About a month ago, Sole Collector published a piece in which they picked the worst Air Jordan colorway of each model, I to XXXI. Although we do agree that there were some pretty awful shoes on their list (even Jordan Brand isn't immune to a brick every so often!), we didn't love the negative tone of the article.
Everyone has their own style, and we're all about creative self-expression at Piff, so we thought we'd bring something more positive your way. Here's the BEST colorway of each Air Jordan model, I to XIV. Let's run it.
It's been over 30 years since the Jordan I first hit shelves ... and it's still one of the most wearable shoes today. That longevity, especially in today's hyped-up sneaker market where the hottest shoe from 6 months ago can be completely forgotten, is nothing short of incredible, and the Bred is the best colorway of this classic model. The first ever black & red Air Jordan, it's a truly timeless sneaker.
Just take a look at the Bin II's. How buttery can a sneaker be? The Bin II pushes the limits of luxe on one of the most luxe Jordans ever made (the OG II's were made in Italy), and the supple, soft brown leather wears in wonderfully with age. Premium high fashion indeed.
III: Black Cement
Your favorite sneaker's favorite sneaker, the Black Cement III isn't just the best Jordan III ever made, many a sneakerhead will tell you that this is the best Jordan EVER, period point blank. The shoe that convinced MJ to stay with Nike and introduced elephant print to basketball sneakers is a masterfully designed, head-turning, incredibly wearable masterpiece. Thanks, Tinker.
IV: White Cement
Cement print is a staple on many a sneaker today, but you could argue that no shoe has ever done cement print better than the White Cement IV's. From 1989 to 2017, the White Cements still hold up in the streets ... and sneakerheads to this day still feel Buggin Out's pain when their pair gets stepped on or scuffed.
Does any pair of Jordans scream "90's" more than the Grape V? Will Smith. Fresh Prince. Matching tracksuits. This may very well be the best lifestyle color Jordan ever for our money ... and don't forget the crazy hype that surrounded them when they re-released for the first time in 2006 (the year of many a heat Jordan V), proving their staying power.
You already know we had to get at least one DB on this list ... and the DB VI is the best of the bunch. Designed by a Doernbecher Children's Hospital patient named Jordan (ironic, right?), the shoe featured the date he finished treatment (06/08), and a "1", signifying he was first in his class at school. Very rarely does a shoe with this much meaning also sport such a clean colorway, and that combination makes this the best VI in our book.
Runner-Up: Black Infrared
One of the most unique OG colorways of any Jordan on the market, the Bordeaux VII has gained a cult following due to its unique, clean colorway. Much like the Grape V's, it's a shoe that could only have been conceptualized in the 90's, and it's a great throwback to another era. Piff squad member Mark likes it so much, he even named his dog after it.
First appearing in the 1993 All-Star Game, the Aqua VIII has captured the hearts of sneakerheads many times over since then. It's chunky, loud, and beautiful, and somehow manages to combine a rugged silhouette with a flashy, head-turning colorway perfectly. That's a rare feat.
It's still somewhat befuddling to us that the Olive IX's didn't blow off the shelves upon their original release, but we guess that they were just ahead of their time because they're coveted now. A unique colorway (you don't see a lot of olive Jordans, do you?) of an underrated silhouette, these jawns are a certified classic.
Runner-Up: Cool Grey
Many of the best Jordan X's came from the City Pack (Sacramento, NY), but the Seattle colorway has to take the cake. MJ vanquished the Sonics a few times over his career, but a shoe this fire helps Seattle forget and forgive ... at least a little bit.
There's not a whole lot of basketball shoes that are so stately you could wear them with a tuxedo and not look like a fool, so you could argue that the Concord XI's are the best XI ever just off the strength of that. Suit compatibility aside, the black patent leather clashes beautifully with the white mesh upper, and makes for one of the most head-turning shoes the streets (and the court) have ever seen.
Runner-Up: Space Jam
XII: Flu Game
The Flu Games are so ill you might get sick just looking at them. Terrible jokes aside, the shoe that MJ put up 38 in against the Jazz in the '97 Finals while battling the flu is another black and red classic from Jordan Brand. Shoes like this (and the memories attached to them) are what makes the black/red colorway so damn iconic.
The Flint XIII's: living proof that a Jordan doesn't have to be black/red or a zany colorway to be fire. The grey and the blue offer a cool, neutral, laid-back contrasting look, and combined with the unique silhouette of the XII, these are a winner in any sneakerhead's book. We can't wait for these jawns to drop again this fall.
Runner-Up: Ray Allen
XIV: Last Shot
Last shoe? The Last Shot. When MJ buried the Jazz one last time in the 1998 NBA Finals, he did it in these Ferrari F335 & 550M-inspired beauties. No matter if you're into hoops, luxury cars, or just breaking necks on the block, these are right up your alley, and easily the best XIV ever.
What did you think of the list? Are there any substitutions you'd make? If so, what pairs would you put in instead? Hit us up and let us know on Twitter, check our Facebook page for updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire pictures you can handle. Be sure to check out our full Air Jordan selection here while you're at it too.