A heavy-hitter in the sneaker scene since the height of Michael Jordan’s NBA career in 1984, Jordan Brand has launched 36 silhouettes, countless colourways and several apparel line-ups. As demand continues to increase for all-things Jordan, the brand now operates on a two-season cycle for its in-line releases, unveiling a group of sneakers at a time. The next collection set to make waves in the industry is the Spring 2022 release calendar, which puts a focus on inclusive sizing, lesser-known silhouettes and iconic hues.
Over the last 24 months, Jordan Brand has faced some serious competition. The Nike Dunk, Nike Air Force 1 and New Balance 550 have all caught up with the legendary Jordan 1, forcing MJ’s namesake brand to dig into the archive and reimagine some of its older, slightly forgotten styles. The result? A Spring 2022 catalogue that’s unexpectedly colourful, slightly nostalgic and a lot more exciting.
Air Jordan 1 High OG Dark Marina Blue
The Air Jordan 1 is Jordan Brand’s top seller. The Air Jordan 1 High OG Marina Blue comes in a similar in palette to the Nike Dunk Low Hyper Cobalt from last year, making it an instant fan favourite. Set to release in February, this is a headliner on the release calendar for every Jordan lover. A welcome addition, the pair will release in full family sizing.
Air Jordan 1 High OG Brotherhood
This iteration of the Air Jordan 1 pulls inspiration from Michael Jordan’s connection to the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, one of the most historically significant African American fraternities in America. Mimicking the frat’s colour scheme of “University Gold” and “Light Bordeaux”, the pair is allegedly releasing soon after the aforementioned Air Jordan 1 Dark Marina Blue at the end of February, once again in an inclusive size run.
Air Jordan 4 WMNS Blank Canvas
Arguably the highlight of the entire collection is the Air Jordan 4 Blank Canvas, a monochromatic sneaker constructed entirely of, you guessed it, canvas. The perfect base for any outfit, or any custom, this is an early entry for sneaker of the year. Standing out from the subtle upper, we see some colour added to the outsole by way of blue and red tooling elements as well as a minute paint splatter effect.
Air Jordan 4 Zen Master
Arriving as a polar opposite to the aforementioned Blank Canvas outfit, the Zen Master Air Jordan 4 comes as a loud, whimsical tie-dye colourway perfect for summer months. The upper, made up of pinks and purples, is outlined by the 4’s iconic hardware elements in a black hue.
Air Jordan 4 Infrared
Nike’s iconic Infrared colour was born with Tinker Hatfield’s design of the Air Max 90. Shortly after, the Air Jordan 6 followed suit, and in the three decades since we’ve witnessed Infrared employed on countless silhouettes. 2022 marks the first time we’ve seen it used on the Air Jordan 4, with the shoe’s plastic eyelets, Jumpman logo and interior all draped in Infrared, contrasted against by a spectrum of black and grey which covers the remainder of the upper. 2021 was the year of the Lightning AJ4, maybe 2022 will be dominated by Infrared.
Air Jordan 3 Muslin
The Air Jordan 3 had a massive 2021, crowned as the sneaker of the year as a result of the blockbuster collaboration between Jordan and A Ma Maniére. Following designer James Whitner’s lead, this AJ3 has been outfitted in a tonal colourway of neutrals, with subtle red detailing on the eyelets and tongue tab. A pre-aged midsole ties together the sneaker for an elevated, vintage feel.
Air Jordan 3 Retro Cardinal
An instant classic, and reminiscent of many OG colourways of the Air Jordan 3, the upcoming Cardinal iteration sees elephant print throughout, paired with a white tumbled leather and striking “Cardinal Red” detailing. Elephant print was first introduced on the AJ3 by Tinker Hatfield and has since become iconic in its own right, appearing on countless AJ3s over the past few decades.
Air Jordan 6 UNC
UNC blue was, as voted by our social media audience, the colour of 2021. Jordan’s personal connection to the hue predates his NBA career, going as far back as 1981 when he le
ad the University of North Carolina’s “Tar Heels” college basketball team, donning the baby blue for three years before transcending into superstardom. Continuing the legacy, Jordan Brand has applied the colour to the Air Jordan 6, a silhouette previously collaborated on by the likes of Travis Scott and Levi’s, which will no doubt be a top pick for this year’s release calendar. Once again releasing in full family sizing, everyone can enjoy UNC blue.
Air Jordan 6 WMNS Mint Foam
Jordan Brand appears to be pinning the Air Jordan 6 as the next big silhouette, arriving in many colourways this year. The “Mint Foam” rendition features a clean white upper made up of suedes and nubuck leather, with pale green detailing subtly applied to the heel tab and midsole, topped off with a metallic lace toggle.
Air Jordan 5 Racer Blue
Pulling inspiration from an unreleased sample from way back in the 90’s, the Air Jordan 4 Racer Blue sees a black suede upper paired up with metallic silver and rich blue detailing. The Air Jordan 5 came about in 1990, and had tough shoes to fill, following up on the massively popular Air Jordan 4. Inspired by the paint job of a legendary WWII fighter jet — and Jordan’s aggressive, dominant play style on court — the Tinker Hatfield-designed classic is certainly a fan favourite. This pair in particular harkens back to an era in the 90’s when the lateral heel was left completely devoid of embroidery; nowadays, it’s more commonplace to see a “23” denoting MJ’s jersey number.
Air Jordan 5 Low WMNS Arctic Orange / Siren Red
The Air Jordan 5 Low is one of the brand’s more underrated designs. But, Jordan Brand wants to change that, with multiple colourways on the horizon, all of which come wearable and beautifully made. This “Arctic Orange” iteration is no exception, tying together a pastel-pink leather upper with black and striking neon red detailing. Considering the cohort of Air Jordan 5 Lows releasing throughout 2022, the silhouette is definitely one to keep an eye on.
*Feature Image: Yankee Kicks