Initially released during Michael Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls, the Air Jordan XIII has gone down as one of the more popular iterations of the legendary shoe series. Well, in an effort to start 2013 off with a bang, the Jordan brand has decided to re-release the Jordan XIII as part of its Bred series on Jan. 12.
As most in the "sneakerhead" community know, re-releases under the "Bred" moniker are nothing new for Jordan. The team re-released the Jordan IV in November to rousing success and did the same with the XIs right around the Christmas holiday.
Nonetheless, the Jordan XIII "Bred" release will arguably come with the most conversation of all the previous iterations.
Though loved by many, the XIIIs have a design that's oftentimes divided opinions on the shoe's merit on the Jordan hierarchy. Some view it as one of the brand's best iterations, while others would sooner forget it exists altogether.
Where does this release fall on that spectrum? Here is a complete breakdown and grades for the Air Jordan XIII "Bred" shoes.
"Wow" Factor: 8/10
Equipped with the classic Jordan black and red colorway, the Jordan XIII Breds are meant to evoke nostalgia, and they do that with rousing success.
First and foremost, the hologram is back. Placed on the back right heel, the hologram is a beloved favorite among collectors and is the true calling card of these shoes. It's not too often an afterthought in design distracts from the shoe itself, but this is certainly one of those rare occasions.
As for the remainder of the shoe, the XIIIs have always been among the more polarizing Jordan brand designs. Those who love the mesh on the upper adore it, and those who aren't a fan absolutely despise the look.
When coupled with a suede varsity red, the Bred XIIIs are definitely an eye-popping pair of kicks that stick out even with a standard colorway. Though a polarizing look, the designers certainly did their job recreating a shoe that will bring forth a ton of conversation in the "sneakerhead" community and catch the eye of some casual looky-loos as well.
The Breds aren't wow-worthy in the same way the Jordan XX8s were upon their unveiling, but they're certainly a conversation starter.
There are only a select few times in life where mesh is an appropriate part of a clothing item—and a pair of basketball shoes isn't one of those instances.
In the case of the XIII Breds, the mesh almost makes the shoe look like it has small polka dots aligning its upper to the naked eye. And with the suede-like varsity red and stark black leather also working as a contrast, the XIIIs simply have too much going on aesthetically.
It's almost as if the designers had a bunch of ideas they thought were good and decided to throw them all on one pair of kicks. Surely, if you're a fan of the mesh look with sneakers, your overall design grade may be higher.
That's why these are largely considered a divider in the "sneakerhead" community.
Still, it's very hard to completely bash a design that gave us the hologram. Though it's hard to find many redeeming qualities with the overall design, the hologram is an iconic piece of Jordan folklore that keeps from totally failing. It's memorable, eye-catching and, most importantly, really, really cool.
If you're in the middle about the XIII's design merits, the hologram is something that should push you over to the positive side. For me, it simply keeps the kicks from garnering a failing grade.
If you're someone who loved the original XIIIs, the Breds will certainly satisfy your desire for a re-release. They mostly stick to the script and come with the essential hologram on the heel that we've spent so much time lauding. Any collector worth his or her while has a pair of XIIIs, and if you don't feel like scouring eBay for an original, the Breds are a worthy successor.
On the other hand, the decision for casual buyers comes down to whether or not the shoes are aesthetically appealing. The Bred XIIIs are a great basketball shoe and would work just find for on-the-court play, but the design is undoubtedly polarizing.
As one could probably surmise, I'm not what you would call a fan. The mesh creates a double-take effect, but not in the way desired, and the suede accentuation pushes the design risks too far.
With a $170 price tag and a high demand, causal buyers are better off passing on the Bred XIIIs and grabbing a cheaper, more aesthetically pleasing option.