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Jordan 101: The Air Jordan XX2 Takes Flight to the Extreme

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By 2007, Michael Jordan was officially long-gone from the NBA court. But that didn’t mean that year’s Air Jordan model couldn’t be as serious a performer as ever. With an aggressive and stealthy design, the Air Jordan XX2 made sure the legacy lived on—with a vengeance. Continue to read up on everything you need to know about the twenty-second Air Jordan model in this edition of Jordan 101.

The Basics

The Air Jordan XX2 released in 2007—on Michael Jordan’s 44th birthday, February 17th— for a retail price of $175. Along with its standard hightop which released in four colorways, the XX2 also came in a lower ‘5/8’ version as well as a ‘PE’ edition with a modified ankle support strap and special colorways with sky lines from the cities of a few Team Jordan NBA players. All releasing in 2007, the XX2 would be “retroed” only one year later in 2008’s Countdown Pack series.

Deadly Design

The XX2 was designed by D’Wayne Edwards, who also did the XX1 one year earlier (read up on that model here). The stealthy design was greatly inspired by the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. The most advanced military aircraft ever, the missile-launching F-22 is able to reach a top speed of 1500 MPH and is designed to elude enemy radar. Translating the deadly jet into a shoe, Edwards detailed the XX2 with a sleek silhouette, streamlined leather upper, zig-zag stitching mimicking patterns on the F-22’s body, rear ventilation, and a reflective camouflage pattern at the heel. Lastly, the use of titanium for the lace eyelets, lace lock, and midfoot shank finished out the jet-inspired design.

Tactical Tech

The most notable technology of the Air Jordan XX2 was the use of titanium, the high-strength but low weight metal that was used for the top lace eyelets, lace lock and large midfoot shank plate. Just like the Air Jordan XX1, the XX2 also utilized IPS (Independent Podular Suspension) with an interchangeable Zoom or encapsulated Air pod in the heel for custom cushioning. For extra support, the shoe featured an extended diamond-shaped heel counter to help prevent heel roll. Like the rear exhaust of a fighter jet, the XX2 was completed with ventilation panels at the heel to keep your feet cool.

Basketball-ified

One version of the XX2 got more than just a special colorway, it got a complete makeover with the use of basketball pebbled leather for its entire upper. Playing off how the Spalding basketballs used by the NBA say “Official Game Ball”, the basketball XX2 has “Official Game Shoe” lasered on the black suede heel panel.

PE Editions

Mentioned earlier, the Air Jordan XX2 had special “PE” editions featuring the skylines of five cities embroidered and lasered on the side panels for the respective NBA teams of Team Jordan players. The collection included a Detroit for Rip Hamilton; Denver for Carmelo Anthony; Dallas for Josh Howard; Atlanta for Joe Johnson; and Seattle for Ray Allen. There were also two East and West colorways for the all-star game, as well as two more basic black and white colorways.

Air Jordan Dramatics

The XX2 featured one of the most memorable ad campaigns for post-2000 Air Jordans, thanks to the baroque styled commercial featuring a very dramatic game winning dunk. Classic.

Stealth Mode: Activated

Much like the F-22 jet fighter in the air, the Air Jordan XX2 has remained a deadly secret in the Air Jordan line. It’s packed with high-performance technology in a sleek and aggressive design, but the shoe has remained an underdog when it comes to picking favorites within the Air Jordan lineage. Perhaps this closer look at the tactical XX2 can help it garner some new loyal followers.