by Jarrel Harris
The Jordan Brand has officially unveiled the latest silhouette in Michael Jordan’s iconic signature line, the Air Jordan XXX2. Following in the steps of the Air Jordan 1 inspired Air Jordan XXX1, the 32 draws its inspiration from the Air Jordan 2.
While it mimics the Air Jordan 2's retro model design, the 32 is built for the modern age of basketball sneakers and is the first signature Air Jordan model to feature a Flyknit upper alongside premium leathers.
The Air Jordan XXX2 pays homage to the AJ2 in numerous ways, such as the luxury leathers and shaping. The Peter Moore designed Air Jordan 2 launched in 1986 and went in a different direction after the Air Jordan 1 model. Jordan wanted a sneaker that could not only be played on the court but one that was crafted to be worn off the court. The brand went to Italy with the thought in mind to create the first luxurious basketball sneaker crafted with fine leathers. It forever changed how we look at style and performance models in today's game.
“We’ve always explored new materials and technology to create the best game shoe," Michael Jordan said in a press release. "That was evident when we went to Italy to make the II, and it still rings true today. On the XXXII, we challenged our designers to push the limits while staying true to the brand’s DNA.”
The Air Jordan 32 looks to be another major innovative step for the brand. It incorporates an unmasked Flyknit upper with high-tenacity yarn that combines stretch, support and zonal lockdown. The Flight Speed technology makes its return and has been a performance favorite due the explosive lift it gives players—see Russell Westbrook for an example.
"With Jordan shoes, we obsess the style in a way that puts many of the performance elements under the hood, so to speak,” said XXX2 designer, Tate Kuerbis. “For example, I wanted to make the laces just disappear into the knit structure, but inside there is a whole harness system with webbing that really locks down your foot."
I tried on the Air Jordan XXXII a few weeks back, and it is arguably the most comfortable sneaker from the brand I have ever worn. The flyknit combined with the support from the heel pad makes it a beast on the court. As always, MJ had the last word on the sneaker and even forgot to take them off during a trial test before heading outside to the store. They are that comfortable.
I must say I love what the Jordan Brand is doing, drawing back from their rich history to create newer versions that are fit for today’s age. Prior to this current design inspiration model, the Air Jordan 30 lacked inspiration and didn’t really hit well with consumers. The Air Jordan XXX1 linked perfectly with the history of the Air Jordan 1, and the storytelling was refreshed for the younger generation that never knew what made the Air Jordan 1 such a special shoe. The XXX1 is one of the greatest basketball silhouettes of all-time and the XXXII has all the tools to be even better.
Will the XXX3 follow suit?
When asking if the Air Jordan XXX3 would draw inspiration from the Air Jordan 3, the brand designers looked at me and smirked. Nothing more.
For the first time, the Air Jordan XXXII will launch globally in a mid and low version. The AJ XXXII Rosso Corsa colorway will be available on Sept. 30 while the AJ XXXII Bred mid and lows launch Oct. 18.