Launched in 1985, the Air Jordan line revolutionized the sneaker business and shaped the culture into what it is today. Now, on the cusp of its 30th anniversary, the line generates $2.25 billion in U.S. sales for Jordan Brand annually, half of which is credited to retro product. That doesn't come as a surprise to those of us who watch majority of the shoes sell out within seconds every Saturday, but it wasn't always a given.
While the brand has had its fair share of instant classics, there's a few shoes that didn't hit their mark right away. However, time has a way of changing things — even the way we perceive sneakers. Today, we're running down 10 Air Jordans that didn't exactly make noise when originally released, but have become highly sought after over the years. Chalk it up to nostalgia, the desire to be different and the constant evolution of style.
Scroll through and share some of your memories of these releases with us below.
Air Jordan 9 'Olive' (1994, 2002)
Original Retail Price: 5
Current Value: 0 - 0
Before the third time became a charm in 2012, the 'Olive' 9 was the definition of a shoe you couldn't give away. In fact, when the shoe was re-released in 2002, some retailers went as far dying it black to get it out the door — and it STILL didn't sell.
1994 Air Jordan Retros (1994)
Original Retail Price: $80 - $110
Current Value: $500 - $700
It'd be an understatement to say Nike's first foray into Jordan retro product didn't quite pan out. While Michael Jordan was away from basketball, the line was still running hot, and people weren't yet in the mood for nostalgia. You've seen the box tags — as low as .99 for anybody who would take them. All three models. Today, you can't even buy the bot necessary to get a pair that cheap.
Air Jordan 3 Retro 'Mocha' (2001)
Original Retail Price: $100
Current Value: $400 - $450
When coming up with the first new colorway of the 3, Jordan Brand somehow settled on mocha brown. It also happened to be the first version of the 3 that replaced Nike Air branding with the Jumpman. The lifestyle-ish release would have been better received today, as its steadily increasing popularity suggests.
Air Jordan 5 Retro 'Laney' (2000)
Original Retail Price: $120
Current Value: $300.00
Even with the relevant backstory, Jordan heads weren't feeling 'Laney' 5s in 2000. They were heavily discounted and, in some cases, started yellowing before they were even sold. Hard to believe considering how quickly they flew when re-released last November.
Air Jordan 1 Retro Patent Series (2003)