The Air Jordan 14 came out in 1998 and is known as one of the last pairs of Air Jordans that Michael Jordan himself laced up before he retired from the Chicago Bulls. Still loved for their significant history and innovative design, Nike and the Jordan Brand have continued to bring out more colourways for the sneakers every couple of years. Now there are so many amazing ones to choose from. If you are looking for a fantastic pair of Air Jordan 14 sneakers and don’t know which one to watch, here is a list of the 14 best Air Jordan 14 sneakers of all time.
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Originally released to the public in October of 1998, Tinker Hatfield had no intention of releasing the sneakers that early. Instead, he had been designing the Air Jordan 14 sneakers concept when he gave Michael Jordan an early prototype for testing. Still, he strongly implored him to wait to wear it publicly until the sneakers had been further developed.
Being the face of the brand and the legendary risk-taker that he is, Jordan decided that he wanted to test the prototype sneaker on the court in a live and crucial game, and he did just that. These sneakers adorned his feet as he hit the court and, as one of the biggest shots of his fantastic career, sailed through the air and into the basket, clinching his 6th NBA title with his team and bringing home his final championship trophy. They were also the last sneakers to be worn during his career with the Chicago Bulls, further launching them into notoriety.
Most of the Air Jordan line is modelled after interests or aspects of Michael Jordan himself, and the sleek design of the Air Jordan 14 is no different. Tinker Hatfield knew about Michael Jordan’s love for motorsports and his passion for his Ferrari 550 Maranello in particular, and the design was born from there.
The design was described as a leap in innovative design and engineering in the 1990s, and most descriptions of the sneakers sound more like car descriptions. Often described as a “high-performance luxury ride”, the sneakers were usually full-grain leather. In addition, they featured Nike’s latest form of air cushioning at the time, Zoom Air. However, what was innovative about the sneakers was the medial air vents designed into the outsole, providing ultimate breathability for its wearers. In addition, these sneakers borrowed from the aerodynamic design of the Ferrari speedsters, allowing the sneakers to be built for speed and aerodynamic movement on the court.
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1. Air Jordan 14 Retro “Doernbecher”
Doernbecher Children’s Hospital makes the top of the list surprisingly often, not only because of how the designs come to be but also because the designs that come out of the collaboration are just top-tier. Ethan Ellis is the brilliant mind behind this inspired idea combines elements from the Texas Christian University’s football team, the Horned Frogs, to the various aspects of Ellis’ treatment against a congenital heart defect.
The colourway is based on the TCU Horned Frogs. Still, it includes the number of heart surgeries he has had to endure, the city of his heart transplant, and the names of the hospitals he has stayed at along the way on the insoles of the sneakers. The sneakers’ texture is terrific, with a slight colour shift to the upper and a significant colour shift on the midsole, all with the through-line connection of black, white and predominantly purple. This is a fantastic pair of sneakers.
2. Air Jordan 14 Retro “Reverse Ferrari”
It’s interesting to see that not only did the Italian sports car part of the inspiration for the sneakers as a whole, but some of the colourways have been inspired by them as well. Taking on the yellow usually seen on the Ferrari crest, the entire sneaker is blanketed with almost seamless leather. In contrast, the “teeth” that are typically seen on the Air Jordan 14 sneakers are made to look like the carbon fibre you find on sports cars. So why is this a reverse? Instead of being all-red with black and yellow detailing like the Air Jordan 14 “Ferrari”, it swaps the red out for yellow and the yellow detailing for red detailing, creating a perfect opposite that still looks like it could be a sports car itself.
3. CLOT x Air Jordan 14 Low “Terracotta”
It would only be a comprehensive list including one of the most exciting collaborations that Nike has, and that is with Edison Chen’s streetwear brand, CLOT. As per usual, Chen swaps out the standard material that you would expect on an Air Jordan sneaker for a tan suede with dots and stitching that looks very similar to some of their other collaborations with the brand, inspired by the detailing of protective armour seen on that of the Terracotta Army. However, the stunning Chinese elements continue, as the heel includes a Chinese knot crafted from a red thread, which is worked through a traditional Chinese coin. Additionally, an idiom is included for prosperity and happiness, creating a stunning and meaningful pair of sneakers.
4. Air Jordan 14 “Light Graphite”
Featuring chiselled lines and perforation, these sneakers are designed to look as aerodynamic as possible, only helped by their mesh vents. The colourway includes Light Graphite on most of the leather upper, Mid Navy on the vents, and black on the teeth-like midsole as well as the heel and the inner of the sneakers. The laces and outsole are stark white to contrast the rest of the darker ensemble.
5. Jayson Tatum’s Ford Mustang-Inspired Air Jordan 14 PE
These stunning black and red sneakers were inspired by a ‘66 Ford Mustang and feature shining patent leather on the toe and the tongue label. The rest of the upper is made of quilted leather, mirroring the luxurious interior of the sought-after car model. The heel and eyelets on the collar are all callbacks to the excellent muscle car, and the many chrome accents tie the sneakers together.
6. Air Jordan 14 Retro “Ferrari”
The inspiration behind the “Reverse Ferrari”, the Air Jordan 14 “Ferrari” swaps out the usual leather for some sleek, varsity red suede on the upper but keeps the black and carbon fibre elements that really make these sneakers look like a sports cars, including the teeth on the midsole. They also kept the chrome grill on this one to pay tribute to the Ferrari, as well as with the bright yellow crest that shows the Jumpman logo. If you glance too quickly, it might be the emblem for the car itself. In 2014, when these iconic sneakers first emerged, they were limited to Chicago retail stores. Still, luckily for us, they are now available around the world.
