UPDATE: This is the one we have been waiting for Flight fans, the new XX9 is only mere hours away from hitting shelves, and consequently our thirsty feet. But the toss-up, which colour to choose? Whatever side of the line you decide, look to find both dropping at select stockists commencing tomorrow, Saturday September 6, including Nike.com and Foot Locker.
Today at a special media event held in NYC, Jordan Brand finally pulled back the curtain on the Air Jordan XX9. Representing a 'Tailored for Flight' ethos, the two main technological elevations to note are the evolved Flight Plate technology, which first debuted on the XX8, and the upper which – extending from Flyknit – has been woven specifically for performance needs. Four key elements were considered when creating the upper; structure, support, interior comfort and exterior abrasion resistance. Designer Tinker Hatfield feels that they've been able to infuse all four into the single piece upper. 'In the past, we’ve drawn inspiration from myriad places—everything from fighter jets to motorcycles—and have ended up with some pretty fun designs along the way,' said Tinker Hatfield, Vice President of Creative Concepts. '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.'
The first offering actually comprises two editions of the model, that although both have the same silhouette, look as though they have completely different weave patterns, perhaps to demonstrate the versatility of the weave technology. Both sport the traditional JB/Chicago Bulls scheme, one features an elephant pattern in panels and a collegiate 23 woven into the heel, while the other is more of a dense black situation with an oversized Jumpaman logo flanking the heels and an icy outsole chilling most down below. Hard to say which is our favourite, we would have to see them live and direct first, but we're leaning towards the giant Jumpman at this stage.
In recent years Jordan Brand has unveiled the latest instalment in the signature Air Jordan franchise in February, however this year an April launch was selected to align more closely with the beginning of the basketball season. '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,' said Miller. “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.' Noted Jordan Brand President, Larry Miller.
We've gotta say, after seeing the unveiling of the shin-hugging XX8, the XX9 feels quite subdued. But this is only the beginning, and we get the inkling that once colour is fed into the loom and the PE and special editions start popping out, the true potential of the XX9 upper will be realised.
The Air Jordan XX9 launches this September in two colourways— Black/White-Gym Red and Black/Team Orange-Dark Grey. Check out the video and image gallery above and stick with us for more details as they come in.
– Originally posted on April 18th, 2014.