Air Jordan XV: So Long to Tinker Hatfield

Name: Air Jordan XV

Release: 2000

Designer: Tinker Hatfield


With Michael Jordan officially retired, Mr Tinker Hatfield was left with the task of designing a sneaker that represented Jordan without actually having him ever play a game in them. A task that I am sure no one envied him for…in the end the Air Jordan XV was born.

Like some of the previous Air Jordan sneakers Tinker used the concept of a vehicle to engineer the look of the newest sneaker in the line.  For this particular shoe he modeled it after the X-15 Fighter plane designed by NASA from the 1950’s that was known for setting multiple speed records.  For the upper portion of the sneaker Tinker put in some woven Kevlar, which has been stated to give it a more futuristic appearance.

During Michael Jordan’s earlier seasons in the NBA he used to stick out his tongue while he was playing in games

One of the most interesting features on this sneaker is the front lip appearing at the upper front part of the shoe. It is been said that the reason this was included on the sneaker was to pay homage to Jordan’s tongue. During Michael Jordan’s earlier seasons in the NBA he used to stick out his tongue while he was playing in games. It is said he got this trait from watching his father work on cars as a young boy. It is pretty incredible that Mr. Hatfield was able to really personalize the sneaker that way because I like many other people had no clue why the front of the tongue of the sneaker stuck out like that!

At the back of the sneaker was covered by some very solid rubber that was ribbed. It is not clear for the reason as to why this part of sneaker was built this way because it added a bit more weight to the sneaker. Embedded in the heel of the sneaker was numbers that were linked to his “Airness” – 23.6.15. These particular numbers symbolized Jordan’s jersey number, the amount of NBA Championships that he won and the model of sneaker. More numbers could be found on the heel…it read – 2.17. These digits represented Michael’s birthday.

The Air Jordan XV utilized a Zoom Air sole for the sneaker for a very cushioned feel. This sneaker also used the speed lacing feature, but this time it was placed underneath the material of the sneaker rather than on top making it hidden.  It had a seemless dynamic-fit sleeve, rubber herringbone traction pods, an injected TPR external heel counter and a breathable leather pattern.

Special Moments:

Sadly, the Air Jordan XV was going to be Tinker Hatfield’s last design in the Air Jordan series. It seemed like everything was going wrong that year…Jordan was no longer playing basketball in the NBA, the ratings for the league were far below normal and now the man behind Jumpman was stepping down…NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Sneaker heads all over the world’s hearts skipped a beat. It was one thing to lose Jordan in the NBA, but to have the next best thing leaving as well just seemed to be too much for anyone to take in. This left the question as to who could possible take the reins of this monumental sneaker line…WHO I ASK?!?!?!

It is stated that the Air Jordan XV sneakers sold very poorly in comparison to the previous sneakers in the line. The Jordan Brand tried to enlist other top notch sports stars to endorse the line like Derek Jeter and Ray Allen, but no one could do it like the man himself…MICHAEL JORDAN.

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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.