The Air Jordan XII was originally released in 1996. Like many Air Jordan sneakers, its design inspiration came from outside the world of basketball. In this case, it was the Japanese Rising Sun flag, with the stitching on the side panels representing the sun's rays. The Air Jordan XII was also the first Air Jordan to feature Zoom Air technology and sport the "TWO 3" style on the tongue. Because of its extreme popularity, the Air Jordan XII has been re-released several times and is now available in an array of colors.