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2020 in review: The year in Jordans

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This year has been an unconventional and challenging one around the world, but the sneaker industry has rolled on through it all.

Here we take a trip down Recent Memory Lane to look back at the Air Jordan models that released at Finish Line in 2020.

January

This one flipped the script on an iconic colorway immortalized by Denzel Washington and Ray Allen in 1998’s He Got Game.

Bringing the heat for female sneakerheads early in the year, Jordan Brand retroed 1998’s Women’s Air Jordan with some fine details.

Using traditional colors in a new twist with a high-quality textile finish, the ‘Black Satin’ was the first of many AJ 1s to drop this year.

To welcome the Year of the Rat on the Chinese calendar, Jumpman unleashed this gorgeous AJ 12. Guo Nian Hao!

We don’t see frequent retros of Michael Jordan’s ninth signature model, but we got two in 2020. The first one featured a bold and versatile black upper.

February

Reflective 3M materials and a pearlescent grey-to-green-to-blue upper make this Women’s-exclusive Air Jordan 5 colorway one to covet.

One of the brand’s high-demand drops over NBA All-Star Weekend, this one brought two iconic Jordan color schemes: those of the University of North Carolina and the Chicago Bulls. These ones went fast.

It would be remiss of Jordan Brand to not drop an Air Jordan 3 on All-Star Weekend in Chicago, considering he wore a pair in the ’88 event in the Windy City.

A new twist on a September 2018 colorway, the “2.0” edition of the ‘Pine Green’ featured a predominantly black upper to contrast the namesake green hue.

March

It’s my opinion that we don’t get enough Air Jordan 2 retro releases. This one boasted a veritable rainbow of colors on its upper.

A Retro 3 with Carolina Blue hues and a crispy white upper, right in time for Spring? How could anyone say no to that? Spoiler: They couldn’t, and these disappeared like smoke in the breeze.

This one looks familiar. Donning the color scheme of the original Nike Air Max 95, this Air Jordan 4 paid fitting tribute the the 25th anniversary of its stablemate.

April

Purple is the color of royalty, and this one was executed to perfection. Another “2.0” kind of colorway for the AJ 1, but that didn’t take away from the popularity of the release at all.

An ode to the annual Jamaica Carnival festival, this summery Women’s-exclusive take on the AJ 4 was a certain head-turner.

Arriving in conjunction with Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance documentary, this pair came dressed for success with gold accents.

May

There’s been no shortage of AJ 5 releases this year, but this one — in OG form, nonetheless — could be the hottest of them all (as long as you’re ignoring the Off-White drops).

A direct salute to an original AJ1 colorway, this release was eye-catching with its white Wings logo and Royal Blue outsole and toebox.

An all-white sneaker in a classic and historic silhouette with some subtle touches of flashy purple? Sounds like a summertime hit.

Returning in retro form for the first time since 2010, the ‘Flint Grey’ 13s hit at the height of The Last Dance fever, to huge acclaim.

June

Space Jam fans rejoice: The ‘Hare Jordan’ made famous by Bugs Bunny himself was now within reach. What’s up Doc?

To help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the AJ 5, Jordan Brand took elements from three of the model’s most iconic colorways and combined them in one. The results spoke for themselves.

An absolute banger, maybe the general release of Summer 2020. This one had sneakerheads mad in every comment section on Instagram due to their Women’s-sizing-only release.

Few things in life are certain. Death, taxes and Jordan Brand blessing us with more colorways of the Air Jordan 11 Retro Low in the summer are a few things you can bank on.

July

A colorway to make Bulls fans swoon on a shoe famously worn in Game 6 of Michael Jordan’s last NBA Finals series. The end of an era? Yes. One fire sneaker release? Absolutely.

Everyone’s favorite fruit-adjacent colorway is back and bolder than ever to brighten up those summer ‘fits in 2020, three decades after the shoe’s original arrival.

