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Air Jordan 8 history and background.
In 1993, Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls were the pinnacle. Fresh off back-to-back championships, MJ had his sites set on leading his team to another. which would end up being his third, and the teams first-ever 3-Peat. During this run, His Airness laced his eighth signature sneaker, the Air Jordan 8.
Originally released to coincide with the 1992-93 NBA season, the AJ 8 was designed by the legend, Tinker Hatfield. It ushered in a fresh new take on the Air Jordan signature sneaker, with criss-cross straps on the upper, inspired by the Nike Air Raid, providing the most lockdown for an Air Jordan to date. Additional design details include a chenille patch on the tongue, graphic TPU panel on the heel, and a Neoprene bootie. The Air Jordan 8 would also become the final signature sneaker MJ would lace-up on the court as he would go on to retire on October 6th, 1993, in pursuit of a professional baseball career.
Only three colorways were originally released for the Air Jordan 8, a home themed white, black, and red pair, dubbed the "Bugs Bunny" edition, an away-based pair, known as the "Playoffs," and the All-Star pair, known as the "Aquas." With this trio of colorways acting as the only releases for the AJ 8, it was the second signature sneaker for MJ to come in such a small amount of colorways, right behind the Air Jordan 2. All three Air Jordan 8s dropped during the first half of 1993, retailing for $125, the same MSRP as the AJ 7. This pair also came different packaging, opting for a two-piece design in black and red with the classic "J O a R i D r A N" graphic on the boxtop.
With MJ's professional basketball career at an all-time high, it came to a screeching halt before the start of the 1993-94 NBA season, following the death of his father and burnout from his hardcore style of play and love of the game. While the Air Jordan 9 was already scheduled to release, many wondered what it would mean for the line as Jordan traded in his kicks for cleats. Luckily for us all, after a brief hiatus from the game, Michael Jordan would officially announce his comeback to professional basketball on March 18th, 1995, continuing his legacy to becoming the greatest basketball player of all-time (don't argue, okay?), and keeping his legendary footwear line in production, which continues on to this day.
The Air Jordan 8 comes and goes from popularity, as does it's release cycle. While its not as popular as Air Jordan's 1 thru 6, it is still one of the more coveted silhouettes in the OG line that arguably ends with the 14. No matter where it stands on the hype train, it will always have its place in history, tied to the Chicago Bulls 3-Peat, as well as another successful campaign with Warner Bros. and Bugs Bunny.
If you’re a part of the group that digs the Air Jordan 8, you’re in luck as the Sole Retriever Air Jordan 8 Buyers Guide should answer all the questions you have about the AJ 8.
Did Michael Jordan wear the Air Jordan 8?
Michael Jordan graced the court for the 1992-93 NBA season wearing the Air Jordan 8. He rocked all three colorways, with the "Bugs Bunny" edition seen on-foot for the majority of the season, giving way to the "Playoff" in latter half, and the "Aqua" pair for All-Star. Other NBA players such as Ray Allen, Mike Bibby, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Richard Hamilton, Quentin Richardson, and more, have all worn the Air Jordan 8 Retro on-court during different times in their career. Even celebrities like Drake and Fat Joe could be seen with exclusives, along with the longtime Nike sponsored college, the University of Oregon.
When did the Air Jordan 8 release?
The Air Jordan 8 was originally released in 1993 with the "Bugs Bunny" colorway kicking things off. It was re-released for the first time in 2003 during a short-lived coinciding with the end of Michael Jordan's professional basketball career, for real this time. Four years later, the Air Jordan 8 would return for its second retro run, which then spilled into 2008 with the infamous HOH NYC exclusive "Ray Allen" and "Quentin Richardson" releases. It would take five more years for the AJ 8 to get another retro run, which sporadically ran through 2019. With 2023 marking the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan 8, we expect to see a this model back in both new and old colorways.
