Profile of the Air Jordan 17 Retro

In 2001, Michael Jordan surprised the world when he decided to grace the hardwood once again. At age 38, he was losing some of his athletic ability. As a result, Designer Wilson Smith III crafted a special Air Jordan basketball shoe to usher in his return.

During its original release, the Air Jordan XVII was the most expensive Air Jordan basketball shoe ever created. These innovative basketball sneakers boast a full-length shank plate, a TPU heel stabilizer, and the brand’s very first Tuned Air system.

Michael would make history once again while wearing his Air Jordan 17s. He became the oldest player to score 50+ points in a game, and he would also become the fourth player in the league’s history to record 30 thousand career points.


Cushion. The Air Jordan XVII Retro is equipped with a Nike Zoom Air bag at the forefoot and a blow-molded Air unit at the heel. Sitting on top of the air units is a full-length carbon fiber shank plate that offers increased responsiveness, impact absorption, and support.

Traction.  These Air Jordan basketball shoes have a rubber outsole that features a golf course-inspired design. A herringbone traction pattern is used to provide maximum grip on any surface.


Length and Width. According to reviewers, the Air Jordan 17 Retro runs true to size but is narrow at the forefoot. Normal and narrow-footers will have little to no problems; however, wide-footers may experience some hot spots.

Lockdown. These retro Air Jordan basketball shoes feature a fully adjustable lacing system for a customized fit. Lace locks ensure midfoot lockdown while a TPU heel stabilizer prevents ankle rolls.


The Air Jordan XVII Retro’s upper is constructed with premium leather for enhanced support and durability. A mesh tongue and neoprene collar allow heat to escape for increased comfort.


Wilson Smith III took design cues from jazz music, a golf course, and an Aston Martin. The lace cover features music notes while the outsole mimics the aerial view of greens, sand traps, and fairways of a golf course. The shoe’s premium detailing was inspired by the luxury sports car.

The Air Jordan 17 comes in three different styles - the standard OG, the 17+, and the low. The original Air Jordan XVII is equipped with a heel “bumper” and removable lace cover/shroud. The Air Jordan XVII+ has the same silhouette except for a croc-skin panel on the heel. The low-top version features an extended dynamic fit sleeve. Both the AJ 17+ and AJ 17 Low does not come with the midfoot shroud.

Special Colorways of the Air Jordan 17 Retro

The original Air Jordan 17 saw seven releases.

  • Air Jordan 17 OG White/College Blue - Black
  • Air Jordan 17 OG Black/Metallic Silver
  • Air Jordan 17 OG White/Varsity Red - Charcoal
  • Air Jordan 17+ OG White/Black - Metallic Copper - Sport Royal
  • Air Jordan 17 OG Black/Metallic Silver Mule
  • Air Jordan 17 OG White/Red Mule
  • Air Jordan 17 OG White/Black Mule

Aside from these colorways, PEs were also created for Team Jordan athletes Ray Allen and Mike Bibby.

Air Jordan 17+ ‘Bulls’

While playing for the Washington Wizards, Michael scored his 30,000th career point against his former team. The ‘Bulls’ colorway is dressed in a predominantly black upper with gym red accents. A white outsole completes the Bulls-inspired theme.

Trophy Room X Air Jordan 17

Michael Jordan’s son Marcus and his Trophy Room Store released a limited edition AJ XVII. This collaborative sneaker features a regal combination of stoic black, elegant gold, and gray suede. The Trophy Room X Air Jordan 17 is limited to 4,500 pairs and comes with a custom t-shirt designed by Marcus.

Facts / Specs

Weight: 445g
Top: Mid
Signature: Michael Jordan
Lockdown: Lace-Up
Collection: Air Jordan
Features: Retro / Ankle support
Colorways: Black / Orange / Grey

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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.