The new post-Jordan generation was led by young players like Quentin Richardson
and Darius Miles, and they entered the NBA
wearing the shrouded Air Jordan 16 (Air Jordan XVI). The idea of the design was on-court/off-court—wear the shroud to the court, take it off before you play—but plenty of players kept the shroud on. Jordan Brand encouraged the style somewhat by embroidering names and numbers on the shrouds rather than the shoes themselves. And they weren’t just for the youngsters — Ray Allen
and Reggie Miller
and Michael Finley got theirs, among others.
Underneath the magnetic-snap leather shrouds, the Air Jordan 16 was all business, with a mesh-infused upper (sort of proto-Hyperfuse) capped off by a squared-off, dress-shoe like patent leather toe for both protection and shine—perhaps reflecting the boss’s new businessman/business, man status. With the patent hit and the translucent outsole, especially in the introductory black/red colorway, the Air Jordan 16 (XVI) harkened back to the Air Jordan 11 (XI) — not a bad idea to get things back on track. It also featured Visible Air, the first Jordan since the Air Jordan 6 (VI) to do so, and the very first to feature it in both the forefoot and heel. They were a legit shoe both on and off the court.
And while again the Air Jordan 16 (XVI) released in plenty of non-Bulls
colorways — a mustard yellow and “Cherrywood” amongst them — again the reception for the “lifestyle” versions was tepid at best. Of course, not long after those colorways disappeared from outlets and sale shelves they became coveted and began fetching premium prices. And they’ve only become harder to find. As of 2012, the Air Jordan 16 has only been retroed as part of the CDP packs (collectors got them along with the “Hare” VII whether they liked it or not). Of the post-Tinker Air Jordans, these would be the most welcome.