Ever since the Jordan XXIII, the Air Jordan series has used the release year in the name instead of the traditional Roman numeral from the previous 23 years but next year’s Jordan iteration looks to be a combination of that style and actual sneaker number with the Air Jordan XX8.
Yesterday at the “Dare to Fly” Jordan event, there was a bit of mystique in the air since most media members received their invite in the form on a poster that was only legible when under the included Jumpman-labeled backlight. There was many speculation as to what would be unveiled while we were there, but it is safe to say that no one was prepared for what we seen.
Upstairs there was the entire Air Jordan lineage on display in a glass case dressed in a triple-black colorway. Subtle but so very clean. Attention soon shifted to center stage where the unveiling of the Air Jordan XX8 was about to begin. I can honestly say that the Air Jordan XX8 looks unlike anything released by Jordan Brand ever. When the shroud is zippered up the full height, the sneaker stands about 8 inches; incasing the mesh bootie. Carbon fiber is seen immediately throughout the entire shoe including along the midsole where it is said to serve a purpose best like as a heel. Performance is unapologetically the name of the game and the stealth aesthetics are going to leave many looking for a sneaker to wear more casually going passing over these and not looking back; but the Retro line is in place for a reason.
After designers Tinker Hatfield & Josh Heard spoke went thru some of the more technical parts of the sneaker, Jordan Brand athletes Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook were brought out individually and gave their thoughts about the upcoming Air Jordan. Long-time Jordan enthusiast Spike Lee was also on hand and ended up receiving a pair early which, I’m willing to bet, he will lace up tonight at the Barclays Center.
After the presentations, we were sent downstairs where an equally impressive display of the entire Air Jordan series was seen; this time in all white and encased individually with huge posters of the current Jordan Brand roster behind them. Media members were also given the chance to try on pairs of the Air Jordan XX8 as well.
Tonight the Brooklyn Nets are visited by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Barclays Center. With Jordan Brand’s new posterboy Russell Westbrook already in town for the game and being on-hand last night at the event, he let us in on the fact that he is wasting no time lacing these up during an NBA game by wearing these tonight.
The Air Jordan XX8 is the name that it has taken on, but in the coming months don’t blame me if I fall back into calling this the Air Jordan 2013.
What are your first impressions of this sneaker? Check out some high-res shots of a few different angles of the sneaker as well as pictures from the event below.
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 and was made an editor and runs the entire Kicks column.
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