Introduction to the Air Jordan 14
Originally released in 1997 and produced in its original generation through 1999 (and then re-issued as a “Retro” in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014–2018), the Air Jordan 14 was the last model worn on the court by Jordan himself. Like nearly all of the Air Jordans produced during Michael Jordan's playing career (except models I and II), the 14s were designed by legendary sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield—this time with the help of designer Mark Smith.
Jordan 14 Design Elements: Ferrari's Influence and Logo Easter Egg
By the time the 14th edition of the Air Jordan came out, the line had already firmly established itself as both an unmistakable basketball shoe and a fundamental symbol of cool. With new versions dropping each year, Nike had to bring something new to each iteration of the iconic line. For the Air Jordan 14, designers Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith drew from Michael's love of sports cars, specifically the Ferrari 550 Maranello that Jordan owned. Reportedly, the idea to look to the automotive world for influence came from Jordan himself, who recommended the designers look at his Ferrari for inspiration.
The AJ 14 reflects the Ferrari's design cues in two subtle ways:
- The Jumpman logo is featured on a shield-shaped background that recalls the Scuderia Ferrari (“Ferrari Stables”) logo.
- The shoe features “side ducts” on the outer sole that improve the shoe's breathability while referencing the hood scoop and side vents on the Ferrari.
Another noteworthy feature of the 14's design is hidden in the use of the Jumpman logo itself. To tie in with the 14th edition of the shoe, Nike placed seven Jumpman logos on each shoe (for a total of 14 per pair). Logo locations are as follows: one each near the toebox, on the side of the heel (shield logo), above the number 23 on the back of the heel, on the bottom sole, on the insole, and on each steel lacetip.
AJ 14 Editions, Colorways and Value: Buyer's Guidelines
Because of the 14s' perennial popularity and frequent re-releases, it is a fairly easy shoe to collect. They can be found in a huge variety of colorways, with the original generation alone available in eight varieties, five high-tops (varying combinations of black, white, and red) and three low-tops (two blue versions and one yellow). Re-releases maintained the original color palette and further expanded the offerings to include gray and green versions of the shoe.
Jordan XIVs generally retain value and even appreciate, though prices, on average, do not typically exceed 200-250% of the shoe's original retail price. As an example, Retro 14s from the first series (2005-2006) retailed for $150 and now sell for around $300-325 on the secondary market. Certain colorways may cost less than $275 or more than $350, depending on condition, availability, and demand. As expected, OG Air Jordan 14s (from the 1997-1999 release) are harder to find and may command a higher value as a result.
Air Jordan Editions: Black
Air Jordan Editions: Red
Air Jordan Editions: Yellow
Air Jordan Editions: White
Cultural Significance: Jordan Last Shot and the Birth of an Instant Classic
The Jordan 14s possess an outsized presence in the history of sneaker and basketball culture. When Michael Jordan sank a 20-foot jump shot with 5 seconds left on the clock in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, he clinched the sixth series win in eight years for the Chicago Bulls. It was the last shot of that momentous game, the last shot of the series, and the last shot of his career with the Bulls. It was in every sense the last shot of an era, and Mike made it wearing the Air Jordan 14s in Black/Black-Varsity Red, a colorway that would forever after be known as “Last Shot.”
So important was this moment in the history of both the Jordan line and the history of basketball that Nike has re-released the “Last Shot” colorway more than once – in 2005, 2011, and then again in 2018 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of that incredible basket.
Beyond the history-making moment of MJ's final career basket, the 14s quickly achieved a wild popularity. Just two months after the 14s' release, Footaction ranked it in position 82 on their list of the 100 best athletic shoes ever produced.