Though all sneakerheads are anxiously awaiting the Oct. 6 arrival of the "Johnny Kilroy" Air Jordan IX shoes, there are very few consumers in 2012 who actually know the significance of Kilroy.
Spurred by Michael Jordan's first retirement in 1993, Kilroy was a fictional character/alias for His Airness drawn up by the Nike marketing team when trying to create buzz for the Jordan IX's original release.
Like seemingly everything involving Jordan and Nike, the marketing ploy created a firestorm. First it was a genius commercial starring Steve Martin as an investigative journalist, which eventually led to Kilroy even getting his own basketball cards.
For kids in the early 1990s, Kilroy was the ultimate alter-ego and certainly served as a precursor to Jordan's acting prowess in the box-office hit Space Jam.
Needless to say, these shoes have not only the Jordan brand name to live up to, but also to the marketing scheme that spurred the product's release. And, certainly at a $160 retail price, the Kilroy's also must justify their exorbitant cost.
How did they do? Let's take a look at how these sneakers grade out.
"WOW" Factor: 7 out of 10
For fans of the Oakland Raiders, these kicks may serve as a perfect gameday compliment to a black-and-silver jersey, but to an average fan, the Kilroys are rather drab.
With a black on metallic silver design, these are rather simple and understated. Perhaps if you are fan of dark-colored shoes, these would totally be up your alley.
However, for the average fan, the design of these shoes will mostly be met with a shrug. They are not hideous, nor do they make an ill-fated attempt to create a splash by throwing two mismatched colors together.
Unfortunately, simplicity and class is not going to make anyone's head turn around when you're walking down the street.
Design: 7.5 out of 10
In an age where flash is often emphasized over actual designing smarts, these sneakers serve as a classic look for someone not looking to stand out in the crowd.
For those purposes, these are a perfectly successful pair of Jordans.
Nonetheless, it's a little disappointing that the colors were not more successfully integrated together. Other than the silver worked in around the laces, it feels that the designers could have taken some extra time to make these feel more cohesive.
What's commendable about the design, however, is its commitment to the Kilroy brand. From the stitching to at the tongue of the shoe to the No. 4 adorned on the back, this is undoubtedly a full-fledged effort to make a true Kilroy shoe.
It's indisputable that if you were a fan of the Kilroy campaign, that you will love these kicks.
Overall Swag Grade: 7.5 out of 10
What is your grade for the "Johnny Kilroy" Jordan IX?
Although these are must-buys for any ardent collector or a child of the early 1990s who remembers Kilroy fondly, there are far better Jordan options for the casual buyer.
Other than the ties to Kilroy, there is nothing particularly exciting or noteworthy about these kicks, and that's a big disappointment.
If you're looking for these simply as understated casual wear, then they could suffice. However, if you are looking for some flash to go with your pair of sneakers, it may be better to look elsewhere.
Jordan is a great brand and these are undoubtedly a comfortable pair of kicks. The design just is not on par with the iconic looks we've come to expect.