Breaking Down New Air Jordan XX8 Shoes

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 3, 2012

Photo Credit: Darren Rovell (@DarrenRovell on Twitter)
Photo Credit: Darren Rovell (@DarrenRovell on Twitter)

The 28th edition of the Air Jordan basketball shoe has arrived, and it is sure to cause a stir amongst shoe fanatics everywhere.

It's definitely going to be a love-it-or-hate-it type ordeal, because the new Jordan XX8s shy away from any form of conventionality and go to an unprecedented high-top-and-zipper zone.

If you're a sports fan and don't follow Darren Rovell on Twitter, you're missing out. One of the most well-known sports-business reporters around, Rovell was on the ball to post some pictures of the fresh kicks:

The Jordan XX8 with the shroud around the shoe pulled down…

— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) December 3, 2012

The inside of the Jordan XX8 is definitely unique…

— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) December 3, 2012

Well, it depends on what one considers the definition of "fresh" to be. In the sense of whether this new design is an attractive-looking shoe, I'm going to go ahead and say it's not fresh. A fresh perspective, perhaps, but not well-executed.

Nevertheless, let's break this classic brand down in the context of its latest contribution to shoe stores across the globe.


"Wow" Factor: 10/10

This may be more due to the shoes' unprecedented wackiness. People might have questions like, "Wow, is that a water shoe or a basketball shoe?" or "Wow, would Michael Jordan himself actually wear those at any point in his lifetime?"

I know not the answer to either of those, but if Aquaman wanted to step onto the hardwood, the superhero would probably wear some shoes like these.

Different strokes for different folks, though. People will buy them just because they're Jordans, no matter what they look like. Sure, collectors who are really thrown off by this new design may show some resentment.

All that's certain is it's going to be interesting to see what wins out between the probably negative reaction to this design or the brand.

As much of a debacle as I believe this shoe is, I feel as though the latter will.


Design: 3/10

Let's give it an "A" for effort to go in a different direction, but everyone can appreciate Air Jordans. The name speaks for itself, and there is a reason the shoes have endured as classics for years upon years.

This new design isn't exactly aesthetically pleasing to my eye. The zipper, stocking-looking cover may be suitable for Christmastime—is that what they were getting at?—but the initial pictures with the neon-green shoe make it all the more difficult to look at.

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will debut the shoes on Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets, according to renowned basketball blogger Trey Kirby:

Russell Westbrook is debuting the Jordan XX8 tomorrow against the Nets.…

— Taco Trey Kerby (@treykerby) December 3, 2012

It seems like that zipper add-on would contribute to the shoe's weight. If Westbrook can't utilize his second-to-none point-guard hops in a marquee matchup with Brooklyn's Deron Williams, then we'll know there's a problem.


Overall: 5/10

I can't design shoes or make them, so it's nearly impossible for me to knock these kicks too heavily, especially since they're part of the Michael Jordan brand. But they just look so goofy—to the point where you'd have to tell me that it was a basketball shoe.

The only saving grace: Maybe the higher-top shoe is comfortable and provides some stabilizing support to a player's ankle. Or something.

Again, the creativity is there, and it is an admirably bold move to drastically change such a successful shoe in its whopping 28th edition.

It just didn't work out, and I suspect that's what the general consensus will be across the board.