As I said last month when I wrote about the Women’s Air Jordan 11 “Midnight Navy,” I think the Air Jordan 11 is the greatest sneaker of all-time and Tinker Hatfield agrees. It’s now become a holiday tradition that Jordan Brand releases a colorway of the icon in December and this year is no different, as the Air Jordan 11 will return in a “Varsity Red” colorway on December 10 for a retail price of $225.
Air Jordan 11 Retro “Cherry”— JustFreshKicks (@JustFreshKicks) November 25, 2022
December 10th pic.twitter.com/Yo7SiK2ICM
On the SNKRS app, they get it right. “Let’s cut to the chase — the AJ11 is all-time.” No lies detected. When the Air Jordan 11 debuted during the 1995 NBA playoffs during the Bulls’ series against the Orlando Magic, they caused an uproar. MJ wasn’t even supposed to wear them — Tinker specifically asked him not to since they weren’t ready for release — and in a callback to his early Nike days, the NBA took umbrage with the original sample colorway not matching Bulls colors and fined MJ. This even forced him to wear a pair of Penny Hardaway’s sneakers for one game — although MJ being MJ, he cut off Penny’s number 1 on the heel tab.
By the next season when they were ready for retail the shoe became an instant hit. MJ had been asking for years for something like what Tinker brought him in the Air Jordan 11. Not only did the build help MJ on the court, 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. These were an instant classic and actually an improbable story. Tinker actually went against orders in designing the Air Jordan 11. MJ was still off playing baseball when he began the design process and the higher-ups at Nike thought the Air Jordan line was done. Thankfully, Tinker believed MJ would hoop again and was ready for the GOAT’s return to the hardwood.
Some notable colorways released recently as part of the Air Jordan 11 holiday tradition include the Space Jams, Concords, Breds and Cool Greys. Now, these were four of the most desired colorways of this legendary sneaker. This go around, Jordan Brand is dropping a “What If” colorway. MJ never laced up an Air Jordan 11 colorway like the White/Varsity Red during his playing days with the Bulls (in fact, they initially released as a low), but he did have notable White/Red colorways in the subsequent Air Jordan 12 and Air Jordan 13.
This year’s holiday release has all the classic trademarks of an Air Jordan 11. It features the Cordura nylon upper in white with white leather on the back of the upper, a patent leather mudguard (this time in red) with a matching back heel tab and Jumpman logo. It also features a translucent outsole with red accents and a red and black checkered carbon fiber plate.
Best of luck to all looking to pick up a pair.
To see more of this month’s releases, check out our release date calendar.
Air Jordan 11 “Varsity Red” Release Details
|Air Jordan 11 Varsity Red