Why Are Air Jordans So Popular? The History and Exclusivity of the Iconic Sneaker Brand

Why Are Air Jordans So Popular? The History and Exclusivity of the Iconic Sneaker Brand

The Jordan brand is one of the most iconic and popular sneaker brands in the world... ever.

Since the release of the first Air Jordan 1 sneaker in 1985, the brand has become a cultural phenomenon, with legions of fans around the world. Jordans are becoming more popular than ever in Australia as well.

But why are Air Jordan sneakers so popular? Let's explore the history and hype of the Air Jordan brand to find out.

History and Legacy

The Air Jordan brand was created in 1984 by Nike, in collaboration with basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

The first Air Jordan sneaker, the Jordan 1, was released in 1985 and was an instant hit. The sneakers were designed to be a stylish and high-performance option for basketball players, but they quickly became popular among fans and collectors as well.

Michael Jordan's success on the basketball court helped to cement the Air Jordan brand's place in pop culture. His on-court performance, combined with the iconic design of the sneakers, made Jordans the must-have shoe for basketball fans and sneakerheads alike.

Even today, Michael Jordan is still regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and his influence on the sneaker industry is undeniable, even though its been so long since his retirement.

Jordan 2 Sneakers Off White

Design and Style

One of the main reasons for the enduring popularity of Jordans is their distinctive design and style. Each new release of a Jordan sneaker features a fresh design and colorway, making them highly coveted among sneakerheads and collectors.

The Air Jordan brand is able to remix existing sneaker silhouettes in a way that makes every new pair feel fresh - despite so many prior releases. Some of the most popular Jordans that the brand regularly releases include the Jordan 1, Jordan 4, and Jordan 11.

The Jordan 1, in particular, is considered a classic and is highly sought after by collectors. The sneaker's simple and elegant design, featuring the iconic Swoosh logo and the Jordan "Wings" logo, has become a symbol of the brand's history and legacy.

The Jordan 4, released in 1989, introduced new design elements such as the plastic lace wings and the mesh netting on the side panels. Jordan 4s are popular in the UK and Australia, underpinning a lot of the drill rap that is coming out of those countries.

The Jordan 11, released in 1995, featured patent leather and carbon fiber, which were rare materials for sneakers at the time. Whilst not as popular as the Jordan 1 or Jordan 4, we at PUSHAS believe that these will see a resurgence in the coming years.

Jordan 3 Oreo

Quality and Durability

One of the hallmarks of Air Jordan shoes are the fact that Jordans are known for their high-quality construction and materials, even compared to other Nike products.

The sneakers are designed to be durable and comfortable, making them a popular choice for those who know their sneakers. The Air Jordan brand has always focused on quality, and this attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the sneakers, from the stitching to the materials used. Comparing similar sneaker silhouettes like the Jordan 1 Low and the Nike Dunk Low, PUSHAS would argue that the Jordan 1 Low has superior build quality and would be our pick when it comes to which sneaker is more durable.

As a more specific example, the Air Jordan 4 was designed to be a high-performance basketball shoe, with features such as a mesh netting system for ventilation and a molded heel tab for stability. The Air Jordan 11, on the other hand, was designed to be a more versatile shoe, with a sleek and sophisticated look that could be worn both on and off the court.

Not many sneaker brands are this deep in ensuring the quality and durability of the sneaker is top tier and thus is another reason why Jordans are so popular.

Jordan 1 Off-White University Blue

Exclusivity and Limited Releases

Jordans are exclusive and their business model of releasing limited releases is another factor that contributes to the popularity of Jordans. Some Jordan releases are extremely limited, making them even more valuable and desirable to collectors and those who want sneakers who are hard to get.

The Air Jordan brand has a long history of limited releases, starting with the Air Jordan 1 'Chicago' in 1985.

Today, limited releases are a major part of the Jordan brand's marketing strategy, and the company goes to great lengths to create hype around each new release. 

The Air Jordan brand also releases special edition sneakers to commemorate significant events or milestones. For example, the Air Jordan 6 'Infrared' was released to celebrate Michael Jordan's first NBA championship in 1991.

The Jordan brand has also collaborated with a number of other high-profile brands and designers, including Off-White, Travis Scott, and Dior. These collaborations have led to some of the most coveted and valuable Jordan sneakers, with limited releases and unique design elements.

Travis Scott Jordan 1 Cactus Jacks

The Off-White Jordans collaboration designed by the late Virgil Abloh helped the brand be taken seriously by high fashion circles to become a dominant fashion & streetwear brand - not just for athletes. Further, various musicians and rappers have created their own limited edition version of Jordans such as DJ Khaled's 'We The Best' Jordans and Drake's OVO x Jordans.

These collabs outside the NBA realm has contributed to  propelling the brand past how consumers look at the brand so that it's not boxed in as "just a basketball" shoe. Nowadays, these collaborations have made Jordan sneakers feel as natural belonging in a rap video, on the red carpet, on the runway or on the NBA court.

Limited releases are often accompanied by unique colorways, materials, or packaging, making them even more valuable and desirable on the secondary market and platforms like PUSHAS.com. This is why there is a huge disparity between the recommended retail price of some Jordan shoes to their market price on the secondary market.

An extreme example of a high value limited release are the Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Eminem X Carhartt' collaboration - which is to date one of the rarest and most coveted Air Jordans of all time.

The sneaker was released in 2015, the current average resale price of the Jordan 4 is AUD $60,000+.

Crazy that Jimmy Butler has been seen wearing this pair on court.

Jimmy Butler Jordan 4 Eminem On Court


The popularity of Jordans can be attributed to a number of factors, including the brand's history and legacy, distinctive design and style, high-quality construction and materials, exclusivity, and ownership and branding.

The Jordan brand has become a cultural icon. Many people might think they can't pull off wearing Jordans because they're not a baller, but we believe Jordans are popular specifically because they have transcended basketball and have become a streetwear symbol of style.

Being so sought after by so many different people given their limited release is why many Jordans sell for way higher than their recommended retail price.

Whether you're a basketball fan, a sneakerhead, or simply someone who appreciates iconic design and quality craftsmanship, the Air Jordan brand is sure to have something to offer for you. If you can get your hands on a pair.

You can shop the Jordan collection on PUSHAS.

Jordan 11 Cherry Mens Sneakers Australia
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