The XI IE low has always had mixed reviews from the casual user all the way up to the hardcore sneakerhead!
Some folks think that because it doesn't have the infamous patent leather found on XI's that it makes them less official, some go as far as saying they are bootleg!
One man can clear this fiasco up very quickly because he knows a thing or two about the XI, considering he designed it from start to finish! Here is what Tinker had to say about it;
“We were looking at how we could extend the original performance basketball shoe into something that could further the design, but turn into a low top…I wasn’t interested in an exact replica of a XI in a low top; I was more interested in doing a low top that was partly the Jordan XI, but fresher…I felt like [patent leather] was contrary to the summer feel…The shoe didn’t need to feel so stiff and heavy. For the summer, I wanted something that was lighter and easier to wear.”
The XI low wasn't just for casual summertime use either! MJ was spotted wearing them in the regular season, during the playoffs and even through the NBA Finals. In 1996 The NBA commisioner issued them as the official shoe for all refs to wear during games making it the first and only time NBA officials were using an active players shoe.
It has been a rough ride for this open aired low top but one question still lingers for many...... What does IE mean!? Here is what Nike had to say about it when a curious consumer asked on Twitter about the mystery:
We don't want to say @nikestore is telling us a lie or not giving out proper information but checking through the release logs there has never been an actual "Exclusive" XI Low colorway designated for Europe....... Seems like this mystery has yet to be fully solved.
In the meantime don't forget we have another very special low top coming this weekend and you can use our "SP11 PLUS+" to keep ANY XI safe from harm wherever you go.