Colourway Corral: Jordan Brand Go Back to ‘Laney’ High School
When creating a new colourway, Jordan Brand have made it a priority to reference pivotal and sometimes niche moments from Michael Jordan’s storied past. Whether it’s the college he attended, the famous ‘Shattered Backboards’ or his college fraternity – Jordan Brand definitely enjoy an esoteric MJ reference. In 2023 though, it seems the team over at Beaverton have been looking to the GOAT’s earlier years, specifically his time at Emsley A. Laney High School. The Air Jordan 1 ‘Reverse Laney’ touched down in mid-February, and now Jordan Brand are gearing up to retro the AJ14 ‘Laney’.
Michael Jordan graduated from Emsley A. Laney High School in 1981, where, as a senior and after averaging a triple-double, he was named a McDonald’s All-American. Jordan’s legacy hasn’t left the school either, and in 1996, Laney renamed their gymnasium after the six-time NBA champion. They even used to have a glass case that housed the GOAT’s high school and college game-worn jerseys, which were stolen a decade ago but later mysteriously returned. Nowadays, Jordan’s game-used paraphernalia is kept under strict lock and key. More recently, in 2019, Jordan gave the school upwards of $1 million to help with the athletics department and various other school improvements.
Nowadays, the Laney colours of blue and gold are instantly recognisable to any Jordanhead and have made for some crisp colourways over the years. Today, it’s come full circle – the Air Jordan 14 was one of the first to don the scheme, and in 2023, it will see a release again!
Air Jordan 14 ‘Laney’ (1999, 2015)
When the Air Jordan 14 debuted in 1999, there were six OG colourways, and it was actually the first Jordan signature silhouette to release after MJ retired from the NBA for a second time. One of the original combos was dubbed ‘Royal’ and was retroed for the first time in 2015 with the new ‘Laney’ moniker. As with any OG Jordan colourway, the ‘Laney’ AJ14s are highly sought-after, hence the upcoming hype for the 2023 retro.
Air Jordan 5 ‘Laney’ (2000, 2013)
The Air Jordan 5 ‘Laney’ initially touched down in 2000 and was the first Jordan Brand silhouette to directly pay homage to Michael Jordan’s alma mater. It boasted OG colour-blocking with a full-white leather upper, blue midsole and subtle hints of yellow throughout. Thirteen years later, Jordan Brand decided to bless the ‘Laney’ with a retro, but there were some differences between the pairs. The major being that the Jumpman logo on the heel was changed to black alongside the inside tongue tag, which had its hue switched, while the lace lock also sported yellow branding.
Jordan Sixty Plus ‘Laney’ (2009)
Jordan Brand’s Sixty Plus model tends to be forgotten in the modern sneakersphere (it did release in 2009, after all). Shortly after its release, a ‘Laney’ colourway landed, which took obvious inspiration from its AJ5 predecessor.
Jordan 2010 Team and Outdoor ‘Laney’ (2010)
In 2010, Jordan Brand were celebrating their 25th anniversary and wanted to go large with their release of the Jordan 2010. This model was designed by Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith, and the large, circular translucent window was particularly jarring. There were also two alternate versions of the silhouette called the Team and the Outdoor. To help celebrate the momentous occasion, Jordan brand adorned each in the ‘Laney’ scheme.
Jordan Flight 45 ‘Laney’ (2013)
The Jordan Flight 45 was a unique model released in 2010 that featured an ultra-high-top construction and bulky mid-foot strap. Three years after its initial release, the Flight 45 was coated in a ‘Laney’ scheme. Although it almost didn’t qualify for this Colourway Corral thanks to the heavy use of ‘Cool Grey’.
Air Jordan 1 ‘Laney’ (2013)
Following the success of the Air Jordan 5s, there was no doubt in Jordan Brand’s mind that another retro model with ’Varsity Maize’ and ‘Game Royal’ would be welcomed by sneakerheads with open arms. The Air Jordan 1 ‘Laney’ graced shelves in 2013, arriving in a premium mix of a suede base and leather overlays.
Air Jordan 1 Low ‘Laney’ (2013)
What would an Air Jordan 1 High be without its low-top counterpart to keep it company? The year 2013 was big for the ‘Laney’ colourway, touching down in a multitude of silhouettes, which included the AJ1 Low!
Air Jordan 5 JSP ‘Laney’ (2019)
The Air Jordan 5 ‘Laney’ popped off in 2000 and 2013, so why not run it again in 2019? That was precisely Jordan Brand’s thinking when they employed the scheme on the AJ5 once more. This time, it was branded as a JSP (Jordan Special Project) and boasted reverse-esque colour-blocking, with ‘Game Royal’ dominating while ‘Varsity Maize’ supported.,
Air Jordan 1 ‘Reverse Laney’ (2023)
A whole decade after the original ‘Laney’-coloured Air Jordan 1 touched down, Jordan Brand decided to drop another that featured the crisp ’Varsity Maize’ and ‘Game Royal’ tones. This time, they opted for a ‘reversed’ version, flipping the blue and yellow to make for a crisp women’s-exclusive edition.
Air Jordan 14 ‘Laney’ (2023)
The latest ‘Laney’-themed colourway is on Michael Jordan’s 14th signature model for the Summer 2023 Retro collection, and it will come correct in a mostly blue suede upper with subtle hints of gold – more reminiscent of the Jersey Jordan wore during his actual high school years. This pair is slightly different to the ones released in 1999 and 2013, thanks to its slightly taller construction.
Enjoy that? Read Colourway Corral: ‘White Cement’ here!