Verdict from 3 experts and 34 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • One tester loves how the flat area on the outsole cleared away the dust from the tread pattern so that the herringbone wouldn't get clogged.  
  • Several reviewers agree that the traction on the Jordan 15 plays well even in bad court conditions; some say that it is at par with the traction of the Air Jordan 12.
  • Both expert reviewers and other users find the shoe's cushioning to be very comfortable. 
  • Most wearers say that the materials on the upper feel great. They move with the foot and are durable.
  • Guards will love the Jordan XV Retro due to its flat base and two outriggers that ensure stability especially when shooting.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Majority of the shoe's wearers feel that the heel cup does not conform to the foot very well, and it easily gets loose during play. This issue contributes greatly to the sloppy fit of the shoe.
  • According to most users, the shoe is quite hot and not very breathable; and this might be due to the observation by many that the Jordan 15 Retro's materials retain moisture.
  • A number of reviewers say that from among Jordans 1 to 15, the 15 has the most inconsistent fit.
  • Some purchasers found the Retros to have poorer quality and more flaws than the OGs. One complains about the messy glue stains on the shoe.

Bottom line

Overall, even with its effective traction, comfortable cushioning, and super stable ride, the The Air Jordan 15 Retro still falls short because of its sloppy fit and inability to ‘be one’ with the player's foot during play. Nonetheless, the shoe is a nostalgic piece that refuses to fit into the regular basketball shoe mold.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Good to know

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.


How Air Jordan 15 Retro ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 13% basketball shoes
All basketball shoes
Bottom 16% Jordan basketball shoes
All Jordan basketball shoes
Bottom 20% michael jordan basketball shoes
All michael jordan basketball shoes


The current trend of Air Jordan 15 Retro.
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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.