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Sneakers We Could Potentially See in “AIR”

Devin Robertson

The first trailer for the film “AIR” starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as Phil Knight and Sonny Vaccaro, respectively, has arrived. The film’s premise is centered around Nike’s efforts to recruit a burgeoning University of North Carolina star to its relatively new basketball division. As the film surfaces around the creation of the Air Jordan franchise, here are some sneakers we could potentially see in the movie. 

Converse Pro Leather

The Converse Pro Leather is where the legend of Michael Jordan grew wings. MJ knocked down the game-winning jumper in a school-appropriate white and blue colorway in 1982. This moment cemented Michael Jordan’s ascent to stardom and was the first step to building the Air Jordan brand.  

Nike Air Ship

The Nike Air Ship was a creation of the legendary Bruce Kilgore, who had just crafted the Nike Air Force 1 two years prior to the Nike Air Ship. The sneaker is the one His Airness laced up until the debut of the Air Jordan 1 on November 17, 1984, although he often wore an altered version of the Nike Air Ship during its brief but iconic run. 

Nike Air Ship PE

MJ’s Nike Air Ship is where the mystique of the “Banned” sneaker began, and it will be intriguing to see how the film takes on this mysterious sneaker. A white and red PE Jordan wore during his fifth-ever game recently went for nearly 1.5 million dollars which interestingly only features “AIR” printed on the heel. It was a black and red pair of the Nike Air Ship that got Jordan and Nike in hot water. The highly modified sneaker with “Nike” on the midsole is an important piece of the Air Jordan legacy, with a picture of the actual banned sneaker surfacing in 2021 and finally shattering the tale Nike had told us. 

Converse Weapon

While MJ never laced up the Converse Weapon as it dropped in 1986, after his signing with Nike. Some of his greatest rivals did wear the iconic sneaker, including Isaiah Thomas,  Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. The latter two famously starred in the “Chose Your Weapon” commercial together. The ad was a central selling point for the sneaker playing on the rivalry between the two brewing since the 1979 NCAA Championship. 

 Adidas Forum

In 1984, before joining Nike later that year, Michael Jordan laced up the adidas Forum High during Olympic trials. Michael Jordan showed flashes of what he would be at the NBA level as he battled 71 other players for a spot on that year’s Olympic team, a team he would eventually make and lead in scoring.

Converse Fastbreak

While Jordan wore the adidas Forum during the trials, it is evident that MJ was still weighing his options as he wore the Converse Fastbreak during the actual 1984 Olympic games. The Converse Fastbreak dropped in 1983 while Jordan was a member of the UNC Taheels and was made to be a more lightweight alternative to the sneakers out there. A game-worn pair from the 1984 Olympics was once the most expensive sneaker to sell at $190,372.80​ but has since been surpassed. 

Air Jordan 1

The Air Jordan 1 has been shown in the trailer, causing some sneaker history enthusiasts to be taken aback by the film’s choice not to use an original 1984. The film is about the journey to get Jordan to sign with Nike and create the Air Jordan brand, so it’s entirely possible that the sneaker could be the last thing we see in the film.


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