Sneakerhead Book Club

Sneakerhead Book Club: SLAM Kicks presents Jordans I-XXXIII

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Sneakerhead Book Club is a semi-regular series reviewing, you guessed it, books about the kicks you love. In this fourth installment, we dive into Jordans I-XXXIII by Slam Kicks.

If you’re reading this piece, it’s safe to assume that you’ve probably visited the Finish Line blog before. And chances are, on one of those visits you’ve read a post or two about the Jordan sneaker line, probably to find out how to cop the next pair.

But maybe you’re ready to take the next step from “purchasing kicks on Saturday mornings” to “knowing every single tiny aspect of the history of those shoes.” If that’s the case, then Jordans I-XXXIII is the reading material for you.

As you can expect from a SLAM Kicks publication, the list of contributing writers and editors reads like a who’s-who of the sneaker game: Russ Bengtson. Nick DePaula. Ray Allen (yes, that Ray Allen). Marcus Jordan. Ryan Jones. You just know the info in here is going to be in-depth and captivating as hell.

This is actually a special-edition compendium of three print magazines that SLAM released covering each model in the Jordan line-up, updated in 2019 to include the XXXII and XXXIII. The three editions are all available separately, but why wouldn’t you want them all in one package?

As the title clearly telegraphs, every Jordan sneaker from 1 through 33 is represented here, with plenty of background details on inspiration, the design process, the history of the line and the context of the era in which they were released.

But what good would a sneaker publication be without images? In full glossy color, Jordans I-XXXIII features dozens of action photos of Michael Jordan in his playing days, rocking those signature models the way they were designed to be worn: on the hardwood. We also get a look at the PE Jordan colorways worn by his NBA contemporaries, as well as studio shots of some of the OG pairs from the 80s and 90s.

To me the most fascinating aspect of the magazine is the quotes from Jordan and Tinker Hatfield woven throughout each chapter, both from prior interviews with SLAM and Jordan’s biography, Driven From Within.

Being able to get that insight direct from the source fills out the mystique of each of the Jordan models, particularly the earliest ones, and understanding the thinking behind the construction or the design helps give (me, at least) a deeper appreciation of some of the classic silhouettes.

Any Jordan Brand fan, and especially any sneakerhead, should have a copy of Jordans I-XXXIII on their nightstand or bookshelf.

Where to cop

Got a suggested title for Sneakerhead Book Club? Shoot us an email with your recommendations, or let us know if you’d like to submit a review of your own.