Verdict from 4 experts and 100+ user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • According to many wearers, the Air Jordan 12 Retro is stylish. It is one of the best looking Air Jordans and can be worn with just about anything.
  • A small number are saying that you just can’t go wrong with these basketball shoes. It is a legit hoop shoe and is one of the most playable models out of the retro Air Jordan collection.
  • These basketball shoes fit like a glove, a few buyers are reporting.
  • A good number are declaring that these Air Jordan basketball shoes are quite durable. They claim that it is built like a tank.
  • Majority of the reviewers are asserting that the Air Jordan Retro XII is the most comfortable model out of all the Air Jordan retros.
  • The shoe’s high-top collar delivers excellent support and lockdown, nearly all testers observe.
  • Several purchasers are pleased with the quality of these retro Jordan basketball shoes.
  • The traction works perfectly fine, some players remark, although occasional wipes are needed when playing on dusty courts.
  • A few users are surprised that these retro Air Jordan basketball shoes feel light during play.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Most of the testers report that the Air Jordan 12 Retro takes a while to break in.
  • Like most retros (including the Air Jordan 1 and Air Jordan 11), some reviewers are complaining that the Air Jordan 12 is poorly made. They claim that aside from glue marks, there are other manufacturing defects.
  • Several buyers are claiming that these Air Jordan basketball shoes easily get dirty and are hard to clean.

Bottom line

Delivering on both form and function, the Air Jordan 12 Retro may be one of the best performing retro models Jordan Brand has produced. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, these retro Air Jordans will also provide you with everything you need on the court. It has reliable traction, quality materials, responsive cushioning, excellent lockdown, plenty of support, and a nice fit.

Overall, the AJ XII Retro is very well-rounded and can even outperform some of its more modern counterparts.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Good to know

In the face of adversity, Michael Jordan put up a heroic performance en route to his fifth NBA Championship when he was able to lead his Chicago Bulls to a crucial Game 5 win against the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals. He finished the game with 38 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while suffering from a 103-degree fever.

Famed as the “Flu Game” shoe, the Air Jordan XII Retro has become an all-time favorite among sneakerheads and players alike. Its superior construction has also earned it the reputation of being one the most durable Air Jordans ever made.

These classic Air Jordan basketball shoes are made of premium and synthetic leathers that offer a luxurious look. It features a carbon fiber shank that increases responsiveness while a full-length Air sole unit cushions your every step.

Cushion. The Air Jordan 12 Retro features a full-length Zoom Air bag that offers lightweight cushioning.

The Zoom Air unit is embedded in a Phylon carrier to keep the feet completely comfortable. A carbon fiber spring plate enhances responsiveness.

Traction. These retro Air Jordan basketball shoes have a durable rubber outsole that features a herringbone traction pattern for increased grip on any surface.

Aside from enhancing the responsiveness of the Zoom Air unit, the carbon fiber shank plate also offers ideal support when performing medial and lateral movements.

These retro Air Jordan basketball shoes also feature a quick lacing system that secures the foot firmly into the footbed.

Depending on the colorway, the Air Jordan XII Retro’s upper is either made of leather or supple suede.

Perforations along the leather offer breathability while overlays throughout the upper add durability.

Similar to Michael’s very own style, the Air Jordan 12’s design expresses striking elegance.   These basketball shoes take inspiration from the Japanese rising sun flag called Nisshoki and a women’s dress cleat from the 19th century.

The overlays feature a lizard print design while stitching on the upper resembles sun rays. Completing the shoe’s signature look is the unique “TWO 3” stitched on the tongue.

With its iconic silhouette and the narrative behind it, the Air Jordan Retro 12 has transcended the hardwood and has become a streetwear staple.

The five original colorways of the Air Jordan 12 are White/Black-Taxi, White/Varsity Red-Black, Obsidian/White-French Blue, Black/Varsity Red, and Black/Varsity Red-White-Metallic Silver.

Since being retroed in 2003, 2009, and 2016, these Air Jordan basketball shoes have reached over 20 colorways including popular ones such as Nubuck, Flu Game, Bordeaux, Taxi, Obsidian, French Blue, Playoff, Rising Sun, Wings, Wolf Grey, and a women’s edition called UNC.


How Air Jordan 12 Retro ranks compared to all other shoes
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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.