Introduction to

the Air Jordan 19

Air Jordan 19 White

When Michael Jordan retired from the Washington Wizards in 2003, it wasn’t the first time he had retired from basketball. It wasn’t even the second time! But this time it stuck. Jordan was 40 years old and ready to pursue other interests and promote his clothing brand. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that one of Air Jordan’s most forward-thinking editions was released the following year in the form of the Air Jordan 19.

AJ 19 Design and Features

To design the Air Jordan 19, Nike assembled a top-notch team consisting of Senior Designer Tate Kuerbis along with William Smith III, Josh Heard, Suzette Henri and Jason Mayden. They looked to the black mamba, one of Africa’s deadliest predators and one of the fastest snakes on Earth, for inspiration. The mamba, however, informs more than just the style of the shoe. Drawing on the snake’s blinding speed, the team produce one of the lightest Air Jordan models ever made.

The key to the 19s blend of style, comfort and high performance was the team’s adoption of innovative, high-tech materials.

Jordan 19
  • The upper featured a visually striking “shroud” made of a tough but extremely flexible material called Tech-Flex. Never before used in the construction of footwear, this braided sleeving was originally intended for use in electronics and automotive applications. Its unique properties allowed the upper to be unusually flexible without compromising support. The braided pattern of the material also recalls a snake’s scales, furthering the “black mamba” theme.
  • The soles feature a rigid carbon fiber support shank, a technology pioneered by Nike, which helps make the shoes more responsive.
  • A double-stack Air Sole in the heel coupled with a Zoom air capsule running the full length of the shoe made the 19s one of the most comfortable AJ models ever produced.

Despite the amount of innovative tech inside the 19s, they are known as a stylishly understated model, taking a touch of elegance from the patent leather used in the toe box and the way their futuristic materials allow for an unusually sleek, simple appearance.

Cultural Significance of the AJ 19

The Air Jordan 19 was the first model released after MJ’s final retirement. While Mike himself may never have had the chance to wear them on the court, the Air Jordan 19 has seen a lot of game time. Stars including Carmelo Anthony, Ray Allen and Jason Kidd have all worn the 19 in play.

Besides their appearance in professional games, Air Jordan 19s have also been featured on television, most notably in an episode of the Damon Wayans-headed show, My Wife and Kids, in which Wayans’ character, Mike, steals them from Jordan’s hotel room and later wears them to play against MJ himself, who makes a cameo appearance.

Jordan 19 Low Cement Grey

Collectability of the AJ 19

Of greatest interest to collectors is the highly sought-after Black/Electric Green limited edition that released in 2013. The limited run, called “Full Flex,” was part of Jordan Brand’s 28-day countdown to the release of the Air Jordan 28. Each day featured a small run of a previous model in the special colorway. This rare version of the 19, called “Full Flex” in the promotion, is the ultimate collector’s 19.

Jordan 19 Retro

Air Jordan 19 Colorways, Releases and Retros

The 19 originally released in five standard (mid-top), five low, and four SE colorways:

“West Coast” Black/White – Metallic Silver (standard)

Jordan 19 West Coast White Gold 2

“Midwest” White/Varsity Red – Metallic Silver (standard)

Jordan 19 Midwest Red White

“East Coast” White/Midnight Navy – Varsity Red (standard)

Jordan Usa Olympic East Coast White Red Navy

Low White/White – Black – Cement Grey

Jordan 19 Low Cement Grey

Low Black/Metallic Silver – Varsity Red

Jordan 19 Low Varsity Red Black

Low Neutral Grey/Black – Light Graphite

Jordan 19 Low Graphit

Low Obsidian/Vapor

Jordan 19 Low Obsidia

Low Cinder/British Khaki

Jordan Low Mocha

SE Olympic White/Metallic Gold – Midnight Navy

Jordan Usa Olympic East Coast White Red Navy 2

SE Black/Metallic Gold

Jordan 19 Retro

SE East Coast White/Flint Grey – Varsity Red

Jordan 19 Se

SE West Coast White/Metallic Gold – Varsity Purple

Jordan 19 Se Purple

Interestingly, the “regional” colorways (like West Coast) were originally released only in the associated region, making them a great way to diversify a collection. The SE “Special Edition” versions notably do not have the distinctive shroud, and instead have exposed laces more like traditional basketball shoes

The Air Jordan was re-released in Retro versions in 2008 (Bred) and 2019 (White/Flint Grey).

How to Care for Your AJ 19s

Whichever edition and colorway you choose, remember to keep your sneakers in a cool, dry place to avoid mold. For longer term storage, remove them from the original box and paper (the acid in the paper can cause yellowing over time). Place them in Ziploc bags with the air pushed out which will help minimize oxidation that can cause yellowing. Any sneakers kept in long-term storage should be removed from boxes and bags periodically (once a month or so) to air out and maximize the life of the insole.

Jordan 19 Se

Jordans Release Dates, News and Articles

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