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With MJ embracing retirement again, there was no hint that the Air Jordan line would take any similar bow. The Air Jordan XV instead payed homage to MJ’s stealth with a woven Kevlar® aramid fiber upper inspired by the X-15 fighter jet. Its tongue was also designed to protrude, as came to be expected in Jordan’s jaw-dropping plays.

Inspired in part by NASA’s X-15 fighter jet, the Jordan 15 arrived as the first official Jordan brand release that the then-retired Michael Jordan wouldn’t wear on the court. Like the Jordan 2, Tinker Hatfield designed the 15 with premium Italian shoes in mind and included a woven pattern on the upper. He looked to moccasins when designing the 15's high cushioned collar allowing for an easy slip-on.
The AJ XV was styled after the world’s fastest manned aircraft to date. Promoting it were athletic leaders in several fields. Supporting them was Michael Jordan himself, donning a business suit and pointing toward the future. The XV was brash and sophisticated and it would lead the charge into the next unapologetic chapter of Air Jordan.

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