Often overlooked in the shadow of the patent-leather AJ 11 Lows, the IE has a distinct advantage: Summertime breathability.

Speaking of low-cut Air Jordan 11s, this Women’s-exclusive colorway brought new life to an old classic.

There’s no shortage of red-and-black applications on AJ 1s, but this one’s addition of a soft grey gives the silhouette a modern classic vibe.

Harking back to the “Away” player edition Gary Payton wore during the 2003-04 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, this one truly fit like a glove.

Those classic colors. Premium materials. Faux snakeskin for crying out loud. What a heater.

August

The little ones deserve their own exclusive colorways too, and Jordan Brand recognized that with this funky back-to-school release.

A highly anticipated addition to the retro collection acknowledging the sneaker’s importance to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, these ones were as loud and proud as Will Smith himself.

The women in the sneakerhead community had the chance to juice their rotation with an AJ 3 featuring some electric highlights.

A new take on the classic silhouette featured a leather upper dyed Indigo, with a crisp white mudguard showing off the OG model’s signature lizard-skin pattern.

The latest Air Jordan 3 colorway brought to life an Easter egg from Nike designer Tinker Hatfield’s original concept. Who doesn’t love some trivia with their sneakers?

September

Known around the sneaker blogosphere as the “Biohack,” this funky pair was a tribute to the bright lights of Tokyo (but reminded us of a 15-year-old Dunk High colorway).

These will stand out in a crowd on any kid. Who could resist such a sweet treat for the feet?

As close to the ‘Oregon Ducks’ PE colorway as most of us will ever get, these really could elevate anyone’s rotation.

That gorgeous Royal Blue color makes a welcome return in a brand-new form, for the first time on an AJ 14.

Another tough-looking colorway in Women’s sizing, the AJ 6 ‘Tech Chrome’ featured black and grey suede and transparent windows in the upper.

This iteration of the Michael Jordan’s 13th signature shoe came dressed in white, black, and Lucky Green. Simple, beautiful, a must-have.

October

With Halloween just around the corner, the kids must’ve been begging their parents for these bubblegum-colored retros.

Jordan Brand’s collaboration with French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain has never looked better than with these stunning AJ 4s. They were sold out in a flash.

This stunningly detailed pair, releasing in Women’s sizing, paid tribute to one of MJ’s great rivals, the Boston Celtics. The insole features a design replicating the famous parquet floor from Boston’s former arena.

For as many unmistakable sneaker models, silhouettes and collaborations as there are in the market today, there are just as many colorways whose names immediately induce nostalgia in sneakerheads. Here’s an old favorite shade in a new application.

Contrary to the myriad comments on Instagram sneaker accounts, this is in no way a “bootleg” or “poor man’s” replica of the Travis Scott AJ 1 High, or a consolation prize for those who don’t want to pay the resale markup. Easily a contender for Jordan of the year honors.

November

Inspired by an elusive friends-and-family-only Jordan colorway from the 1980s, this one brought patent leather and gold highlights together for one classy final package.

Celebrating the enormous Chinese shopping holiday and honoring the strength of women around the world, this AJ 6 had some truly fine details.

Appearing in true OG form for the first time since 1988, this classic was just like its name says: Fire.

December

Our second Retro 9 for the year, this one flipped the script with a supple white leather upper and hits of cool blue as well as a nod to global basketball.

Like fine wine, the Jordan line only keeps getting better with age. This Women’s-exclusive model is walking proof.

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without Jordan Brand dropping a special AJ 11 on us. This one commemorates the model’s 25th anniversary in style.

Why not bring Royal back for one more 2020 retro? This AJ 13 is pure class, so much so you could almost imagine it in the boardroom as easily as on the court.

Reverse the colors on the OG Air Jordan 12 ‘Flu Game’ and what do we have? The final Jordan retro pair of 2020. Jumpman closed out the calendar year like it was the 1996 NBA Finals.