Jordan 3 Retro NRG

"Free Throw Line"


Jordan 3 Retro NRG 923096-101 01
Jordan 3 Retro NRG 923096-101 02
Jordan 3 Retro NRG 923096-101 03
Jordan 3 Retro NRG 923096-101 04

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This classic Jordan 3 Retro NRG release is dotted with rich storytelling elements that commemorate Michael Jordan’s incredible performance at the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest a full 30 years after the event. In the closely fought competition, MJ, who had won it in 1986, faced off against the 1985 champion, Dominique Wilkins, eventually defeating his rival with an almost unbelievable dunk that earned him the maximum score of 50 points. To achieve it, Jordan sprinted the full length of the court before taking off and sailing through the air to slam the ball powerfully into the hoop. His famous takeoff point has also been adopted as the nickname for this Air Jordan 3: the Free Throw Line, while its base colorway mirrors the iconic sneaker Jordan was wearing on that unforgettable day.

The commemorative effects begin behind the translucent outsole, which has chunky tread formations along its edges and a cone-shaped area of circular indentations below the forefoot. As well as these reliable grip patterns, there are star-shaped nodes on the toe and a smooth Nike-branded section under the heel and midfoot to provide all-round traction. Appearing through this grippy, blue-tinted piece of rubber is a white surface with a thick Fire Red line across the center – a colorful representation of the free throw line that MJ leapt from to seal his victory.

Atop this strong foundation is a white polyurethane midsole stacked into two layers, with a visible Air window in the heel. This shows off the bouncy cushioning that helped Michael to launch himself with so much force during the 1988 All-Star Weekend. Just above it, the rear half of the midsole’s top layer is finished in black, with a smooth matte finish for added style. A white rubber toe with similarly colored stitching along its edge brings protection around the front of the foot to complete the shoe’s supportive sole unit.

On the upper, white tumbled leather shapes the main overlay, which reaches from the forefoot all the way to the heel, and a smoother but equally high-quality leather forms the mudguard that encircles the front half of the shoe. This is overlaid by the AJ3’s instantly recognisable elephant-print overlays on the toe and heel, which combine Cement Grey with a darker charcoal hue to delineate this exotic graphic. White synthetic leather then shows up around the collar and forms the eyelet panel along the top half of the tongue, both areas containing many small perforations for extra breathability. The latter part hosts three white TPU half-circles on either side, each of which has a single eyelet in the center. Black TPU eyelets have been set into the front of the collar above this, while the lower part of the eyestay is formed out of the main leather overlay, its surface marked with eyelets that are reinforced by Fire Red ringlets.

White laces tie up over a tongue in the same neutral tone, its lower portion filled with more ventilation holes, its top part smooth and with a vibrant Fire Red Jumpman woven into its center. Inside the shoe, more intricate details and referential elements have been crafted, firstly on the mismatched Fire Red insoles. While the right one hosts a black Nike Air logo, the left has a graphic that perfectly mirrors the tread pattern of the outsole, even down to the free throw line, which here appears as a blank band across the middle of the insole. The softly padded lining that rises up around this is white, and the back of the tongue returns to Fire Red. Woven into this last component is the usual white patch, alongside another Fire Red one with the number 147 sewn into it in white as a reference to Michael Jordan’s final winning score from the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest.

Back on the outer, a large white heel panel has been inserted into the space between the main overlay and the elephant-print heel overlay, which loops downwards around the back of the foot. This curvaceous structure is embossed with parallel lines at the top so that the wearer can use it as a pull tab when putting the shoe on, while its lower half displays a raised Nike Air logo in the contrasting shade of black. If the pull tab is folded back, it reveals one final design element honoring MJ’s slam dunk success. Here, the timestamp of 3:51 has been printed in a digital font and bright yellow tone to emulate the clock in the background of a famous image of Michael in mid-flight as he attempts his final dunk. This subtle detail serves as a reminder of the exact moment he hung in the air before making that shot and also encapsulates the beautiful narrative that plays out across this stunning sneaker in honor of the great basketball player.

  • Gender Men
  • Brand Jordan
  • Collection 3
  • Stylecode 923096-101

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