Over the past 34 years, Jordan Brand has released hundreds of sneakers, some beloved and some better left forgotten. While everyone has his or her preference, a key factor for Jordan has—and always will be—nostalgia. So much so that the retro market, and Jordan Brand in general, is built around it.

There are older fans who couldn’t afford Jordans when they were younger and make up for lost time by now buying every pair they can get their hands on. There are those who grew up during Jordan’s Bulls heyday, and as such only rock Jordans he wore on court. You may be old enough to remember the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest, were His Airness soared from the free throw line in a pair of IIIs. Or maybe you remember him being carried off the court in the 1997 NBA Finals wearing the “Flu Game” XIIs. Conversely, you may be a younger fan who wasn’t even alive when Jordan played professionally, for whom the shoes hold an entirely different sort of significance.

Regardless of age, the beauty of Jordan’s has always been their strong association with the sport, culture and above all the man himself. The most iconic models, then, are in large part determined by their cultural significance, be it on-court accolades or marketing surrounding the initial release. Selecting the 5 models every sneakerhead—regardless of taste, age, or interest—should own, should be a relatively straightforward task. That said, its not.

In order to develop a well-balanced rotation, every sneakerhead needs variety, so for the purpose of this list we selected only one of each model. Additionally, considering how often colorways overlap, we attempted our best to include unorthodox entries, however a lot of white, black, and red was unavoidable—it’s not our fault Nike had a great color palette to work with.

That said, (and in no particular order) here are the 10 Air Jordans every sneakerhead should own.

  1. Jordan 1 “Black/Royal”
  2. Jordan III “White/Cement”
  3. Jordan XI “Concord”
  4. Jordan IV “Black/Red”
  5. Jordan VI “Black/Infrared”
  6. Jordan V “Grape”
  7. Jordan VII “Olympic”
  8. Jordan XII “Flu Game”
  9. Jordan XIII “He Got Game”
  10. Jordan I “Chicago”

Disagree? Let us know what we missed in the comments below.

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