It’s The Little Things That Matter

Yesterday, news broke about the Air Jordan III ’88 “Cement” Retro featuring “Nike Air” on the heel.

For those unaware, the original Air Jordan IIIs (and other numbered Jordans) were labeled with “Nike Air” instead of just the Air accompanied by the Jumpman logo. Many have clamored the return of the coveted “Nike Air” and it seems they have gotten their wish. It just goes to show, it’s really the little things that matter most.

It’s time to really delve into the use of “Nike Air” and what it really means to make a sneaker truly original for sneaker aficionados. It’s the minute details that recreate what brought us into collecting and this just takes us back to the past. For some, the “Nike Air” on the heel represents the moment that sparked our interest in sneakers that others will never understand, for others, it’s the childhood sneaker that got away.

But we have to look at it from both sides. Is it really that big of a deal?

At the end of the day, it’s just a logo. It doesn’t affect the sneaker in any way other than aesthetically, and even then, it’s very minor. Upon hearing the news of the release, opinions swayed in different directions. It was as if Jordan Brand was listening to the buyers by finally adding “Nike Air,” and on the flip side, it’s just another release of the Air Jordan III “Cement.”

Is it that? Just another Air Jordan III “Cement” release? Or is it a reminiscent and reminder of a true classic?


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I write a little here and there for TSG... I'm the Gary Payton of sneakers cause I talk a lot... Follow me on Twitter: @Jawrduhn.

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  • To me it’s the little things that makes the Air Jordan 3 one of the best Jordans. I’m an artist and I believe the AJ 3 is a piece of art. Changing the Nike Air to the Jumpman logo shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It’s a CLASSIC shoe, it’s like putting flame graphics on a 1967 Shelby Mustang. I understand that the “Old heads” think it ruins the sneaker game but (In my opinion) shoes are meant to be worn and you can’t wear a pair or 20 year old shoes without worrying about them crumbling beneath you. Good move JB…good move.

  • AirJedi

    Im 36 so i grow up in the micheal jordan era and with the nike air in the heel.The true for me is doesn’t matter.The quality is my main issues and we all know that it is what it is.Nike air or not the quality is going to be the same and problably more expenses for just a logo.Don’t get me wrong how could not love a pair of AJ3,4,5 and 6 with the Nike Air ???? at least thks nike for hearing the sneaker comunity…around the world.

  • TheSneakerDude

    Nike Air on he heel makes it official for sneakerhaeds my age (30 plus). This is iconic!

  • gotjordans

    Been wearing Js since 1989, and I owned a pair of OG 4s, Black Cement with “Nike Air” on the heel. If the quality is crap, I’m passing on them. The better question is how much will these sell? $200.00? $180.00?

  • gotjordans

    “Nike Air” always looked better on Js, with the Jumpman, it just look naked!

  • Chris

    If Nike Air means better quality and my 3″s aren’t
    Gonna crack than I’m all for that other than that the logo
    Doesn’t matter to me but to each his own..

  • G-Phi 2K6

    I don’t see it as just another release…neither do I have any real ties to the true classics. I was born in ’86 and got my first pair of J’s in ’92 (Hare VII). I agree that without the Nike Air it does look like something is missing. Since I have the white & black Cement III’s from 2011, I won’t go out of my way to get them. Seeing a Black/Infrared VI release with Nike Air would be great…that is the shoe that I remember the most from my younger days. Got half of the infrared pack (black was the only color I wanted). So I’m good either way…it would be nice to see though…

  • rico strong

    Damn they found another way to get me to buy the same pair of sneakers I bought twice before. Jb is smart

  • Nike could have replaced the heel logo on the last release, but why would they. They want you to buy the cement 3 with the jordan logo, then go back and buy the same shoe with the nike logo a year later. Wouldnt be surprised if they released the black IIIs again with a new logo – they’ll all still sell out, but I’m not buying again.

  • SPINS6136

    I pretty much can’t sum it up much better than those above me.

    OG sneakerhead, before we were referred to as “sneakerheads”. (I’m 33) Add to it I’m a Chicago kid, whp spent many games watching the GOAT and the 3 is special to me in so many ways.

    It was my first Jordan sneaker ever. And it was the white/cement. It’s by far my favorite shoe and colorway. I still wear cement III’s on court in my games today (I am to the III what Rasheed is to the AF1)

    So this is just something I am going to bring full circle. My little man is 2. He has Jordans, but these will be different. Iconic. Original. It takes me back to opening them. Smiling from ear to ear. It may just be a minute detail, a little thing, but in the grand scheme of things……

    It’s the little things that matter most.

    Thank you Nike/JB for finally answering the call.

  • SPINS6136

    P.S. Hence my gravatar. Symbolic. White/cement Jordan III (fav shoe) with my favorite squad (UNC) and Dex rocks my number (1).

    The little things.

  • shoe guy

    I dont like the 3s at all so this does not affect me in any way… but it funny how the hype shifts from shoe to shoe are they are announced..lolool concords.. b11 breeds… etc etc i idont care how much hype a shoe gets if i dont like the look or materials i will not get it..

