Words: Ian Stonebrook

The Last Dance celebrates Michael Jordan’s most documented season as basketball’s biggest star. It also illustrates the birth of Jordan Brand through MJ’s style on and off the court.

While the history of Air Jordan debuts, player exclusives and performances have been shown elsewhere, The Last Dance documents a specific period of on-foot highlights and heroics, as an homage to MJ’s past, ascent and future.

Rotating models more than ever and always rising to the occasion, MJ transitioned from Air Jordan to CEO Jordan. Seeing the timeless classics and rare Air that he rocks in The Last Dance is colorful, captivating and inspiring.

The Last Dance promises to give an unprecedented look at the people, stories and sneakers that made the Jumpman a global phenomenon. It airs Sundays through May 17 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN in the United States and on Mondays through May 18 internationally at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix.

Below is a list of the most memorable shoes that MJ wears throughout The Last Dance.


EPISODES 9 & 10

Air Jordan II Low

(Left) Film still via ESPN / (Right) An OG pair of the Air Jordan II Low White/Red

The Last Dance shows a young MJ facing off against a rival. Responding to trash talk, MJ scores a flurry of points in the Air Jordan II Low White/Red.

Air Jordan XIII Low PE

MJ silences the crowd in Utah while wearing the Air Jordan XIII Low PE

MJ faced tough competition during his final season in Chicago. The documentary shows MJ lacing up an Air Jordan XIII Low PE for games in the 1998 NBA Eastern Conference Finals and 1998 NBA Finals.

Air Jordan XII

MJ leads the offense while wearing the Air Jordan XII Black/Varsity Red-White-Metallic Silver in 1997

MJ wore the Air Jordan XII throughout the 1997 NBA Playoffs. The documentary shows him hitting a game-winning shot in Game 1 of the NBA Finals while wearing the Air Jordan XII Black/Varsity Red-White-Metallic Silver in Chicago.

Air Jordan XII

MJ re-focuses while wearing the Air Jordan XII Black/Varsity Red in Utah in 1997

The Last Dance spotlights Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, where MJ played — against all odds — while suffering from severe food poisoning. MJ leads Chicago to a heroic victory while wearing the Air Jordan XII Black/Varsity Red.

Air Jordan XIV

MJ at the rim while wearing the Air Jordan XIV Black/Black-Varsity Red in Utah

The Last Dance ended with MJ wearing the Air Jordan XIV Black/Black-Varsity Red. MJ debuted the sportscar-inspired Air Jordan on court in the 1997 NBA Finals.


EPISODES 7 & 8

Air Jordan IX

(Left) Film still via ESPN / (Right) A retro pair of the Air Jordan IX White/Black-True Red

MJ made the transition from the hardwood to the diamond in the Air Jordan IX. The documentary shows MJ wearing the shoe when he first shows up to indoor training for pro baseball.

Air Jordan IX Cleat

(Left) MJ stands for the anthem in Birmingham while wearing the Air Jordan IX Cleat / (Right) A game-worn pair of MJ’s Air Jordan IX Cleats

MJ wore the Air Jordan IX Cleat while chasing his childhood dream of playing league baseball. The documentary also shows MJ wearing the Air Jordan IX Cleat at batting practice.

Air Jordan XIII Low PE

MJ brings up the ball in Chicago wearing the Air Jordan XIII Low PE in 1998

MJ was known for bringing the best out of his teammates during practice. The documentary shows MJ after an intense scrimmage session while wearing the Air Jordan XIII Low PE.

Jumpman Pro Quick

Film still via ESPN

The Last Dance shows the intense focus necessary to win championships. The documentary shows MJ wearing the Jumpman Pro Quick at a Chicago practice.

Air Jordan X

MJ catches his breath in New York while wearing the Air Jordan X White/Varsity Red-Black

Two words: I’m Back. MJ made his return to the game of basketball wearing the Air Jordan X White/Varsity Red-Black. The documentary shows MJ in the AJX as he scored 55 points in New York.

Air Jordan X

MJ scans the court in Charlotte while wearing the Air Jordan X Black/Dark Shadow-True Red

MJ’s 1995 postseason run began in the Air Jordan X Black/Dark Shadow-True Red. The documentary shows MJ returning to practice in the AJX and later wearing it again in the 1995 NBA Playoffs.

