The 10 Best Air Jordans of 2018
A look back at a killer 2018.
What a hell of a year for Jordan Brand.
184 signature releases, increidble collaborations, epic story telling and the return of some iconic OGs and favorites, new and old!
On the eve of the 2019, we took a look back through the archives of this year to dig out and rank the Top Ten Air Jordans of 2018. But, as expected, it wasn’t easy. And after much debate, painful culls and plenty of inter-office cussing, badmouthing and borderline physical abuse, we’ve arrived at our top ten.
So, here we go:
10. Air Jordan 1 “Bred Toe”
Sure, this is just a “Black Toe” Air Jordan 1 with a red toe cap and black tongue, but it combined two iconic colorways to give us an all-new take on the Chi-city colors. It was a hit, and still is.
9. Air Jordan 3 “Free Throw Line”
As much as we wanted a straight retro of the ’88s, we still couldn’t deny this sneaker a spot on the list. In classic JB form, the story-telling is out of this world (even if Jordan’s original “Free Throw Line” dunk came the year before, but TBH, no one really likes the AJ2) Somehow, a translucent sole didn’t fuck these up, in fact, it made it a little bit cooler to have.
But even so, we’d still prefer the ’88s.
8. Air Jordan 1 “Shadow”
Nobody could wait for these to return. And we’re so glad that they did. Monocrhrome never looked so damn good!
7. Air Jordan 33
Look, I was very skeptical on these when I first saw the leaked images, but they really grew on me. Probably the best modern Air Jordan signature since the 29, with more than enough tech, callouts to the Air Jordan 3 and an incredible aesthetic — how can you go wrong?
Unless you have wide-ass feet, then these aren’t for you.
6. Levi’s x Air Jordan 4
This wasn’t the first time that these two iconic American brands have buddied up, but their Blue Denim Air Jordan 4 was definitely miles ahead of their 2008 Air Jordan 1 partnership.
Re-worked entirely in denim, right down to the shoe’s cage, sole insert and laces, the 1989 classic was an instant symbol of streetwear clout. And that iconic red tab just made it feel oh so much more.
5. OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 “White”
If you ask any sneakerhead, the best sneaker of 2017 was easily the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 (although we would have given it to his OFF-WHITE Air Presto). It was highly unlikely that Virgil would back it up with another Air Jordan 1 contender for sneaker of the year, but he did come close.
It was this Euro-exclusive release—a place where Jordan Brand historically has struggled—on the literally off-white pair and have them become more sought-after of the three colorways so far.
But for the love of God, Virgil, end it here.
4. Union x Air Jordan 1
The execution on these pairs alone is enough to cement a spot in the top 10 — but it’s the sneaker’s inspiration that drives it home.
It’s no secret that the Union collaboration plays into owner Chris Gibbs’s fascination with vintage sneakers. It was inspired by the concept of hacking up several vintage pairs of Jordan 1s to repair an OG,
According to a behind the scenes report directly from the horses mouth, Jordan Brand have claimed that the design process required not one, not two but nine attempts to successfully re-create the fuzzy weathered heel and collar of an original 1985 Air Jordan 1. And that doesn’t include nailing the remaining details — nubuck Swooshes, exposed foam, zig-zag exposed stitching, pre-yellowed midsoles and the special edging on the thick-cut leather.
This collection is truly a masterpiece.
3. Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 “Houston Oilers”
These days, Rapper sneaker collabs are a dime a dozen. Most are horrible — that’s a fact. That is probably boiled down to the fact that most rappers do it for the dinero, and whip out sneakers that they’re not really enthused by, typically on base models they’d never, ever wear.
But when it came to Travis Scott’s Air Jordan 4, it couldn’t have been more authentic. Scott, a lifetime Jordan head got to collaborate on his favorite silhouette. Hell, it’s even inspired by his childhood-idolized football team, the Houston Oilers. But more so, the colorway and the quality is outta this world.
2. Air Jordan 3 OG “Black Cement”
Let’s set the Air Jordan 1 aside here. The Air Jordan 3 is the second most-important sneaker in Jordan franchise history. It was the first basketball sneaker to feature a visible air bubble — which was all the rage back then — and the first design to feature the now-iconic cement print,
Plus, it was this sneaker, designed by Tinker Hatfield, that saved the Jordan franchise. The wild design was enough to entice Mike to stay on board with Nike, leaving adidas wondering what could have been — again.
1. Air Jordan 11 “Concord”
1.4 Million pairs made, and selling out in a few days? That’s a success. In actual fact the return of the original “Grail” was the single biggest sneaker release in history, surely lining the pockets of Mike and co. to the tune of (at least) $70 Million. And it’s always a plus when EVERYBODY who wants a pair got one. That’s what sneaker collection should be about!
You can’t deny this sneaker’s importance to the culture, which is why this sneaker took out this year’s top spot on the list.