If you are a sneakerhead like me and have started a collection, then you know one thing that is hard to resist is a pair of crisp Nikes. Everyone, from rappers to fashionistas, has praised their sneakers, and perhaps the most famous of all their brands is the one created for one of the greatest basketball players the world has ever seen, Michael Jordan.
The Jordan brand is amongst one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Even if you are not a sneaker head, you probably still recognize the Jumpman logo, and if not, you have probably heard about it thanks to Drake and Future.
The Jordan brand has come a long way since the first shoe was released in the 1980’s. Though the original shoe was not popular with the public, the partnership between Jordan and Nike blossomed into hundreds of different designs that have helped the A become one of the most recognizable shoes on the planet.
In this review, I shall look at some of my favorite Air Jordan renditions, from the Air Jordan 1 Retro, an homage to the original Air Jordan sneaker, to the Air Jordan 11 Retro, a shoe made for the fashion conscious and basketball enthusiast alike.
Top 10 Cheapest Jordan Shoes Reviews
1. Nike Air Jordan Men’s 11 Retro Shoes
The Air Jordan Retro is one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, and with my wide feet, that’s saying something. They look pretty good as well, and the sleek patent leather and nylon mesh combination makes them look even better under the right lighting.
On the street, these shoes provide some pretty good traction, but you really begin to see what they can do when you get on the court. Regardless of the surface you play on, these shoes offer some very solid traction, which is surprising considering the translucent outsole.
However, you do have to be careful when you are playing on dusty courts or floors with debris on them, because the outsole tends to pick up dust and debris pretty easily. You also have to be careful not to exert yourself too much in them. They do allow your foot to breathe, but the ventilation leaves something to be desired.
They also don’t provide as much support for my foot as I’d like, the Carbon Fibre does great to help support the base of your foot, but the materials move around with my foot a little too much for my liking.
Our Rating: (4.8 / 5)
- Very comfortable, with good cushioning and impact absorption
- Good traction thanks to the rubber traction pads on both the heel and fore foot
- Fit well, even on my wide feet
- Aesthetically pleasing, especially on an indoor court
- Could do with better ventilation
- Material may seem weak, especially the mesh
- Material moves with your foot too much
- Sole tends to pick up dust and dirt on courts with debris
2. Nike Jordan Men’s Air Jordan 1 Mid Basketball Shoe
This shoe is one of my favorite cheap Jordans, and is really for those who understand what being a sneaker head is. An homage to the original shoe made for the man himself, these shoes have a special place in my heart and my closet.
They still have the same excellent traction after 31 years, and the stylized sole makes it much easier for you to make those quick spin moves that will leave defenders reeling on the court. They look good on the street too, and go well with literally everything in my closet.
Nike stay true to the original materials, and the leather upper and rubber soles ensure these shoes are strong and durable. They fit really well, but do tend to loosen up as you wear them so you will have to tighten the laces every once in a while.
Just like the original shoes though, they have very little ventilation, and come with just a few holes on the toe to help circulate air within the shoe. They are also pitifully low on cushioning, though you could get an insole to help with that. However, most disappointing thing is the support, of which these have none. Yes, you get a little ankle support, but being a flat based sneaker, you get no support for the bottom of your foot.
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
- Excellent traction that allows for excellent indoor and outdoor play
- Strong and durable thanks to the leather and rubber used
- True to the original shoe with design cues and materials
- Comfortable fit, especially in the heel and midfoot
- Lack of ventilation makes these hard to use for long periods
- Minimal support for your ankles and no support for your feet
- Materials used makes them a little heavy
- Needs occasional readjustment to fit properly
3. Jordan Men’s Basketball 6 Maroon Shoes
This is another Air Jordan shoe that is close to my heart. First arriving on our shelves in 1991, the Air Jordan 6 was one of the most popular sneakers of the day, and its popularity continues to this day.
The new “remastered” shoe does not have a specific tread pattern, but this does not mean that they have no traction. When clean, these shoes do well both on the court and off, however, dirt build up on the clear parts of the sole will really affect the traction that you get.
The upper of the shoe is made of a mix of real and synthetic leather, which helps to provide good support and also feels good on your foot. The materials also make the shoe pretty durable, and the perforations in the leather make this one of the best ventilated Jordans I have ever owned.
