When it comes to basketball icons, no one is as influential as the great Michael Jordan. His impact on the sport goes beyond just an impressive playing record as his legacy remains alive with the timeless popularity of his self-branded sneakers. Since its release in 1985, Jordan basketball shoes have gone a long way, especially design-wise, with newer innovations that complement a player’s skills as well as bolder colorways that match their style. Then again, classic style doesn’t fade as proven by the steady presence of white Jordan basketball shoes in the market.
The Legend that is Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is truly a superstar in the game of basketball. But it was not just because he was great at playing the game. To the sport, he was definitely more than his six basketball rings. Had it been any other player to earn those rings, the impact would not have been the same. The thing that sets MJ apart is his grace and style on and off the hardcourt.
Sports enthusiasts would agree that basketball has ever since been a big man’s game. Athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, and Charles Barkley are among the sports top players in Jordan’s time, and they all played frontcourt. However, players like Jordan and Pippen emerged as a direct opposite to these giants who pounded down low and fans sure loved them for it.
In terms of athleticism, Jordan definitely led the game. But he also developed a superior technique that was shown throughout his career. Fans and critics would remember him as someone who enjoyed toying with his opponents from a standstill, skillfully executing each of his movement with finesse. With his foot secured on the floor, he easily swerves away from his defender with the perfect timing. Dunking may not be his signature move, but just like the logo on his self-branded shoes, he will be remembered as the man who could fly. He mastered the art of layups as he turned hang time around with his stylistic floaters.
Michael Jordan’s style not only permeated the court but went on to rule the globe as he rose to be the international icon that he is. His influence stretched too far that his mark continues to remain string up until this very day. In fact, Forbes reported the superstar to have a $60 million earning off his shoe sales
The story behind Jordan basketball shoes
How it started
Jordan’s relationship with Nike began in 1984 when the athlete signed a deal with the brand to endorse a specific brand of Nike basketball shoes, the Air Jordan. However, MJ was not the
only one to endorse it. Players including Carmelo Anthony and Roy Jones were also signed by the brand. During a time when Nike was building its reputation in the basketball world, Air Jordan was the shoes that helped build the brand.
The first ever Air Jordans to grace the court sparked a controversy in the sport after the NBA banned MJ from wearing his black and red Jordan shoes to the game. The athlete was basically fined for breaking the uniform rule for the entire league. However, this did not stop The Swoosh from promoting their banned product. While Nike paid the fines to keep the advertisement, they took their campaign further as they marketed their shoes to be some sort of forbidden fruit. This made it more appealing to fans who clamored to get a pair.
The very first Michael Jordan basketball shoes wore a winged basketball logo. After Jordan won the 1986-87 Slam Dunk competition, the brand changed its current logo to the famous Jumpman, which is used until today. Three years to the contract, Jordan wanted to call it quits. But after designer Tinker Hatfield talked with him, soliciting his design inputs, Jordan decided to stay with Nike, and their partnership spurred the brand to even more success.
Michael Jordan was not really sold on the idea that the shoes named after him were the best, but he still gave relevant inputs to help make it better. For the Air Jordan III. Jordan suggested having the model modified to a three-quarter cut and be made with lighter materials to make them more comfortable. The redesign appealed to buyers causing sales of the shoes to rise. Jordan and Hatfield’s collaboration was reflected in the designs for the Air Jordan models until the XV version. By 1997, the Air Jordan was established as a Nike sub-brand.
Retro Air Jordans
The original red and black Jordan basketball shoes were quite a hit, far too big of a hit to not make a come back. In the early 2000s, The Swoosh released several old models of Air Jordans that appealed to nitpicky Nike fans. The next few years also saw more retro releases of the brand in more diverse colorways, including white Jordan basketball shoes. Among these models is the Air Jordan 14 Retro, which originally debuted in 1999 and came back as red and white Jordans, among other colorways, in 2019. Another model is the Air Jordan 1 Retro High that came out in a fresh look as black and white Jordans alongside two new colorways, “Neutral Gray” and “Turbo Green.”
Then again, not all retro releases became popular. As a matter of fact, the Air Jordan 3 created a debate among Nike and Jordan collectors when it came out with the Jumpman logo instead of the Nike Air Branding on its tongue. However, despite all the controversy behind this model, it remains to be among the most well-loved Air Jordans of all time. The Air Jordan 3 Retro made a come back in 2007 in a “Pure Money” colorway. These white Jordans featured metallic details in giving a clean take on the 1988 OG.
Since it was first introduced into the basketball world, Air Jordans have evolved with each new model crafted with the same keenness as the former. Both Nike and the sub-brand Air Jordan, have grown and accomplished major success in the business that is very much evident in today’s modern culture. Among its most recent releases is the Air Jordan XXXI that came out in 2016. These sneakers marked the 32nd year of the Nike and Michael Jordan partnership. It drew inspiration from the Air Jordan 1 and showcased a fusion of leather, Flyweave and Zoom Air, among many other features. It is released in many colorways including a “Banned” colorway and a “Red Velvet” colorway that saw red and white Air Jordans for the athlete, Maya Moore.
