Christmas is near and that can only mean one thing — the annual Air Jordan 11 holiday drop, of course! Yes, the Air Jordan 11 is back, this time in what is being dubbed the “Gratitude” colorway, and set to drop on Saturday for a retail price of $230.
Can’t wait.. Air Jordan 11 “Gratitude” Need a pair ? pic.twitter.com/ewYk9LzHVV— KicksOnFire (@kicksonfire) December 4, 2023
The Air Jordan 11 is a shoe I would say even the most casual sneakerhead is familiar with. It was the shoe that was on Michael Jordan’s feet when he returned to the No. 23 against the Magic in the 1995 Playoffs after a swipe — literal and figurative — from Nick Anderson, for the famed 72-10 season with the Bulls, when he kicked off his second three-peat, and for the cinematic classic Space Jam (the OG version). What more needs to be said?
The Air Jordan 11 is one of, if not the best, Air Jordan models of all time. As I noted when I wrote up last year’s holiday AJ11 release, the 11 was designed by design GOAT Tinker Hatfield, who considers this model his greatest work. Despite being most associated with the 1995-96 72-10 campaign, the 11s actually made their debut early, during the 1995 NBA Playoffs as MJ’s Bulls took on the Penny-Shaq Magic. Jordan was given a sample pair and loved them so much that he decided to wear them on the court — and famously share them with good friend Ahmad Rashad — despite Tinker specifically asking him not to since they weren’t ready for release and wouldn’t be available for many months. Hysteria ensued, including the NBA taking umbrage with the original sample colorway not matching Bulls colors and fining MJ — and a legend was born.
The shoe is distinctive thanks to its patent leather mudguard, an innovation Jordan had been asking Hatfield for over the years, paired with a ballistic mesh upper, icy translucent outsoles and a carbon fiber shank plate. Not only was the design practical for on-court play, with the pattern leather helping to keep MJ’s foot from rolling over along with the carbon fiber plate providing additional torsion support, but they shined off the court as well. People have worn them to proms, weddings and most famously Boyz II Men wore them to the Grammys. These were sneakers that could be worn with suits — which MJ predicted despite Tinker’s disbelief. And to think, none of this would have happened had Tinker not disobeyed orders to abandon the Air Jordan line while MJ was still riding the bus as a minor league baseball player.
As noted above, the Air Jordan 11 has become a holiday tradition since 2008, with drops including Space Jams, Concords, Breds, Jubilees, Cool Greys and Cherry Reds. This year’s drop is special in its own way. Dubbed the “Gratitudes,” SNKRS says “this release of the AJ11 is a “Thank You” to our day ones and those committed to carrying the Jordan legacy forward.” The release also harkens back to the famed DMP 11s from 2006, which dropped as part of a special pack with the DMP Air Jordan 6s, honoring the shoes MJ wore to kick off each of his three-peats in Chicago. Of course, the shoe features a white and black color scheme, with gold accents on the Jumpman, the 23 on the heel counter and in the carbon fiber. That’s not to say they’re a straight re-release as there are some notable differences, such as what SNKRS calls a “luxe leather” replacing the ballistic mesh on the upper for an elevated feel, as well as the translucent outsole taking on more of a milky appearance. This tweet below helps illustrate some of the differences.
2023 Air Jordan 11 “Gratitude” vs. 2006 Air Jordan 11 “DMP” (thread) pic.twitter.com/NVUb0tOsy9— Nice Kicks (@nicekicks) December 5, 2023
The Air Jordan 11 is always a popular release, and as per usual it appears as though a high quantity of pairs have been manufactured in an attempt to meet demand as closely as possible. There have already been shock drops and exclusive access, so I would imagine these should not be too hard to pick up. If you have nostalgic feels for the DMP pack or simply just can’t resist the beauty of a near Concord colorway, you can’t go wrong picking up a pair of the Gratitudes. Best of luck to all looking to pick up a pair!
Air Jordan 11 “Gratitude” Release Details
|Air Jordan 11 Gratitude
To see more of this month’s releases, check out our release date calendar.