Breaking Down New Air Jordan IX 'Calvin Bailey' Shoes

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2012

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Nostalgia has been the name of the game of late with the Jordan brand, as it will continue to roll out the retro Jordan IX "Kilroy" pack with the release of the "Calvin Bailey" shoes on Nov. 10.

Inspired by the marketing campaign that coincided with Michael Jordan's first retirement, each release is meant to be the signature shoe of one of His Airness' aliases during that time period. The "Kilroy" pack began with its namesake, Johnny Kilroy, and has continued over the past couple of months to the delight of the "sneakerhead" community.

With each release continuing to garner more and more excitement, the designers will be under massive pressure for the Baileys to live up to the hype. 

How do these kicks grade out? Here is a complete breakdown of the Jordan IX "Calvin Bailey" shoes. 


"Wow" Factor: 7.5/10

When hearing that a shoe has a royal blue base like the Baileys, it stands to reason that most "sneakerheads" would expect an eye-popping pair of kicks.

Well, despite the colorway certainly standing out in the crowd, these are actually a pretty standard pair of Jordans. Adorned with a Golden State Warriors-like look, these certainly wouldn't look bad on someone like Stephen Curry as he drains a three-pointer on the outside.

Unfortunately, the huge Warriors fans are likely the only group of people that will fall in love with these shoes. It's commendable that the designers somehow kept the royal blue and university gold together without being gaudy. 

However, while simplicity is the way to go in most instances, that isn't the case when you have a colorway that just screams for outside-the-box thinking. 


Design: 7.5/10

The Johnny Kilroy pack has been mostly a mixed bag thus far in terms of jaw-dropping colorways, but has always done its justice in attention to detail.

While the designers certainly did another solid job here, one cannot help but feel like it's getting a little stale. Sticking to the Jordan IX blueprint and the overall alter-ego theme is a must, but the designers missed the boat on what could have been an innovative pair of kicks.

Instead of simply using the university gold color to accentuate the blue, it very easily could have been incorporated into the design better. As it stands, it looks like they just threw the gold color in there to avoid the release being called Smurf shoes or some other clever nickname.

Nonetheless, you still have to respect the commitment to detail within the Kilroy universe. Still, the stitching of the Calvin Bailey name into the tongue is right in line with what we've seen with previous iterations.

Essentially, the designers just missed the boat on what could have been a really unique color scheme. 


Overall: 7.5/10

If you're a collector and have already spent a pretty penny on the Kilroy pack, these are obviously a must buy to complete the set. Or for the rabid Jordan brand fan who just so happens to wear a ton of royal blue, these could be a nice fit.

However, your average casual buyer won't find much use out of these kicks. Obviously meant to toe the line between on-the-court and off-the-court wear, these certainly do the trick for the former, but not the latter.

Neither the design nor the colorway are aesthetically pleasing enough to make these kicks a worthwhile buy. And when you consider the price of $160, it just becomes too steep to recommend.

Still, the quality of the Jordan IX sneaker and comfort wearing these kicks keeps them from being a major disaster.