The Unsung Air Jordan Retros: Air Jordan XVI
The Air Jordan XV (Released:2001 Price:$160)
Jordan Brand, much like MJ himself, went through transitions in careers, and with the AJ XVI was born. Debuted on Michael Jordan’s birthday, February 17th, the release shows Michael Jordan transition into his role as a part owner and the president of basketball operations with the Washington Wizards, meanwhile at Jordan Brand, Wilson Smith III moved into the role of lead designer for the Air Jordan XVI.
Smith drew inspiration from marching boots, high-performance automobiles, and architecture when designing the model. Bringing classic ques from older models back like the sock-lick lining from the Air Jordan VII, the patent leather toe box from the Air Jordan XI, and a shroud lace covering as on the Air Jordan VIII however these were removable. The shoe returned to the visible Air-Sole cushioning and the frosty (translucent) outsole that was featured on Air Jordans V, VI and XI. Four colorways of the AJ XVI were released in 2001, Black/Red, White/Navy, Black/Black and a White/Red low version which was the only color release that replaced the lace cover with a roll down mid liner. This was yet another sneaker MJ would not wear on court, yet he did wear them for a Jordan Brand ad in 2001, in a suit.
Air Jordan XVI Low (Release 2001)
Air Jordan XVI "Midnight Navy" (Release 2014)
The Air Jordan XVI hasn’t been seen in stores since 2001 when it first debuted, the “Midnight Navy” changed all of that when releasing back in 2014 and then a quick upgraded return in 2016. 2014 first time since its original release, (the CDP release back in 2008 paired the XVI and VII) would be released as a retro, then Jordan Brand stepping it up 2 years after. The model is a known favorite by the GOAT's son himself, Marcus Jordan, who made an exclusive release collaboration with his store Trophy Room which pays homage to his father's career with clothing, sneakers, art and more. Rumors of an upcoming "C.E.O." colorway in 2020 may make a change on how the community feels about the Air Jordan XVI.