The 10 Best Air Jordan 6s of All-Time
Ten of the Best!
We love a good top ten list. And we also love the Air Jordan 6 — and after a successful return of the Black/Infrared OG offering earlier this year, the 28-year-old silhouette has never been more popular. While it may be at its peak of popularity now, the silhouette has been a consistent player in Jordan Brand’s yearly releases since its first run of Reto+ drops in 2000, resulting in an extensive catalog of colorways.
So how do they all stack up? We’re here to answer that.
When we do a cull on a shortlist for a silhouette we love, it gets emotional. And while there are significantly fewer options to chose from than say the Air Jordan 1, it makes it a little bit easier to iron out a top ten list. That being said, it was still a difficult task to throw up our 10 best Jordan 6 colorways. A big part of what makes a sneaker great is the ability for people to enjoy them. Sure, there a slew of college PEs, samples and exclusives like Macklemore’s red and green duo to the collegiate UNC or Oregon, but let’s be real, it’s highly likely that you or we will ever get to own a pair. So for that reason, we’ve kept the list locked into sneakers that have actually released.
So here it is, HOUSE OF HEAT’s Top 10 Air Jordan 6s of All-Time:
10. Air Jordan 6 “Infrared23”
These came out at the peak of red-based sneakers. Ye’s Red October Air Yeezy 2 had landed just weeks before these hit the market in late February 2014 — and the hype transferred across the brands. We’d been waiting a long time for a red-based pair, and the year saw three red-based drops — all on the Air Jordan 6. But the History of Jordan and the Slam Dunk didn’t even come close to these. And they even outshined its co-release, the Air Jordan 6 White/Infrared — an OG colorway.
9. Air Jordan 6 “Motorsport”
Mike’s foray into the motorsport world may have been a failure, but it sure spawned some of the best non-OG Jordan colorways to date. And this is the best of the bunch by a long shot. Simple in its color blocking — an all-white upper paired with a blacked-out sole unit — it’s the minute details that make these brilliant. The elephant print liner, motorsport-themed heel logos and the hits of red and gold on the tongue branding take the sneaker from nice to niccccccce.
8. Air Jordan 6 “Olympic”
Worn by Michael during the Sydney 2000 Olympic games, this pair takes the two-tone color blocking of sneakers like the Carmines and fills it in with an Americana navy blue contrasted by a mainly white upper and red detailing. It became an instant classic, mainly because it could easily have been an inclusion into Mike’s 1992 Olympic rotation had it existed at the time. Sneakerheads love it so much, JB brought it back for a second release in 2012.
7. Air Jordan 6 “Midnight Navy”
Blue Jordans. They’re so damn popular, but we don’t see anywhere near enough of them (even if this list is full of ’em!)
Here’s a pair that was part of Jordan Brand’s 2000 Retro+ program, that utilized new materials and builds for retro releases like the Black/Infrared, and was also JBs first dabble into new, non-OG colorways. Back then, as you can see, they weren’t too adventurous. literally darkening the Sport Blue pair to Navy and swapping the heel pull, but it was just enough to get everyone excited.
Plus, had they come out with something like the Motorsports or the Infrared23s straight out of the gate, it’s likely that the Retro+ releases wouldn’t have been as successful as they were. And that’s important, because without that program’s success, future non-OG colorways — and even collaborations — may not have become a thing.
6. Air Jordan 6 Doernbecher
Oh, another pair of Blue J’s you say? There seems to be a theme here.
And while I’m still pissed off that this pair retro’d this year (you can read my rant here,) this pair is still special. In fact, every DB release is special and should be celebrated. Even if they’re ugly and even if it’s on a silhouette you don’t particularly like, you can appreciate and celebrate what the entire program is about.
5. Air Jordan 6 OG White/Infrared
And we’re onto our first OG colorway.
It’s tough ranking original colorways because they’re all so important. The only reason these come in dead last in the OG race is simple: the other colorways absolutely slap. Still, these are nice, but probably would have been better with red or black Nike Air branding on the heels.
4. Air Jordan 6 OG “Sport Blue”
Two words: Blue Jordans.
3. Air Jordan 6 OG “Maroon”
I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s always something about Maroon/Burgundy-colored kicks that gets everyone intrigued. But when it came to the Maroon Air Jordan 6, it’s offset off-white gave us something entirely different at the time: kicks were either white or black based, and Jordans (aside from the Air Jordan 1) were typically complemented by either red or blue.
But what made the Maroon even more desirable for most was the fact that, before 2015’s drop, they hadn’t re-released in twenty-four years. That’s a long-ass time to wait, and boy, it was worth it.
2. Air Jordan 6 OG “Carmine”
The “Chicago” colorway of the Air Jordan 6. AKA the Butter to the Bred. You can’t have one without the other. an no matter what Jordan countdown list you’re doing, if the OG White/Red/Blacks ain’t towards the top, the list is bogus.
P.S. Jordan Brand, if you’re reading (which I know you are,) can we please get these back for the silhouette’s 30th anniversary in 2021 — with Nike Air branding of course.
1. Air Jordan 6 OG Black/Infrared
The Black/Infrared Air Jordan 6 is not only the best Air Jordan 6 to ever live, but one of the best Air Jordans period. It debuted at All-Star weekend in Mike’s hood in Charlotte back in ’91, and also adorned the feet of the GOAT during his first trip to the NBA Finals — a series in which he and the Bulls put an end to the Lakers “Showtime” era and kickstarted their own dynasty in the process.
Plus, it looks so damn good.
Narrowing it down to just ten pairs is hard, and I couldn’t detach myself from these pairs, pairs which still hold clout to this day, even decades on.
Air Jordan 6 Low “UNC”
Air Jordan 6 “Pistons”
Air Jordan 6 “Cigar”
Air Jordan 6 “Oreo”
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