air jordan 11 buyer's guide

June 22, 2021

The Buyer's Guide: Air Jordan 11

Morgan Baylis

Morgan is a writer and sneaker analyst based in Detroit, MI. He is the Content Coordinator of StockX.

After nearly 30 years of relevancy, it is clear the Air Jordan 11 is here to stay. We put together a buyer’s guide with all of the Jordan 11 information you need as you shop for your next pair. 

After nearly 30 years of relevancy, it is clear the Air Jordan 11 is here to stay. We put together a buyer’s guide with all of the Jordan 11 information you need as you shop for your next pair. 

This article is part 13 of 27 in the series: StockX Buyer's Guides

For the last decade, the Air Jordan 11 has been the crown jewel of Jordan Brand’s holiday collections, with a major release dropping practically every year around Black Friday. And every holiday that it has been released, it is met with the same stratospheric demand, instantly selling out.

The success of the 11 was not guaranteed from the start. It was released in a period of Jordan’s career where most signature shoes fell short of becoming cult classics like the Jordan 1, 3, 4, or 5. Plus its appearance differs from beloved 1980s color-blocked silhouettes. But time has met the Jordan 11 with the same love and appreciation. 

Also known as the Air Jordan XI, the Jordan 11 is now an icon in the Jordan line. With a little history and understanding, it is clear why it has stayed relevant for nearly 30 years. We put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide with all of the Jordan 11 information you need as you search for your next pair. 

Here is everything you need to know about the Air Jordan 11.

When Did the Air Jordan 11 Come Out?

Michael Jordan wearing the Air Jordan XI Playoffs (Image by Sports Illustrated)

The Air Jordan 11 first released on November 10th, 1995 for $125 and was an immediate hit. Its design was unlike any other shoe in the basketball market at the time. Most shoes were made of either leather or nubuck, but the Jordan 11 was the first basketball shoe to feature an upper made of a luxe patent leather and carbon fiber in the sole – a monumental moment for sneaker design.

According to Scoop Jackson’s Sole Provider: 30 Years of Nike Basketball, it was Michael Jordan’s choice to go for a sophisticated look, as he wanted to create a sophisticated basketball shoe that could be worn with a tuxedo. Its mesh upper with an exaggerated patent leather mudguard resembled spats (or spatterdashes if you want to be really formal), a common dress shoe found in formal settings in the early 20th century.

When Did Michael Jordan Wear the Jordan 11?

Michael Jordan wearing the Air Jordan XI Playoffs after winning his fourth championship (Image by Sports Illustrated)

MJ wore the Air Jordan 11 starting at the end of the 1994-1995 NBA season and throughout the entire 1995-1996 season, his best season as a Chicago Bull. That season, MJ led his team to a record-breaking 72 wins, won the regular season All-Star Game earning the MVP, and captured his fourth NBA Championship, where he was named the Finals MVP.

Key Colorway: Air Jordan 11 Concord

jordan 11 concord

Michael Jordan wearing the Air Jordan XI Concord (Image by Nathaniel Butler)

For many fans, the Air Jordan 11 Concord is the most renowned AJ11 colorway because it is synonymous with Michael Jordan’s return to dominance. MJ first debuted the Air Jordan XI Concord when he returned to the NBA from retirement at the end of the 1995 regular season. The first glimpse of the AJ11 coincided with Michael Jordan’s storied jersey number change to “45”, a decision he made when he vowed to never wear “23” again, as it was the last number his late father saw him play in. 

To match his updated jersey number, the first Jordan XI Concord featured “45” on the heel. MJ only wore this iteration for 22 games before the heel graphic was quickly changed to “23” when he switched back to his first, more renowned number. From then on, Jordan wore a Concord 11 with “23” on the heel for the entirety of the 1995-1996 regular season. 

The Concord has retroed three times since its original 1995 release, the most recent being in 2018, when Jordan Brand brought back the colorway in its original form with “45” on the heel. 

Why Are Jordan 11s So Popular?

jordan 11 columbia

Will Smith wearing the Air Jordan XI Columbia in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

Jordan 11s are popular today because they are one of the most versatile silhouettes in the Jordan catalog. With a patent leather upper, they can look good on the court, golf course, football field, street, or even with a tuxedo at a wedding. 

They are also highly coveted because they release far less frequently than other Jordan models. In the last ten years, Jordan 11s have only been released in their original mid-top form one or two times per year, usually around the holiday season.

Michael Jordan wearing the Air Jordan XI Space Jam in “Space Jam” (1996)

And you can’t forget  Space Jam, the highest-grossing basketball film of all time. Arguably the most significant Jordan game from the mid-90s wasn’t on a real basketball court. It was on the silver screen when Jordan and the Toon Squad played against the fictional Monstars, and the Jordan 11 was the sneaker Jordan wore to defeat them. To this day, the Space Jam colorway remains one of the most important in Jordan’s illustrious catalog.

How Much Do Jordan 11s Cost?

Today, the Air Jordan 11 typically retails for $220 for the mid-top version and $185 for the low-top. But due to frequent sell-outs, most buyers turn to the resale market to pick up their pairs, where prices can vary.

how much do jordan 11s cost

The chart above shows the average resale price for Jordan 11s and Jordan 11 Lows in the last six months. As you can see, both models are valued significantly higher than their retail prices, with Jordan 11s trading at $310 on average this year, and Jordan 11 Lows at $225 on average. After a dip in January, average prices for both categories were appreciating gradually over the first four months of the year. 

Then, in April, Jordan Brand did something unusual for a Jordan 11: they released two Jordan 11 Low colorways, the Legend Blue and Citrus, within a week of each other. In response to this sudden surge of new supply, average prices tanked, falling from $275 on average to just over $200 in a matter of weeks. This price correction has presented a great opportunity for buyers. If you are in the market for a pair of Jordan 11s but don’t want to break the bank, the Air Jordan 11 Low is currently quite accessible.

Conversely, the value of mid-top Jordan 11s has been unaffected by the recent flood of Jordan 11 Lows. Our data suggests that unless there is a sudden release before the holiday season, Jordan 11 prices will continue to climb as deadstock supply diminishes over time, presenting a good opportunity to invest in an appreciating asset.

The Takeaway

The Air Jordan 11 coincided with Michael Jordan’s return to basketball, and its technological and aesthetic innovations not only shifted the trajectory of the Air Jordan signature line, but footwear design as a whole. The XI has retained its popularity due to its versatility, exclusivity, and deep cultural connections to pivotal moments in Jordan’s career.

Like other highly coveted Jordans, the Air Jordan 11 can serve as both a stylish footwear choice and also a savvy investment. If you are looking for an accessible entry point, the Jordan 11 Low is a great option, and thanks to a series of recent releases, it is more accessible than ever before.