The Air Jordan XXXI has been officially unveiled. We happened to be in Las Vegas this week and were able to participate in the Jordan Brand event and pickup an early pair of the Jordan XXXI – USA colorway.
Here are a couple of the highlights from the press release…
When Jordan’s footwear arrived during his rookie season, it shared with the world some of its namesake’s tradition-breaking bravado. A black and red colorway violated the league’s uniform policy, earning a stern letter from league officials and generating a $5,000 fine each time the player wore the shoes on court. “Around this time, if you knew anything about Nike…Nike stood on this kind of rebel behavior,” recalls Jordan Brand VP Howard “H” White, in reference to the runners and tennis players connected to the Swoosh. “This Jordan, that color of the Air Jordan I, kind of galvanized that universal scope.”
The Air Jordan XXXI represents a balance of Jordan Brand’s tradition of game-changing performance and its transcendent style: lightweight support for the world’s highest-flying athletes, including Russell Westbrook, and rich material details that exude an off-court sensibility.
The shoe’s first-of-its-kind Flyweave and leather upper incorporates a number of iconic Jordan elements, reintroducing the original Air Jordan “Wings” logo and a subtle Swoosh — not seen on a Jordan shoe since the Air Jordan I and the first time it has appeared alongside a Jumpman logo. And in its launch colorway the Air Jordan XXXI pays homage to the “banned” story.
Informed by Jordan himself, the Air Jordan XXXI also follows on a tradition of low-profile cushioning. “He needed to feel closer to the floor — that was his thing,” recalls White of the origin of Jordan’s desire for low-to-the-ground sole units. As such, the Air Jordan XXXI features FlightSpeed technology with full-length Zoom Air that enhances court feel, responsiveness and lateral support. “We really wanted to focus on propulsion in the forefoot, so when you’re coming down you’re engaging the FlightSpeed with the Zoom Air bag,” notes Kuerbis.
The Air Jordan XXXI “Banned” will be available globally September 3 in select retail stores and on Jordan.com. Stay tuned to @Jumpman23 on Instagram and Twitter for more information on the Air Jordan XXXI.
The second installment of the KOBE 11 Muse Pack is designed by Tinker Hatfield, honoring Kobe’s ascension to greatness with inspiration from Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan III.
Here it is… the Jordan 29 SE… I mean the Jordan XXX. After the first look, everyone is saying it is an enhanced version of the 29 and you can’t blame them. The tech in the out-sole and mid-sole is basically the same. The upper is basically the same fly-weave from the 29 as well. BUT… is this a bad thing? The 29 is one of the best hoop shoes on the market so… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
However, for the Jordan 30… you would have expected a bit more innovation, right? I mean, they knew the 30 was coming. According to the press release, Michael asked Tinker in Feb 2015 to design it? That kind of feels like their plans changed mid-way through and they didn’t have much time to re-tool. Tinker has also pointed out that this isn’t the first time they have kept things the same. On models 3-5, the mid-sole didn’t change all that much either. All in all, I’m not too overly concerned. The Jordan XXX is going to be a great hoop shoe.
Read some of the excerpts below from Jordan’s press release:
The start of the design process, however, tied to a significant, if lesser-known, date: a bitterly cold weekend in February 2015, when – during a pre-birthday party dinner — Jordan asked long-time design collaborator Tinker Hatfield to spearhead the design of the anniversary-marking shoe. “The next morning I drew a shoe,” Hatfield recalls, “because I knew I was in deep trouble. We had no time. Then I realized it wasn’t good enough to sketch a shoe. I asked for that particular photo of Michael in the slam dunk contest and then I drew.”
The photo in question, which featured MJ in the open lane, rising to the hoop, ball cocked behind his right ear and legs tucked under his body, activated Hatfield’s memories of 1988. It spurred the designer to add his own illustrations to the familiar image. The resulting artwork, which recapped Jordan’s history in unconventional ways, in turn inspired the shoe.
An “XXX”, signifying 30, transformed into a basketball net. Stars symbolized the athlete’s otherworldly talents and planets orbiting the Jordan universe took on surfaces — elephant print or carbon fiber — related to innovations initiated by past Jordan models. Elaborating his drawing, with help of fellow designer Mark Smith, Hatfield broadened the Jordan narrative and formed the story of the Air Jordan XXX, one that references a storied yet timeless lineage with an eye towards the future.
He also recalls that Jordan’s singular demand was to “make it look fast,” a request augmented by the “XXX” graphic that wraps the heel and extends through the forefoot.
Since the brand’s inception, material interplay has also been critical to the success of Jordan silhouettes. Likewise, a proprietary mix defines the upper composition of the Air Jordan XXX, which debuts an exclusive mix of woven, knit and printed materials.
Another trademark of later Jordan silhouettes is a smooth toe piece. “Michael has always been very infatuated with the toe-down look of a shoe,” notes Hatfield. A prime example can be seen on the XI, where the patent extends up the vamp so gracefully that its protective properties appear almost as an afterthought.
The Air Jordan XXX will be available globally on February 12, 2016 at select retail stores andJordan.com.
Here it is, the end of an era. Today Nike announced the final on-court Kobe shoe. The colorway is titled, Achilles Heel, and is a stunning red, black, and gold. This model looks a lot like the Kobe 8 & 9 and in my book, that isn’t a bad thing. We are also hearing rumors that there won’t be an Elite or High Top version of the Kobe. That probably means they are going to push out a ton of colorways. I hope they revisit some of the classic colorways for this final release.
The upper is made of an enhanced fly-knit which they are claiming is perfect for hoops as it has a plastic yarn woven in for flexibility and strength. As long as it isn’t rigid like the Kobe X, it should be just fine.
The cushioning is a full-length Lunarlon insole with a drop-in zoom bag which should work well. The forefoot section of the Lunarlon has grooves in it to increase flexibility.
The traction pattern is new with a multi-dimensional pattern that looks decent but we need some more info before we can judge the effectiveness.
All in all it looks great and yes, I’m more sad about the shoe line ending than Kobe’s career ending. I think they will still push out shoes under the Kobe brand but like we saw with Jordan, it isn’t the same.
We have also seen a few other colorways release today which look promising. This Kobe XI model – Achilles Heel – is scheduled for release on Jan 9, 2015. I haven’t seen a price point yet but I imagine they will be $199.