The Best All-Black Air Jordans of All Time

  • 10. Air Jordan XX1

    I will always contend that the XX1 is a pretty underrated shoe. It feels slightly bloated, always has, but it’s a sneaker that looks great with jeans on. And the all-red suede pair is definitely one of the best Jordans ever.

    Drawing inspiration from the¬†Bentley Continental GT coupe, this colorway was always overlooked simply because JB also dropped a graphite suede pair that sported sky blue accents. It’s hard to standout when dealing with competition like that but, alas, I still think this pair is a perfect balance of black, with grey and white accents.

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  • Air Jordan I
    9. Air Jordan I

    The Jordan I has always been one of the greatest sneakers ever simply because it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in terms of colors on a sneaker. The NBA banned it for this reason, and it flew off the shelves because sneakerheads like @JumpmanBostic had their minds blown by the colorways. So while an all-black pair — even a Japan exclusive like this one — doesn’t produce the same excitement as the “Banneds” or the “Chicagos” it is still a great sneaker that appeals to everyone from ballplayers to skaters.

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  • Air Jordan X
    8. Air Jordan X

    My boy copped these back in 2005 and I always had to admit they were just clean sneakers. The Xs have always lacked hype — they weren’t extraordinary in one way or another and didn’t pass Jordan’s stamp of approval. Yet they were just dope. It’s hard to hate them, but it’s also hard to worship them, especially considering what came after them in 1995. But an all-black pair? These are ill.

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  • Air Jordan 4 black cat
    7. Air Jordan IV

    I’ve probably worn this Jordan more than any other sneaker over the past eight years. Why? It’s simple. With that all-black coating, you can wear it out at night and it’ll look good with anything. You can wear it out with friends, to the mall, to church. This shoe has taken a few beatings, but again it doesn’t matter. The black still holds up.

    I copped the “Black Cats” and the “Pure $” all-white IVs on the same day and while the “Pure $” joints are looking hardened, these joints still look new.

    Still, I can’t rate them any higher than No. 7 simply because this is a sneaker that never looks its best when its laced with just one color.

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  • Air Jordan 2
    6. Air Jordan II

    The II is another Jordan that’s long been underrated, sandwiched between two of the greatest basketball shoes ever made and also the silhouette that nearly caused Jordan to ditch Nike for greener pastures. It features a cool inspiration and an ill upper design — stingray on this particular colorway.

    The II will never be beloved, but it’s hard to say it ever looked better than this.

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  • Air Jordan 2011
    5. Air Jordan 2011

    Those of you who are deep in the game know all about this shoe. The 2011 is probably the single most underrated Jordan of all, one of those odd “year” Jordans that released in-between classics like the XX3 and the XX8. This shoe was one of those that always looked better the more worn down it got, which probably suited those of you lucky enough to cop.

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  • Air Jordan XX9
    4. Air Jordan XX9

    Hopefully you know about this release by now. It’s coming at the perfect time and incorporates everything we’re looking for in an all-black Jordan. It has the black base, obviously, but it also features enough white accenting to give it some personality. This will be one of the best XX9 colorways of the year.

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  • Air Jordan 3
    3. Air Jordan III

    I was not a fan of the patent leather or the overall production of the “Black Cat” III. Yes, Michael Jordan and the black cat go together as easily as PB&J. But for some reason, that sneaker just didn’t look good to me. (The III is another one that I feel never looks good with just one color.)

    The difference with the black “Flip” III is that elephant print. On the “Black Cat” it was almost charcoal-colored, putting even more emphasis on the patent leather. This one isn’t nearly as suffocating, despite the fact that it’s all over the upper. It just works. The pebbled leather on the heel is another nice touch. It also featured a leather collar and a grey Jumpman on the tongue and heel. I’d rock these hard if I got my hands on them.

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  • Air Jordan 8
    2. Air Jordan VIII

    Part of the appeal of the VIII has always been its eccentric design and colors, so you can probably guess the criticism some have had for this colorway. I don’t follow. These “Chrome” joints sport one of the best tongues I’ve ever seen on a sneaker. That shades of grey look is SO dope.

    It wasn’t an original colorway, but it’s laid-back attitude did just enough to offset some of the more radical aspects of the VIII. I’ve never loved the VIII the way other sneakerheads have, but I absolutely love this pair. Why it wasn’t re-released in 2007 when JB went crazy with this shoe, I’ll never know.

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  • Air Jordan 17
    1. Air Jordan XVII

    For many sneaker collectors in my generation, the XVII is one of the Jordan line’s best shoes. I think part of that is just timing — many of us were still too young during Chicago’s second three-peat to be out copping kicks, so once MJ returned, rocking the XVII, we jumped on it. It holds special value because of that.

    This colorway was one of the originals and while I don’t think it’s as hot as the debut colorway or the All-Star edition, it’s still really, really fly. (The XVII had so much heat it’s a wonder why more people don’t love this shoe.)

    The low-top version of this stealth colorway was just as hot.

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  • Air Jordan I
  • Air Jordan X
  • Air Jordan 4 black cat
  • Air Jordan 2
  • Air Jordan 2011
  • Air Jordan XX9
  • Air Jordan 3
  • Air Jordan 8
  • Air Jordan 17

We don’t get too many all-black Air Jordans. Normally, and this even goes back to the late ’80s, the designers at Jordan Brand and Nike laced the shoes with Chicago-related colorways. As the years have gone on and the sneaker industry has gotten more and more frenzied, so have the colorways. South Beach is now a regular term. Volt is now often used to draw attention. And black/red sneakers have become so rampant that Bred is now a thing. Despite all of that, there’s something to be said about a hot, all-black sneaker. In fact, I know a lot of cats who rarely wear white sneakers. They seem to crease easier — probably because you can actually see the creases — and they also collect dirt during almost every wear.

That’s why everyone needs some “blackout” Jordans.

This weekend at Champs Sports, you’ll get your wish. The Air Jordan XX9, a sneaker that’s already put out a number of wild colorways and designs, is releasing in an all-black colorway that has us salivating. With white accents on the tongue, the heel, and the massive Jumpman along the shoe’s upper, it’s the perfect sneaker to rock during the winter because it can’t get messed up.

But is it one of the best black AJs ever? That’s a hard question to answer. In anticipation of this weekend’s “Blackout” XX9, we’re digging in the crates and going back in time. These are The Best All-Black Air Jordans of All Time.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney

image via @Jumpman23