The Air Jordan 16 was released on February 17, 2001 – Jordan’s 38th birthday. This shoe was the first to not be designed by Tinker Hatfield in over a decade, yet it brought together the best pieces of shoes Tinker designed — namely patent leather and a clear sole. On top of that, the Air Jordan 16 also brought new aesthetic innovation in the form a removable gaiter. This swappable style add-on offered off-court crossover for the performance model, providing a clean and unique layer to each individual colorway.
Launching after the progressive and post-retirement Air Jordan 15, the Air Jordan 16 also had the tall task of moving at retail without on court endorsement from Michael Jordan. All things considered, the Air Jordan 16 was quite popular, with the placement of patent leather proving a strong selling point. On the NBA hardwood, the likes of Ray Allen, Mike Bibby, Reggie Miller, Darius Miles, Michael Finley and Quentin Richardson laced up the Air Jordan 16 on court in both PE and GR colorways. Some rocked them with the gaiter, some without. In a surprise move, Michael Jordan would later come out of retirement and play of the Washington Wizards, rocking the Timberland-inspired “Ginger” colorway of the AJ 16 on court during his pre-season play.
Outside of a Countdown Pack, the Air Jordan 16 has not released in retro form though samples have been seen. The model is certainly still on the minds of employees at Jordan Brand as both Ray Allen and Joe Johnson have worn and received PE pairs of the Air Jordan 16 in recent years.
Air Jordan 16s for sale
If you are in the hunt for some of rare models of the Air Jordan 16, check out the links below.
Air Jordan 16
The Air Jordan 16’s hit the shelves following the unorthodox Air Jordan 15. Jordan Brand found that Jordan didn’t need to wear the shoes in the NBA to be on the hot list of every other American teenager, though one could argue that this was the one post-Bulls model that really rang off at retail both on and off court.
Ok, well, Hatfield didn’t exactly retire (he was actually promoted), but this was the first shoe since the Air Jordan 2 to not be designed by Tinker Hatfield. The Air Jordan 16’s were designed by Nike’s Senior Footwear Designer Wilson Smith. Smith decided to bring in a few design elements/fabrics from earlier releases. For instance we saw the return of the clear rubber sole (Air Jordan 5, Air Jordan 6, Air Jordan 11) and they also featured patent leather (Air Jordan 11).
Gaiter on – Gaiter off
What made the Air Jordan 16 unique was the brand new gaiter/shroud that covered the shoe and that could be removed to give the shoe a brand new look. Not only was this for stylish purposes, it also had a thermal functionality. The Air Jordan 16 was a little stiff and to wear the shroud/gaiter when playing basketball really wasn’t a good idea, as it pretty easily could fall off. The black/red Air Jordan 16 and white/navy Air Jordan 16 both featured patent leather which very easily got creased and cracked. Best for playing in were the ones without patent leather.The overall design was great and it was great to see a new designer put his foot forward. The Air Jordan 16 returned once in retro form via Countdown Pack. Check out the Air Jordan Release Dates so you don’t miss out.