While the designs raised the bar and were a staple in street fashion, what truly made original Jordan shoes special were the memories Michael created while wearing them. Free-throw-line dunk in the “Cement” Jordan III; first championship in the “Infrared” VI; Gold Medal in the “Olympic” VII; winning his first post-retirement championship on Father’s Day in the black and red Jordan XI; and his last shot as a Bull in the Jordan XIV. These are just some of MJ’s career milestones that tie in with particular Air Jordans.
Part of the reason the recent Jordans don’t always have the same connection with the public is because Michael isn’t around to sway our opinions. So it’s always fun when we get a rare glimpse of him wearing his new sigs, be it out in public or attending a basketball practice. That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday, when Michael hit the court with his Charlotte Bobcats.
Seen here are images of Michael practicing with the team he owns in the Black/White-Anthracite Air Jordan 2011. It’s not quite the same as watching Michael burn Craig Ehlo in the black Air Jordan IV, but it is nice to see His Airness rocking the shoes that bear his name. Gerald Wallace, D.J. Augustin, Coach Paul Silas and others are also sporting the Jumpman on their feet.
Available: Air Jordan 2011
via Press Release
After months of waiting, the Jordan Brand officially unveiled the Air Jordan 2011 today. The 26th shoe in the Air Jordan series is described as one of the most technologically advanced the brand has produced and will be available nationwide on February 17th for a suggested retail price of $170.
Continuing to raise the bar in terms of design and performance, designers Tinker Hatfield, Tom Luedecke and the Jordan Brand team incorporated innovative technology and premium materials into the design of the Air Jordan 2011. Topping the list of those features is the inclusion of interchangeable red and blue midsoles, as well as the first-ever use of handcrafted Patina leather on a performance basketball shoe.
“The Air Jordan 2011 continues the franchise tradition of setting the benchmark for superior performance and design,” explains Hatfield, Vice President, Special Projects and Creative Design for Nike Inc. “As a Brand, we recognize that athletes want a shoe that is truly an extension of their various styles of play and efficiently responds to their individual and environmental cues.“
At the Santa Monica Jordan Brand x Sole Collector Event last October, Tinker mentioned the fact that future Jordan models would continue to pull from the past, but would be constructed with handcrafted, organic materials. For the Air Jordan 2011, the uppers are made with rich handcrafted Patina leather. Each shoe is carefully finished with a hand-burnishing process, ensuring each and every design is unique upon completion. The constellation-inspired design is symbolic of Jordan Brand’s status as a universal brand.
The Air Jordan 2011 will also place emphasis on performance, encouraging athletes to rethink performance with the inclusion of interchangeable midsoles. For a quick, responsive ride, the blue midsole features forefoot and heel Zoom Air units. Explosive athletes will prefer the red midsole, which includes a ¾-inch Air Unit and Cushlon midsole.
“Each year I challenge the Brand to push the envelope in all aspects of the creative process, including design, technology and the overall performance of the shoe,” says Michael Jordan. “The AIR JORDAN 2011 is representative of where we are headed as a Brand in 2011 and beyond. With each passing year, Jordan Brand will look to challenge the way the footwear industry and consumers think about performance, and consistently look to improve upon where we have already been.”
Here’s a detailed look at the Air Jordan 2011, including a couple of tech sheets near the bottom. The Air Jordan 2011 will be available at Eastbay on February 19th.