It’s the Shoes, Money! The History of Air Jordan’s (Part 2)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abr_LU822rQ]

As we left part one, we went through the early history of the Nike sneakers endorsed by Michael Jordan. The gym shoes that could go for thousands of dollars, depending on the rarity, have been a Sneakerheads dream for over 20 years now and now have even more to look forward to with the 25th anniversary sneaker endorsed by all-star Dwyane Wade.

The second half features a wide-ranging, array of designs, features and different looks that we had not seen before from the Jordan brand. So without further adieu, I bring you Jordan’s 13-25.

Air Jordan 13

They say this one was inspired by a panther, but I think they’re just reaching for comparisons now. There are holograms on each shoe that feature a basketball, the number 23, and the ever popular “Jumpman” logo. These shoes were the last Jordan’s to see an NBA championship by MJ and it would be the next year that we would see Jordan retire for the second time.  Panther?  Nah.  But Cougars Love them!

Air Jordan 14

 

It’s at this point the designers at Nike decided  you know what, I want the opening of this sneaker to look like a vagina, and there you go. The next two Jordan’s feature exceedingly long back ends while the front is sleeker and as I originally thought when I first saw the sneaker, it was modeled after the Ferrari which not only answers the question of why the unique design, but also why the opening of this shoe resembles a vagina.

Air Jordan 15

 

I think they went a little overboard on this one. These are regarded by many as the ugliest Jordan’s to date and you can do nothing but agree. These shoes are “Fugly” and it’s doubly disappointing considering that we’re used to the Jordan brand putting out some of the nicest sneakers in the game. There isn’t much else to say because of the bland design and the ridiculous looking opening at the top. I’m sure many hoped there would be an improvement after this atrocity.

Air Jordan 16

Well we certainly got something different, it’s An improvement  . . . which is not saying a lot considering, but I have one question “Where the hell are the laces?”  Although folks were happy to get away from the previous incarnation, this design was universally panned as well.  Many felt it looked as if this shoe was wearing a poncho. Overall though it is a nice performance sneaker and was a huge step up from the 15’s.

Air Jordan 17


This was modeled supposedly after an Aston Martin, the flow of Jazz, and the innovation of the Jordan history. I just say who cares, give me the shoe. The design is interesting, and unique, which is a plus, but there is just so much going on in one shoe. This was by far the most expensive Jordan shoe to date at an MSRP of $249.00 on release day.  It also came in a metal box, and packaged with a CD. This shoe was special though because of the fact that Michael Jordan had returned to the court for his final bow. Joining the Washington Wizards and proving that even at 40, you can still beat up on little kids.

Air Jordan 18

This shoe just puts me to sleep.  It’s a very simple design and while simplicity works in some aspects as we have seen a number of times from Jordan brand, but this one just gets too simple. It’s at this point where we see a new head designer as well and starting off like this isn’t exactly getting off on the right foot. It is different, but they needed to go a little more all out on this shoe. This was also the last shoe Michael Jordan wore on the court as he retired for the last time.

Air Jordan 19

Very similar to the 16’s, these Jordan’s also featured the strange netting on the front and not laces. It’s definitely a step up from the 18’s as they went from too simple to just enough. While the shoe on the outside wasn’t as appealing as many others, it was when you wore it that mattered. These were the lightest and most supported shoes of any of the sneakers and were widely endorsed by new members of Team Jordan since the great one’s retirement. It now becomes prominent to see NBA players wearing the sneakers.

Air Jordan 20

I remember the day these came out – everyone was jonsing for them, totally craving them. Easily one of my favorite sneakers of Jordan brand, the design was so much more different from the others that it just struck me. We also saw the previous designer that had done the previous shoes before the 18’s. The strap provided ankle support and the designs on the cover were phenomenal. It’s easily one of the best shoes of the second half of the Jordan brand and left a lot of expectations of what was to come.

Air Jordan 21

A new designer is clear in this one as we see something completely different from the previous sneakers that came out. The inspiration is supposed to be that of the Bentley Continental GT which you can somewhat see midsole when you compare it with the grill of the Bentley, but otherwise else all I see is a shoe.  It’s a sleeker look that the earlier Jordan’s, which by this time were considered quite retro, in demand and extremely valuable!

Air Jordan 22

It was said that the inspiration here was the famous “Air Supremacy” Stealth Strike Fighter the F-22 Raptor jet. I think you can see this especially at the base, as where the rubber hits the road is a stealthy gray and if you look quick can almost give the wearer a bit of a “Floating” look. This is a fantastic basketball shoe as the sole really allows you to stick to the ground which speaks volumes  of Sneakerheads and their ability to understand that  sometimes Jordans were meant to ball in and not just to show off ballin’.

Air Jordan 23

This shoe is..ummm..different?  The style is so strange that I don’t even know what to say. It is considered to be the most comfortable of all the Jordan’s, but the design is so weird that it takes a lot away from it. It is easily the most unique of any of the Jordan’s and doesn’t even look like it would be made by Nike. There’s a thumb print of Michael’s on the tongue which is nice, but otherwise else this shoe just freaks me out.  Very alien and area 51 inspired – even in color!

Air Jordan 24

The most recent of the released Air Jordan’s, it was viewed as “Nothing Special”, likely because the anticipation surrounding the 25th release.  Upon a closer inspection though it’s a very handsome and high performance addition.  Had it been in the mid teens it likely would have enjoyed for more attention and popularity.

It reminds me a lot of the 21’s because of the design on the top that features a bump on the outside. It provides a lot of support for a basketball player and appears to be more of a players shoe rather than than the casual sneakerhead who wears the Jordans mostly for show.

Finally . . .The Air Jordan 25 is set to come out tomorrow -February 13  -and there is no doubt it will be met with eager anticipation and wide grins from sneakerheads basketball players and the “Sneakerati”  alike.  The Jordan brand also offers many variations including the six rings, Spizikes, and Teams which feature many other designs. It’s probably going to be valued at least at $300, but these things are recession proof . . . and besides Michael Jordan needs your money.

To read Part 1 of this feature click here.

None of you are safe.


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