words // Steve Jaconetta
images // Steve Jaconetta & Nike

One of the most popular Air Jordan’s of all time. Today we take a look at the lineage of the Air Jordan III.

The Air Jordan III was originally released in 1988. It was the first Air Jordan designed by the legend, Tinker Hatfield. They said goodbye to the ‘Wings’ logo and debuted the iconic ‘Jumpman’ logo we are all familiar with today. In addition, they  were also the first Air Jordan to feature visible air and elephant print on the upper. Four colorways dropped, which are all classics today.

After Michael Jordan’s first retirement, Nike brought back the Air Jordan I, II and III for a short two colorway per model retro run in 1994. The Air Jordan III was the last in the line of the ’94 Retros due to MJ returning to the NBA. In 2001 the Air Jordan 3 Retro would get its first retro run, with three colorways dropping in the span of five months. Two original colorways returned which also led to the beginning of the end of some iconic elements featured on Air Jordan Retros. The OG black/cement colorway was the last to feature original ‘Nike Air’ branding while the ‘True Blue’ colorway was the first OG to feature ‘Jumpman’ branding in its place.

In 2003, the Air Jordan 3 Retro returned for a one-off release of the original white and cement grey colorway. We would then have to wait four years, until 2007 for them to return for their second retro run. Seven colorways were released during that time including the original ‘Fire Red’ edition for the first time and a new ‘Flip’ version which featuring a full elephant print upper for the first time on the AJ3. A women’s exclusive colorway as well as two limited ‘LS’ releases and two other GR’s rounded this set out.

The original black and cement grey colorway was re-released for the third time as a part of the Air Jordan 20/3 Collezione (Countdown) Pack in 2008. In 2009, Europe got a surprise when the ‘True Blues’ returned exclusively overseas and never made it stateside. One year later, the Air Jordan 3 Retro joined the Nike x Doernbecher Freestyle collection and featured a full translucent outsole for the first time. That paved the way for the 23rd Anniversary of the Air Jordan III in 2011 which saw Air Jordan 3 Retro releases throughout the entire year.

Favorites like the black and cement grey and ‘True Blue’ colorways were brought back as well as the second ‘Flip’ edition and a limited edition colorway, made to commemorate Black History Month. Since then, the Air Jordan 3 Retro has had a few small runs in 2013 and 2014. This included the Air Jordan 3 Retro ’88 in white and cement grey that featured original ‘Nike Air’ branding on them for the first time since 2001s black/cement grey release.

At this time, no other Air Jordan 3 Retros are officially set to release. However, with 2015 being the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan, we can definitely expect to see at least one colorway drop. But for now, let’s take a look at the history of the Air Jordan III from its first release up to the most recent retro below.


Air Jordan III
4365 White/Cement Grey


Air Jordan III
4366 Black/Cement Grey


Air Jordan III ‘Fire Red’
4367 White/Fire Red


Air Jordan III ‘True Blue’
4368 White/Cement Grey-True Blue


Air Jordan 3
130203-001 Black/Cement Grey


Air Jordan 3
130203-101 White/Cement Grey


Air Jordan 3 Retro
136064-001 Black/Cement Grey


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Mocha’
136064-121 White/Dark Mocha


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘True Blue’
136064-141 White/True Blue


Air Jordan 3 Retro
136064-102 White/Cement Grey-Fire Red


Air Jordan 3 Retro LS
315297-062 Silver/Sport Red-Light Graphite-Orange Peel


Air Jordan 3 Retro Flip
315767-101 White/Metallic Silver-Black-Varsity Red


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Fire Red’
136064-161 White/Fire Red-Cement Grey


Air Jordan 3 Retro Women’s
315296-142 White/Harbor Blue-Boarder Blue


Air Jordan 3 Retro LS ‘Do The Right Thing’
315297-471 Brisk Blue/Radiant Green-Pro Gold


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Pure $’
136064-103 White/Metallic Silver


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Black Cat’
136064-002 Black/Dark Charcoal


Air Jordan 3 Retro Collezione ‘CDP’
340254-061 Black/Cement Grey-Fire Red


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘True Blue’
136064-141 White/True Blue


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Silver Anniversary’
398613-102 White/Metallic Silver


Air Jordan 3 Retro DB ‘Doernbecher’
437536-600 Varsity Red/Metallic Silver-Black


Air Jordan 3 Retro
136064-105 White/Fire Red-Cement Grey-Black


Air Jordan 3 Retro BHM ‘Black History Month’
455657-001 Black/Metallic Gold


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘True Blue’
136064-104 White/True Blue


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Stealth’
136064-003 Stealth/Varsity Red-Light Graphite


Air Jordan 3 Retro
136064-010 Black/Varsity Red-Cement Grey


Air Jordan 3 Retro Flip
315767-001 Black/Metallic Silver


Air Jordan 3 Retro ’88 ‘Nike Air’
580775-160 White/Fire Red-Cement Grey-Black


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Joker’
136064-018 Black/Electric Green-Canyon Purple-White


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Crimson’
136064-005 Black/Bright Crimson-Canyon Purple-Prism Violet


Air Jordan 3 Retro DB ‘Doernbecher’
437536-600 Varsity Red/Metallic Silver-Black


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Fire Red’
136064-120 White/Fire Red-Silver-Black


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Fear’
626967-040 Night Stadium/Total Orange-Black-Neutral Grey


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Powder Blue’
136064-401 Dark Powder Blue/Black-White-Wolf Grey


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Infrared 23’
136064-123 White/Black-Cement Grey-Infrared 23


Air Jordan 5LAB3 ‘Element’
631603-003 Reflect Silver/Reflect Silver-Black-White


Air Jordan 5LAB3 ‘Element’
631603-010 Black/Black-Clear


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Wolf Grey’
136064-004 Wolf Grey/Metallic Silver-Black-White


Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Sport Blue’
136064-007 Black/Sport Blue-Wolf Grey


Steve Jaconetta is the Release Dates & Archive Editor of Sole Collector and you can follow him on Twitter here.