The Air Jordan XI model was designed by Tinker Hatfield. While Jordan was still pursuing a career in baseball, Hatfield designed the shoe in hopes that Michael would eventually wear it if he returned to the NBA.
The Jordan XI was meant to stand out with a fusion of performance and style. Taken from the world of high-end mountaineering backpacks, the condura nylonupper gave the Air Jordan XI model lightweight durability. Further innovation came with the use of a carbon fiber plate on the sole of the shoe, that can be seen underneath the clear outsole, which gave the shoe exceptional torsional rigidity. The most visually distinct aspect of the shoe was its shiny patent leather mid and toebox. A material long used in the fashion industry, patent leather was extremely lightweight, when compared to genuine leather, and also tended not to stretch - a very useful property to help keep the foot within the bounds of the shoebed during quick direction changes on the court.