In-hand review of the Air Jordan 3 ‘Muslin’

April 01, 2022 by Joey Birch

In-hand review of the Air Jordan 3 ‘Muslin’

The Air Jordan 3 is a silhouette that, in many people's opinion, is a top 3 in Jordan Brand’s lineage. But how does the latest ‘Muslin’ colourway stack up against its long line of counterparts? 

Going into 2022, sneaker brands seem to be keen to stay on top of the trends that are circulating within the industry with customisation and ageing becoming a popular feature thanks to the likes of Lorenzo Federici (aka LorenzOG), a formidable sneaker customiser taking the world by storm with his incredible dyed designs and Andrew Chiou, an Art Director at Jordan Brand hand ageing and customising some of the most sought after sneakers on the market. 

OFF-White Air Jordan 5 'Sail'

This sentiment has also been pushed by the late Virgil Abloh with his design language of deconstruction allowing people to see what makes the shoes they have on their feet. Examples include his take on the Air Jordan 5 with the ‘Sail’ colourway being made to replicate that of an aged, yellowing, sneaker and latterly with the release of the Air Jordan 2 which featured a pre crumbled midsole design as well as aged details.

So, to the Air Jordan 2 Muslin. The shoebox provides a hint at what to expect from the sneakers inside. Featuring a full cream/beige exterior, the prominent design is a simple light cream coloured cardboard. The front third features a gloss effect in a darker beige tone with the classic Jumpman logo sitting on the right-hand side. The size tag is a usual white size tag, bringing the shoebox together, the varying tones reflect that on the sneakers themselves. 

Opening the lid, you find the classic Air Jordan 3 elephant print paper. While there isn’t any elephant print leather on the AJ3 Muslin, the paper does act as a reference to the OG design, a part of the shoe that has since become an iconic detail in Jordan Brand’s and Nike’s history. The rest of the interior is kept to a clean white. 

Beneath the paper, you find the sneakers themselves. As the name suggests, the upper is made of Muslin, a woven cotton fabric that is usually used when making clothing samples. Using a plain weave, the upper has a hardwearing texture to it with tight weave detailing throughout. 

Similar to the Air Jordan 4 ‘Blank Canvas’, the Muslin constructed upper provides a new take on the Air Jordan silhouette, taking away from the usual tumbled leather we’re used to. However, this material may be prone to getting dirty, with the thick material taking in dirt and water and holding it. 

In the absence of elephant print leather, a hairy suede can be found in a dark grey/blue tone. The suede provides the crucial tie in with the midsole and outsole by contrasting with the lighter upper and midsole colour. However, once again, there appear to be some issues with quality control. While the overall finish of the sneaker is largely perfect, the stitching around the toe box of the left sneaker (on the review pair) is slightly off, with the suede layer seemingly not coming up as high as the right foot. The righthand pair is fine. 

The midsole reflects the design of the box. With a light cream throughout, there is a darker beige panel circling the heel, complementing the off white rubber heel tab furthing the aged aesthetic that works seamlessly on the Air Jordan 3 Muslin. 

On the bottom, the classic Air Jordan 3 outsole can be found continuing the dark grey tone found around the suede above with hits of red on the impact point around the ball of the foot and the ‘Jordan’ logo by the heel.

Red detailing is found throughout the sneaker, in addition to the outsole, the bottom eyelets provide subtle details tying into the red-stitched Jumpman logo on the tongue. This red detailing is finally found on the heel of the shoe with the ‘Air’ logo giving a final pop of colour that sits brilliantly against the aged rubber tab. 

Overall, the Air Jordan 3 Muslin is a prime example of how minimal design is key when it comes to a Jordan silhouette. The materials and subtle detailing is what makes the sneaker stand out. Heavy stitching around the Muslin material upper lends itself to a premium aesthetic and feel to the overall design.

It’s when you stop and take time to look at the shoe where the colours, materials, and details stand out and allows the design and colourway to come into their own. There’s also the feeling that, should you decide to, you can customise the shoe in a magnitude of ways thanks to the Muslin upper. 

While fans of the OG Black Cement may not find that this iteration of the AJ3 scratches the same itch with the lack of elephant print as well as the much-beloved ‘Nike Air’ tag missing from the heel, there is a lot to enjoy with this shoe.