Air Jordan XI

MJ soars in Chicago while wearing the Air Jordan XI Black/Dark Concord-White

MJ debuted the Air Jordan XI in the 1995 NBA Playoffs. The documentary shows MJ wearing the AJXI Black/Dark Concord-White in the postseason and also on set while filming Space Jam later that summer.

Air Jordan XII

MJ brings the ball up the court in Chicago while wearing the Air Jordan XII White/Black-Taxi

The Last Dance shares behind-the-scenes stories of MJ’s intensity in practice. In the documentary, MJ wears the Air Jordan XII White/Black-Taxi in a practice scrimmage.

Air Jordan XI

MJ wearing the Air Jordan XI Black/True Red-White in Chicago

The 1996 NBA Finals closed Chicago’s legendary 72-10 season with a championship. In the documentary, MJ celebrates his first ring after retirement while wearing the Air Jordan XI Black/True Red-White.


EPISODES 5 & 6

Air Jordan XIII

MJ poses for NBA All-Star Weekend portraits in the AJXIII Black/True Red-White in 1998

MJ took home 1998 All-Star Game MVP honors with the Black/True Red-White Air Jordan XIIIs on his feet and a sixth ring on his mind. The Last Dance shows MJ interacting with the past, present and future of the game at the NBA All-Star Weekend, wearing the same AJXIII he would later wear during that postseason.

Air Jordan I

The OG AJI returned to MJ’s feet on March 8, 1998 in New York City

Going out like he came in, MJ returned to New York City in OG Air Jordan Is. Long before it was the trend, the documentary shows MJ carrying his game shoes in-hand as he arrived at the arena.

Air Jordan I

A young MJ models the AJI in Beaverton

The Last Dance relives MJ modeling and endorsing his first shoe, the Air Jordan I. This famous photoshoot shows a young MJ with the AJI White/Black-Red draped over his shoulder, in sample fashion, as denoted by the alternate ankle branding.

Air Jordan I

The AJI Black/Red

The Air Jordan I is best known in its Black/Red color scheme. In the documentary, MJ famously models the coveted colorway in sample fashion. He also wore this style in the 1985 NBA Dunk Contest.

Air Jordan VII

MJ finds his focus in the AJVII White/Light Silver-True Red in 1992

The documentary features a montage of MJ and his team taking on all challengers in the 1991-92 season. In it, MJ wears the Air Jordan VII White/Light Silver-True Red, which he wore in regular season outings leading up to his second title.

Air Jordan VI

MJ surveys the court in Chicago in the AJVI White/Carmine-Black

MJ wore the Air Jordan VI White/Carmine-Black for his first regular season matchups after becoming a champion. In the documentary, MJ is shown contemplating his next move in his return to Los Angeles, wearing the bold AJVI.

Air Jordan VII

MJ brings the ball up the court in Portland while wearing the AJVII Black/Dark Charcoal-True Red during the 1992 NBA Finals

MJ wore the Air Jordan VII Black/Dark Charcoal-True Red on his quest for a second NBA title. As seen in the documentary, MJ wore the AJVII Black/Dark Charcoal-True Red when he hit six first-half three-pointers — capped off with a famous shrug — in the 1992 NBA Finals against Portland.

Air Jordan VII

MJ laces up the AJVII White/Midnight Navy-True Red for Team USA in 1992

While representing Team USA in Barcelona, MJ unveiled the Air Jordan VII Midnight Navy-True Red. The Last Dance shows MJ wearing the patriotic AJ VII in international competition and passionate practices.

Air Jordan VII

(Left) A close-up look at MJ’s AJVII White/Black-Cardinal Red on his home court in Chicago / (Right) MJ looks for his teammates in the AJVII White/Black-Cardinal Red in 1993

With two titles in his possession, MJ began the 1992-93 season in the Air Jordan VII White/Black-Cardinal Red. The documentary shows MJ, a superstar on and off the court, wearing the AJVII White/Black-Cardinal Red while shooting a video and providing perspective about his busy life.

Air Jordan XIV

Film still via ESPN

MJ never wore the Air Jordan XIV White/Black-Varsity Red in an NBA game. However, The Last Dance reveals footage of MJ moving through a mob of fans at his hotel in the then-unreleased AJXIV.

