This Air Jordan 9 retro features subtle colors on a global icon


On October 6, 1993, Michael Jordan shocked the world.

In a sense, he was accustomed to doing just that, with his superhuman feats on the basketball court having just culminated in a third straight NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls.

But this time, it was different.

At a press conference described as “a fiasco” and “like a high school reunion,” Jordan announced he would be retiring from the game of basketball.

We know that didn’t stick, and we know he didn’t exactly rest on his laurels for long. He spent a year in minor league baseball with a Chicago White Sox feeder club before returning in 1995.

His absence from the game of basketball didn’t slow his sneaker endorsement deal, though. Despite its namesake not setting foot on the hardwood in an official capacity, MJ was a global icon and the hunger for his signature shoe was worldwide. The Air Jordan 9 hit shelves in ’93.

Originally dubbed the “Air Jordan International,” the AJ 9 features an outsole upon which Tinker Hatfield wanted to tell “an international story.” 

Designer Mark Smith — working on his first Jordan silhouette — incorporated the words “Dedicated, force, intense, freedom, graceful,” and “Sport, independence, freedom, athletic and hope” into the rubber on the right and left shoes in multiple languages, all words which spoke to MJ’s “blueprint for a good life.” The variety of languages represented basketball as a global game.

Now, to ring in the New Year, Jordan Brand is dropping a new version of that 1993 release in muted tones perfect for winter wear.

The Air Jordan 9 Retro ‘University Gold’ features the titular color in highlights rather than as the main shade, lending some visual pop to the heel and tongue logos, pull tab and sockliner.

Black and charcoal nubuck make up the upper of the sneaker, which is dropping in full family sizing later this month.

Put some international flavor in your rotation to start 2021 when the Air Jordan 9 Retro ‘University Gold’ releases in full family sizing on 1/30 at

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