Like most Jordans from that era, they are really short on support, but an insole swap will fix that problem in no time. The fit is also not as comfortable as you would expect, but that can be pinned on the lack of cushioning or padding within the shoe. As far as cheap Jordans go, this is not the most stunning pair, but the history and the ventilation helped them get into the top 10.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Good traction if you are playing on indoor courts
- Mix of materials gives them a unique look and feel
- Durable and long lasting, enabling you to push yourself on the court
- Well ventilated allowing your foot to breathe easy
- Lack of cushioning makes high flying moves slightly uncomfortable
- Loses traction quickly when debris collects on the outsole
- Does not fit as well as it could
4. Jordan 13 Retro Low Mens
These are some of my favorite shoes, not only because they are one of the cheapest Jordan shoes I own, but also because these shoes are a great fit, especially with my wide feet, and they look good with almost anything. If you would like to have a snug fit, then you want to consider going half a size down, especially if you don’t have to worry about the width of your feet like I do.
These shoes provide excellent traction on the court, though you need to break them in a little before they reach their full potential. The cushioning is also very good, and is provided courtesy of a heel and forefoot Zoom Air cushion. The support is phenomenal, with good minor arch and torsional support, you will be able to do anything on the court. However, they look so good, you may be tempted to do what I do and save them for those special occasions.
The only major problem with these shoes is the ventilation, which is nonexistent. More than once I have taken off my shoes to find I have very sweaty feet but I don’t mind cos the shoes just look so good.
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
- Beautiful, unique design that looks good with anything
- Well fitting, especially for those with wider feet
- Good traction both on and off the court
- Good cushioning for your foot, allowing you to go all out on the court
- Poor ventilation means you may not be able to wear them for long periods
- Materials could be better, and are sometimes not as durable as they could be
- Older releases (pre-2012) will look like the sole is separating after a while
- Orthotic inserts recommended for those with high arches
5. Air Jordan 4 Retro Mens
The Air Jordan 4 first came out in 1989, and this 2012 rendition of the shoe took me back to game 5 of the 1989, when Jordan made the series winning buzzer beater to take the Bulls to the NBA final. 23 years later, it’s still one of the best basketball shoes you can get, with brilliant traction on and off the court, and aesthetics that will help you fit in anywhere.
The fit on these shoes is by far my favorite, and if I didn’t love them so much I’d wear them all the time. They offer some of the best ventilation you can get, and you will not have to worry about overly sweaty feet when you take them off.
The cushioning on these shoes leaves something to desire by modern standards, but for those looking for a cheap Jordan retro rendition, these provide some of the best cushioning. However, the support is somewhat lacking, but you will only really notice if you are playing in position 5. The fit in these will make you forget the lack of support if you are in any other position, or if you are just taking a casual stroll around the neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Comfortable fit that stays true to its roots
- Excellent traction on the court and on the street
- Excellent ventilation that helps your feet to breathe easily
- Made from durable PU coated leather that will stand the test of time
- You need to break them in to use them on the court
- Nearly no cushioning by modern standards
- Support also lacking by modern standards
- Leather though durable can be a bit hard on your feet
6. Nike Jordan Men’s Air Jordan 7 Retro Basketball Shoe
The Air Jordan 7 Retro has one of the more edgy designs in my collection in my opinion, and that is one reason why I love them so much. The colorful outsole really surprised me considering the fact that these are some relatively cheap Jordans.
The fit is almost like the Air Jordan 4s described above, but they are slightly shorter lengthwise, allowing for a snugger fit around my toes, which I like. The cushioning is also very impressive, though you really get to feel the impact of it when you are on the court. The ventilation on these is better than many of the Air Jordans that I own, probably with the exception of the Air Jordan 6s.
One of the reasons I do not use these on the court much is because the traction, though really good, will suffer once the outsole gets dirty or picks up debris. This is because of the large smooth patches of rubber that work wonders on a clean, indoor court, but become utterly useless when covered with any sort of dust or debris. These sections are also pretty sticky, which makes it even easier to pick up debris from a dirty court.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Cushioning underneath your feet makes these shoes extremely comfortable
- Fits snugly making for a more comfortable experience
- Well ventilated so you do not have to worry about your feet sweating too much
- Offers brilliant support both on and off the court
- Eccentric design sure to make you stand out from the crowd
- The traction suffers too much when the shoe picks up debris
- Smooth patches of rubber on the outsole make it easier to pick up debris
- Range of manufacturing materials makes it hard to pick the right shoe
7. Nike Jordan Men’s Air Jordan 5 Retro Basketball Shoe
The Air Jordan 5 first hit the shelves in 1990, and ever since then it has enjoyed some serious popularity. The 2013 retro rendition is still just as popular among sneakerheads, myself included.
