Through his collaboration with Nike, Michael Jordan managed in debuting a new shoe style every single year. A fixture on his calendar, a new silhouette released each basketball season. The NBA All-career Star’s culminated with the Air Jordan 8 he wore during games against the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns.
Tinker Hatfield, the shoe’s designer, struggled to get a few tweaks made to the final version before the Air Jordan 8 was launched in 1993. Although this pair of sneakers lacks the iconic Nike “Swoosh” insignia, they nonetheless have the same level of name recognition as other Jordan footwear. Jordan’s own brand emblem appears on brightly colored straps that cover the shoelaces on the Air Jordan 8.
This pair of Air Jordans, like all previous iterations, was equipped with cutting-edge technologies that boosted players’ efficiency on the court. Like all of the other products from this maker, it was made entirely of high-quality components to ensure long-lasting play and comfort in them. At first, there were just three colors available: “Home” and “Playoff” in red and white, and “Aqua” in black and blue. The initial retro iterations looked much like the original, minus the addition of a single strap over the lace.
Meanwhile, 2008 saw the production of a new retro model, this time in a variety of vintage colors for both men and women. There were also some new hues like “Chrome,” “Bred,” and an exclusive collaboration with OVO among others in the sneaker’s most recent run in the mid-2010s. To celebrate the sneaker beloved by so many footwear fans, we rounded up some of the best Air Jordan 8 releases to date.
Air Jordan 8 Three-Peat
Michael Jordan’s first three-peat NBA championship season with the Chicago Bulls is commemorated by the Air Jordan 8 “Three-Peat,” also known as the “Three Times A Charm.” The LA Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Phoenix Suns—the teams that had to settle for second place from 1991 through 1993—are represented by other hues in the color scheme. The sneaker, which was introduced in October 2015, also features a distinctive image of the NBA championship trophy on the tongue, hidden under the Jumpman logo.
Air Jordan 8 Aqua
The “Aqua” Air Jordan 8s were among the three original colorways that debut in the early 90s. Michael Jordan scored a whopping 30 points in his only game wearing the sneaker during the 1993 NBA All-Star Game.
Jordan Brand brought back the AJ8 “Aqua,” which had been absent since 2007, for their 2015 Holiday Collection. This particular iteration stays true to the original with a black premium nubuck upper, characteristic cross straps, a chenille Jumpman emblem on the tongues, and purple and aqua contrasting details. The design is finished off with some retro ’90s motifs on the sole.
Air Jordan 8 Cool Grey
The “Cool Grey” Air Jordan 8s debuted in August of 2017 and are a contemporary spin on the shoe’s classic design. The Air Jordan 11 served as inspiration for this design given that it was the first Jordan model to take on the all-grey color scheme.
This release is done up in various shades of grey, including the titular hue. Both of these tones can be seen throughout the upper, with white appearing on the midsole and tongue. The year “1993” is printed on the heel tab as a tribute to the release year of the original Air Jordan 8.
Air Jordan 8 Bugs Bunny
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Air Jordan 8, Jordan Brand released a tribute to Michael Jordan’s famous home colorway from the 1992–1993 NBA season. The “Bugs Bunny” moniker was given to the April 2013 release of the shoe in honor of the 1990s advertising campaign that featured MJ with the Looney Tunes mascot of the same name.
Air Jordan 8 Chrome
The “Chrome” hue, which was introduced in the initial Air Jordan 8 vintage run in 2003 as a new colorway, is best known for Kobe Bryant’s on-court performance in the 2003 NBA Playoffs when he delivered one of the most brutal dunks ever.
The “Chrome” colorway was retro’ed in 2015 as a part of Nike’s Holiday 2015 collection, which also featured the original “Aqua” and “Three Times A Charm” hues of the Air Jordan 8. It has an all-black upper made of smooth and perforated nubuck, and it gets its nickname from the chrome accents on the strap clasp.
Air Jordan 8 Orange Blaze
The Air Jordan 8 “Orange Blaze,” which debuted in 2007, has a mostly white upper with perforations for a unique take on the classic Air Jordan design. A lot of thought clearly went into making sure these colors go together well. The inner sleeve, a hallmark of this pair of Jordan 8s, is decorated with a brilliant multicolor pattern and serves to enhance the shoe’s already impressive ability to stay put on your foot. Additionally, the shoe has a polycarbonate torsion plate, air sole, and inner sock like the Nike Air Huarache, which prevents the foot from inverting within the shoe.
Air Jordan 8 Valentine’s Day
The monochromatic “Valentine’s Day” Jordan 8 has a suede and nubuck upper in gym red, team red, and ember glow. It was created to honor its namesake holiday with several motifs nodding towards it. Additionally, it has cross straps that say “Loves Me” and “Loves Me Not,” as well as insoles decorated with rose graphics. A Jordan Brand Valentine’s Day card is also included with the shoe.
OVO x Air Jordan 8 White
In celebration of the NBA All-Star weekend in 2018, Jordan Brand collaborated with Toronto-based label OVO to produce a special sneaker for Drake. The black suede and tumbled leather upper of the OVO x Jordan 8 Retro “White” has red highlights on the Jumpman logo at the tongue and metallic gold embellishments on the toe box, heel pull tabs, and paintbrush-stroke pattern at the midfoot. The high top also has an ankle strap, a black rubber midsole, the OVO logo, and owl embellishments all around.