After the overwhelming success of its two direct predecessors it’s not surprising that the Air Jordan XIII also known as ‘the Black Cat’ is something of an enigma

Jordan New Kids On The Block ” After the overwhelming success of its two direct predecessors it’s not surprising that the Air Jordan XIII also known as ‘the Black Cat’ is something of an enigma. It was released in five different colorways in hightop form and two in low; while it proved to be one of the most comfortable and highest performing shoes ever made it really got mixed reviews from JordanHeads and everyday fans of hoops and kicks in the looks department. It took a while for the street buzz to start on the 13s however when it did the more popular colors started to move impressive numbers although some shoes did sit on shelves for a while especially in experimental color schemes. The Jordan XIII was definitely an innovator in terms of performance and support as it was the first shoe to use the Zoom Air Technology to the fullest; while the AJ13 took a lighter, more streamlined approach than the 12, its side pods actually provided a larger surface area when ballin’ than the XII. It had a snugger, more aerodynamic style that meant the 1 and 2 could play their slashing game with good ankle support and less constraints. The AJXIII remains a bit of a puzzle to students of Jordans as it received its fair share of love from critics yet didn’t catch fire immediately with the buying public (although even the least popular/worst selling colorways are seen selling today for above retail prices). Although the Jordan lows craze was ignited single-handedly by lucky 13 it remains unloved and underappreciated by OldSkoolers.

Michael Jordan New Shoes ” The Air Jordan IX was a departure from what had come before. Described by many as a ‘moon boot’ it was initially a hate it or love it shoe and of course it’s controversial as the shoe that Michael himself never actually wore during his basketball playing days until his third and final comeback (in retro form). While the inner bootie was maintained there was also a new innovation when the designer added ‘speed-lacing’ laceloops to Air Jordans for the first time in their history so this model kept some comfort and created some convenience. Two style features were introduced: reflective speckles on the upper gave it some flash and a touch of foreign languages and a globe intermixed with the numbers ’23’ and ‘1994’ added some class. Although the experimental moon boot design scared a few people off at the time it did feature a solid materials mix of leather, nubuck and mesh that kept in grounded in the basics.

New Jordan 13s ” Well what Tinker Hatfield and his team did, was to push the shoe frontier one step further with more advanced supportive technology, top end materials and sweet little signature touches to keep Jordan fans coming back for more. It didn’t hurt either that Mr. Jordan himself dominated the Utah Jazz in the AJ 12s and won yet another championship while the ‘flu game’ as it has been labelled was forever etched into the tablet of our collective memory. The Air Jordan XII introduced the use of Zoom Air tech and also included a full length carbon fibre shank plate as well. The full grain leather gave this shoe the feeling of high ‘quality’ that one would expect from a shoe ‘inspired by the greatest player ever’ and the signature touches gave his Airness’s loyal shoe/basketball fan base exactly what they were hungry to receive. In fact the following parts of the shoe were given quality details: the tongue had the ‘T W O 3’ wording, the pull tab had script and a jumpman, the sole had a large jumpman creeping up to the toe and the metal laceloops contained the jumpman logos also. The AJXII ensured the Jordan line progressed and in a firm yet subtle way connected the greatness of the player to the shoe.

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