Picking up where the Air Jordan 2011 left off, the wingtip-inspired Air Jordan 2012 offered not only two inner booties (for a high or low cut) but three interchangeable midsoles, offering a groundbreaking six options in one shoe — making the equally groundbreaking $230 package price a little easier to justify. Amazingly, thanks to the use of Flywire and synthetics, the weight was still commensurate with a “normal” elite-level basketball shoe. It perhaps wasn’t as classically elegant as its predecessor—no one would mistake it for an Air Jordan 11 (XI)—but the Air Jordan 2012 played as well as any that came before. The packaging, however, took an exponential leap in size, as a tiered box was roughly the size of three conventional sneaker boxes.
And while some inspiration for many prior Air Jordans had come from dress shoes, this time it was the primary inspiration — more specifically Zoot suits and the whole jazz-era aesthetic. Again the designers were Tinker Hatfield
and Tom Luedecke, and they took the look as far as they could—Hatfield working primarily on aesthetics, Luedecke making sure it all worked. But underneath all the jazz-era flash was the usual high-tech Air Jordan chassis, including a carbon plate and laser-cut detailing. The Jumpman, made from a contrasting piece of leather, fit into the upper as precisely as any jigsaw piece. And the finished shoe didn’t seem at all like it was made from three separate parts once it was laced up. All worked together in perfect harmony, a shoe suited for any player at any position on any level, up to and including the NBA
All-Star Game. Designed once again with Michael Jordan
in mind at all times, the Air Jordan 2012 utilized every bit of the latest performance advances—everything that was necessary for the best player on earth.