As is commonplace with Air Jordans, original colorways are usually the most popular and coveted. This remains true with all three Air Jordan 8s. A lot of Jordan 8's released since the OGs released. Fortunately, we have put together the top 10 Jordan 8's of all time to help you narrow down the best AJ 8's of all time. In more recent years, pe's and exclusives have been the most popular Air Jordan 8 colorways over GRs. Pairs like the "Ray Allen" and "Q-Rich" HOH PE's, Oregon Ducks "Home" and "Away" pairs, and Drake's "White" and "Black" OVO's. Other pairs that get honorable mentions are: “Chrome,” “Sequoia,” “Doernbecher,” and the women's exclusive "Valentine's Day" edition.
The Air Jordan 8 is on again, off again, when it comes to its visibility in the streets. Pairs can be few and far between, but you will see the occasional pair on-foot from time to time. While Air Jordan 8 Retro releases have been slow and sporadic over the past few years, we expect to see a few pop up going into 2023, which marks the 30th Anniversary of the model. With that being said, we might see an increase of AJ 8s in the wild. If you want to stay on top of the releases, give us a follow on Twitter and download the Sole Retriever mobile app.
What material is the Air Jordan 8 made of?
The Air Jordan 8 was originally comprised of leather and nubuck, paired with a neoprene inner bootie. When retroed, the same materials were used on various colorways, with durabuck replaced by nubuck. Other materials such as suede, translucent TPU, and reflective 3M have made their way onto the AJ 8 as well, on pairs such as the “Cool Grey,” “Multi-Color,” and “Reflections Of A Champion.”
How does the Air Jordan 8 fit?
The Air Jordan 8 fits true to size. While it does feature a little more wideness in the base, we still recommend going TTS if you’re looking to wear the AJ 8. If you don’t have wide feet, you might be able to get away with going a half size down, but only do that as a last resort. If possible, try on a pair before purchasing to be sure you’re getting the correct size. Strapping and un-strapping the pair also makes a difference in the sneaker's lockdown fit, paired with the neoprene bootie.
How much do Air Jordan 8’s cost?
While the original Air Jordan 8 retailed for $125 in 1993, it featured a small price bump to $135 when it returned in 2003. It spawned a low-top offspring, a first for the AJ 8, in 2003 as well, retailing for $110. During its run in 2007, it general release colorways maintained the $135 price tag, while its limited "LS" releases came in $10 higher, at $145. From 2013-15, the AJ 8 increased in price from $160 to $190. Outside of limited releases that currently retail for anywhere from $210 to $225, the price of GR Air Jordan 8’s is set at $200.
Where do I buy Air Jordan 8’s?
Most general release Air Jordan 8 Retros can be found on release day via Nike, the SNKRS app, and select retailers worldwide, from chain stores, to boutiques, to mom and pop shops. While limited edition colorways like the “Doernbecher,” “OVO” and “Ray Allen” are harder to come by, some pairs like the Championship "Confetti" and "Champagne" editions, as well as the LS "Midnight Navy" could be found in-store at select retailers, so it doesn’t hurt to physically check out your local sneaker spot from time-to-time.
With the Air Jordan 8 Retro set for some kind of a comeback in 2023, we’ve got you covered through our Twitter and Mobile App where we’ll alert you on upcoming releases, raffles, and more for the latest Air Jordan 8 releases.
What’s the hot take?
Although the Air Jordan 8 is a part of the first ten Air Jordan signature sneakers, it is often one of the least favored, when comparing to the likes of the AJ 1 and AJ 3. It has seen some successful retro runs here and there, but nothing to cement its legacy as one of the leaders of the pack. Nonetheless, the AJ 8 is still regarded as a classic for many reasons in its own right. With 2023 marking the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan 8, expect to see some more releases on the horizon, as well as other models inspired by the Tinker Hatfield classic. For the best chance to secure a pair in your size, keep it locked to our Twitter and download the Sole Retriever mobile app. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest news, release info, and raffles for the Air Jordan 8 and more in the sneaker and streetwear world!