The Air Jordan XII was inspired by Nisshoki (the Japanese flag), and a 19th-century women dress boot. However, featuring gold-plated steel lace loops, embossed lizard skin pattern and a full length zoom air unit with a carbon fiber shank plate, this model set a new direction in style and technology in shoe design. Though not as light weight as previous models, the construction and firmness of the shoe is widely considered to be the most durable and sturdy shoes from the Air Jordan line. The first model released after the creation of subsidiary Jordan Brand, the Air Jordan XII has no Nike branding on it of any kind, while all the models before it have Nike Air or other Nike branding outwardly (Air Jordans I-VI) or just simply on the insoles (Air Jordans VII–XI). This shoe came in 5 colorways and was released on March 13. The shoe was re-released on December 25, 2008 with the Eleven as the final countdown pack. In addition, the Twelve was combined with the Thirteen numbered Jordan to produce the 12.5. As of today, the 11/12 countdown package (retro) retails for US$750–US$800, well above the starting price of US$310. The Air Jordan XII has been subject to many highly limited colorways recently such as the Air Jordan 12 x PSNY collaboration, the Wings colorway that was limited to 12,000 pairs, and the OVO collaboration.
The Air Jordan XII was originally released from 1996 to 1997. It was retro-ed in 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011–2013, and 2015–2018.