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Rumor has it that the XI was also the reason why Air Jordan Retro releases were moved to Saturdays, as kids often skipped school and cut class to get their hands on a pair.Designed by Tinker Hatfield, the XI was conceived in part by a suggestion from Michael Jordan – who wanted to use patent leather on one of his shoes. Hatfield cooked up the original 1995-96’s Air Jordan XIs as a response, thought of by many Jumpman fans as the best in the Jordan range.Here are the seven quintessential Air Jordan XI models you need to know about.

Sneakerheads know this black/white/red OG makeup as the “Bred,” and Jordan himself was often seen rocking these during games when they were introduced, as the colorway matched nicely with the Bulls’ away uniforms. The sneaker market has since been flooded with bootleg versions of this fan-favorite XI, and the “Bred” colorway has also appeared on the Air Jordan I, IV, XII and XIIIThe 2011 AJXI “Concord” Retro release caused mayhem all over the USA. The 16-year-old shoe – an OG colorway worn by Jordan himself – had already been reissued twice at that point, and is still one of the most coveted Jordan makeups of all time.

The full extent of the uproar – not limited to stabbings and pepper spray – has since been embedded in sneaker folklore, and you can read about it here.The “Columbia” was originally released in 1996 and was one of the OG Air Jordan XI drops. The shoe was re-issued later in 2001 and then again in 2014 when Nike swapped its original moniker in favor of “Legend Blue.” Although Jordan only wore them on the court once – during the 1996 All-Star Game – the hype around this sneaker release makes it an irrefutable need-to-know article of Jordan history.