Air Jordan VIII

MJ looks up at the scoreboard in Portland while wearing the AJVIII White/Black-True Red in 1993

The Last Dance highlights MJ hitting a spinning layup in the 1992-93 season while wearing the Air Jordan VIII White/Black-True Red. MJ wore the strapped signature with the fuzzy tongue in regular season games leading up to his third title.


EPISODES 3 & 4

Air Jordan XIII

MJ wearing the Black/True Red AJXIII in Salt Lake City on June 5, 1998

On the road to his sixth championship, the documentary shows MJ keeping his most colorful teammate on track. Staying true to his team tones, MJ wore the Black/True Red Air Jordan XIII in the 1998 NBA Finals.

Air Jordan II

A close-up of MJ’s White/Red-Black AJII in Sacramento in 1987

In The Last Dance, MJ calms the nerves of his new coach by guaranteeing a win. The documentary tells the story of MJ putting up 50 points, therefore sealing the game and earning the confidence of his new coach in the Air Jordan II White/Red-Black.

Air Jordan III

(Left) MJ shoots a free throw in the AJIII White/Cement in Seattle in 1988 / (Right) MJ gets back on defense in Sacramento, on February 1, 1988, while wearing the AJIII White/Cement

MJ wore the Air Jordan III White/Cement during the famous 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. The documentary shows MJ’s ascent in the league, epitomized by the AJIII.

Air Jordan II Low

Surveying the court in Portland in ‘87, MJ stays cool in the AJII Low White/Red-Black.

At times, MJ dropped the top on his shoes in favor of freedom and speed, as seen with the Air Jordan II Low. Along with MJ wearing this pair, the documentary shows many of his opposing defenders put up on posters.

Air Jordan II

A young MJ takes it all in while wearing the AJII White/Red in Portland

By the time MJ was wearing the Air Jordan II, the entire league was on notice. The Last Dance shows the young star, already an NBA All-Star, continuing his climb to MVP and champion ranks in his second signature shoe (seen above in White/Red).

Air Jordan IV

MJ races up the court in Houston while wearing the AJIV White/Cement Grey in 1989

In a flurry of documentary highlights, MJ wore the Air Jordan IV White/Cement Grey during Chicago’s 1989-90 regular season run, a couple of months ahead of The Shot.

Air Jordan IV

MJ catches his breath while wearing the AJIV Black/Cement Grey during the 1989 NBA All-Star Game in Houston

The Air Jordan IV Black/Cement Grey graced MJ’s feet when he hit The Shot. Before MJ downed Cleveland in the Air Jordan IV, he debuted the new shoes in Houston at the 1989 NBA All-Star Game.

Air Jordan IV

MJ drives in the AJIV White/Fire Red-Black in Sacramento on November 14, 1989

After hitting The Shot in Cleveland, MJ had fire both in his eyes and on his feet. MJ started the 1989-90 season wearing the Air Jordan IV White/Fire Red-Black during his first games under his new Zen Master head coach.

Air Jordan V

MJ on set in Chicago in the AJV Black/Black-Metallic Silver

MJ wore the Air Jordan V Black/Black-Metallic Silver during a devastating defeat in Detroit. However, he also had plenty of good memories with this AJV, as he also wore it in one of his most beloved videos.

Air Jordan XII

A close-up shot of MJ’s AJXII White/Varsity Red-Black during a game in Phoenix

MJ wore the Air Jordan XII over the course of the 1996-97 season and in pursuit of his fifth NBA title. The documentary shows MJ competing in a regular season game during the 1996-97 season with the AJXII White/Varsity Red-Black on his feet.

Air Jordan V

MJ spots up for a jumper in the AJV White/Black-Fire Red in Boston in 1990

MJ wore the Air Jordan V White/Black-Fire Red as he learned the triangle offense. The shoe was also famously on MJ’s feet when he scored a career-high 69 points in Cleveland in March of 1990.

Air Jordan V

(Left) Film still via ESPN / (Right) A signed pair of the Air Jordan V White/Grape Ice-New Emerald

Famously worn by MJ on a cereal box, he also wore the Air Jordan V White/Grape Ice-New Emerald at practice. Look closely, and you’ll see the Chicago coach giving instructions while wearing the Air Jordan IV Black/Cement Grey.

Air Jordan VIII

MJ wearing the AJVIII Black/Black-True Red on June 9, 1993 in Phoenix

MJ captured his third straight NBA title in the Air Jordan VIII Black/Black-True Red. The shoe appears in the documentary during the team’s earlier championship run.

