Michael Jordan retired from the NBA in 1998, challenging Tinker Hatfield to design a shoe that would be both commemorative and forward-looking, but never actually worn by Jordan on the court. The inspiration for the unusually shaped silhouette came from the X-15, a 1950s record-breaking rocket plane. The XV features a speed-lacing system, woven Kevlar upper, and a large mesh tongue that juts forward, mimicking Jordan’s habit of thrusting his tongue out while he’s on the court.