Here’s another reason to look forward to the new year: more sneakers. Jordan Brand has revealed its Spring 2021 Retro Collection, including new iterations of the Air Jordan 1, 4, and 5, and the first women’s version of the Air Jordan 9. Expect your classic favorites, but revamped in the both loud and subtle ways.
The collection looks minimal while still making a statement. Pastel blues and yellows are prevalent throughout, while smaller details and clean lines round out the sneakers. Upgraded textures and patterns keep familiar silhouettes fresh, which are bound to make each pair resonate with people who have different senses of style.
For the ladies — The Air Jordan 9 is getting a women's version for the first time. Originally released during Michael Jordan’s first retirement from basketball, the silhouette embodies his impact and influence around the world. Carrying the same sentiment, the women-focused AJ9 features the phrase “Change the World” on the heel loop, just above Jordan’s number “23” embroidered on the heel. An indigo, pastel blue, and light yellow colorway surrounds the left shoe’s white base, while the right shoe mirrors the design in a salmon, fuschia, and light orange colorway. The vibrant colors on the women’s shoe strive to be more natural in their making, using vegetable-tanned materials and natural plant-based dyes.
A twist on the Air Jordan 1 "Gold Toe," the "Silver Toe" AJ1 switches out patent gold for a “crinkled” platinum hue, inspired by space innovation and the future of flight. These sneakers — which I’m already eyeing for myself— are sure to sell out fast. And, in anticipation for that, Nike has this model set for extended sizes (women’s 5 up to women’s 16.5, giving dude's a chance to make it their own. The shoe features metallic details on the ankle, heel, and toe box while keeping the classic Jordan 1 silhouette.
If you missed out on these Homecoming-inspired Air Jordan 1 Let(her)mans, you might like the familiar colors of the latest UNC-inspired AJ1. The shoe brings genuine University Blue leather to the ankle, heel, toe, and outsole, with a recognizable black Swoosh on the lateral. Their pastel blue color is perfect for spring, capturing the icy blues of winter and the soft transition into warmer weather. Obviously, wear anytime but beware of bad weather — these babies are priceless. A black Wings logo with University Blue branding on the tongue finishes off the model’s clean and classic detailing.
Alternatively, the brighter, neon-esque version of the Air Jordan 1 features foldable eyelet-flaps, exposed foam on the tongue, and a reversed tongue tag. This sneaker comes in a tri-tonal yellow colorway of Volt, University Gold, and Sail to pay homage to past models while still creating a new iteration of the classic. It looks like a highlighter, but in the best way possible.
Taking even more inspiration from space exploration, a black-and-orange Air Jordan 5 showcases the strength and beauty of the technical materials used in spacesuits, according to Nike. To me, the inspiration looks more like Halloween and fall colors, but this women’s exclusive is dope regardless. The sneaker’s upper is made of black and orange metallic mesh, complemented by matte TPU heel tabs and wings. The netting continues on the quarter panel and tongue bottom, leading up to a raw-edge construction on the tongue upper exposing the foam material underneath. Hints of orange on the toe and heel of the rubber outsole complete the look.
With a University Blue genuine suede leather upper, the new rendition of the Air Jordan 4 combines premium materials with a classic Jumpman color scheme. This angelic sneaker also features mesh netting on the quarter panel and tongue bottom, with recognizable cement splatter on the midsole, heel tabs, and wings. A woven jock tag on the tongue serves as the final detail on the plush shoe. The light blue model comes in new packaging and is available in men’s and grade school sizing — ladies, if you’re under a size 9, that’ll work for you too.
Shoes are back, back again — The pandemic has everyone feeling nostalgic, even Nike. This new version of the Air Jordan 3 features upgraded materials and true-to-form coloring. Muted colors Sport Red and Orange Peel highlight the tongue, eyelets, Air bag, and heel tab, and a genuine leather upper, matte-finished midsole, and elephant print overlays on the forefront and heel update the classic. Talk about a glow up. The model comes in a full family offering, so plan now if you’d like your family to stunt on next year’s holiday cards.
An evolution of the Air Jordan 5 "Stealth," which originally released in 2006, this iteration puts a fresh twist on the familiar colorway. An all-white genuine leather upper with the OG silver reflective tongue are accented by black on the midsole with a blue splatter finish and blue on the lace toggle and sockliner. I mean, these are clean.
Another Air Jordan 5 Retro, which will be available in men's and kids' sizing, sees the OG reflective material typically found on the tongue upper now on the quarter panel and tongue bottom. The sneaker mixes black suede leather, silver textiles, and translucence in new ways while also maintaining original details like the hallmark “23” branding on the heel and splatter finish on the midsole.
Some things are classic for a reason. This subtle Air Jordan 9 pairs muted shades of black and charcoal on genuine nubuck leather, keeping the new approach to the Air Jordan IX pretty subtle. Pops of University Gold are visible throughout the sockliner and branding on the midsole, tongue and heel. This model retains its OG construction and comes in full family sizing.
Finally, a white-and-orange Air Jordan 13 wraps up the collection. The model incorporates Starfish Orange suede, a color rooted in recent Jordan Brand history, into its classic quilted white leather base. Holographic details give the sneaker just the boost it needs.
The full Jordan Brand Spring 2021 Retro Collection will be available in January on SNKRS, or if you’re late, at top prices on StockX. Better schedule your purchases now.