The Air Jordan XI is in the conversation with the greatest sneakers ever made. It was revolutionary. It was different. It was versatile. And without designer Tinker Hatfield‘s vision, we probably would’ve never gotten it.
Hatfield originally designed this sneaker while Michael Jordan was away playing baseball, continuing the man’s basketball legacy even when no one believed the GOAT would ever lace up his sneakers on the hardwood again. Once Mike laced up the ’96 samples, before even getting the okay from Nike and Tinker, the feeding frenzy was on. People saw the clean look, the mesh upper, and most importantly they saw the iconic patent leather, a characteristic that completely revolutionized the sneaker industry.
But part of what made the shoe’s legacy so incredible wasn’t just the patent leather or the fact that that it was inspired by a lawn mower — no, it really was. A big part of it was what Michael Jordan did in them.
This weekend at Champs Sports, we’ll see the release of the “Legend Blue” Air Jordan XI, a colorway that can trace its roots back to the 1996 NBA All-Star Game. Because it hasn’t been seen in over a decade, this has become one of the most anticipated sneaker releases of the entire year and any sneakerhead would be a fool to miss it.
To get you prepared for the drop, and to help the young fellas out there who need a little schooling, here are Michael Jordan’s 11 Greatest Moments in the Air Jordan 11.
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image via Jordan Brand