Air Jordan XII: The Infamous “Flu Shoe”

Air Jordan XII

Name: Air Jordan XII
Tinker Hatfield


Now back in the NBA in true dominant fashion Michael Jordan needed a sneaker to reflect this return. Introducing the Air Jordan XII, this was the combined vision of Tinker Hatfield and Michael Jordan. Though the Air Jordan XI was a very hard act to follow they were able to create a beautiful sneaker in the Air Jordan XII.

It is stated that this sneaker was inspired by women’s fashion and the Japanese flag. Again, you can see that Tinker liked to use the looks and culture of the Japanese to appease Jordan’s desires when it came to sneaker design. Michael was always liked his sneakers to reflect something with fashion in mind and with this shoe it is stated that this was modeled after something called the “Nisshoki”.

Air Jordan VII

The Air Jordan XII took the idea “Nisshoki” and incorporated it into the sneaker by the way in which the stitching was done. The stitching was done in a manner to symbolize the rising sun. It was put together with very sturdy leather components that made your foot feel very secure when you wore it. It is known to be one of the most durable Air Jordans to date.  This sneaker had an overlay accent along the front outside of the midsole of the shoe. At the back heel of the sneaker there was Jordan’s famous uniform number “23”. What was very interesting about this sneaker was the fact that not only was the number put on the shoe, but on the tongue of shoe between the laces the figures “TWO 3” was stitched in.


At the top of the shoes where the loops for laces are located there were 4 metal hoops (2 on each side) with the Jumpman emblem on it. Down the center of the back of the sneaker there was a pull tap with the Jumpman logo on it as well as a statement that read “QUALITY INSPIRED BY THE GREATEST PLAYER EVER”. One of the biggest changes that came with this sneaker was that it was the first Air Jordan that utilized a full-length Zoom Air cushioning sole. This sneaker also featured another full-length carbon fiber shank like the Air Jordan XI. Tinker took the time do design a better tread for this sneaker for best traction up until that point.

Special Moments

To add to the many awards and accolades under his name Jordan was named as one of the 50 Best Players at a Tribute during the 1997 NBA All Star Game.  Jordan put on a clinic during that game by attaining the first ever triple-double performance. It can be argued that when Jordan was playing in the NBA he was the MVP, well during this season the league gave that honor to the Utah Jazz’ s Karl Malone. So as the stars aligned perfectly, Jordan and his Chicago Bulls faced Malone’s Jazz for the NBA Championship. In true Jordan fashion he put a beating on them in Game 1 to set the stage with a game winning dagger at the end of the game. Now…if you were like me at the time you were insulted for Jordan…there has NEVER been a player in the NBA that has been as dominant as he was when he was playing, but I guess he just had to prove it again in case people forgot!  To demonstrate how much of a great player he was, while the series was tied at 2 games a piece Jordan got ill. Unlike most players Jordan played through it and scored 38 points to lead his team to victory. At one point there was a memorable moment where his teammate Scottie Pippen had to carry Jordan back to the bench during a time out. It is stated that this particular game has been called the infamous “Flu Game”.

For this season Jordan accumulated the following awards…11th All Star appearance, 9th NBA Scoring Title, First Team All-NBA, First Team All Defense, 5th NBA Championship and NBA Finals MVP…so can someone explain to me how you do all this and you are not the MVP of the league?!?!

  • Mariovill11

    where can i buy a pair of jordan 12 nowadays?here in the philippines?

  • Yojardi Dtb

    look i have

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Sole Theory is a sneaker lifestyle guide that explores the social impact of the sneaker culture. Users can expect to gain insight on recent trends, historic brands and signature styles that have heavily influenced the shoe industry. Content will be driven by articles, interviews and reviews that will uncover interesting facts and stories that have rarely been told.