Air Jordan XI – The Formal Air JordanThe Air Jordan XI was created by Michael Jordan’s desire to bring a “formal look” to the basketball court. The Air Jordan XI were worn during Michael Jordan’s first full-season return to the NBA which took place in the 1995-96 season. Soon after its release, the XI quickly became one of the most popular and best-selling Air Jordans of all-time. The Air Jordan XI also marked the return of low-tops. Low-top Air Jordans would continue all the way till Air Jordan XVI’s (The only exception was the Air Jordan XII)
The First Sneaker with Patent LeatherThe Air Jordan XI was designed by Tinker Hatfield while Michael Jordan was still playing baseball. Tinker designed the shoe win the hopes that Michael would one day return to the NBA. The most noticeable feature of the Air Jordan XI was the shiny patent leather that surrounded the bottom part of the sneaker. Tinker Hatfield used patent leather because he wanted the Air Jordan XI to look like a convertible, with a shiny body. Patent leather was used in the fashion industry because it is lightweight and does not stretch. The Air Jordan XI was the first sneaker to feature patent leather. It also gave the Air Jordan XI the formal look that Michael Jordan wanted. In fact, many fans wore the Air Jordan XI as a substitute for formal shoes with their business suits.
Quality Issues with the Air Jordan XIAlthough it was one of the best-selling Air Jordans of all-time, the Air Jordan XI did have some design issues. The clear rubber soles would turn yellow over time and the patent leather would either crack or get scratched.
Banned Once AgainDuring the 1995 NBA semifinals, Michael was fined $5,000.00 for every game that he wore the white/black dark concord Air Jordan XI because they violated the Bulls uniform rules. During that time, the players of the Chicago Bulls had to wear entirely black shoes.