The Best Retro Air Jordans for Basketball

If you have ever wondered which Air Jordan Retro models were the best for basketball we’ve got you covered.


Everyone will have a different opinion/list, but this is mine. If you were to ask me which are my top picks for Air Jordan Retros for the hardwood or blacktop then I don’t think you can go wrong with any pair featured here.

You can get a bit more details by checking out the performance reviews on each model, but if you just wanted a short recap with some key features then this should do.

I hope you enjoy the video and be sure to let me know which Air Jordans are your favorite to hoop in below.

10 Comments

  1. I’ve had every pair of Jordans from 1-23 (except 2, 13, and the butt ugly 15), retro and OGs, and never balled in any of them. I pulled out my XX2 PE and was thinking about hooping in those, but after reading the review of the XX and how the IPS doesn’t age well, that idea is out the window.

  2. Just ordered a pair of the Quick 23 thanks to your recommendation. Took longer that I wanted for me to be able to order them but grown up life takes prioritizing funds and whatnot. Lol! Can’t wait to get them in on Monday.

  3. I have to admit, I haven’t worn any of my retro J’s for balling. Probably because I don’t find them to be ideal for balling due to the availability of newer options and don’t want to mess them at all. The least I have done for my J11 and J12 was for casual use. I did shoot hoops with the J11 in a party on a dusty soil surface which I regretted to this day. Having said that, if I were to hoops in them, I would wear the J12, the J11, then the J13.

  4. My favorite retro Jordans to play in are the III(excellent heavy-friendly cushioning, great stability, and the leather uppers are very dynamic on foot), followed closely by the XIV(ergonomically one of the best designed Jordans ever).

  5. as far as the retro 11 goes, I have seen the previously released gym reds being used by a couple of guys initially but were shelved after a few games never to be worn again. not sure why but it could be the cushion or high cut patent leather could have some influence on the shoe’s performance.

    1. I personally love to hoop in the 11 lows… but they do something gnarly to my second to last toe. The seam where the patent leather meets the mesh/textile layer in that region is unforgiving. Other than that, the traction is dope, the shoe is stable, it’s responsive and I’ve had some really good games in them.

  6. Then you can say.. the Jordan 6 rings are the BEAST.
    Traction and cushion from 13
    Mudguard and upper from 11
    Comfort from 12

    Plus the 6,7,8’s aesthetics. A sure winner for me.

  7. So basically… you just put in order the post retirement Bulls Jordans. Yawn.

    The 16 retro is GREAT. 17, although a overly supportive, is GREAT. The 18 has the best traction and cushioning maybe in the entire line. I’ll take the 19 CDP retro! The 20 stealth retro is also amazing.

    And there are also several 23 retroes.

    This post should be renamed BULLS YEARS ONLY

    1. I put in order what I feel are the best to play in.

      I did not include models that do not have regular Retro releases. The 19 is one of my favorites to play in, but a single CDP Re-release I don’t count. It’s been 10 years now and they have only been brought back the one time.

      While these later models not seeing regular retro releases, the 16-18s are solid as well. But then again, that’s just listing them in order post retirement. I wouldn’t want to yawn anyone 🤷🏻‍♂️.

      Anyway, the models chosen are the best out of what is regularly produced.

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