“The easiest Air Jordan to put on” isn’t exactly high praise, but it’s part of what made the Air Jordan 6 (Air Jordan VI) so appealing. Continuing where he left off with the Air Jordan 5 (V), Tinker Hatfield
used a similar mid-cut silhouette, and an equally liberal dose of clear, sticky rubber on the outsoles (although the traditional herringbone traction pattern gave way to small circular holes). The mesh panels disappeared, replaced by perforations, and the fit was improved via a snugger neoprene tongue. The Air Jordan 6 was also the first to feature a clean toe with no reinforcement — a Jordan-approved detail that would be utilized in many Air Jordans to follow.
The truly distinctive details of the Air Jordan 6 were the tongue and the heeltab, though. The heeltab was inspired by the whaletail spoiler on Jordan’s Porsche, the rubberized tongue featured two holes, and both enabled that quick and easy pulling-on. The other enduring element of the Air Jordan 6 (VI) was the accent color — Infrared (or, on some boxes, “Infared”), which would grace several timeless early ‘90s silhouettes. The “Nike
Air” on the heel remained, but was embroidered in matching thread that blended in. Branding hadn’t been this minimal since the Air Jordan 2 (Air Jordan II), but by then it wasn’t necessary. A “Carmine” colorway, which utilized red and white panels on the upper, was outrageous enough on its own.
Mars Blackmon continued on as the loudmouthed pitchman, but most importantly, Michael Jordan
won his first NBA
title while wearing them, ensuring the Air Jordan VI would be forever revered. And he did it against Magic Johnson’s Lakers in dominant fashion—losing the first game but winning the next four—emerging as the Finals MVP and the undisputed king of the NBA. The seventh Air Jordan would have a tough act to follow. Would it live up to the expectations? Please.