As I alluded to in my last post, I’m a sneakerhead. I’m not big-time like the professional athletes and celebrities, but my collection fluctuates anywhere from 50-75 pairs of shoes at a time. I buy, collect, and resell sneakers as a hobby. My wife hates it, but it’s nothing new. I’ve been doing this for years.
2016 was a great year for sneakerheads. Just about every week (more like every other day) there was a hot release, whether it be Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Reebok, or Under Armour (OK, so maybe not the last two so much, but they made an effort). While going through my daily sneaker blog routine, I came across a 2016 Top 10 Jordan Releases article from another site and threw up in my mouth a little. Half the list was trash, and the other half seemed to be out of order. I won’t throw them under the bus (or give them free advertising by dropping their name), but if you follow me on Twitter you know who I’m talking about. So I decided to make my own list. Those Navy/Gum 11 lows get an honorable mention. Without further ado, here’s my Top 10 Jordan Releases of 2016:
10. Air Jordan 5 Low “Neymar” RELEASE DATE: 06.03.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $200
The Neymar 5s eluded me this year, but they’re one of my favorite Jordans of 2016. It’s difficult to make a silver sneaker cool, but somehow these still hit the mark. As a soccer player I’m a sucker for a Jordan collab. Although I whiffed on these, I did cop the Jordan Neymar turf cleats and rocked them during my alumni soccer game this past Thanksgiving weekend.
9. Air Jordan 2 Just Don “Beach” RELEASE DATE: 01.30.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $650
The most luxurious and expensive sneakers in my personal collection, the Just Don “Beach” 2’s are straight fire. They came in a decorative red box with a pin and a hat that I’ll never wear, but for $650 Nike/Jordan had to throw in some extras. I originally bought these to flip as they were rumored to go for $2k on the secondary market. After only receiving offers for around $900, I held out for more cash, and ended up keeping them when the price dipped. I have yet to wear them, but I’ll likely break these out when the weather gets better.
8. Air Jordan 12 “Wings” RELEASE DATE: 04.02.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $225
Limited to 12,000 pairs, the Jordan 12 “Wings” were a difficult cop. I whiffed, but my little brother actually got to hold these in his hands for a couple of days before he flipped them for a nice payday. If you rubbed the leather of these kicks, a gold feather-like graphic appeared. I still don’t know if this was permanent as my brother was scared to test it out in fear of ruining their “deadstock” condition.
7. Air Jordan 12 “OVO White” RELEASE DATE: 10.01.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $225
Drake killed it with these. The stingray accent was a nice touch. These were a tough cop, and went for about 3x the original pricetag on the secondary market, like most OVO/Jordan collaborations tend to. I don’t know anyone who was able to secure a pair for retail.
6. Air Jordan 4 Pinnacle “Snakeskin” RELEASE DATE: 05.21.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $400
There were a lot of high-end Jordan releases this year, but the Jordan 4 Pinnacle “Snakeskin” was my personal favorite. It takes a certain type of swagger to pull these off, and I just couldn’t keep these when I got ’em. They go for about $700 on the secondary market now, but the demand has tailed off since the original release date when people were paying $800+ for them.
5. Air Jordan 12 “Flu Game” RELEASE DATE: 05.28.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $190
2016 saw a lot of Jordan 12 releases, but the “Flu Game” 12s top them all. The iconic colorway is a must-have for any Jordan collector. They only release once every 6 or 7 years, but don’t worry if you missed them. They can be found on the secondary market just a few bucks above retail.
4. Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” RELEASE DATE: 12.10.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $220
The “Space Jam” 11s are one of the many Jordan grails. The 45 on the back separated these from all other 11’s, making them a must-have. (My wife thought that was ridiculous, and it kinda is, but to a collector these small variations mean a lot.) Promo photos of these looked terrible, though, throwing some collectors off, and making these an easy cop in the process. Once word got out that they were actually a dope shoe was, demand crept up to about $290-300 on the secondary market, where it currently sits.
3. Air Jordan 1 “Black Toe” RELEASE DATE: 11.05.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $160
Chicago colorways of the original Jordan 1 are always highly sought after. The “Black Toe” 1s are a slight variation, but their appeal can’t be denied. I whiffed on these, but I already own so many variations of the 1s that I didn’t lose any sleep. They’re still dope af, and make this year’s top 3.
2. Air Jordan 4 “White Cement” RELEASE DATE: 02.13.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $220
These were not a limited release, but their fire cannot be extinguished. The “White Cement” 4s were a must-cop. I get a lot of love when I wear these, but they’re packed away for the winter until the weather improves.
1. Air Jordan 1 OG “Bred” RELEASE DATE: 09.03.16 ORIGINAL RETAIL: $160
The most sought after colorway of the Jordan 1s, the “Breds” were the best Jordan release of 2016. While some OG 1 colorways eventually hit the clearance rack (you can get the white or black versions for 39% off on Nike’s website right now), the Breds will always be in high demand and run you at least $100 over retail if you’re unable to cop ’em. I don’t own a pair of these grails, and yes, I lose sleep over it.