Looking for the best Air Jordan 10 Retro sneakers? Look no further than our top 10 picks of all time. See which ones made the cut!
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Nike creates so many sneakers each year — bringing back their older retro styles, changing with the world’s fashion trends, and even bringing in new collaborations — that it can become challenging to keep up. Nike Air Jordans have been a staple in the sneaker world since the partnership with Michael Jordan first started, and there are hundreds of Air Jordan models to choose from. So if you are looking for one of the best Air Jordan 10s of all time, this is the list for you.
History of Air Jordan 10
The Air Jordan 10 is a rare breed of Nike sneakers because the range was designed during Michael Jordan’s hiatus from being a basketball player and during a time when MJ was mourning the passing of his father. The style is relatively simple compared to many of the Air Jordan collections, sporting lateral stripes on the soles in honour of Jordan’s accomplishments, including many of his NBA finals.
The sneakers saw their first release in 1994. Michael Jordan moved from basketball amongst the NBA stars to professional baseball with the first-ever colourway, “Steel Grey”. Tinker Hatfield is known to have a hand in many of the basketball shoe designs that make up the Air Jordan 10 range.
The first time Michael Jordan was seen wearing a pair of Air Jordan 10s basketball shoes was during his first game back on the basketball court with the Chicago Bulls in New York City on the 18th of March, 1995, known as the famous “double nickel” game. Since their explosive debut and MJ’s even more explosive press statement that he was returning to basketball with the simple message, “I’m back”, countless colourways have been created in the last 28 years, marking a dramatic rise in sneaker culture. Therefore, we wanted to comprehensively list the best 10 created since 1995.
Air Jordan 10s have very standardised design elements, with minor changes in each Air Jordan line. Still, a common thread is that most of the upper is one unified colour, whether made up of tumbled leather, suede, patent leather, or nubuck. At the same time, the midsole is usually black or white, depending on the colour. Finally, almost every pair has stripes on the outsole that are imprinted with MJ’s many achievements.
There are so many unique Air Jordan sneakers to choose from from the extensive catalogue, so we have curated a list of the 10 best Air Jordan 10s the Jordan Brand has ever made.
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1. Nike Air Jordan 10 Retro Chicago PE
These player-exclusive sneakers were created to commemorate Michael Jordan’s return to the basketball league in 1995. Like many original designs, the sneakers are predominantly white tumbled leather on the upper, with black tumbled leather making up the rest of the upper that leads into the collar and beneath the laces and lace stays. The unique thing about the Air Jordan 10 “Chicago” PE is that it features the signature 45 embroidered in red on the upper, commemorating the return. The laces and lace stays are black, matching the tongue label, midsole, and outsole, minus the signature red stripes on the bottom.
Demand spiked for the sneakers despite being player exclusives. Nike loves to give their sneaker lovers what they want, so it wasn’t long before they did the right thing and created a commercial pair aptly named “Double Nickel”.
2. Air Jordan 10 Retro Doernbecher
The Air Jordan 10 “Doernbecher” sneakers have always been a favourite, thanks to the fantastic contribution they help Nike make towards the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Oregon. Around each release, the children at the hospital can design their own pair of sneakers with Nike, and the one chosen for release raises money for the hospital. Nike has raised millions of dollars for the hospital this way, and you must love a good cause.
This Doernbecher pair of Air Jordans in 2013, in particular, stole the show when Daniel Pena managed to impress his epic twist on the Air Jordan 10, with a digital camo pattern on the upper and a unique black and red design on the rest of the upper that leads into the collar section. DP for Daniel Pena is embroidered on the side in a custom font, while the red makes a return for the red and dark blue outsole.
Do Retro 10 Air Jordan sneakers get better than this?
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3. Air Jordan 10 Laser PE
Sorry, yet another player-exclusive, but you will quickly see why these sneakers have made it onto this list. When you think about laser-etching and Nike sneakers, there is obviously one name that comes to mind: Mark Smith, the pioneer of the laser-etching movement on sneakers himself. He would often take some of the world’s favourite silhouettes and laser-etch his signature HEDCHEQ-type font all over them.
