Thursday, January 28, 2010

Air Jordan III Retro - True Blue

The Air Jordan III, introduced for the 87-88 NBA season, might have been the third sneaker in the Air Jordan line, but it's really defined by firsts. The first Air Jordan designed by the now legendary Tinker Hatfield. The first to feature the now ubiquitous Jumpman logo (the 1 and 2 featured the Wings logo). The first use of the iconic Elephant print. The first Jordan with a visible AIR unit in the sole. The first to be heavily marketed in TV ads (the famous Spike Lee "Mars Blackmon" series). And the sneaker Michael Jordan wore when he won his first league MVP award.

The Air Jordan 3 was originally released in four colorways, all of which have been retro'd at one time or another, and a several new colorways have been introduced over the years a well. No surprise there since the Jordan 3 is one of the most loved designs in the history of the brand. It's even been reported that the Jordan 3 is Michael Jordan's personal favorite sneaker design. He even occasionally wore the True Blue colorway in his last few years while playing with the Washington Wizards, since they color matched that uniform.

Originally, the design on the rear featured the Swoosh and the words NIKE AIR, and the sole read NIKE, but starting in late 2001 these elements were switched to the Jumpman logo on the rear and JORDAN on the sole. The same modifications were made to other retros released after 2001 as well. To most sneakerheads, these were unwelcome changes, and many are hoping Jordan Brand will eventually switch back to the original NIKE branding--but no one's holding their breath waiting for that to happen anytime soon.

As for these 2009 True Blues--well there was some controversy with these, too [link]. Everyone got hyped about em when the retro was first announced, and it quickly became one of the most eagerly anticipated sneakers of the year, but then Jordan Brand revealed that it would be an International Only release, unavailable in the United States. Sneakerheads suddenly found themselves trying to track them down from overseas connects when they dropped in August, but most were left out in the cold.

I actually first held the True Blue back in September--as you can see in that first pic--when I visited Flight Club in New York [link] and seriously considered buying it at $275. Glad I didn't since I was able to cop em a couple months later at retail price on a surprise restock from Size? in the U.K.

After all was said and done, this Air Jordan Retro True Blue ended up making several "Best Sneakers of 2009" lists, most notably coming in at #4 [link] on DJ Clark Kent's Top 10 sneakers of the year, and finishing #1 [link] on Mayor's Top 10 list.

PS - After I cop'ed the shoes, I just had to buy this t-shirt --> [link]

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