Air Jordan XI vs XIII

In this review of the Air Jordan XIII retro and Air Jordan XIs, we’re going to take a close look at two of the Air Jordan Project retro trainers. We will compare, review and break down each trainer to see which we think is better. We will be taking a close look at the traction, comfort, performance and style of each to help you decide which one you like best.

A Quick Look at the XIII’s

The Air Jordan Retro XIII’s are a throwback to the classic Jordans produced by Tinker Hatfield. His unique Panther design makes them really stand out from the rest with the paw print soles and cats eye holographic logo embedded in the heel. The high top design, once broken in, guarantees comfort and security. This shoe also features a solid midsole plate to add the strength you need to the middle of the foot without compromising flexibility.

A Quick Look at the XI’s

Air Jordan Retro XI’s are the remake of the much-beloved trainer worn by Michael Jordan in the film Spacejam. The easily recognised shoe was also designed by Tinker Hatfield and has become one of the best-known trainers in the range. The shoe is covered from front to back in patent leather and features a ballistic mesh topper. This shoe also has a plate in the sole for extra support but this one stretches the whole length.

Comparing Style

Both Trainers in this section have something special that singles them out from the rest of the range. The iconic Nike Air Jordan XI’s are recognised everywhere for being the trainer of one of the greatest children’s basketball movies of all time. The shiny patent leather makes them really stand out on the court. The Air Jordan XIII’s hold their own on the style front with a very individual look. Hatfield modelled the trainer on a panther. The soles of the shoe have a panther paw print shape and the holographic logo on the side symbolises an eye.


The Air Jordan Retro XIII’s feature a slightly sunken hounds tooth trackpad. This gives a few small issues when first breaking in the shoes due to a lowered grip on the ground. Once the sole around the trackpads has worn down the traction is brilliant in any direction. The Jordan XI’s are grippy from the first wear. The soles themselves are quite sticky and will attract debris from a dirty court or outside but this can be brushed off very easily.

Fit and Comfort

Comfort and fit are a very important factor to take into consideration when buying your trainer. After the initial break-in period, they need to be snug and comfortable. The Air Jordan XIII’s feature a midsole support plate to give the extra midfoot strength and stability. It is noted that buying a half size smaller is recommended with the XIII’s as they are known to be produced a little big. Once settled into them they are a great tight fit. The Air Jordan XI’s feature a full-length air unit to give excellent levels of comfort and impact softening when playing. The Patent leather and mesh topper lock the foot in place perfectly and give all the necessary support. These shoes run to size.

Durability Assessment

If you’re paying good money for a pair of trainers you want to know that they’re going to last. The combination of leather and ballistic nylon mesh of the Air Jordan Retro XI’s are excellent materials for durability. The trainer won’t wear as quickly as other materials and looks good for longer. The Air Jordan XIII’s have been known to have a slight problem with the colour bleeding on the sole of the shoe. Another issue is what seems to be a splitting leather. This actually isn’t the case, the PU coating on the leather starts to crack. It doesn’t look great but they are still solid shoes.


After taking a look at these two iconic trainers we are left with a few lasting impressions. The Jordan XI’s have got that Spacejam look so many will remember and feature a wonderful air cushion support combined with great durability. They are a fantastic trainer all round but do lack a bit in the support department. The Air Jordan XIII’s have an amazing panther style not seen before. The grip, once broken in is excellent and the lockdown and fit are very supportive. The only real issue is the durability of the coated leather, they will start to look worn out quickly.


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