The Best Air Jordan 11 Colorways Ever

  • Air Jordan 11
    10. Gamma

    The Gamma colorway marked a first for the XI–the debut of a non-white midsole. Pairing the iconic, translucent ice blue sole with the blacked-out frame really makes the blue of the Jumpman logo pop.

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  • Air Jordan 11 Pantone
    9. Pantone

    There have been several allusions to Jordan’s Carolina days in the AJ XI line, but none with quite the flare or exclusivity of the Pantone colorway. Released alongside the XX9 in a $500 “Ultimate Gift of Flight” pack, the Pantone finally emerged after sample pairs had leaked to much anticipation from Jordan fans. They’re dope enough to have warranted a trip to the White House on Jimmy Butler‘s feet, the ultimate sign of respect for the shoe.

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  • Air Jordan 11 Low IE
    8. Black/Red IE Low

    This edition of the XI wasn’t groundbreaking from a color scheme perspective, but the IE Low deserves a nod for introducing (and reintroducing) several concepts that have become staples of the Jordan line. The IE Low succeeded despite not being known as an on-court shoe, which distinguished it from previous iterations of the AJ line, while also bringing elephant print back into the fold. Low editions and elephant print have since become staples of the line, proving the lasting effect of the colorway.

    These have always looked better than the other “Bred” low-top XI.

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  • 7. Silver Anniversary

    As part of a celebration of 25 years of Jordan Brand heat, JB dropped this all-white version of the XIs in 2010, much to the joy of sneakerheads everywhere. Demand for the celebratory colorway was high, but more importantly, they represent a frozen moment of time. This is a trait that many of MJ’s sneakers picked up from on-court exploits, while these bad boys are iconic for the brand itself.

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  • Air Jordan 11 DMP
    6. Defining Moments

    The purists may take issue with Jordan Brand’s remix of the classic Concord colorway, but the gold accents gave a little extra gloss to a colorway that remains a favorite. Released in a pack with a black and gold Jordan VI, the Defining Moments edition proved that Jordan was plenty capable of updating classic looks without ruining what made the original great.

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  • Air Jordan 11
    5. Cool Grey

    The Cool Grey colorway released when Jordan was an aging member of the Wizards, though he showed he was still capable of dropping buckets on fools. MJ busted these out for a matchup with the Knicks at MSG, and promptly dropped 39 points at the age of 40. This colorway, much like Jordan’s game, is timeless.

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  • Air Jordan 11 Columbia
    4. Columbia/Legend Blue

    Exclusivity is a critical component in sneaker lore, and the Columbia colorway was as exclusive as it gets from an on-court perspective. Jordan wore this edition just once, on his way to an All-Star MVP award at the 1996 festivities in San Antonio. They haven’t been released very often, with releases in 1996 and 2001 standing out as the only precursors to last year’s “Legend Blue” update of the pair. 

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  • Air Jordan 11
    3. Concord

    From a historical standpoint, the Concord is the first and most significant colorway of the bunch. Debuted against the Orlando Magic in the ’95 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Concords made waves among fans and the league office, who fined MJ five grand for not adhering to uniform standards.

    It also remains iconic for its elegance; the Concord colorway is simple enough to match with everything from joggers to a full tuxedo. Some lucky grooms might even find a bride to let them wear these at the altar, but some advice for the sneakerheads out there: I wouldn’t count on it.

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  • Air Jordan 11 sneakers in creed
    2. Bred

    The Bred colorway has been released many times for a reason–it is a beautiful, popular colorway that will always be in demand. Frequent releases will keep it off of any sort of ultra-exclusive lists, but we’re not docking points for it always being in demand.

    Any fan of MJ’s can tell you that Breds will always be associated with the most dominant stretch of Jordan’s career and the 72-10 “Unstoppabulls.” His Airness closed out the greatest team season in modern history in the Bred colorway, wearing these all throughout the 1996 Playoff run. (He did wear the black/red low-top pair as well.) For most of us, it’s the closest we’ll ever get to touching MJ’s greatness.

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  • Air Jordan 11
    1. Space Jam

    Nearly every Jordan shoe had its moment in the sun, but the release of the Space Jam colorway quite literally changed the sneaker game. Made famous by the movie of the same name, the Space Jams were in high demand leading up to their release, with sneakerheads desperate to get their pair.

    With the first drop day set on a Wednesday in 2000, the original Space Jam sneaker release had people skipping school and calling in sick to work for a chance to buy them. Thanks to the hysteria caused by the release, Jordan Brand was compelled to move all future retro releases to Saturdays, a tradition which has become a fixture for all sneaker releases.

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  • Air Jordan 11
  • Air Jordan 11 Pantone
  • Air Jordan 11 Low IE
  • Air Jordan 11 DMP
  • Air Jordan 11
  • Air Jordan 11 Columbia
  • Air Jordan 11 "Concord"
  • Air Jordan 11 sneakers in creed
  • Air Jordan 11 "Space Jam"

The Air Jordan XI is considered an iconic shoe for many reasons. Simply being connected to Michael Jordan’s iconic legacy is enough to get the hypebeasts fired up about any shoe, but the XI in particular holds a special place in the hearts of the sneaker community.

MJ’s 11th release in his signature line was so huge that it transcended the on-court stuff altogether–at least the real on-court stuff. Made famous thanks to an appearance on his feet in the movie Space Jam, the XI’s crossover appeal is undeniable when you think of how many moviegoers watched him soar in the shoe, even if they didn’t follow his professional career religiously.

It certainly helps that they were a game-changing sneaker on multiple fronts. The addition of patent leather to Jordan’s signature line helped usher in an era of bolder, more diverse design patterns; the success of the Jordan XI showed manufacturers they could incorporate contrasting materials into their new products to great success. The shoe was a performance beast on top of looking great, with the lighter material helping pros and amateur ballers soar to new heights.

The age old question remains, however–what are the greatest colorways for one of MJ’s greatest sneakers? With the “72-10” colorway dropping at Champs Sports this Saturday and figuring to be a staple in colorway battles moving forward, it’s time to reconsider the best and boldest of what JB has already blessed us with. These are the Best Air Jordan 11 Colorways Ever.

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image via Jordan Brand