Nike didn’t start it all.
It was Converse.
Michael Jordan began his college career at the University of North Carolina in the fall of 1981 and played three seasons in Converse. The Star Chevron was the Tar Heels’ team shoe because head coach Dean Smith endorsed them. Enter the Converse Pro Leather. A simple silhouette worn by NBA stars Julius Erving and Larry Bird, the Pro Leather featured simple leather construction with a scoop collar, modest decoration in the form of Star Chevron logos at midfoot and small heel tabs, and a woven basket-like traction pattern on the outsole. It was in a pair of White/Carolina Blue Pro Leather’s that Jordan hit the game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. While the shoe served him well his freshman year, Jordan eventually transitioned to the Converse Pro Star, a basketball shoe similar in look to the Pro Leather but with a more modern hi-top layout and a modified heel accent.
Sit back and click through the pages below for a look at Michael Jordan’s college years in Converse.