The Nike Hyperdunk brought about a Nike Basketball renaissance in 2008. The Air Jordan 2011 may just do the same for the Air Jordan.
Click [HERE] to find out why and how.
Though we take much of Nike’s recent success in the basketball footwear category for granted because of the brand’s history, from a span of about three years, from 2005 to mid 2008, Nike Basketball was suffering through a down period. After releasing the now legendary Nike Huarache 2K4, Nike Basketball struggled through the following three years mired in stagnancy by failing to innovate, inspire, and release anything new that lived up to the mighty 2K4. Though Nike still continued to release solid performance Basketball sneakers for LeBron and Kobe during this time period, nothing truly possessed the ability to shake the 2K4 from its lofty perch. Then came 2008, a year that literally turned everything around for Nike Basketball.
With the Summer Olympics on the horizon and with much of the Basketball world waiting for the Redeem Team to live up to their promise of bringing the Gold back to the USA, Nike unveiled the Nike Hyperdunk, a sneaker that once again captured the minds, hearts, and most importantly, the feet of the performance Basketball world. The Nike Hyperdunk was revolutionary, it embodied everything that Nike had always stood for. It was lightweight, a longstanding Nike footwear principle, and it introduced two new technologies that still drive Nike footwear three years later, Flywire and Lunar cushioning. Nike outfitted much of the Redeem Team with their newest creation and as the world watched, Team USA brought the Gold back home in the Nike Hyperdunk. The Nike Hyperdunk ushered in a whole new era of Nike court dominance and to this day, many of Nike’s most recent and greatest creations have, roots in the Nike Hyperdunk. Finally, with the Hyperdunk, Nike stepped out of its own 2K4 shadow and created the new standard in Nike Basketball.
While Nike struggled to get out of the shadow the brand created with the 2K4, Jordan Brand has struggled to get out of the shadow it created for itself through 23 years of being the most powerful, influential, and world renown sneaker lines ever created. When Jordan Brand decided to “end” the Air Jordan era by making the Air Jordan 23 the last in the numbered line of Air Jordans, the brand was in effect saying that it was going to create a new legacy. Considering the fact that the original legacy was tied to the greatest sneaker line and greatest Basketball player ever, this was not going to be an easy task, and as expected, the brand faltered through a couple of sub standard Air Jordans. That is not to say that the Air Jordan 2009 and Air Jordan 2010, the two Air Jordan released after the Air Jordan 23 were bad sneakers, they weren’t, they just weren’t what the Air Jordan community wanted and expected to see from the Air Jordan line. The Air Jordan 2009 and Air Jordan 2010 didn’t introduce much of anything that was truly new and innovative and most of all, neither sneaker lived up to the unbelievably high standards that the Air Jordan line created for itself. Then comes this year’s Air Jordan 2011, a sneaker that like the Hyperdunk, has the ability to change everything around for the Jordan Brand.
The Air Jordan 2011, like the Hyperdunk did in 2008 for Nike Basketball, brings back true and new innovation to the Air Jordan line. The inclusion of two sets of insoles, dubbed “Explosive” and “Quick”, that both feature different cushioning setups depending on the wearer’s style of play, introduces a true modularity that has never been done before in Air Jordan line by offering an interactive experience that far surpasses the “modularity” found in the Air Jordan XX1. Now granted, the Max Air and Zoom Air technologies utilized in the insoles are not new for the Air Jordan line, the concept of full cushioning Air Jordan modularity is. Where the 2009 and 2010 failed to bring anything really new to the Air Jordan line, the Air Jordan 2011 has.
Beyond the technological innovation that the Air Jordan 2011 brings with it, aesthetically, the Air Jordan 2011 reconnects the game shoe to its roots through design. The most memorable Air Jordan sneakers have always been known for their looks, looks that embody simplicity with a twist of attitude. The Air Jordan 2011 does just that. The Air Jordan 2011 features a basic two panel upper sitting on a midsole and an outsole. There are no pleats, no see through windows, no heels, nothing to detract or distract from the fact that the sneaker is an Air Jordan. There is nothing to think about. The Air Jordan 2011is simple, it is clean, it is an Air Jordan.
Now while Jordan Brand has managed to once again pique the interest of the Air Jordan community with the Air Jordan 2011, the sneaker can only truly be the brand’s “Hyperdunk” through continued innovation and a continued focus on the core principles and legacy of the Air Jordan. As we have seen through recent pictures of upcoming colorways of the Air Jordan 2011, it appears that Jordan Brand is doing just that by stepping outside of the traditional White/Black/Red palette to bring some attitude, some flavor, back to the Air Jordan line, something the Air Jordan line had sorely lacked since the Air Jordan 23. Jordan Brand can not stop there though, the Air Jordan 2012 must now carry the torch handed to it by the 2011.
The Air Jordan 2011 is a start, a great start, and while there may have been other factors that contributed to the overall success of the Hyperdunk, the fact of matter is, the Hyperdunk stood as a symbol of rebirth of Nike Basketball. The Air Jordan 2011 can to, stand as a symbol of rebirth of the Air Jordan.
Written By: [@MaZe1eR]