Journal / Best Metallic Air Jordans

Always Shining: The Best "Metallic" Air Jordans

Air Jordan 4 Metallic Purple

“Metallic” Air Jordans are a core element of the Jordan collection. In 1985, a now-rare set of colorways in white leather with metallic accents of navy, orange, red, purple, maroon, green, and black kicked off the tradition of making the Jordan line shine. Five years later in 1990, the Air Jordan 5 got even more flashy with a reflective tongue. Fast forward 35 years, and nearly every Air Jordan model has received some kind of metallic-tinged look at one time or another. The latest entry into the shiny family is this summer's Air Jordan 4 "Metallic Pack," inspired by that original set of "Metallic" Jordan 1s.

In celebration of the new Jordan 4 “Metallic Pack,” we picked a few of our favorite metallic Jordans. From OG colorways to disco ball themed looks, you can definitely see this color story is an integral part of Air Jordan history.

Air Jordan 5 Black Metallic

Air Jordan 5 “Black/Metallic”

It wasn’t the first Air Jordan with a “Metallic” nickname, yet many recall the Jordan 5 “Black/Metallic” for being the first of Michael Jordan’s signature shoes to prominently feature the flashy finish. The reflective tongue, also found on the "Fire Red/Silver Tongue" colorway that just returned this spring, was added by designer Tinker Hatfield to make the shoe pop from the flash photography taken of Michael Jordan every time he hit the court.


Jordan 1 Mid Disco

Women’s Air Jordan 1 Mid “Disco Ball”

Straight out of the ‘70s and proud of it, this Women’s Air Jordan 1 Mid “Disco Ball” is primed for the attention seeking sneaker collector or fan. You’ll no sooner find another Air Jordan as bold as this.


air jordan 9 johnny kilroy

Air Jordan 9 “Johnny Kilroy”

Who is “Johnny Kilroy,” and why does he have his own colorway? Nike, having some fun at the expense of Jordan’s first retirement, created a series of commercials starring MJ portraying the fictional character to promote his Air Jordan 9.


Air Jordan 1 “Gold Top 3”

Sneaker brands, namely Jordan Brand in particular, have used the grand stage of ComplexCon to unveil some of the hottest releases of the year. This Air Jordan 1 “Gold Top 3” from 2017 underscores the point.


Air Jordan 8 Trophy

Air Jordan 8 “Trophy”

Hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy in celebration of another NBA championship had become commonplace for the Chicago Bulls by 1993. But there’s nothing regular about this Air Jordan 8 “Trophy,” a nod to the glorious piece of golden hardware. Our favorite feature of this colorway is the fingerprint detailing on the gold mudguards that replicate MJ's prints on the championship trophy.


Air Jordan 11 Low Closing Ceremony

Air Jordan 11 Low “Closing Ceremony”

The 2016 Men’s US Olympic Basketball team soundly defeated Serbia in the gold medal game by the score of 96-66, the largest margin of victory since 1992. This Air Jordan 11 Low “Closing Ceremony” pays tribute to the feat.


Air Jordan 4 Pure Money

Air Jordan 4 “Pure Money”

What began as an effort to produce more wearable lifestyle colorways of the Air Jordan series in the early ‘00s ended up resulting in the birth of innumerable designs we wished we could have seen Jordan play in. Count the Air Jordan 4 “Pure Money” from 2005 as one. The new "Metallic Pack" uses this original chrome-accented Jordan 4 as a blueprint.


Air Jordan 1 Metallic Navy

Air Jordan 1 “Metallic Navy”

Our crystal ball tells us there’s about to be a lot more respect for the less heralded original colorways of the Air Jordan 1 going forward. We wouldn’t have all of these great “Metallic” Jordans if it weren’t for this shoe from the original "Metallic Pack."

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