Introducing the Jordan 25 (2010): Clear Collaboration
Don't let the official Air Jordan 2010 name confuse you—this is the 25th iteration of the Air Jordan shoe, also referred to as the Air Jordan 25. To bring an added luster to MJ's 25th sneaker, the Nike-owned Jordan Brand reconnected its "Dream Team" of Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith for the AJ 25. Hatfield and Smith had previously teamed up on a number of Air Jordan models. The pair focused on a see-through design, inspired by Michael Jordan's ability to "see through" an opponent.
The AJ 25 was first released in February 2010 at a retail price of $170 in a Black/Varsity Red/White colorway, and additional colorways followed.
Jordan 25 Design and Performance Features
The two designers saw a window of opportunity—nothing defines the AJ 25 quite like the transparent TPU window on the sides of the upper. The circular design pops out from an otherwise clean leather design, giving the Air Jordan 25 a completely unexpected aesthetic. The transparency carries through the design underfoot, where a clear outsole shows off the full-length Nike Zoom Air cushioning system. Inspired by Nike's running shoe technology, Hatfield and Smith bottom-loaded the Zoom Air unit to provide more responsive cushioning and flexibility.
Additional design and performance features include:
- Perforated leather upper that easily wipes clean
- Asymmetrical collar to better fit the ankle
- Innovative forefoot design, a first for Nike and the Jordan Brand that mimics a foot's flexibility and movement
- OrthoLite insole for dry, moisture-wicking comforts
- Phylon foam midsole for a lighter, low-profile feel
- Extended outsole to prevent ankle roll
- Hidden MJ quote on the box sleeve, inner lining and midsole that reads, "I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
While the February 2010 design played up the TPU window with fervor, two additional AJ 25 Team models that were released midway through 2010 provided a simpler design. These featured a perforated full-grain leather upper without the window. The Team version offered new colorways and a lower price point.
In a unique twist for the Air Jordan line, an Outdoor version beefed up the outsole for asphalt play. Key features included an Air Max heel that "snaps" into place to secure the fit and a cross strap across the midfoot for additional stability. All AJ 25 versions were lauded by players for their design, comfort and connection to the court.
Jordan 25 Collectability and Value
In the world of Air Jordans, the AJ 25 has a somewhat limited colorway catalog, especially for those focused on original versions. With no retro 2010s available, collectors need to step back a decade to find one of the fewer than 20 releases. Most of the five original colorways hover just above their initial $170 retail price, with many, especially the Metallic Silver version, commanding over $200. It's difficult to find Team and Outdoor versions, likely because those models—less expensive at the time—were initially purchased for wearing rather than collecting and are either heavily worn or no longer in existence.
Jordan 2010 Colorways: Eye-Catching Combos
The original launch included five colorways in 2010:
Black/Varsity Red/White (February)
Black/University Blue (April)
White/Black/Varsity Red (May)
Black/Dark Charcoal (June)
Metallic Silver/White (November)
The Air Jordan 2010 Team version featured seven colorways, including a United We Rise design that played into the colors of the US flag. Other popular colorways include Black/Metallic Gold, White/Metallic Gold and White/Navy Blue/Grey.
It was the five Outdoor versions of the AJ 25 that really colored outside the lines:
- White/Varsity Royal/ paying homage to MJ's high school
For the Love of the Game in University Blue (think Carolina blue)
Black/Harbor Blue/Agent Orange/Mean Green
Air Jordan 2010: A New Face on the Court
Unlike previous models in the line, Michael Jordan wasn't the face of the AJ 25. That distinction belonged to the newly-signed Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, who was selected by MJ to represent the shoe. D-Wade switched from Converse to the Jordan Brand in 2009 to become a lead marketer of the Air Jordan franchise alongside MJ. Wade's Player Edition versions include the wordmark "WADE" stamped on the upper tucked below the laces.