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The Air Jordan 15 Retro is one of the Air Jordan shoes that are never worn by the Legendary Michael Jordan on an NBA court. It was originally released in 1999, the year that his Airness retired for the second time. The shoe’s unique silhouette gets inspiration from the X-15 Fighter Jet and MJ’s tongue, which usually sticks out once he drives into the paint.
Cushion. The basketball sneaker has an injected Phylon midsole, which securely sits on top of an extended rubber outsole. The original version featured two Zoom Air units at the forefoot and the heel. However, in the Retros, only the heel unit remains.
Traction. A full-length herringbone is used on the shoe’s pliable outsole. Decoupled in the midfoot, the outer edges of the sole are flat, most especially on the lateral side. This poses no problem, however as the tread pattern rules both indoors and outdoor courts – no matter the court conditions.
Length and Width. The shoe runs true to size and fits especially well from the forefoot to the midfoot. However, the heel area is observed to have too loose a fit that constant relacing may be needed when at play. Nonetheless, go with your standard Air Jordan basketball shoe size when purchasing the shoe.
Lockdown. The Air Jordan 15 Retro’s containment comes from the woven upper material that tightens as the foot moves, providing support and flexibility. Together with the shoe’s hidden lacing system, the seamless dynamic fit sleeve, and the external heel counter, the basketball sneaker boasts an all-around secure fit.
Several materials are featured on the upper such as the top-grain leather, the woven fabric, and the external TPU heel cup. The tongue is made of padded mesh to provide comfort and breathability.
The midsole uses injected Phylon and houses an internal shank in the midfoot and a Zoom Air unit at the heel. Lastly, solid rubber makes up shoe’s outsole.
The original shoe's visual appeal was said to be polarizing, and many Air Jordan fans didn't like it that much. However, when brought to today's context, the futuristic and stealthy fighter- plane-inspired look of the Air Jordan 15 Retro is not too far gone as it can be used as an eccentric dress shoe or a key piece in a minimalistic outfit.
The mixture of materials in the XV Retro is not common in basketball shoes. It adds some modern elegance as the lower half of the shoe uses top grain leather while the top portion features a woven material. A red synthetic strip with symbolic numbers runs down the heel area. The numbers 2.17 stand for MJ's date of birth while 23.6.15 signify his jersey number, how many championships titles he has won, and the model number of the Air Jordan shoe.
The shoe’s famous tongue is intentionally integrated into the shoe’s silhouette as a tribute to Michael Jordan sticking out of his tongue whenever he attacks the rim. A Jumpman logo subtly accentuates the heel so as not to add extra weight on the already texture-heavy upper.
The Air Jordan XV was originally released in five colorways back in 1999-2000. These were the White/Columbia Blue, Flint Grey/White, White/Midnight Navy Low, Black/White, White/Deep Red.
When the shoes are retroed in 2017, they are released in Black/Varsity Red with an Anthracite Jumpman and Obsidian/White with a Metallic Silver Jumpman.