Air Jordan XI 'Bred'

by Denitza Leon in


MJ pic stitch.jpg

Let me take you back to the summer of 1996 (yes, 17 years back) when Michael Jordan returned to the NBA just sixteen months after announcing his retirement. It was just the beginning of an uproar on the court and the Air Jordan XI ‘Bred’ was there. The creator of this covetable sneaker was none other than Tinker Hatfield, the innovative designer behind some of the most notable Nike Air Jordan styles. Hatfield designed the Air Jordan XI in high hopes of Michael returning to the NBA although a return was less than uncertain at the time. When Michael stunned the basketball universe and fans alike with a comeback, MJ chose to wear the very shoe Hatfield had designed in his absence. Notoriety followed in his footsteps when Michael wore the black and red Air Jordan XIs to play. The league dress code required players to wear all-black shoes but MJ wore the black and red Air Jordan XIs anyway. Some said the shoe gave him a technical advantage with the Hatfield’s sport-customized design. Maybe MJ just thought of the Breds as his lucky shoes. The cost of MJ’s sneaker rebellion? A $5,000 fine every time he wore them on the court.

This winning combination of lightweight, sleek looks meets traction-packed, well-structured shoe-technics was the result of Hatfield’s background in architectural design and passion for the sport. The Air Jordan XI’s soles were constructed with never-before-used carbon fiber which allowed a better pivot. The use of black patent leather wasn’t just for its shiny good looks, it was chosen as a lighter, less stretchable alternative to genuine leather. With this high-tech wonder of a court shoe it’s no wonder Michael kept bringing home all those championships! The new Air Jordan design launched a footwear legacy that paralleled Michael Jordan’s career when Hatfield created a shoe that Michael couldn’t refuse in his return to the NBA.

Many basketball fans consider the 90’s to be the ‘golden era’ of the sport because of legendary players like Michael Jordan. The ‘Bred’ is still identified with that fantastic period in basketball history and the legacy of the Jordan XIs hasn’t stopped there; fans have been able to score a pair twice within last five months. The Breds were re-released during the holiday season in December ’12 and restocked in limited quantities again in March ’13. The last release of Air Jordan XI stayed true to its Black Patent and Varsity Red colorway. Their once futuristic look is now a classic staple of the Air Jordan collection and a reminder to sneakerheads and basketball fans alike of an unforgettable era. These are the shoes dreams are made of…