Michael Jordan strapped in for another championship run in the 1992-93 season. MJ rocked the Air Jordan 8 that year, which notably features cross straps that locked your foot in on the sides. Many people left these “bunny ears” unstrapped for a lifestyle look – a nickname that was inspired by the Air Jordan 8 commercials with Bugs Bunny:
Surprisingly, these straps added extra layers and weight compared to the AJ7. The features that did carry over were the inner bootie, as well as the heel and forefoot Air units encased in the midsole.
The shoe also was designed with features that were purely for aesthetics, with TPU plates added to the medial and lateral sides above the midsole that often featured patterns and colors synonymous with the 90s. This (now) retro look also showed through on the fluffy, chenille circle surrounding the Jumpman logo on the tongue. A wild pattern also appeared on the neoprene bootie on the black “Playoff” Jordan 8 to add even more eye-catching detail.
Mike didn’t need the extra pop on his Jordans to draw attention though, as all eyes were on MJ as he chased his third straight championship. Nothing could stand in the way for the Chicago Bulls, not even that season’s MVP Charles Barkley. Jordan’s Bulls defeated Barkley’s Phoenix Suns in six, with MJ securing his third straight NBA Finals MVP.
The unique look linked to the shoe made it a favorite for rappers like Kanye West (before his adidas deal,) Drake, and Kobe Bryant. West seemingly rocked a new pair of “Aqua” 8s everywhere around 2009, while Drake collaborated with the Jordan Brand on at least four AJ8 colorways – two of which hit retail. In contrast to Kanye’s split from the swoosh, Kobe’s split from adidas led him to wear the Air Jordan 8 in Lakers colors before signing officially with Nike.