Air Jordan XXIII: The Milestone Sneaker

Name: Air Jordan XXIII

Release: 2008

Designer: Tinker Hatfield


There is really only one word that can describe the Air Jordan XXIII…MILESTONE!!! In 1985 when Nike introduced the Air Jordan sneaker line to the world I don’t think that they could have foreseen what the outcome could have been. Billions of dollars in revenue for a brand that stood out like no other in the world and a legacy that went far and beyond just the sports world!

One of the rumors that was circling around this sneaker was that it would be the final Air Jordan. Being the 23rd sneaker in the series it was stated that it would end with his (Michael Jordan’s) famous jersey number. For a lot of Air Jordan fanatics it seemed like the perfect ending, but on the other hand it was met with a sense of panic. What were they supposed to do now every February when it was time for the Air Jordans to come out? What sneaker line could encompass the same amount of notoriety and respect that this line had built over the last 23 years? Well for the most part no one knew…but what they did know was if the Air Jordan XXIII was the final sneaker it was A MUST HAVE!!! It has been stated that the Air Jordan XXIII was the most anticipated sneaker in history…but how could it not be?!?!

The number “23” had become more then just a jersey number it was now a symbol of greatness.

Well if you are going to create a sneaker for a milestone in your product line you have to call on the best to do it and the Jordan brand knew that the best person for the job was Mr. Tinker Hatfield. Tinker can for the most part be credited for elevating the Air Jordan sneaker line to level of popularity that it was at and it would be a perfect end for him to be the one to close this masterpiece sneaker series.


The Air Jordan XXIII was the FIRST basketball sneaker to utilize the Nike Consideration construction system. The purpose of this system was to reduce the wasteful materials used in making sneakers and try to incorporate more environmentally friendly materials without affecting the performance of the shoe.

These sneakers were considered to be the most technologically advanced Air Jordans ever created. For the construction of the sneaker there was very minimal usage of any adhesives to maintain the environmental friendly theme of the sneaker. The actual sole of the Air Jordan XXIII was made of recycled rubber and was designed to resemble Jordan’s fingerprint.

Due to the fact that Tinker wanted to not use any glue to build this sneaker a newly engineered technique was utilized that used a machine to do the stitching. This stitching is very visible on the upper portion of the Air Jordan XXIII where the 3D form was implemented into the design of the sneaker. On some of the colorways released for the Air Jordan XXIII there is a distinct hand stitched embroidering of “MJ” pattern visible on the sneaker.

The Air Jordan XXII is considered to be one of the most comfortable sneakers of the series and a lot of time and thought was put into its development. Comfort was a key focus for the Air Jordan XXIII to showcase this it had a dual density sock liner that offered full comfort to the person wearing it, while the recovery foam around the heel would conform to the foot’s shape for a more custom type fit. It featured reinforced quarter panels that were able to form and hold the shape of the person’s foot meanwhile it had a breathable tongue that allowed for air to escape and keep the foot cool. The same aforementioned technology was used for upper portion of the sneaker as well as the mid-sole and outsole of the shoe.

Like a lot of the previous Air Jordan sneakers the Air Jordan XXIII used the Zoom Air technology to supply the cushioning and comfort for the foot. It also featured Tuned Air IPS (Independent Podular Suspension) pillars for added comfort.

One of the most interesting features of the Air Jordan XXIII was the fact that it only featured one Jumpman logo on the whole shoe…that’s right ONE! On the tongues of each sneaker there were two different logos: on the left there was the Jumpman logo and on the right there was the number ”23”. No where else on either sneaker could you spot the Jumpman logo…which was something very different in comparison to all the other Air Jordans, but yet when you look at the sneaker you know that it is an Air Jordan sneaker! Behind each pull tab of the tongues of the sneakers there was a thumbprint of Michael Jordan’s thumb.

Special Moments:

Is this the end? IT CAN’T BE!!! The big rumor around the Air Jordan XXIII was the fact that it would be the final Air Jordan released. So many words come to my mind when I thought about it…ANGER, DENIAL, DEPRESSION, FEAR and the list goes on and on. The number “23” had become more then just a jersey number it was now a symbol of greatness. Throughout the sports world and beyond most people knew that it represented greatness.

The Air Jordan XXIII was worn during the NBA All-Star game by Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade to name a few. These same individuals were also part of the gold medal winning USA Basketball team that took part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Throughout the rest of the season the sneaker was highly popular and was seen on many other players in the NBA.

But by far the question still remained…is the END of the Jordan legacy???

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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.