Breaking Down New Air Jordan IX “Motorboat Jones”

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

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Brought to the "sneakerhead" community with as much hype as any series in the brand's history, Jordan's release of the Johnny Kilroy pack has been nothing short of a rousing success.

Taking advantage of the original marketing campaign, the brand has revived the Jordan IXs while introducing a new sect of collectors to Michael Jordan's alter egos. With five releases down, just one remains, the "Motorboat Jones" edition, and they will be released to the public on Dec. 1. 

As is the case with all Kilroy shoes, the Joneses are meant to represent one of MJ's alter egos after his first retirement. Jones' squad was known as the Billings Bandits and his colorway should spark even more nostalgia among the old-school Jordan fans.  

How do these kicks grade out as a whole? Here is a complete breakdown of the Jordan IX "Motorboat Jones." 


"Wow" Factor: 7/10

Holy red. There's no denying that's the first thing that comes to mind for anyone looking at the Joneses on first glance. They're a striking pair of kicks, almost as if their release in December was preordained to be a part of the Christmas holiday. If only the secondary color was green.

However, as we have it, the Joneses are equipped with the most standard of all color combinations, black and red. Set obviously as an original colorway because of the Chicago Bulls' base colors, the black and red have become easily the staple combination of the brand.

But where it's become standard for black to be a base and red to work as an auxiliary accompaniment, the Joneses flip the script. The black only shows up in the laces, in-sole and at the very bottom of the mid-sole.

Unfortunately, this color combination does not work nearly as well with the red as a base. The Joneses are eye-catching in the head-turning sense, but not in a way that makes you actually want to wear the sneaker.

In the shoe game, red is almost always best left as a secondary color and the Joneses are an exemplary example as to why.


Design: 6/10

While you can give merit to the designers' attempt to create an eye-popping colorway, it's hard to deny the Joneses are a pretty massive letdown. 

With all of the Jordan IX releases coming out this year, it's impossible for the designers to hit the mark on every pair. We've already had cringe-worthy releases like the "Olive" set, but have also had innovative brilliance with the Doernbechers

Quite frankly, the Joneses have same exact problem as the Calvin Baileys previously released with the Kilroy pack—it's a boring design. The brand essentially threw the same red color all over the shoe, only changing with the material used and added a little bit of black contrast.

The Baileys did the same thing, but their Warriors-like colorway works far better with simplicity than these. 

Like all shoes in the pack, adding the "Motorboat Jones" tag on the tongue was a nice touch. It just so happens that we've seen that five times previously and the novelty has completely worn off.

Considering the Kilroy pack wraps up with the Joneses, you would have thought Jordan would save the best for last. That didn't happen.


Overall: 6.5/10

For those who have already dropped the $800 on the previous five releases, the Joneses are a must-buy. There are no half-measures in shoe collecting and leaving the Joneses out just because you dislike the colorway would be an ill-advised move. 

In a sense, you're stuck.

Casual buyers, however, are not stuck and should avoid dropping the $160 on the Joneses. That is, of course, unless you're planning to dress up as Santa Claus and want to rock a pair of Jordans instead of the customary black boots. 

As it stands, the aesthetics of the colorway and relative laziness in design make these among the most unappealing Jordan IX release of the year.