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The Air Jordan 18 was originally released in February 2003 at $175. Inspired by Formula 1 racing cars and designed by Wilson Smith III, this Black/Sport Royal release comes with a slide box, a driver’s manual, a towel, and a brush. On April 16, 2003, after 15 NBA seasons, Michael Jordan took his final bow wearing the Black-Sport Royal colorway in a match between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards.
A low-top version of these basketball sneakers was released at $150 in White/UNC colorway. The Air Jordan 18.5 was also released in a black and white colorway. The difference of the Air Jordan 18 version from the 18.5 and the low is the covered midfoot and tongue.
The Air Jordan 18 Retro was released in January 2018 at $225 in the White/Metallic Silver-Sport Royal colorway. The Toro colorway is released in April 2018. These retros feature a full-length Zoom unit that is doubled at the heel. Quick shooting guards like Michael Jordan need security for their jabs and cuts, thus the wavy herringbone traction pattern and carbon fiber plate at the midfoot. For a classy and rich appeal that matches MJ’s lifestyle, the upper of the Air Jordan 18 Retro is made of either leather or suede.
Cushion. The Air Jordan 18 Retro features a full-length Zoom Air unit in the midsole. The heel has a double-stacked Zoom unit similar to those in the Nike Air Foamposite One and Nike Air Foamposite Pro. This setup provides beyond imaginable comfort for wearers.
Michael Jordan was nearing his third and last retirement when the shoe came out, and he needed more cushioning than ever to protect his muscles and joints. Therefore, the removable insole has carbon fiber for additional support. This setup is considered rare in basketball shoes.
Traction. When it comes to ensuring no-fail traction, the herringbone pattern is a definite winner. The Air Jordan 18 Retro delivers maximum court control and grip because of the wavy herringbone on its outsole. With a carbon fiber shank at the midfoot, stability is ensured for lateral and linear footwork.
Length and Width. Most reviewers agree that the Air Jordan 18 Retro runs true to size. They say that the squared toe box can accommodate wearers with wide feet if the shoe is at least half a size bigger. Better yet, new buyers should fit the shoe first before purchasing.
Lockdown. Quick athletes like guards need complete lockdown and stability. The Air Jordan Retro 18 has the traditional lacing system beneath a leather shroud that comes with a magnetic strip. The rounded heel and rubber heel counter help with stability and foot containment.
Depending on the colorway, the upper of the Air Jordan 18 Retro is made of either leather or suede. The tongue is made of wired mesh for ventilation. There are two plastic eyelets on each side of the top of the midfoot for a customized fit. The side panels have air vents to provide additional breathability.
The sleek and elegant mid-top silhouette of the Air Jordan 18 Retro is inspired by an Italian car. The aglets are made of chrome-tip plastic that is styled with Jumpman logos. The heel counter features a tire-like pattern. The Jumpman logos are found on the midfoot and outsole. The “JORDAN” callouts are strategically placed on the heel and the underside of the midfoot shroud.
The minimalistic and clean design of the Air Jordan 18 Retro looks great with skinny jeans or short pants exposing the upper of the shoe.
The Air Jordan 18 Retro is such a special shoe that it has limited colorways.
- Black-Sport Royal. The Sport Royal colorway is the first and most special of all. It was the pair Michael Jordan wore during his last game against the 76ers.
- White/Metallic Silver-Sport Royal. This version of the eighteenth Air Jordans was released in January 2018.
- Toro or Raging Bull.The Toro colorway is described as gym red basketball sneakers by many reviewers. It was released on April 7, 2018.
Other basic colorways were also released:
- Campfire Orange/Campfire Orange-Sail
- Racer Blue/Racer Blue-Sail
- Yellow Ochre/Yellow Ochre-Sail