One of the reasons why this shoe is so popular is because it is one of the most well ventilated shoes you can buy in the Air Jordan Retro range. The rubber mesh on both side panels and the tongue helps air to circulate within the shoe, and also adds to the unique aesthetic of the shoe.
The traction on the shoe is pretty good thanks to the herringbone outsole. Should dust and debris build up on the shoe then you will lose some traction but that will only matter if you plan on playing a few pickup games in these shoes.
They fit rather weirdly though, and tend to be snug only around the middle of your foot. This may be fine if you’re using these for fashion, but if you want to play a serious game it could become an issue when the shoe doesn’t move because it’s gripping the court, but your foot IS moving because it’s not secure in the shoe.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Good ventilation allows you to wear the shoes comfortably for longer
- Good traction gives you the confidence to try new things on the court
- Authentic retro look goes well with anything
- Two different ways to lace the shoe gives you more control over how they fit
- Weird fit means your foot moves inside the shoe a lot more
- Support is wanting, especially when compared to modern sneakers
- Materials become less supportive the more you wear them
- Cushioning takes some getting used to due to its extremely low profile
8. Nike Jordan Men’s Air Jordan Future Low
The Air Jordan Future is a modern take on the brand, and is supposed to help fans see the direction the brand will take in the future. I was initially skeptical about the shoes as they did not really move me, but I decided to get a pair anyway because you can never have too many cheap Jordans in your closet.
Once I got them though, I quickly changed my mind. These shoes look really good in real life. They are comfortable, with a non-restrictive upper and an outsole that provides you with excellent traction on the court. However, these really come into their own on the street, where you realize they are light, much lighter than most of the other Air Jordans I own.
They have excellent cushioning, which is expected considering that the sole is based on the Air Jordan 11 Retro releases. This means that you get a full length Air unit on the shoe, as well as a carbon fiber base that helps with support.
The main difference between these and the Jordan 11s is that these fit so much better, probably because of the woven upper and the inner lining, which helps to make the shoe fit like a glove.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
- Materials used make these shoes light while still maintaining durability
- Good traction thanks to a sole based on the Jordan 11 Retro
- Brilliant cushioning thanks to the full length air unit
- Design makes these shoes ideal for any occasion
- Woven upper has no structure, making these shoes unsuitable for court use
- Clear sections on the sole susceptible to dirt and debris build up that kills traction
- Upper feels more like a premium quality sock than an Air Jordan Sneaker
9. Nike Men’s Jordan Spizike Basketball Shoe
This is one of the many special edition shoes that I own, but by far one of the cheapest Jordan Special edition shoes you can get. To understand the relationship, you have to go back to the late 80’s when a character from one of Spike Lee’s films became an activist for the Jordan brand. A Mashup of the Jordan 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 20 shoes, the Spizike is one of the most coveted sneakers in the Air Jordan Range.
Many of the most important design cues come from the Jordan 6, 5 and 4, with many of the smaller, more aesthetic cues coming from the 3, 9 and 20. The interior of the shoe is modeled on the Air Jordan 20s, which means you get some of the best modern cushioning provided with any sneaker.
Comfort levels are further boosted thanks to the support provided by the harness from the AJ4 and the ankle support from the AJ 5. The mesh from the AJ5 also helps to provide ventilation to the shoe, while the AJ3’s brilliant outsole helps to provide the traction that you will need both in the street and on the court.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- The best features of the best shoes were picked to create this shoe
- The traction from the Air Jordan 3 sole gives you the confidence to try new things on the court
- The Cushioning provided by the Air Jordan 20 interior makes the shoe much more comfortable than other Air Jordans
- Aesthetic design cues from the Air Jordan 3 and 4 make this one of the best looking Jordans you can buy
- May have to go down half a size to fit them properly
- Fit around the ankles may be a bit tight.
10. Nike Air Jordan Men’s 11 Retro Shoes
These sneakers are some of the best I have ever owned, and the black upper and white outsole make them look stunning with whatever I would like to wear. They first hit the shelves in 1994, and were soon some of the most sought after sneakers in the world, especially after the role they played in helping Jordan secure the 1995-96 season.
