Yesterday (Apr.17) the Air Jordan XX9 was unveiled and as you can imagine they caused quite a stir. No matter how many retro releases Jordan Brand throws at us the yearly numbered release is a big deal as it is expected to parse style and performance in ways that other brands simply can't.


The shoe itself was designed using Nike's latest innovation which is a shape holding woven fabric. They've been alluding to this sort of form fitting breathable upper for a while now with their running catalog and its finally seeping into their basketball catalog. After the Nike Roshe Run and Nike Flyknit struck streetwear gold there was no turning back and one glance at the Jordan Future shows that their love affair with woven technology has only just begun.

Simplicity is a key principle of design and Jordan Brand has successfully carved away at the traditional basketball shoe to achieve something as sleek and durable as possible with this one piece woven technology. Remember when the Air Jordan XX8 dropped and consensus more or less became that if it didn't have the sheath it would be an overall better look? That was an allusion to this and with the middleman removed we find a shoe that feels like what was under the sheath yet still retaining the high resolution graphic qualities of the sheath.


Do I like the shoe? Absolu.. well, um. Honestly I can't say for certain. I like the shape of it and overall I like the notion of it. I do not like the oversized Jumpman logo colorway  at all. While it does allude to the endless possibilities that the new upper can achieve it just kinda looks like the big horse two button Polo of the Jordan Brand collection. The other colorway that Nike posted wades even further away from what I'd want to wear. Don't get me wrong its a gorgeous application of the new technology but the blocking feels like a half-hearted Nike iD design.

They've gotta use this technology for good (style) and not evil (performance). I mean sure its a performance model but you know, I don't play basketball so its form over function over here. The most performance I need from my sneakers is for chasing my four-year-old around a busy mall or dodging a mic cord while hopping around on stage.


That said there is a lot of room for this to be the first numbered Air Jordan shoe I've liked in a long time but as of right now I'm not really feeling the colorways at all. The nail in the coffin on this conversation is the Paisley pair that immediately flashes me back to John Witherspoon's mushroom shirt, belt and coat lining in 'Boomerang.'

I guess Nike just wants us to coordinate.

Additional Images: Sneakernews