In October 1993, Michael Jordan shocked the world when he announced his retirement from Basketball at the age of 30. 1993 was also the year when the Air Jordan 9 was released. The Jordan 9 was equipped with the dynamic-Fit huarache-like inner bootie, encapsulated Air-Sole unit (forefoot), large volume Air-Sole unit (heel), polyurethane midsole and “one-pull” lacing system.
In his own words about the Air Jordan 9’s design, Tinker had said:
“The Air Jordan IX represented the globalization of the Air Jordan brand name. Everybody around the world wanted to be like Mike. Take a close look at the soles of the shoes, we designed the different languages around the world that describe the sporting spirit of Michael Jordan and what he has done for the world of sports.”
Even though the shoe design was started back in 1992 by Tinker and Nike, it was almost as if the shoe was an ode to the athlete calling it quits for good. The shoe at its time of release was only available in 4 colorways at a retail price of $125. The low-tops of the silhouette did not surface up until 2002.
The back of the Air Jordan 9 was a “Rising Sun” with the Jumpman logo. Throughout the outsole of the shoe, there are words in different languages that embody the very spirit of Michael Jordan:
– Uhuru (Swahili) – “Independence”
– Cвобода (Russian) – “Freedom”
– Cпорт (Russian) – “Sport”
– Athletisch (German) – “Athletic”
– Muundaji (Swahili) – “Hope”
– Intenso (Italian) – “Intense”
– Liberté (French) – “Freedom”
– Anmutig (German) – “Graceful”
– Fuerza (Spanish) – “Force”
– Dédié (French) – “Dedicated”
Michael Jordan Statue United Center Chicago Air Jordan IX called “The Spirit”Imagine all the hype surrounding the Jordan 4’s, 1’s, 3’s and 5’s but when asked what shoe should be on the statue of Michael Jordan in front of the United Center in Chicago, Tinker said the Air Jordan IX, because the shoe represented MJ being a “global superstar”. MJ’s statue at the United Center immortalized the shoe, as much as it did Mike himself.
The Jordan IX also served as the base shoe for the baseball cleats created for Michael Jordan in Black leather with white accents when he switched to playing minor league baseball.