Head Designer: Tinker Hatfield
In the 96/97 season Jordan saw himself
being bounced off the MVP throne by Karl
Malone, who won the honor with the slimmest
margin one can think off. Jordan got his
revenge in the finals though, and led
the Bulls past Malone's Utah Jazz and
also picked up the Finals MVP honors for
the fifth time (out of five tries!).
Sun sets in Japan
This shoe was again something totally
new when it came to design. The way the
ribbed leather seemed to go all the way
to down to the ground due to the match
in color with the midsoles, really made
people turn their heads. This unique design
was partly inspired by the flag of the
Japanese Army & Navy in which the
red circle is surrounded by a "sunset".
The XII's were also one of the most durable
AJ's to date. It seemed almost nothing
could break these shoes down. One major
disadvantage was that they pretty easily
got dirty and was hard to clean. Especially
the ones with white midsoles/soles.
In September 1997 Nike decided to launch
a new sub-brand of Nike called Jordan
Brand. This made the Air Jordan XII one
of the first products that were a part
of the Jordan Brand collection.
Probably due to this fact, the Air Jordan
XII was the first Air Jordan that did
not have a Swoosh or a Nike logo anywhere
on the shoe. Not even on the insole.