and they look like a combination of ideas that came before and after . The racing-inspired tread outsole was a strange look too. : Air race car driving shoe inspired basketball kicks? How cool is that! : All anyone ever remembers about these is they cost $200 and came a metal briefcase. jordan 11 concord
There was also a CD-ROM included, which was high-tech at the time, but seems silly now. : Who didn’t want the briefcase? Oh and MJ actually playing them was cool, too. : These eschewed the drop- heels of the XX1 for full interchangeable insoles. That made for a nice fit, but from a looks perspective, these always reminded me of a shoe rather than a flagship model. : Didn’t Dwyane win championship this shoe? #neverforget : If we were judging these solely on the shroud-less SE version, I’d imagine they’d be a few spots higher . But the shroud wasn’t really a consumer-friendly look. : Who wouldn’t want a Flightposite? : These are really comfortable and the leather models tend to look pretty good as well. But the whole drop- interchangeable heel thing never really caught on. : I really wanted a Bentley Continental GT coupe. I guess this was the next best thing. : The that introduced laser-etching to the line looks really nice, but for me that ankle strap is a deal breaker. It gives the shoe a weird silhouette and I’ve never liked how it fits. : This is a shoe that I would have loved to MJ play . The XX looked great on court. most memorable visions were of playing for the Sonics while wearing these as a member. : Unlike the full shroud on the XX8, the cover on the 16s was removable, and they looked a lot better as on-court shoe without them. : The shroud or gaiter was different, but not a good way. Best part about the shoe was all the exclusives made for players. : These definitely suffer comparison to the 9s that came before and, on a larger scale, the 11s that came after. Much like MJ the 45 jersey suffers comparison to MJ rocking the 23. : 55 at The Mecca after coming back from retirement? Had to have a pair! : There tends to be a hate relationship with the bold styling of these, particularly when it comes to the oversized logo. But there’s no denying that this is one of the most comfortable Jordans ever. : The possibilities on a shoe like this are endless. I can only imagine what Brand be able to do with this shoe’s upper the future. The exclusives were awesome. The public got only a small taste with the Photo Reel version. : These tend to get a bad rap among sneakerheads, partly because didn’t wear them that and partly because they look so different from what came before and after. But they’re a very solid on-foot sneaker with a clean look. : The direction this shoe went from its predecessor was the right direction. It was unique without the swoosh and produced Italy to provide a luxurious feel to it. : The double straps always felt out of place on a pair of Jordans — like they belonged on a pair of Barkley’s sneakers. Ironic, then, that these were the kicks MJ wore when he beat Barkley the ’93 Finals. : I absolutely loved the commercials for the Air VIII. MJ teaming up with Bugs Bunny = win every time. : The -inspired styling on this shoe had the benefit of looking really good on MJ — especially as he was crossing up . It didn’t look quite as good on everyone else, but few buyers cared. : MJ rocked these on his way to winning a sixth championship. C’mon, didn’t you practice doing the same thing to at the end of a game? : The 23rd edition of the Air had to bring something special to the table, and this shoe certainly did that. While it might not have hit the mark 100 percent, it was good enough not to feel like a disappointment to MJ’s jersey number. : First environmentally considered design and IMO the best design post-‘s playing days with the Bulls. I could easily MJ playing this shoe. : This shoe deserves a lot of credit for proving the line could be viable even if wasn’t playing basketball. Plus, you have to admit, it looked pretty good as a baseball cleat. : Some of the best player-exclusive colorways were made for other players. Why? MJ wasn’t wearing them. By the way, who is Kilroy? : These could easily get lost when compared to the shoe that came before and after, but the striking tongue design really helps this model stand out. Plus, it was the first shoe MJ wore while winning a ring. : MJ wins his first championship and Finals MVP style. The tongue, heel tab and toe were unlike anything seen before . : It’s not often a pair of Jordans — particularly one worn during MJ’s run with the Bulls — gets elevated by someone other than MJ, but that’s the case with these, thanks to what was essentially a commercial starring Denzel Washington slipped deftly into the movie He Got Game. : Holograms and design inspiration from a Panther? Yeah I’ll take two pairs! : These were the shoes on ‘s feet when he played with the Dream the 1992 Olympics. That itself would be worthy of a high ranking, but they also look and feel really good. : Design hints taken from the Huarache line made this shoe a -it-or-hate-it model. MJ was featured on the USA Dream that destroyed every other country’s team the 1992 Olympics. Also, you had to the Hare ! : As a kid, I remember these more for Smith wearing them on The Fresh of Bel-Air than for wearing them on the court. Either way, they looked good. : Clear rubber soles, reflective tongues and inspiration taken from the WW II P-51 Mustang fighter made this shoe a cut above the rest. : The sneaker that took the line from a product to its own brand has held up remarkably well through the years, thanks large part to its association with ‘s epic Flu Game. : The Japanese flag inspiration and remarkable durability made this shoe a favorite. And who can forget the Flu Game, arguably one of the most dramatic moments Finals history? : This is the sneaker featured the legendary scene Do The Right Thing — the movie that led to Spike becoming ‘s right-hand unforgettable series of ads. : Do the Right Thing featured this shoe on the character Buggin Out. I felt for him when his brand-new Air Jordans got stepped on. It was a sign of the times and tensions going on Brooklyn at the time. I can still hear Fight the Power every time I look at this shoe. : There’s a reason this is the retro edition puts out every year at Christmas. This is the shoe everyone wants on their feet, and it’s been that way since the moment Boyz II Men rocked them at the 1996 Grammys. : I don’t think there was a more appealing pair of sneakers ever made than the Concord XI. It was super stylish and supportive. It also helped that the best player the world grabbed another ring after coming back from retirement. Air 1s landed 1985 and were unlike any sneaker hoops fans had seen before. .