The Daily Grind Video

The Air Jordan III is the greatest sneaker of ALL TIME!

Sure there have been tons of technological advances in terms of footwear since they were originally released in 1988, but since then, there has not been a better shoe. Never has so much history been incorporated into one shoe and had it not been for Tinker Hatfield putting elephant print, who knows if we would have ever began experimenting with textiles on shoes outside of the run-of-the-mill suede, leather or nubuck.

At the time of the shoe’s inception, the designer of the Air Jordan I and II had been let go from Nike. Tinker Hatfield, who designed the Air Max 1, was hired to tackle the design of the Air Jordan III. Michael wanted a lightweight shoe, with a lot of durability. So with the Air Jordan 3, they both decided to make them a mid top. It was officially the first mid top to be seen in the Air Jordan line. On the AJ III model, Tinker placed an “elephant print” on the toe box and made it so that IIIs were the first AJ to have a visible air-sole unit, and the jumpman on the tongue.

Now you have a shoe that is the first to do 3 things, design-wise, that we now consider to be normal. 

Like most Air Jordans that were released in the early days of the Air Jordan, the III did not fly off of the shelves the way that they do today, but slow and steady always wins the race.

On a personal level, I remember while I was in high school the Air Jordan III got retroed for the second time after an initial retro in 1994. It was the semester before I went to college and even though I was already a huge sneakerhead, I passed on buying them. I had all the new Air Jordans, but at the time buying an older model didn’t make sense especially when my checks from working as a stock boy in the dairy aisle of a supermarket only afforded me one pair of sneakers a month. Just writing that made me cringe at the amount of money I spent on sneakers. 

Either way, the next semester I remember walking to the Footaction close to my college campus and buying the Air Jordan III in “True Blue.” Unfortunately, within that short space of time Nike had changed putting the “Nike Air” on the back of the shoe to putting the Jumpman on the back. At the time I didn’t really care and since I didn’t get a chance to buy the fan favorite “Black Cement” colorway (with the Nike Air on the back) in high school, I loved these shoes. I just wanted to have an Air Jordan III so the colorway and the Jumpman didn’t bother me and truthfully it still doesn’t, although the Nike Air definitely adds something to the shoe that only a sneakerhead can appreciate.

The Air Jordan III may have been the only sneaker that I liked in every color. From the plain “White Cement” colorway to the “Mocha” colorway with brown elephant print. And it’s not just me, many people have chose the Air Jordan III as their go-to shoe when attempting to look fashionable and casual at the same time. Kanye West pretty much lives in his Air Jordan III and so whoever he dates usually has a pair or two also. And honestly it feels like it goes with anything.

The Air Jordan III always works with your outfit and looks good on anyone. It is a shoe that never gets old and regardless if you are wearing skinny jeans, a bootcut jean, casual slacks/khakis or even a skirt – the shoe looks good. There are very few sneakers that you can say that about, let alone a basketball sneaker.

In my experience, I have had more females ask me to help them find a pair of IIIs than any other sneaker. Girls look good in them, and it probably has something to do with the fact that even though they are a basketball sneaker, it never makes their feet look big and we all know how much women hate that.

Additionally, the Air Jordan III is just a comfortable shoe. I think its width allows more breathing room for your feet and while I know everyone’s feet are different, I have never met someone who complained about the comfort of the Air Jordan III. It’s just perfect. 

There are not many pieces of clothing that I have that I would buy multiples of or even in every color, but buying every Air Jordan III colorway is a no-brainer. 

I’m going to let you in on a little secret though, the Air Jordan III is not even my favorite sneaker and I only buy them in original colorways from when they were released in the ’80s, none of that new-colorway nonsense. Also with the exception of the Nike Air being put on the tongue of a few select pairs of Air Jordan 1s recently, the Air Jordan III “’88” is the first retro that Jordan Brand has released in over a decade that has the Nike Air logo on it. 

Since those were released earlier this year, the Fire Red Air Jordan III is slated to be released and it is rumored that the black cement pair will see another release later this year and also have the Nike Air logo on the back. For lovers of the shoe, 2013 is going to be a great year.

This is just one guy’s opinion but to me, the Air Jordan III is the greatest sneaker of all time and not once did I mention playing basketball in them, but you can talk to all of the NBA players from Nate Robinson to J.R. Smith who have dominated the court wearing the AJ III. I’m clearly not the only one who feels this way.

-Jason Brooks