Top 10 Air Jordan Samples We’d Like to See Release

Air Jordans have been around for 28 years now (hard to believe as that may be) and as long as there have been Air Jordans, there have been Air Jordan samples. Some of these have become actual production models, while others have been lost in the backwash of history. Well, that is, until the advent of the internet, which manages to keep everything from every era in the present. So since all these one-of-none Air Jordan samples are still out there (we’re talking strictly look-see samples here, not PEs), maybe it’s time Jordan looked to their own past for future releases.

1. Air Jordan XI “Georgetown”

Year Of Sample: 2012

After Michael Jordan himself, the most prominent baller to lace up Air Jordan XIs was Allen Iverson, who made them his go-to shoe during his second (and final) season at Georgetown. And while he signed with Reebok out of college and continues to rep the brand, it would be great if Jordan would honor the little man who, um, well, crossed him up in the NBA. We can dream.

2. Air Jordan VI “Pattern Sample”

Year Of Sample: 1991

The best thing about the “Carmine” Air Jordan VI-and the 2000 Olympic makeup, for that matter-is the way the color really makes the design pop. And before the Carmines there was this black/white sample pair which never saw the light of an Athlete’s Foot. One only can wonder why these weren’t released in 2010 rather than the “Oreo” VI. Er, not that we have anything against Oreos.

3.Air Jordan XV “Rainbow”

Year Of Sample: 2012

The Air Jordan XV isn’t exactly a favorite sneaker even amongst Air Jordan aficionados. Its clunky build means it’s not a great on-court performer, and that jutting tongue makes them a tough sell off of it. Not to mention, barring the original red and black, the colorways were nothing to write home about. But this shiny entry from the Rainbow Pack, which combined a bright royal upper with a pure white sole unit, gives the XV a bit of new life. And given the current popularity of outrageous design, maybe now is the time to try the XV again.

4.Air Jordan II “History of Flight”

Year Of Sample: 2010

The white and red (with black laces) “History of Flight” pack wasn’t much of a departure from traditional Air Jordan colorways, which come to think of it was probably the whole point. The black laces looked a bit forced on most pairs, except for the Air Jordan II, which is no stranger to black laces in a white and red upper. Just make them in Italy, please.

5.Air Jordan I “Nike Wings”

Year Of Sample: 1985

There’s a lot of history about the original Air Jordan 1 that’s still being untangled, and as such it’s difficult to place the provenance of this sample with “NIKE” in the banner above the ball and wings logo rather than “AIR JORDAN.” Was it an early enough sample that it was before Michael Jordan had actually signed? Does the absence of “NIKE AIR” from the tongue make it a non-Air shoe, or was it just a GS shoe (although that’s not what it looks like). If the KO could come back, there’s no reason this variant couldn’t.

6. Air Jordan XVI “Rainbow”

Year Of Sample: 2012

With 28+ years of the Air Jordan signature line, it’s easy to look back and say that certain models carry more weight than others. One thing that always helps a particular model stand the test of time is Michael Jordan actually wearing them. In his stint with the Wizards, Jordan wore the “Ginger” Air Jordan XVI but after the 2012 “Rainbow Pack” sample showed up on the Internet, we can imagine he’d have laced these up during his Washington days as well.

7. Air Jordan 2010 “Windowless”

Year Of Sample: 2010

The Air Jordan 2010 was a polarizing sneaker, to say the least. The bottom-loaded Zoom Air may have felt great, the assymmetrical ankle collar may have harkened back to the V, but all anyone could see at first was that porthole that allowed you to see straight through the shoe. What would have perceptions have been like if those windows weren’t there? Well, we almost found out. Samples of the 2010 were made without the windows, and it tends to let the focus go elsewhere-like that killer suede toe. What could have been, and what still can be.

8. Air Jordan XI Low “Red/Gum”

Year Of Sample: 2013

Unfortunately, all too many people know what a gum-soled Air Jordan XI would look like already, thanks to the combined ravages of wear and time. But even the most yellowed-out clear sole has nothing on this gum sole sample of the Air Jordan XI low. Forget the Legends of Summer Air Jordans that you’re never going to be able to get anyway, these should be the real Red Octobers. Or Novembers. Or any month, really.

9. Air Jordan XX3 “Rainbow”

Year Of Sample: 2012

The Air Jordan XX3 is one of the most popular post-retirement Air Jordan models. Tinker Hatfield returned to create a future classic that would help ignite the passion for Jordan ‘heads who had lost interest in the new models. The “Rainbow Pack” is yet another of those extremely limited special makeups and the Jordan XX3 is quite possibly the best of the bunch.

10 .Air Jordan XIV “One Piece”

Year Of Sample: 2005

Remember when one-piece uppers were a thing? This would have been back when lasering was at its peak, and Dunks and Air Force 1s were both produced with smooth, virtually seamless uppers. Well, a few Jordans were made that way too, most notably some Xs which still pop up on eBay every once in a while. There was also a pair on Flight Club forever, which must have either sold or been pulled. Anyway, these XIVs haven’t been seen quite as often, but to us, they’re a better shoe. The sleek, Ferrari-inspired upper works even better with the one-piece concept, and hey, production should be easy enough.

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