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Jordan Retro 13 Shoes: Unleashing The Black Cat


Michael Jordan was a basketball player unlike any other in the world, so Jordan Brand set out to create a shoe unlike any other shoe in the world. While watching Michael Jordan play basketball, legendary shoe designer Tinker Hatfield was struck by MJ’s unique style of play.

Jordan’s game resembled that of a predatory cat. He had cat-like reflexes. His movements were smooth, sleek, and feline. And so Hatfield designed the AJ XIII with a predatory cat in mind. The shoe features a paw-like outsole pattern that is inspired by a panther’s paw print, and the hologram by the ankle represents a cat’s glowing eye.

When Hatfield presented Jordan with his design and idea for the Retro 13 shoe, the legendary player was stunned. As it turns out, Michael Jordan was nicknamed “Black Cat” by several of his closest friends as a child. Very few people knew of the nickname, and Hatfield had no idea of the personal connection to his design. Michael Jordan loved the theme and the accidental tie-in to his childhood.

An iconic shoe was born: the Jordan Retro 13 sneaker. The end result was a highly functional and outright beautiful design. The paw-like outsole pattern revolutionized the way sneakers were designed, with future outsoles also featuring natural design elements. The overall design scheme of the shoe itself became iconic and easily recognizable due to its truly original appearance.

The distinctive theme matched Jordan’s game perfectly. He represented the speed and prowess of a panther. He embodied a panther’s stealth and springiness, and he evoked fear into his opponents just like a panther evokes fear in its prey. The Retro 13 shoe is a rare instance of design, theme, and personality all combining to create exceptional footwear that works on multiple levels. And on top of all that, Michael Jordan’s on-court success took the shoe to even greater heights.

Michael Jordan wore the AJ 13 while bringing home his second three-peat. He won his sixth championship and retired as a champion yet again. Today, the Retro 13 shoe is one of the marquee sneakers in Jordan’s iconic lineup. The Retro 13 ‘Chicago,’ Retro 13 ‘Black Cat,’ Retro 13 ‘Bred,’ and Retro 13 ‘Barons’ are remain popular colorways.

Jordan Brand is blessing sneakerheads with plenty of Retro 13 shoes and slides, so make sure you grab a piece of history when you have the chance.


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