Air Jordan VII

(Left) MJ surveys the court wearing the AJVII Black/Light Graphite-Bordeaux during the 1992 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando / (Right) Film still via ESPN

The Air Jordan VII Black/Light Graphite-Bordeaux is best known for being worn by MJ during the 1992 NBA All-Star Game. As the documentary reveals, MJ also broke out this unique take on the AJVII in practice during the first three-peat.

Air Jordan VI

MJ looks to attack in the AJVI Black/Black-Infrared on June 7, 1991 in Los Angeles

Defeating his childhood hero, MJ took home his first-ever NBA title in the Air Jordan VI Black/Black-Infrared. The above photo shows a determined MJ wearing the AJVI during the 1991 NBA Finals.

Air Jordan V

MJ brings the ball up court while wearing the AJV White/Fire Red-Black in Inglewood

While building the buzz for the 1991 NBA Finals, newspaper clippings in the documentary showed a hungry MJ ready to take the title in the Air Jordan V White/Fire Red-Black. The photo above is from MJ’s battle in California against his famous rival.

Jumpman Pro Strong

Film still via ESPN

The ultimate competitor on the court and a jokester off of it, MJ is captured in the documentary having fun with his teammates and wearing the Jumpman Pro Strong. An early Jordan Brand model, the Pro Strong featured similar tooling to that of MJ’s signature Air Jordan XIII.


EPISODES 1 & 2

Air Jordan 1 Centre Court

Film still via ESPN

Calm, collected and candid at home, MJ opens up about his rise as a rookie and final season with the unreleased Air Jordan 1 Centre Court on his feet.

Jordan Sky High Low

Film still via ESPN

In the documentary, a determined, confident MJ is seen arriving at practice before anyone else; he steps out of his sleek sports car wearing the Jordan Sky High Low. Despite not being part of MJ’s signature line, he showed favor to the Sky High off court in Chicago and later as an owner in Charlotte.

Air Jordan XI

(Left) Film still via ESPN / (Right) Air Jordan XI Concord

MJ is best known for wearing the Air Jordan XI Concord throughout the illustrious 72-10 season. In preparation for his last season in Chicago, the documentary shows MJ practicing solo in the famed sneakers for his Bulls finale. In that scene, the logo on MJ’s shorts represents the first stages of Jordan Brand tagging.

Air Jordan XIII

(Left) MJ wearing the White/True Red-Black AJXIII on December 17, 1997 in Chicago / (Right) MJ and his son during tournament practice in Paris.

With five banners and the city behind him, MJ embarked on the road to six rings in the Air Jordan XIII. The road would lead MJ and his family to Paris, where the documentary shows French fans witnessing Chicago on their farewell tour (and MJ in the Air Jordan XIII White/True Red-Black).

Converse Pro Leather

(Left) Film still via ESPN / (Right) Converse Pro Leather OG 2020 version

MJ’s “Last Dance” may have ended in the Air Jordan XIV, but it all began in the Converse Pro Leather. The documentary shows him playing in the shoe during his college years in Chapel Hill.

Nike Air Ship PE

The 2020 Nike Air Ship from the “New Beginnings” Pack

During his rookie season ascent, MJ wore a Nike Air Ship PE with “Nike Air” heel tagging that foreshadowed his own line taking flight. In the documentary, MJ wears both the White/Red and Black/Red, particularly in scenes playing against Milwaukee.

Air Jordan XIII

(Left) MJ quieting the crowd in East Rutherford, New Jersey on January 23, 1997 / (Right) MJ fading away in Indianapolis on November 28, 1997

With Chicago shorthanded at the start of the season, MJ put the team on his back in the quest for six. In the documentary, MJ lifts the team in Los Angeles to a double-overtime victory with a season-high 49 points. He did so in the Air Jordan XIII White/Black-True Red-Pearl Grey.

Air Jordan I Dunk Sole Hybrid

(Left) MJ wearing the Air Jordan I Dunk Sole Hybrid in 1986 / (Right) Air Jordan I Dunk Sole Hybrid in Atlanta

True to his playoff promise, MJ returned from injury with the goal of leading Chicago to the postseason. Avoiding all analogies made by management, it’d be MJ who, as seen in the documentary, handed out headaches to opposing defenders in an unreleased Air Jordan I Dunk Sole Hybrid.


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