Back when Michael Jordan was playing, the Air Jordan line was not only appealing from an namesake standpoint but also for providing the pinnacle of performance when it came to basketball sneakers. Lately the brand has shifted focus, appealing to those who have little use for features like carbon fiber midfoot plates and more to those concerned with the colorways available. In 2012, Jordan Brand had something for everyone this year; whether you’re a hooper looking for an edge on the court or a sneakerhead who is into the latest or most exclusive.
Starting with the Air Jordan 2012, the goal was to bring the Air Jordan line back to to forefront of performance. With two different insoles and three different midsole sleeves included with every pair, players were given the chance to adjust the type of ride they got out of their pair. The higher-than-most quality leather was accented by the wingtip design on the toebox. This is honestly another sneaker that won’t be fully appreciated until a few more years pass. The Jordan Super.Fly was one of the highlights of the year for Jordan Brand, and some would say it served as the inspiration for this year’s series sneaker redux in the Air Jordan 2012 Lite.
Retro releases will likely sell no matter what, but this past year Jordan Brand opened the vault wide open for consumers and proved that no Air Jordan is safe. Classic sneakers were brought back such as several Jordan XIIs and the Air Jordan IV in both the ‘Cement’ and ‘Bred’ colorways. Now an annual tradition, another Jordan XI dropped in December but while my money was on the ‘Columbia’ pair, the ‘Bred’ XI returned once again and was greeted like it has never seen a Retro release. New colorways of previous Air Jordan silhouettes were introduced but the ‘Johnny Kilroy’ Jordan IX set easily stole the show.
When it came to the Lifestyle division of Jordan Brand, the Son of Mars hybrid was a favorite and the Flight 45 was surprisingly popular thanks in large part to the budget-type pricing the shoe carried in comparison to other Jordan Brand sneakers.
After losing Dwyane Wade, one-third of the signature models that Jordan Brand had to come up with was cut leaving just Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul to focus on. With both of the premiere Jordan Brand athletes on the Team USA roster for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the platform was as good as any to debut the Melo M8 Advance & CP3.VI; their signature sneakers for the upcoming NBA season.
Next year in 2013, I expect to see updated versions of the current signature sneakers for Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony and even for Jordan Brand to develop a signature line for one more NBA player. Also with the Air Jordan 2013 getting a head start as far as exposure goes, expect to see some crazy prints on that high shroud.
Jordan Brand Kourt Kicks Champion of 2012: Monta Ellis
Even though Ellis doesn’t have a Jordan Brand endorsement, you wouldn’t be able to tell due to the amount of Air Jordan Retros the shooting guard laced up in 2012. This was a hard choice with players like Nate Robinson and Ray Allen breaking out Jumpman heat on a night-to-night basis. When 2012 started, Monta was a member of the Golden State Warriors and was limited to a few Jordans that matched the team uniform, but after being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks his footwear options expanded greatly. Towards the end of last season, it was like he rallied to be the Jordan Brand Kourt Kicks Champion as hard as the Bucks pushed for a post-season run. While the latter didn’t happen, check out 10 pairs that made Monta Ellis worthy of the title.
Air Jordan X – Old Royal
Air Jordan V – ‘3M Raging Bull’
Air Jordan IX – ‘Motorboat Jones’
Jordan Spiz’ike – ‘Gucci’
Air Jordan VII – ‘Hare’
Air Jordan X – ‘Chicago’
Air Jordan XI – ‘Bred’
Air Jordan XIV – ‘Chicago’
Air Jordan XVI – ‘Bred’
Air Jordan XVIII – ‘Bred’
Ben Berry is a writer based out of Orlando, FL by way of Baltimore, MD by way of New York City that grew up in New Jersey. After attending West Virginia University, Ben became involved with The Hoop Doctors in 2011 and was made an editor, running the entire Kicks column. Add Ben to a Google+ circle of yours and follow his Twitter feed.
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