The AJ II shared a silhouette with the Nike Air Python that released in 1987, including a faux lizard skin upper and swooping lines that resembled those of a sports car (which would factor prominently into the Jordan line in years to come). Known among sneaker collectors as the first “luxury” basketball shoe, the AJ II paved the way for the heat that would accompany the Air Jordan III.

In the testing phase for the AJ II, Jordan wore a prototype that featured the upper of the original Air Jordan fused with the cushioning of the AJ II. The new edition included a full-length Air-Sole unit meant to add extra cushioning for Jordan’s sore feet. He only got to wear the AJ II for 18 games due to a broken foot.

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