Everyone has a favorite Air Jordan, instagram is littered with pictures captioned with things like, “pick 1”, “pick your top 3”, “rock one, stock one, burn one”, etc.
We feel confident in estimating that most sneakerheads would select either the Jordan 1, 3, 4 or 11 as their favorites, but there’s a buttload of under appreciated Air Jordan models. Today’s #TBT explores one of the most hated on Jays- the XIX. The Tate Kuerbis design continued to push the envelope for what a basketball shoe could/ should that it’s predecessors have been building upon for years. The XIV was the last ‘traditional’ looking basketball shoe leading up to the released of the XIX (the futuristic permeance trend would continue up to the XX8 IMO). Kuerbis decided to use the same stacked Air/ full length Zoom cushioning setup found in the Air Jordan XVIII; he also took the shroud design cue to new heights. The XVI through the XIX used shrouds to cover the laces but as the idea continued the immovability of said shrouds rose. ‘Tech-flex’ served as the technology title for the XIX which was an industrial grade braided metal-like weave that covered the entirety of the laces and wrapped around the heel. Unlike the XVIII, the XIX’s heel straps allowed for much more accessibility to the laces that were paired with lace locks. Some design cues were taken from the Air Jordan XI with the reuse of a patent leather toe cap and Jumpman branding location (on the SE version).
The XIX released in two initial colorways pictured above but Jordan Brand also released three regional pairs: East, Midwest and West. Below, we get a great look at the heel strap adorned with MJ’s signature.
Jordan Brand decided to pair the XIX’s debut with their young gun, Carmelo Anthony during the 2003-2004 Rookie Challenge Game (the game was epic, go watch highlights now) with a general release in summer 2004.
Jordan PEs by 2004 were nothing new – we’d seen a decade+ of Player Exclusives from the likes of Mike Bibby, Eddy Jones, Derek Anderson but the ‘late teen’ Jordan’s really pushed the PE game to where we are today. The XIX has some of the most criminally underrated PEs ever with heat radiating off the feet of stars like Jason Kidd and Ray Allen. Take a look at some of the best XIX PEs below; which pairs would you like to see released?
Ray Allen PE
Above we have Peja Stojakovic’s XIX SE PE’s dressed in a Kings ‘away’ colorway. Below you can see Mike Bibby’s XIX Low PE that oddly game with elephant print toe boxes. I’ve always thought the XIX Low looked like a Team Jordan shoe.
JB kept Jason Kidd laced uppppp during his NBA career after he left Nike. These XIX SE PEs in New Jersey Nets color blocking shined just like the shoe’s toe box.
Jalen Rose even got a taste of the XIX SE flavor with a pair fit for his Toronto Raptors uniform.
When Gary Payton left Seattle for the Lakers his Jordan kick game leveled-up. These gorgeous golden beauties come in both SE and traditional forms with Gary’s number 20 on the back. Which pair do you like more?
Michael Finley’s XIX PEs will take us home tonight. With his Mavs jersey in mind, this pair comes in a clean white/ navy color block with Fin’s number and nickname on the back.