The Air Jordan XII wasn’t just the “Flu Game” shoe. It wasn’t just what Michael Jordan wore throughout the ’96-97 season. It wasn’t just the sneaker he wore while getting robbed of an MVP by Karl Malone. And it wasn’t just the sneaker Jordan wore while nailing a game-winning, buzzer-beating jumper in Game 1 of the ’97 NBA Finals.
The Jordan XII represented the first sneaker to be released under the Jordan Brand. The Nike Swoosh was completely absent, another first. And Zoom Air was incorporated, yet another first.
Taking inspiration from both women’s boots and the “Rising Sun” of Japan, the XII was designed by Tinker Hatfield and was so beloved as a performance shoe that it seemed like just about every Chicago teammate ended up wearing them.
Over the years, the shoe was regularly worn by NBA players on the hardwood–everyone from Rip Hamilton to Nate Robinson to even Kobe Bryant wore colorways. (We can’t forget about Carmelo Anthony, either. He wore some of the hottest XIIs we’ve ever seen during his early days with the Denver Nuggets.)
Available tomorrow at Champs Sports will be “The Master” Air Jordan XII, the latest retro colorway, which reminds a lot of people of the old “Master” poster many of us had hanging on our walls as kids. (I certainly did.)
To get you ready for that release tomorrow, here are the 10 Best Air Jordan 12 Colorways Ever, not including tomorrow’s drop. What you won’t find here? Anything OVO-related, considering they have yet to release to the public. (As usual, all candidates had to have been released publicly.) What you will find here? Heat.
image via Jordan Brand