Since the inception of Air Jordan 1 back in 1985, Jordan Brand has been on the forefront in developing new performance footwear with innovations that are seldom seen beyond the aerospace industry. With an unofficial motto of “basketball shoe tailored for flight”, the franchise introduced the first Visible Air cushioning in the AJ III, the first use of carbon-fiber with its AJ XI, and the new Flight Plate technology in last year’s Air Jordan XX8. Today, the House that His Air Airness built official unveils its next innovation, the Air Jordan XX9 with the first-ever performance-woven upper.
A sign of changes to come, Jordan Brand decided to unveil the Air Jordan XX9 during a worldwide media gathering today in New York City, rather than the usual venue in February. According to the Larry Miller, President of Jordan Brand, this makes the launch of Air Jordan XX9 more align with the upcoming basketball season. Miller added “Our mission is laser-focused: We want to provide the absolute best performance products to our athletes, from elite high school athletes to professional players competing for championships. By shifting to a fall launch, we ensure players around the world will have the very best in performance and style available as they prepare for the season.”
Inspired in part by Italian craftsmanship, designers at Jordan Brand toiled over a new material, one that was strong and supportive, capable of abrasion resistance yet lightweight and breathable. After countless prototyping and tries, the team, with help from some state-of-the-art weaving machines, came up with the innovative woven upper that is capable of fulfilling all four criteria. In his presentation this afternoon, Tinker Hatfield, Vice President of Creative Concepts, stated “This year, our inspiration and challenge to ourselves was to create the best performance basketball shoe ever—and I think the XX9 and the performance-woven upper pay that off.”
Just a single layer of material with no appendages, no adhesion components, or any other layering design, the Air Jordan XX9 is made from a series of Flight Web tunnels, with each providing a certain level of resiliency while maintaining a lightweight, sock-like feel to the overall design. And thanks to a redesigned Flight Plate, along with a Nike Zoom Air insert within the forefoot and a Pebax plate at the heel, the Air Jordan XX9 not only cushions impact but actually returns some that energy back.
Comes in two colorways— Black/White-Gym Red and Black/Team Orange-Dark Grey, the Air Jordan XX9 will be launching this September, in time for the new basketball season.
Release Date: September 2014