Defining technologies of Jordan basketball shoes
The brilliant minds behind the Jordan brand have since been pushing the brand to great heights when it comes to technical breakthroughs. While many shoe manufacturers have settled for what works best for them, the Jordan brand has made it its goal to go out of the box and push the envelope to unexpected levels. Designers like Tinker Hatfield and Jason Mayden have exercised their keen eye for design to make each new model an improvement from the latter. Listed are a few of the innovations featured on Jordan basketball shoes over the past years.
Heel Nike Air cushioning. This iconic innovation from Nike is also adapted in the first ever release from the Jordan brand. The infamous Air Jordan 1 released in 1984 was equipped with this technology at its heel area. This provides lightweight cushioning for the foot by using pressurized air in a durable and flexible membrane.
Full length Nike Air cushioning. The first Jordan model to sport a full-length Air unit is the Air Jordan II, which is best known for offering a touch of luxury to the hardwood. The shoe debuted in 1987 as white Air Jordans that had red and black details. Succeeding versions of the shoe also adapted this cushioning system that was found to offer better comfort for the wearer.
Translucent rubber outsole. The brand initiated an outsole upgrade with the released of the Air Jordan V in 1990. The new outsole worked to add new levels of traction that gave added stability on the hardcourt. This shoe also featured the plastic lace lock that was first used on its predecessor.
Specially designed tongue. Jordan’s 1991 model, the Air Jordan VI, carried over quite a few of the elements from the previous versions. The major innovation that the brand showcased on this shoe the installation of a rubber tongue. This upgrade provided wearers the convenience of easily removing their shoes as well as smoothly adjusting the fit. The Air Jordan VI Retro gives reminiscence to the original release.
Quick-lacing system. In 1994, the brand black and white Jordans for the ninth iteration of the shoe. Hatfield’s collaboration with Mark Smith resulted in another first for the brand: a quick-lacing system. These laces offered ease in tightening the shoe with just a single pull of the top ends.
Carbon fiber support shank. The arrival of the black and white Air Jordan XI in 1996 created waves in the shoe industry. Apart from the technologies that the model adapted from its predecessors, this Jordan version introduced a Carbon Fiber shank, which eventually became a staple feature in future models. This feature functions to give support for the foot that boosts overall game performance. An Air Jordan XI Retro version is also available from the brand.
Independent Podular Suspension cushioning. This innovation is highlighted in many modern releases from the brand. First introduced on the 20th Air Jordan in 2005, this technology provides users a free range of motion as well as flexibility. Versions that followed also feature this innovation.
Flight plate. 2013 marked the brand’s return to the numbered legacy series. It also paved the way for the launch of the Flight plate, an outsole technology that utilizes supportive Pebax material on the plate. This is said to complement the best capabilities of the Zoom Air unit, which is another staple feature of Air Jordans. This outsole innovation was first installed on the Air Jordan 28 and continues to be seen on more modern releases from the brand.
The color White: What does it mean?
Color Psychology suggests that white evokes purity, innocence, wholeness, and completion. White is said to be the color of fresh beginnings as well as the representation of a blank canvas that is waiting to be painted on. While some would comment that this color is not as stimulating to the senses as other bolder hues, it is one that gives way for creation and creativity where one can make what the mind can conceive. That said, players who wear white Jordan basketball shoes can reflect a personality that is not afraid to create and make things happen on the court.
In the color spectrum, white stands in the middle, containing an equal balance of all colors as it also represents both their positive and negative aspects. This implies that this color conveys fairness and impartiality alongside neutrality and independence. Moreover, white is a color of protection and encouragement that offers peace and calm as well as hope. This might be the reason why it is a commonly seen color on many sports events including basketball and is often incorporated in the design of jersey and sneakers, including white Jordan basketball shoes.
Since it is deemed a neutral color, white can easily be paired with other hues accentuating duller tones and toning down bolder ones. It gives designers the versatility to be playful and creative in coming up with unique and catchy designs. This is true most especially when it comes to sneaker design like in Jordan basketball shoes. Over the years, players and shoe enthusiasts have seen how the look of Jordan basketball sneakers have changed. But if there is ever a classic color that has retained its timeless appeal, these are white Air Jordans, which has kept its popularity whether it is combined with other colors or not.
How to style white Jordan basketball shoes
Air Jordans have risen to unimaginable heights of popularity over the years. This beloved brand has not only conquered the western basketball market, but is also very much welcomed globally in different corners of the world. Michael Jordan’s partnership with Nike has indeed proven to be very successful despite the early controversies that surrounded it.