These sneakers have the type font all over the upper against white leather, while the rest are made up of black and a touch of blue. Black makes up the midsole, and most of the outsole and laces stay and laces, while the lining is a bright blue, and the rest of the outsole is where the achievements are imprinted.
These sneakers are definitely one of the best Air Jordan Retro 10 sneakers of all time.
4. Air Jordan 10 Retro Linen
These 2005 sneakers are known as one of the most memorable Jordan 10s to have ever been released, as they took the classic colourway and put an entirely new spin on it. Just about the only element that was kept in the usual white tumbled leather, and this is a rare occasion when the midsole and outsole are white instead of black. The rest of the colour scheme is completed with a beautiful tan suede that makes up the rest of the upper that leads into the collar, makes up the laces, the lace stays, and the tongue label, and combines with white perfectly on the outsole to draw attention to the signature Air Jordan 10 stripes. Again, it shows that sometimes a simple design is really what gets you far.
5. AJ10 Retro OVO
This is another example of sneakers initially designed to be exclusive but were later released to Nike fans because sneaker collectors were demanding to get their hands on them. Drake worked with Nike to create these ‘friends and family’ exclusives in 2016, initially meant for him and the OVO crew. Unfortunately, they were released in minimal numbers, so getting your hands on them is still tricky but possible.
What’s really interesting about these sneakers is that they use premium stingray-effect leather in two different colourways, giving the sneaker a beautiful, off-white and black design. The OVO branding and Drake’s owl motif on the outsole can still be found on the outsole. These are some classic, precious Nike Air Jordan 10 sneakers in the sneaker community, and you can count yourself lucky if you can get your hands on them. They definitely deserve a place on any list of the best Air Jordan 10 Retro sneakers of all time.
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6. AJ10 Wings
This pair of sneakers is one of the newer sneakers on the list, having come out in recent years. The sneakers were announced in 2020 while Nike was celebrating the NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago, and as a result, are inspired by the Chicago Transit Authority, with a multicoloured design against the white tumbled leather to highlight the different train and bus line colours. The other unique design element of these sneakers is the metallic panels that are used to give more of an automotive feel.
7. Air Jordan 10 Retro Retro Cool Grey
These retro Air Jordan 10 “Cool Grey” sneakers saw a 2018 re-release with the signature style and colourway. Still, this time it decided to drop the infrared accents that it used in the past in place of a very unified design, with the same shade of grey making up the whole sneaker save for the multicoloured outsole, comprising of grey nubuck and leather on the tongue, lining, laces, and midsoles. It is rare for a pair of Air Jordan 10 sneakers to have such a unified colourway, so it’s a no-brainer that they made it onto this list. In addition, the specially constructed outsole has an array of colours that further separates this pair from its previous iterations, with accents of red, white, blue and yellow making up the only pop of colour besides the grey on the sneakers.
8. AJ10 Retro Lady Liberty
These beautiful sneakers were unveiled for the first time in 2015 during the NBA All-Star weekend and have a New York-themed colourway inspired by the legendary Statue of Liberty. New York is a unique city for the Air Jordan 10 because it was the first appearance of the Air Jordan 10 line and is also the birthplace of MJ himself.
The statue-like appearance of the cement and teal sneakers is shown through the smooth cement patterned nubuck upper and the speckled cement and teal style outsole with the signature stripes that show all of Jordan’s achievements. The rest of the sneaker features a teal lining matching the outsole and the usual black laces, lace stays, and black midsole.
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9. AJ10 Retro Washington Wizards
These retro sneakers use a staple colour scheme for Air Jordan 10s with a white tumbled leather upper, royal blue lining, and stripes on the outsole. The rest of the sneaker is black, including the lace stays, laces, midsole, and outsole, excluding the imprinted bars. Remember the royal blue Jumpman logo on the outsole to complete the look. This colourway is, of course, in honour of the Washington Wizards.
10. Air Jordan 10 Retro Orlando
These sneakers saw their release dates in December 2018 and remain faithful to the original design we saw during the 1990s. It uses white tumbled leather (a staple on this list, as you will notice) combined with black detailing on the tongue, neck, laces, lace stays, and midsole. Royal blue accents make up the inner of the collar and the stripes of the outsole to bring the Orlando Magic’s franchise colours to life in this signature pair of sneakers.
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