Sneakerheads lose it over the patent leather and the brilliant colorways of this sneaker. Everyone has their favorite Jordan’s, but the XI keeps rocking it. Launch day was officially moved to Saturdays due to the AJ XI, because kids were skipping school and cutting class to get their hands on a coveted pair of the “Concord, ” “Gamma Blue, ” or any other colorway.
The XI silhouette helped welcome MJ back to the NBA when he wore a prototype at the beginning of Chicago’s second-round series against the Orlando Magic in 1995. During the playoffs Tinker Hatfield revealed the design for the AJ XI to Michael, who wore them on the court against Hatfield’s and Nike’s wishes. This stunt force Nike to go with the prototype.
Jordan was so impressed with the kicks that he showed them off on camera, and the hype for the fall release was at a fever pitch. MJ predicted the silhouette would be pair with suits, and this prophecy came true with the Boys II Men 1996 Grammy Awards appearance. A quick Google search will yield tons of images of people rocking XI’s in wedding photos. Michael wore these kicks during the filming of the classic movie, Space Jam.
The Air Jordan XI helped MJ and the Bulls pull-off the record-breaking 72-win championship 1995-1996 season. This was the first season that brought Dennis Rodman together with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. The Chicago Bulls became the only team to ever win 70 or more regular season games, and they easily won their division, conference, and the NBA Finals. The '95-'96 season has not been matched by any team since.
“The greatest season of all time” carries with it the weight of the entire history of basketball. With 72 wins and 10 loses, it’s almost impossible not to give that nod to the '95-'96 Chicago Bulls fronted by the GOAT, Michael Jordan. During that season, Jordan wore his 11th silhouette from Nike. To honor that historic season, the man, and the sneaker, the Jordan Brand delivers the Air Jordan XI "72-10”.
These beauties pair premium, tumbled leather with microfiber suede for an elegant look worthy of a legendary season. This is an upgrade from the usual upper of the AJ XI, which typically has a cloth upper. Tumbled patent leather wraps the sneaker, and features an iridescent sheen. The classic, black upper is accented with red Jumpman branding, and the tag inside the tongue reads, “72-10 QUALITY INSPIRED BY THE GREATEST SEASON LED BY THE GREATEST PLAYER EVER.” The carbon fiber plate in the midfoot is checkered black and red, and the black upper sits atop a white midsole and clear outsole.