Back in 2000, the Eastbay Holiday catalogs were very, very lit. 2000 was a pivotal year in sneaker history, as we were beginning to see Nike retro some of our favorite shoes like the Air Jordan V, VI and XI for the first time. On the flip side, sneaker brands were dropping innovative new technologies and designs. Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson were dominating the NBA, but Air Jordans were still as popular as ever. Flipping through the old holiday catalogs, there are way too many sneakers to write about in just one blog post, so here are some of the highlights I think are the most memorable from the three Eastbay Holiday catalogs that dropped back in 2000:
Air Jordan XI Retro
It has become a yearly tradition for sneakerheads around the world to pick up the latest Air Jordan XI retro that drops every holiday season. Back in 2000, the Air Jordan XI returned for the first time since its debut in ‘95-’96. The classic ‘Concord’ colorway dropped in late October that year, and then the ‘Space Jam’ color released December 13th. I was extremely hyped, and I made sure to secure a pair of the Concords. It’s my favorite sneaker ever, and the retro was as nice as the OG in my opinion.
Air Jordan VI Retro
Along with the AJ XI retro came the first retro of the Air Jordan VI in both the black/infrared and white/navy colorways. The sample pair of black/infrareds featured in the Eastbay catalog is notoriously nicknamed the Butchered 6,’ because it features reverse infrared colorblocking on the outsole. The white/navy color was not an OG colorway, so it was the first time this version released.
Air Jordan V
As you can see, it was quite a season for Air Jordan retro releases, as the AJ V returned as well in a new white/silver/black colorway and a white/maize/royal color, which was inspired by Michael Jordan’s high school jersey. Before the ‘Laney’ 5’s came out, I had no idea where MJ went to high school, so this was a great storytelling colorway for Jordan Brand.
Jordan Jumpman Super Freak
One of the greatest wide receivers of all time – Randy Moss – was one of the first Jordan Team members. His sneaker, the Super Freak, featured a full-length Zoom Air sockliner and a zip-up upper. It was a gorgeous sneaker that a lot of people would love to see retro.
adidas The Kobe
By 2000, Kobe Bryant was a massive star in the league and had his own sneaker line with adidas. Designed by Eirik Lund Nielsen, the sneaker was inspired by the sleek, sporty Audi TT. At the time, adidas utilized adiPRENE+ cushioning and a 3D Torsion system for stability. The Kobe released November 3rd for $124.99. Sadly, the Kobe 2 would not fare as well and ultimately led to Bryant leaving adidas and eventually signing with Nike.
Reebok The Question
Even though Allen Iverson’s first signature sneaker had dropped four years earlier, it was still as popular as ever in the year 2000. High school and college teams could get the sneaker for a discounted price of just $79.99, and the Question came in basically every colorway imaginable. There was also a low version available for $69.99.
One of the greatest advancements in technology was Nike’s Shox line, which debuted in 2000. Nike unveiled a running sneaker called the Shox R4, a basketball sneaker called the Shox BB4, and a training sneaker called the Shox XT4. All three silhouettes featured urethane columns, aka “Shox,” for impact protection and energy return. Most notably, they were worn by Toronto star Vince Carter initially, and over the next few years most college and pro players rocked them at some point.