Jordan basketball shoes are a much coveted pair of sneakers that have appealed not only to professional athletes and amateur ballers but even to fashion-forward shoe enthusiasts who incorporate it to their street style. Out of the many colorways that are currently available in the market, white Jordan basketball shoes are ones that are easier to match with anyone’s style. Here are a few tips on how to wear white Air Jordans.
The versatility of white Jordan basketball shoes allows it to readily match jeans, shorts, and casual dresses. One trick that can help is to dress from the bottom up to make your Air Jordans the centerpiece of your ensemble. Also, try to pick clothes that accentuate the shoe’s features. For instance, wearers who prefer a more classic look can go for the white Air Jordan 1. Meanwhile, women may find the Jordan III more suited for their softer, rounder shape.
Wearing them with jeans
Wearing a well-fitting pair of jeans, preferably slim jeans or cargo pants with your Air Jordans is a great fashion choice. Jeans in a darker shade will work well with all white Jordans that will likely stand out. Users may opt for the Air Jordan 1 Retro or the Air Jordan 4 Retro, which offer plain white sneaker variations. On the other hand, lighter jeans will look better when matched with bolder colorways that include red and white Jordans like the Jordan Ultra.Fly 2 Low or blue and white Jordans like the Air Jordan 10 Retro. For added flair, tuck your jeans slightly on your sneakers for a more tailored effect.
Wearing them with shorts
When it comes to wearing your pair of white Jordans with shorts, always remember that less is more. It is good to note that sneakers were initially designed for the game so it’s safe to say that one can never go wrong when wearing them with shorts. When using low top sneakers, it is good to match it with low cut socks in a neutral color that fit around the ankles. The best type of shorts to wear them with are cargo shorts, which tend to convey a more sensible and mature feeling as compared to ordinary sports shorts.
Neutral colored sneakers like black and white Air Jordans is best paired with neutral shorts like denim or plain-colored ones. Jordan basketball shoes are more suited for casual wear than formal. They look good when worn with simpler clothes that won’t compete with the attention. Low top models that may suit the casual style are the black and white Air Jordan XXXI Low and the gray and white Air Jordan 1 Retro Low.
Lastly, the most important tip of all is to opt for a style that is most comfortable for you. Wear clothes that suit your preference and personality. In that way, you can be more confident and avoid feeling awkward.
Tips in cleaning white Jordan basketball shoes
White Air Jordans are a versatile pair of sneakers that can match different styles. However, they are not the easiest to clean. The truth is, users are most likely to encounter stubborn stains that just won’t come off their shoes. Here is a lowdown of a few tricks of the trade that make cleaning white Jordan basketball shoes easier.
In getting rid of hard-to-get stains, toothpaste can actually come in handy. Adding a dab of white toothpaste in your cleaning solution, which is comprised of warm water and a few drops of dish soap, will do wonders for your white basketball shoes. You will be surprised at how effectively this mixture makes stains disappear making your shoes bright as new. One thing to remember is to wipe off any residue in the shoe surfaces using a clean, damp cloth before air drying them.
With regard the debate of whether you should clean your shoes in the washer, it will be best not to. Although your white Jordan basketball shoes may survive a couple of cycles in the machine, this is quite a risky move as this can discolor the colored details or even damage the shoes. Your sneakers may come out cleaner, but there is no guarantee that they’ll come out “alive” so to say. Jordans are not really the most affordable pair of shoes so you better be thinking twice before you risk putting them for a spin in the washer.
Must you decide to give the washer a try, that is, assuming that you’re doing this for a much cheaper pair of sneakers, opt for the gentle wash cycle with low spin. It will also help if you throw in a few towels with your shoes, so the inner machine drums do not rub against the shoes. Also, make sure that you remove the shoe laces and inner soles before putting the shoes inside the machine. When drying, choose to air dry your shoes.
A good practice for every player or user is to clean your white Jordan basketball shoes after each wear. The sooner you wipe off any dirt or grime on your shoes, the lesser the likelihood that it will stick and cause damage to our shoe. Leaving your shoes inside the gym bag for an extended period of time can cause them to lose their shape, or worse, promote odor buildup. It is best to store them in an open space with good ventilation. Additionally, using a shoe deodorizer works well to keep your shoes fresh at all times.
As an added tip, it is wise to only wear your white Jordan basketball shoes when inside the court to ensure that they perform at their best with each game. Owning several pairs of shoes is recommended for basketball players who play as professionals or amateurs. In that way, you can rotate your sneakers between game, giving them time to dry. It also delays wear and tear for your pricey Jordans.
8 best white Jordan basketball shoes
Air Jordan Legacy 312
Air Jordan 13 Retro
Jordan Max Aura
Air Jordan 5 Retro
Air Jordan 6
Air Jordan 4 Retro
Jordan Westbrook One Take
Air Jordan 3 Retro
Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.