1.14.11

Sole Shots: “Cement” Air Jordan III Spotlight

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight

words_Brandon Richard

Michael Jordan’s 1987-1988 campaign will go down as one of the best individual NBA seasons in league history. Though his first championship ring was three seasons away, Michael launched a statistical assault on the rest of the league, separating himself from his peers in the process. Jordan laid claim to virtually every accolade possible during the season, including League MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Star Game MVP, Scoring Champion, Steals Leader, 1st Team All-NBA and 1st Team All-Defense.

The way Michael was redefining the way we looked at basketball as a sport, he was doing the same with basketball footwear. Along with perhaps the greatest sneaker designer of all time, Tinker Hatfield, Jordan and Nike launched the Air Jordan III during the same season. The shoe featured revolutionary concepts, like Visible Air, elephant print and the first public appearance of the Jumpman logo. To help market the Air Jordan III to the public, Nike called on Michael’s good friend and film director Spike Lee, who reprised his She’s Gotta Have It role as Mars Blackmon for the advertisement campaign.

The most well-known Jordan memory created while wearing the Air Jordan III is also one of the defining moments of his career. Looking to repeat as the NBA Slam Dunk Champion, Michael took the floor against dunk nemesis Dominique Wilkins at the Old Chicago Stadium during All-Star Weekend in 1988. The two athletic juggernauts squared off, matching each other dunk for dunk until they eliminated the “competition.” In the finals, Dominique took a lead after two dunks, setting the stage for a final dunk showdown between the two.

With Michael needing to post a big score, he reached into his bag of tricks for a dunk he attempted in the previous year’s contest – the free-throw-line dunk. Though he had done the dunk before, Michael felt he could add enough flair to put it over the top, and that’s exactly what he did. On his second attempt, Michael ran down the court, took off from the free throw line, cocked the ball back in mid air and kicked his legs out, completing the best-looking free throw dunk the world had seen at that time. With Wilkins’ final dunk only scoring a 45, Michael was able to seal the deal on a second-straight Slam Dunk Title.

The shoes Jordan wore for the ’88 Dunk Contest were the “Cement” Air Jordan IIIs, which will make a return to retail a week from tomorrow for the first time since 2003. Perhaps the single most iconic sneaker in the entire Jordan line, the shoe features tumbled white leather, signature cement grey elephant print, a black midsole, and red detailing on the tongue and inner liner. This year’s version will come almost exactly the same way the Air Jordan III came in 1988 – with cement-printed box and paper, orange hang-tag and tech booklet.

To celebrate the return of the Air Jordan III, Sole Shots has captured some of the best “Cement” Air Jordan III photography from members of the Sole Collector Forum and beyond. Be sure to leave a comment and let the photographers know how you feel about their work below.

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – quicksterPat Lauder aka quickster, Gilroy, California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight - Stephan KuntzeStephan Kuntze, Hamburg, Germany

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – D4ZzLeDerek Dazzle aka D4ZzLe, San Jose, California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – FINESSEAndre Aranez aka FINESSE, Southern California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – jmh97213Jerek Hollender aka jmh97213, Oregon

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – leyesaPhillip Leyesa aka leyesa, Long Island, New York

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – boyNERDboyNERD, San Jose, California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – cristianmcristianm, Oregon

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – Levy PalmerLevy Palmer, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – joegon103joegon103, Northern Miami

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – SteveSteve Mullholand, Key Largo, Florida

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – JHONNYC410JHONNYC410, Queens, New York

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – LoganCLLoganCL, California

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – RaeRaymond Banh aka Rae, Toronto, Canada

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight – FIREPOWER23FIREPOWER23, England

Sole Shots: Cement Air Jordan III Spotlight - KGordon75Kevin Gordon aka KGordon75, Washington, D.C.

If you’re interested in submitting your photos for Sole Shots, e-mail us at eastbaysoleshots@solecollector.com. Please include your name and location with your submissions. You also have the option of providing us with a link to your online photo album or website to link back to when we post your work.  You do not have to be a registered member of Sole Collector to participate.

14 Comments

  • Nice photos everyone!

  • Uncle:

    Tons of amazing shots, great job guys!

  • Amazing pictures

  • K:

    would these be good to play in? how is the performance?

  • nickair75:

    These pictures are making the wait even harder!!

  • Unbeatable:

    Man this makes me want them so bad now… this will be my 1st pair of three and it couldn’t be any other this i the one…

    The photos are amazing, all of them are spectacular. Good Jobs guys.

  • Brandizzy:

    Oregon Got the best pic right ther watta sick shoe PERIOD.

  • Nice pics!!! First time Im gonna be able to buy the Air Jordan 3!!!! Can’t wait. I have the AF1Jordan3’s…. but the OG retros are the best. I was 11 years old when these dropped in 88 and my mom whouldn’t chouldn’t afford them.

  • MT-T:

    cristianm, Oregon

  • Wow great pics everyone,now you’all see why the world is waiting patienly for the release,

  • arod905484:

    Mann These are Real Nicee!!
    Just Savedd These Images on iTouch:DD
    (6 mo’ Days!!)

  • shy:

    these are ugly, if you buy them your only buying them because of the pictures not because they look good

  • jared:

    i cant wait for the 22nd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    all ya’ll mad im getting them for a hundred

  • airjking:

    so glad i finally got a pair of these. almost had some DS 03’s for $210 a few christmas’ back but i forgot to put a stamp on the envelope holding the money order. . . . maybe it was a blessing in disguise who knows. But after a 6 year wait i can finally hold some in my hands. And thanks to cristianm for showing me a sweet way to lace mine up.

Movie Feature Image

New Movie Endings: An Analysis of the Worst Decisions in Movie Footwear

No one likes when movie characters make bad decisions. We'll revisit some of the worst calls leading characters made when it comes to footwear.

Nike Stories Back To School Catalogs

A Look Back: Back to School in the ’90s

Take a look back at the hottest shoes from Eastbay's back to school catalogs from the '90s with Drew Hammell of @NikeStories.

How To Increase Your Mental Focus And Train Past Distractions

How To Increase Your Mental Focus And Train Past Distractions

When you see the pros keeping their cool and drilling game winners, it’s tempting to...

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Here are a few simple drills that can help you with your footwork for football.

Stephen Curry – Silence The Doubters

Stephen Curry – Silence The Doubters

The constant noise of doubters turns underdogs into champions by forcing them to develop a level of resiliency, perseverance, and supreme self-confidence that helps them beat those who may be more physically gifted. This is the Stephen Curry story.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…the Nike LeBron 11 Low!

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…the Nike LeBron 11 Low!

Dare to dream with the latest kids' colorway.

Nike ‘What The’ LeBron 11

Nike ‘What The’ LeBron 11

Latest LeBron 11 release features 28 different design elements from past LeBron signature shoes.

Nike Air Griffey Max 1 – Black/Light Magnet Grey-Metallic Silver

Nike Air Griffey Max 1 – Black/Light Magnet Grey-Metallic Silver

New digs for The Kid.

Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low ‘University Red’

Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low ‘University Red’

Kobe's pop music muse inspires new colorway.

Blast Friday: The Return of a Reebok Classic

Blast Friday: The Return of a Reebok Classic

Nick Van Exel's shoe returns for the first time since 1996.

Nike Air Foamposite One ‘Triple Black’

Nike Air Foamposite One ‘Triple Black’

With a nubuck finished upper for the first time ever.

Nike Air Force 1 Low ‘Triple Black’

Nike Air Force 1 Low ‘Triple Black’

All black everything for this new Air Force 1.

See More