Here’s a bit of sneaker lore: Did you know the Air Jordan 3 silhouette is credited for saving the Jordan x Nike partnership as we know it?
The story goes that basketball legend Michael Jordan nearly left the Nike company to go with former Nike executives (including the designer of the Air Jordan 1 and 2) to put up their own shoe brand. He was supposedly so close to leaving the swoosh behind that he was four hours late to the Nike presentation, and during the meeting appeared to just be going through the motions.
But all that changed when Michael saw the design that then budding sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield put together for the Air Jordan 3–a sleek silhouette, a soft full-grain leather, elephant print, and for the iconic player himself, his very own logo on the tongue, the "Jumpman.” This clinched the deal for Hatfield to design almost every Jordan sneaker of note henceforth.
The Air Jordan 3 is now considered one of the most classic and popular sneakers of Nike to date, with the OG colorways even more coveted. So when news came out that the Jordan 3 White Cement (which Jordan wore in 1988 for his legendary free-throw line dunk) was being re-released this year, a lot of sneakerheads instantly labeled it a definite contender for 2023 Sneaker of the Year. And after examining the pair up close, they may just be right.
After taking a W on the raffle and picking up my pair from @Titan22, I was immediately struck by the leather. Buttery soft is the only way to describe it. I remember having a release from 2018 and these new ones appear to be even softer. It's so soft I can imagine creasing it just by looking at it.
Everything else seems to share the same standard of quality with old Air Jordan 3....meaning they’re not the worst materials Nike has used but they’re definitely the best.
For this release, Nike took a page from the Jordan 1 Chicago "Lost and Found" that was dropped earlier this year. Dubbed the "Reimagined,” this White Cement has yellowing parts on the backtab and midsole, suggesting they were actually put in storage and only recently unearthed. Even the box appears to be aged—a look that gives flattering highlights to the sneaker.
This colorway has returned a total of five times since the shoes were originally released in 1988. And for good reason: it's one of the most iconic and wearable sneakers of all time. They look good with jeans, cargoes, wide-bottom pants, ankle-length pants and even shorts. You can wear them as a kicker to a loud outfit or wear them with muted colors and let them stand out on their own. They’re that good IMHO. My only gripe is the sockliner...they’re white and dirty almost immediately upon wearing. They also appear to easily show scratches but I’m nitpicking.
These dropped with a hefty price tag of over P11,000 a pair. And while they sold out, resale isn't too bad for now. Plus, Nike reportedly made a lot of this design so finding a pair shouldn’t be too difficult, but grab them if you find them at a decent price. These won't drop below retail, I'm sure. And in a year or two, you'll be lucky to find them in BNDS condition.
You don’t mess with a winning formula. So these would be a bucket of Chicken Joy—juicy, tasty, and crispy. Something everyone loves and leaves you asking for more.
[An old school sneaker enthusiast, Rhobee Pilares enjoys street fashion, toys, cars, food and the excitement of busy, bustling cities. You can often catch him at coffee shops reading on the latest media trends. IG @rhobeelicious.]
Photos by Rhobee Pilares