In 1984, Nike faced some skepticism when it made the controversial decision to sign a $2.5-million endorsement contract with NBA newcomer Michael Jordan. The player, who had just been drafted out of college by the Chicago Bulls, began wearing Air Jordans on the basketball court beginning in 1985. The bold red-and-black design by Peter Moore was actually banned by the NBA, but Jordan wore them anyway and incurred hefty fines. The controversy of the shoes made them especially popular among the public, and the brand began to take off. Beginning with the third generation of the shoes, the Air Jordan III, Jordan actually began to have a say in the design of the sneakers--which was previously unheard of in the industry.
By 1997, Air Jordans had become so popular that Nike spun them off into a sub-brand by creating The Jordan Brand. These sneakers no longer bear the Nike logo, but feature the new company's Jumpman insignia instead. The shoes were incredibly successful throughout Michael Jordan's storied career, and the brand continues to thrive to this day. In addition to incorporating aspects of Jordan's lifestyle, the brand also has sponsorship agreements with athletes in almost every major sport.
The Jordan Brand has evolved on a massive scale since its early days, but its Air Jordan sneakers continue to be top sellers. New designs are released each year to incorporate the latest technology and also update the look of the shoe. In addition to the latest version of the Air Jordan, however, the brand also sells Air Jordan Retro shoes that feature some of the most popular designs from the brand's three decades of history. One of the most popular retro styles is actually the original Air Jordan I. Other basketball shoe lines made by the company include Spizike, Jordan Son of Mars, and Jordan Super.Fly. You can find Air Jordan shoes starting in infant sizes and going up to adult sizes, so it's easy to keep your child dressed in them throughout his or her life.
Beyond shoes, Air Jordan also manufactures clothing for kids. Options like graphic tees, tanks, hoodies, basketball shorts, compression pants, training shorts, sweatpants, and more can all be worn either on or off the court. The brand offers kids' sizes for both boys and girls, though it only offers adult sizes in men's. Of course, a basketball brand also has to make basketball gear, so you can also find duffel bags, backpacks, sweatbands, and basketballs.
When the brand was first introduced, Air Jordan was somewhat controversial because students in some urban schools associated the brand with violence. Luckily, that reputation has long since subsided, and the company's shoes can be enjoyed by both kids and adults today. Air Jordans strike a balance between style and function, so they are well liked because they look great and because they perform well on the basketball court. Athletes of all ages can enjoy pairs of these shoes, so we give Air Jordan 4.5 stars out of 5.