The Air Jordan 13s were launched in 1997, right in the middle of Michael Jordan’s second ‘threepeat’ performance – winning three championship titles for the Chicago Bulls in a row. But this season was surrounded with rumours that it would be his last, along with coach Phil Jackson. This controversy surrounding the Chicago Bulls also spilled into MJ’s sneaker world, as the Air Jordan 13 was a release that divided fans!
The Air Jordan 13s were designed with the giant paw of a panther in mind, giving us that distinctive curvy outsole design. Tinker Hatfield is said to have thought of this idea from watching MJ on the court and noting that he waits to pounce like a large cat and, coinciding with his nickname “black cat” amongst his friends, this became the inspiration for the 13s.
The now-iconic silhouette turned some heads upon first release. Its large side panel covered in dimples was gorgeous and innovative to some, but ugly and cringey to others. But the design was striking to say the least, coming with thick bold colour blocking around the midsole and, in many colourways, with a coloured sole border that is just visible around the outsole of the sneaker. The Air Jordan 13 was also the first to feature its instantly recognisable holographic bubble logo – a colourful addition to the silhouette with a few nearly hidden additions in holographic form – a number 23, a basketball, and the jumpman logo.
But how do the Air Jordan 13s fit? Well, with the 13s it can actually depend which generation you’re buying from! The OG Air Jordan 13s – that is, the models released back during the original release window in 1997/98 – actually run true to size. However, the newer colourways and re-releases, like the retros, tend to come a little roomy. If you have wide feet, you’ll likely still get away with true to size, or if you prefer extra space in your sneakers! But for those with narrower feet or who enjoy a snug fit when all laced up, opt for half a size down, because these sneakers will be a bit big on you otherwise! Make sure to check out Laced who offer an amazing range of sneakers.