AIR JORDAN XII
Tinker Hatfield and Michael Jordan collaborated to create the durable, stylish Air Jordan XII as a follow-up to the XI.
Inspired by a women's fashion shoe and the Japanese flag, the Air Jordan XII was clean and simple. The rich leather upper was stitched to resemble a rising sun, while the toe and accent overlays were made of faux reptile leather. The XII featured the slogan "TWO 3" down the tongue, metal lace loops with Jumpman logos and a pull tab that ran up the entire heel that read, "QUALITY INSPIRED BY THE GREATEST PLAYER EVER."
The XII had a full-length carbon fiber shank like the AJ XI. The XII introduced full-length Zoom Air cushioning to the Jordan line.
The Air Jordan XII was originally released in five colorways, including the black/red version that MJ wore during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. In that game, Michael was ill and his appearance was questionable, but he was able to play and put together an unbelievable performance in the Bulls win. The shoe he wore during that game is known among collectors as "Flu Game XII."
The other colors of the XII saw the floor during that season as well. Jordan wore the black/white shoe during 1997 playoff games. With the Air Jordan XII on his feet, MJ made his 11th All-Star game appearance, won his ninth NBA scoring title and was named first team All-NBA and first team All-Defense. He won his fifth NBA title and NBA Finals MVP while wearing the XII.
Beginning in 2003, the Air Jordan XII was re-released in several additional colors.