Air Jordan vs Jordan: Can You Tell The Difference?

Many times, I’ve heard people synonymously use Jordan and Air Jordan. There’s nothing wrong with that. But where it gets confusing is when the shoe line is lumped with the brand, and a confusing conversation ensues on what sets Air Jordan vs Jordan apart.

If you’ve been in these situations, it’s also okay to be confused. That’s what led you here, right?

A sneakerhead will know the difference and may be obliged to get into details of how the shoe became one of the leading basketball shoe lines since inception (get ready to be bored, a little).

I won’t be taking that route. I’ll try to go straight to the point and give you the information that helps you when in Air Jordan vs Jordan battle.

What is Jordan?

Jordan is a sportswear brand subsidiary of a multinational sports brand, Nike. The brand markets and sells different footwear and apparel. Its flagship product is the Air Jordan (Jordans).

The brand name is a homage to the hall of fame basketballer Michael Jordan. The brand’s logo, the Jumpman, is a silhouette of Michael’s legendary jump.

The brand has been in existence since 1984 and delivered worthy street style fashion with a sporty background. It is the perfect haven for athleisure or street-urban fashion.

The Jordan brand makes shorts, caps, slippers, clothes, jerseys, and even exercise kits for people. It’s quite versatile, and Nike uses the brand to cater to a niche in the market.

SEE: Do Nike and Jordan Mean the Same Thing?

What is Air Jordan?

Air Jordan is a basketball shoe line under the Jordan brand, a subsidiary of Nike. The shoe is a homage to legendary basketballer Michael Jordan, who was the first to wear the sneaker as an ambassador. Air Jordans also has his signature on the shoes.

The air Jordan is a successful sneaker line that uses Nike’s trademark technology, Nike Air, to provide balance and comfort to the footing. So, Air Jordan is a basketball shoe that uses Air technology.

There are over 30 models of the Air Jordan currently circulating the market. Some lines have been released and re-released with new designs and technology added.

Additionally, the ankle shoe has different designs, from high tops to low tops to mid. They suit sneaker lovers who want something colorful and playful.

SEE: Ways to Style Jordans You Never Knew Existed

Air Jordan vs Jordan

Most tiles people use Air Jordan and Jordan synonymously. As said, there is nothing wrong with that. After all, the brand stylishly used simply Jordans for its shoes after model 7.

Moreover, it has been stated that Air Jordan is the shoe line under the Jordan brand. You can start understanding from there. To make it easier to get these are similarities and differences between them.

  • Both are under Nike. Jordan is a branch of Nike, but it has created its niche and following, separating itself from the multinational brand.
  • Air Jordan is a shoe line, while Jordan is a brand.
  • There are different models of Air Jordan (over 30), while Jordan manages different lines like shoes, caps, jerseys, and slippers.
  • You can get Air Jordan at the Nike store. You can get Jordan merch and wears at their stores.

SEE: Are Nike Shoes Made in China Fake?

Air Jordan vs Jordan 1

This is simply a difference in models. Air Jordan is the shoe line itself, consisting of over 30 models and released versions. Whereas Jordan 1 is the first Air Jordan model released in 1985. It’s the first shoe to be worn and modeled by Michael Jordan.

Jordan 1 is specific to the model, while Air Jordan means the whole line in the discussion. Jordan 1 is also called the retro Jordan because the design is still based on the original Air Jordan first released.

However, Jordan 1 has gone through some changes and rereleases over decades since its first release.

Therefore, you can say Jordan 1 is the first model of the basketball shoe line, Air Jordan.

SEE: How to Save Money on Sneakers at Converse Store


Does Michael Jordan own the Jordan brand?

No, he doesn’t. Michael does have the brand and shoes named after him, but he does not own them. Nike does.

Is Air Jordan retro?

Not all. Jordan retro means the model of Air Jordans after redesign and rerelease. Only a few Air Jordans are released again. The first models before rerelease are known as Jordan OGs.

The Jordan 1s, for example, have been released since their first turn in the market in 1985. There have been several releases of the Jordan 1 since the first model came out.

Does Nike produce Air Jordan shoes?

Yes, they do. Nike produces Air Jordan shoes even though they are under the Jordan brand. Air Jordans and other Nike shoes are produced in Nike-registered factories around the world.

Are Jordan 1 and Nike Dunk the same?

No, they are not. The sneakers are similar with subtle differences. For instance, they are both basketball shoes with high-tops.

However, they have different panels. Also, Nike Dunks do not have the Nike Air technology. Furthermore, the Mid Dunks have a different strap above the ankle. Meanwhile, Air Jordan has its own ankle strap.

Are Jordan 1 High OG and Jordan 1 Mid the same?

No, they are not. They are both Air Jordan 1s but are slightly different in ankle length and straps.

While Jordan 1 High OG has 9 lace holes, Jordan 1 Mid has 8 lace holes. Also, the logo is very visible in both, but the Jordan 1 High has the Nike Air logo, and the Mid Jordans has the Jumpman logo.


Now you know when it comes to Air Jordan vs Jordan, it’s all in the name. Air Jordan is the basketball shoe line, and Jordan is the brand that makes the shoes. Although Air Jordans can also be called Jordans, it should not be confused with the brand.

So if you are in a conversation where the two are being discussed, you can differentiate between the two. Moreover, they all belong to the Nike brand family.

Thanks for reading.

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