  • serg252001

    In 88 I was 6 so my comprehension of Jordan and the 3 wasn’t quite there yet. But as a got older and got into shoes and mj I understgood what it meant. Nike Air on the back is beautiful but even without it I’ll still by j’s.

  • omar najeeb

    I hate the 3s, yuck!!! SIKE! Jus kid’n ‘roun folks. Big fan o the 3s. But my “nike air” nostalgia moment is for the 5’s. I kd luv to see thay go thru. All in all ‘nuf pple wntd to see that logo back on the js. Cool for nike to oblige. Salute, boy!!!

  • Chevyboy

    If you follow me on IG (@chevyboytsg), you might recall a pic I posted a while back. The caption read “To me, it matters”. And I was referring to subtle details like “Nike Air” being on a pair of Jordans. Seeing those pairs just brings back so many memories, and I get a certain feeling of nostalgia that brings out the kid in me. Honestly, I was pissed when Jordan Brand flipped the script (literally) in 2001 by putting the Jumpman on the heel of the True Blue 3’s. It just took away the originality of the shoe. So yeah, to me, it does matter.

  • xkb

    Just give me infrared 6’s with nike air on the back and IDGAF about anything else, or whatever people want to whine about/defend. I’ll just wear them and be happy, it’s not just the shoes that will give you “OG credibility”/individuality, IMO your whole outfit, character and the way you carry yourself are just as important.

    They are after all just shoes, and most ‘new jack/hypebeasts’ will wear these for a while, maybe beat them to death, then never touch them again once they hop on to the next trend.

    Technically IMO we are living in the best time ever to cop kicks/be a “sneakerhead”, but everything comes with compromoise (exposure/hype/widespread availability in this case).

    One last thought: if it was your job to head up JB, and you could re-re-re-release retros and have them sell out everytime guaranteed, you would be praised (and paid) by Nike for doing a great job. Just sayin’.

  • Robzrx7

    They ran out of shoes to retro so now they’re gonna re-release all of these with “Nike Air”. Of course there’s gonna be mad hype.

  • Ed

    “At the end of the day, it’s just a logo.”
    That’s all that matters to people who buy these shoes. The logo.

  • Shoe String

    Ive known about these for a while now that’s the whole reason I stopped copping every Jordan release a few years back. Besides a occasional release here and there like the 11’s I’ve stayed away from copping the Retro Jordan’s. Here’s a heads up for everyone if you plan on copping any of the 5’s this year including the Grapes I hope your going to be happy with the Jumpman cause the Nike Air versions will release in 2014 & 2015. JB will take your money now and then again later. Look for all the 4’s that released in 2012 to return in 2014 with the Nike Air Branding on them. You have your warning Sneaker Friends so don’t waste your money this year unless you love handing over money. You heard it here first!

    If your in need of a AJ11 Bred 2012 release in a size 8.5 and you have a size 9 and are looking to trade please leave a comment and I’ll get back at you.

  • 11_Spacejams

    Meh…still cheaper to get a custom “nike air” job than buy a new pair. Wouldn’t mind having a second pair tho.

  • sneakertron

    These are gonna retail for $225 but im pretty sure they’ll be selling for $500

  • C-Dub

    Thanks for the insite Shoe String. You hit the nail on the head! Will look to 2014.
    After looking to get my first pair back with the Black and Cement 4s that just released the quality and price is what I would rather them look at. Still have my 1999 White and Cement 4s with the Nike Air on the back and the quality difference between the two is night and day. I can not believe how crusty and cheap they look and feel. JB remember the shoes are to represent the best NBA player of all time not the has beens of the NBA and that is what you are doing the shoe by releasing garbage like this. Who cares about a logo just make them worth what the originals started………QUALITY!!!!!!!

  • pat

    Stupid idea. The people who dropped extra dollars for the OG 88 cements are the ones who truly deserve it. Jordan brands desperate attempt to re-re-re-re-re-release the same old shoes and ultimately de value his rare OG collection. Making sneakerheads outta foolish children is not what the game is about. Every kid out here has jordans and they have no clue why. If i saw a 13 year old kid with fresh casual plain dunk lows than he gets more respect than the kid with fire red 4s. In my honest opinion.

  • dmy

    @ shoe string:
    i was thinking that exact thing when i first heard the news. missing the ‘bred’ 4s hurt but this news alleviated the pain big time. might just try to get the ‘lightning’s now.

  • Lem

    This is great news for those who have been clamoring for the return of the Nike Air logo. However, for me it’s of no consequence. It’s the same shoe that I already have in my closet. I will pass on these.

  • Shoe String

    @C-DUB & dmy This is what is to come. Watch all these people copping the 5’s this year waisting there money in 2013 cause they couldn’t waite till 2015 to cop the 5’s with the Nike Air branding. I will be laughing when those grape 5’s release. Have some will power people and stop handing your money over to these greedy companies for inferior products. I’ll be waiting till 2015 for sure.

  • …. Many many thanks!