The Air Jordan 6 was released for the 1990-91 season. This season and this shoe was part of a defining moment for Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan series.
Every year that Jordan had played was a great one, but this year was just a little sweeter. The Bulls won the NBA Championship defeating the LA Lakers in the Finals. Jordan once again took home the NBA scoring title and his 2nd of 5 MVP awards.
For the Air Jordan 6, Michael Jordan gave direct orders to have a clean toe, so Tinker Hatfield made sure the Air Jordan 6 had a reinforcement around the toe, making the Air Jordan 6 the first basketball model to achieve this. Michael also had difficulties putting on the past five models, so Tinker designed two holes on the top of the tongue, and one loop on the back, calling it “a spoiler”.
The Jordan 2 was pure luxury and the Jordan 6 was inspired by Michael Jordan's personal luxury. Aside from the heel tab that was designed after his Porsche, this Jordan makeup was more of a Tinker Hatfield showcase including something from most of his designs—translucent soles, "Visible Air" in the sole.
Back in '91 the Magic versus Jordan hype trumped anything going on in the league today, even without social media. Jordan finally led the Bulls past the Bad Boys of Auburn Hills for a match-up against the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Jordan suffered an injury to his foot in the second game of the series. However when asked if he wanted a special shoe to help protect the injury or stick to his usual Air Jordan 6s—Michael simply responded to the training staff, "give me the pain." Jordan took the Lake Show down in five games, making it clear he wore the crown in the NBA.
The Jordan 6 was just as important off-the-court as it was on the hardwood—it popped up in various television shows and even made its way to the big screen. Today it's still a signature staple in your favourite rapper's sneaker rotation, including Kanye West himself.
The Air Jordan craze shows no signs of slowing down. One of the most popular silhouettes of the classic and innovative Air Jordan line is the 6. We take a look back at the colourways that forced the Air Jordan 6 into the hearts of the sneaker community.
1. Black/ Infrared
A sneaker created for fierce competition and even fiercer style, the black infrared 6 is the most striking of the MJ’s sixth signature footwear series. Consistently donned by Jordan in his battle against the Lakers for his first NBA title, the black/infrared 6s innovative colour grouping and design remains unique to this day.
In February 1991, the Air Jordan 6 was unveiled to the world in a pure white and bright red. The “infrared” shade at this point had previously been utilized and popularized by the Air Max 90 a year prior.
Worn by Michael during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, this pair takes the two tone colour blocking of sneakers like the "Carmines" and fills it in with an American navy blue contrasted by a mainly white upper and red detailing.
4. White/ New Maroon
Released in December 2015 for the first time since 1991, the Air Jordan 6 Maroon is a refreshingly clean and basic variation of the white Jordan 6 that has for decades had fans demanding a proper retro treatment.
A firm fan favourite, the Carmine Air Jordan 6 possesses a unique two tone base that perfectly highlights the structure and style of the sixth kicks of the signature series.