7. Air Jordan 14 Jumpman Z
The Air Jordan 14 Jumpman Z is a unique pair of Air Jordans. They feature a soft suede upper with perforations in the toebox area for even more breathability and a cross-hatch detail that wraps around the heel. Instead of the standard tongue and laces that you would expect of an Air Jordan 14 sneaker, this one is equipped with a mesh shroud that wraps over the midfoot and a zipper instead of laces. The tongue of the sneakers is still present underneath all of that, but only the upper part peaks out from beneath these new details. The whole upper is a muted, mossy green. In contrast, the upper accents are black, featuring bright orange, and the outsole is primarily white, met with the black under guard and green “shark” teeth. The usual crest-like emblem has also been forgone with this one.
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8. Air Jordan 14 Retro “Last Shot” 2018
The Air Jordan 14 will always have the name of the sneakers Michael Jordan wore when he made that fateful shot at the 1998 NBA Finals. While his sneakers turned out to be an early prototype, they were later released in all their glory for the use of basketball players and sneakerheads worldwide. They were later re-released in a slightly updated but retro style in 2018, bringing us the sneakers on this list.
The sneakers use a classic black and red colourway, no doubt inspired by the Chicago Bulls colours, and use a chiselled leather upper to give the sneakers an aerodynamic, sports car feel. Although these are a reiteration of the original, all of the original elements of the sneakers were kept for the update, including the red Jumpman detailing on the heel and tongue, the Ferrari-style crest on the midfoot, and the shiny shark-like teeth on the midsole around the outer toe area.
9. AJ14 Low WMNS “Metallic Silver”
If you are looking for a pair of sneakers that gives you the chrome feel of the sportscars in the late 1990s, look no further. These sneakers are a stunning bright and even mildly reflective silver from the toe cap to the heel. Although not as reflective, the midsole and outsole are a similar shade of silver, while the laces, lining, Jumpman shield, shank, and other details are all a contrasting black to give these sneakers a sophisticated finish. It isn’t often that you find that the toe cap is separated from the rest of the upper on the outer side of the upper, but that appears to be the case with these sneakers, giving them a premium feel with a bit of edge without changing things up so much that they look like they should be separate from the rest of the sneaker line.
10. Supreme x Air Jordan 14 “White/University Red”
At first glance, most of the upper and heel on these sneakers are perforated. While that might be true for the tongue of these luxury sneakers, the detailing on the outside is actually metallic studs arranged in perfect lines, aiding the sneakers in their usual aerodynamic aesthetic. The rest of the sneaker is entirely white, with black accents on the midsole that make up the “teeth” and university red accents such as the SUPREME branding that takes the place of the Jordan branding you would typically see at the top of the tongue label.
11. AJ14 Retro Low WMNS “Shocking Pink”
Shocking is the right word for this colourway, as you can’t help but feel energised just looking at it. The bold fuchsia upper is made of a shaggy suede that is slightly pre-worn, giving it a massive contrast to the perfectly sleek details of the shank, the shark teeth’ bright orange midsole, the soft pink outsole, and the black accents that can be found on parts of the sole, the laces, the tongue and the lining of the sneakers. In addition, the bright pink metallic shank plate on this pair of sneakers comprises carbon fibre, giving the sneakers improved stability. In contrast, the soft pink underfoot has a herringbone traction pattern for optimal grip.
12. Air Jordan 14 Retro “Candy Cane”
Borrowing from the chiselled and perforated look of the “Light Graphite” that we saw earlier, these sneakers are a perfect combination of white, red and the slightest hint of black, giving it that classic peppermint sweet or candy cane look, hence the nickname. The bold mudguard and teeth are a bright shiny red that almost looks like sugar candy, but make no mistake, these sneakers are created for speed and durability on the court, just like all Air Jordan 14s. The outsole also features the signature herringbone tread to optimise traction to the hardwood flooring. At the same time, the rest of the sneaker is breathable and lightweight.
13. Nike Air Jordan 14 “Oregon Ducks”
This is one of the newest Air Jordan 14 sneakers on the list and one of the most limited-release pairs, having only had 275 pairs made on launch. Inspired by Tinker Hatfield’s alma mater, the University of Oregon, Hatfield never forgot his roots, creating many player-exclusive sneakers for the university over the years. Besides the adaptation of the colourway to suit the colours of the university home team, the sneakers have also been customised to have the duck mascot on the outer shield, as well as OREGON on the tip of the tongue label where you would usually find the JORDAN branding. The sneakers extensively use leather and suede, with the chiselled and perforated design for maximum breathability. The grey and green of the uni colours look amazing when the shark teeth detailing interlinks before covering the black outsole.
14. Nike Air Jordan 14 “Low Ginger”
You might think this is just a muted version of the “Reverse Ferrari”, but you would sadly be mistaken. This is another pair of sneakers directly influenced by one of Michael Jordan’s favourite sports cars, this time his Ferrari F355. The stunning leather exterior is a soft ginger colour, which meets on the front to find the white toe cap. In contrast, the white extends to some midsole, completed by cream, and then the black outsole. These sneakers, in particular, were created more on the lifestyle side of the Jordan Brand, but this was done, as always, without sacrificing function, stability, or breathability. These are premium-looking pairs of sneakers that could suit the court or everyday life.