As some of the cheapest Air Jordans I own, they have served me well both on and off the court. The herringbone grip pattern on both the heel and forefoot of the sneaker help to grip virtually any surface, though you will have to clean the outsole regularly if you play in dusty venues.
As a casual sneaker, this is one of the best in the biz, as the shiny black leather upper looks good regardless of the lighting. It is also very durable, and many people are surprised that I play regularly in these shoes as you cannot tell just by looking at them.
The one problem people may find is the mesh on the upper which may seem flimsy by modern standards. However, if you are a child of the 80’s like myself this should not bother you as we are used to dealing with it.
Our Rating: (4.8 / 5)
- Comfortable fit thanks to the leather and nylon mesh mix of materials
- Design means it can be used for multiple purposes
- Well ventilated, especially for the casual weekend stroll
- Ankle and foot support is above par, as is the cushioning
- Mesh may seem a little flimsy, especially by modern standards
- Fit is not suitable for active play as it allows for too much foot movement
- White sole gets dirty easily, affecting grip
This little peak into my collection of Nike shoes came as a result of numerous questions I received from friends asking my advice on which Nike shoes they should get on a budget. I picked my 10 favorite based on looks, style, and overall fell of the shoes.
Honestly though, of all the shoes on this list I would most strongly recommend the Air Jordan 4 Retros. They are as close to a perfect balance of performance and style that you will get from the Air Jordan Retro line. The fact that they just happen to be the cheapest Jordans on this list is no mistake either.
If you are looking to upgrade your wardrobe and get a new pair of sneakers, any of the shoes on this list will serve you well. Though the Air Jordan 4 Retros are my favorite, the Air Jordan 13s come in a close second, thanks to the unique style and their versatility.
The Jordan brand is one of the most recognizable brand in the world for a reason, and that is because it’s quality is beyond reproach. This is a brand I would urge everyone to invest in, because when you purchase a pair of Jordans, you’re not just buying a brand, you’re buying a piece of history.
Air Jordan Buyers Guide
Before you run along and buy your brand new Air Jordans, there are a couple of things that you need to know. The popularity of the brand has not gone unnoticed by the more unscrupulous members of our society, and because of that there are quite a few fakes on the market today. Therefore, before you even think of spending your hard earned money on a useless pair of shoes, here are a couple of tips to help you weed out the chaff from the grain.
- Check out your Dealer
Before you decide to buy a pair of Air Jordans, make sure that the store or dealer that you are buying them from is an authorized dealer. One of the easiest ways to do this is to read reviews from other customers BEFORE you make your purchase. Too many negative reviews and you need to run like the wind in the other direction.
However, you must also be weary of websites that filter out the “bad” reviews, leaving only the “good” reviews behind. The best way to ensure that you are actually getting legit equipment is to use a third party search site to ensure they have a sound reputation.
- Beware “Sample”, “Variant” and “Custom” shoes
There are quite a few dealers these days who will try to sell you a pair of “custom” Jordans you may have never heard of. If you doubt the authenticity of a sellers inventory, check out the ENTIRE thing, if you find that you cannot get shoes in US size 9 or 13 and above, then you may have stumbled onto the wrong website and need to start heading in the other direction.
You should also beware sellers that have older stock that is out of production. In this review, most of the shoes covered were RETRO, meaning that they were remakes of the original shoes that came out years or decades earlier. If you find a retailer that has genuine Air Jordan 4s, without the RETRO tag, just look the other way.
- Check out the price
We all love a bargain, and one thing that unscrupulous dealers have started tempting us with is cheaper prices. Therefore, you should proceed with caution if you find a seller that is willing to sell you a brand new pair of Air Jordans for less than $100. My Air Jordan 4s are the cheapest pair I have, and they still cost me about $105.
- Check out the official release date
Another way dealers have been baiting unsuspecting victims is by selling shoes before they come out. In these cases, the dealers are preying on your need for exclusivity. The shoes will look almost the same as the originals, but in almost 100% of the cases, they are fakes. This is because most of them are created from promotional photos of new products, which give the counterfeiters an idea of what to create.
- Examine the Packaging
Finally, if you do follow the steps above and find everything is kosher and decide to buy the shoes anyway, always check out the packaging when they arrive. All Nike shoes, not just Air Jordans, come in an original Nike box.
If you get a pair of shoes that has been shrink wrapped or better yet, does not come in any packaging whatsoever, then they are fake shoes. Also, if you find the box feels weak, or looks like it’s been hastily glued together, it’s a fake.