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KOTC Basketball

AIR JORDAN XXXV “The Performer, not the Looker yet”

BY DANNY K

Leaks of the AIR JORDANXXXV started as early as late August with the “Center of Gravity” colorway leading the way. Various Sneakerheads spoke of and posted images of the rumoured shoe in their Instagram accounts and/or forums of which created quite a stir. Most were negative comments of how ugly the shoe looks and how much it resembles the Jordan Jumpman 2020 PF. Many could not believe that this is the next successor in the AIR JORDAN line.

“Center of Gravity” colorway.   Est. Release Date: October 17   Est. Retail Price: S$249

Yet here we are, a week away from the global release of the shoe itself. No longer a rumour and much to the horror of most AIR JORDAN Sneaker fans, the shoe is a reality. As a Basketballer and Semi-Sneakerhead, in my opinion, many who proclaimed their love for AIR JORDAN’s only love the retro line which have been culturally hyped and has a good resale value but failing to understand what the brand represents.

Even through the constant changes in footwear trends, the AIR JORDAN Line have never wavered in its focus on performance and innovation and that is what the AIR JORDAN XXXV represents. I agree that in terms of aesthetics, I was disappointed in the design and preferred the look of the AIR JORDAN XXXIV which had cleaner lines. However, in terms of tech, they have improved much on what made the XXXIV so loved as a performance shoe and addressed some of the “flaws”.

The popularity and effectiveness of the AIR JORDAN XXXIV’s design provided a natural starting point for its successor, and feedback from the shoe played a critical role in the direction of the XXXV. Improving on the Eclipse Plate, a technology that utilizes two Pebax pieces to improve transition as well as maximizing the efficiency of the shoe’s Zoom bag, was the first order of business. 

Jordan Brand Designer Tate Kuerbis and his team looked at adding a large Zoom bag in the heel of the AIR JORDAN XXXV, similar to the one in the forefoot, to give more bounce and propulsion underfoot. “We did a ton of sketching of what that could possibly be, and it turned out that the Eclipse Plate became the heart and soul of the design of shoe, allowing the forefoot to be unlocked, and now allowing a heel Zoom bag to be unlocked as well, and still being able to see through,” he says. In addition, the Eclipse Plate was wrapped up the side of the shoe to add even more lateral support.

The re-iteration of the mesh netting on the side panel of the upper on the AIR JORDAN V was the main reason which had many fans calling the AIR JORDAN XXXV ugly. Whatever opinion we may have, the upper has an upgrade in that richer materials are used than the XXXIV. Interpretations of leather and suedes and other handmade touches point back to the Jordan Brand language of luxury, but done with functional purpose for the final product. 

Then there is the introduction of Jordan Flightwire, a Jordan-unique expression of traditional Flywire that is sleek, lightweight and keeps the foot locked down. “It’s see-through material on the base and then you have the cables tacked down which go all the way down and wrap underneath the foot and then come up as well,” Kuerbis says of the new construction. 

In terms of a nod to AIR JORDAN V, hints and re-iterations too are seen with its tongue top design and its Kurim detailing and molded foam pods around the collar of the shoe. “I think it’s always fun to add those little winks back to some of the legacy models, just to reference that, but also push the future as much as possible,” Kuerbis explains.

Lastly, for one of the most important aspects of any shoe, the traction. The AIR JORDAN XXXV sticks to what works for the XXXIV thus herringbone traction pattern stays on. A traditional yet best-in-class design, the herringbone traction pattern responds optimally to multidirectional footwork and gives athletes a superior first step and the ability to cut on a dime.

The upcoming colorways for the AIR JORDAN XXXV for the rest of 2020 are as follows; 

  • 1st Colorway “Center of Gravity,” releases worldwide — October 17
  • A black and red “Warrior” colorway for Rui Hachimura — October 21
  • A “DNA” edition that harkens back to the “Fire Red” V — November 11
  • A “Bayou Boys” look for Zion Williamson — November 30
  • A Guo Ailun PE dubbed “Morpho” — Dec. 24 in China. 

I personally am a big fan of the “Warrior” colorway which is a PE for one of my favourite Japanese Basketballer Rui Hachimura. Moreover, it’s of the BRED color scheme and being a Bulls fan, I shouldn’t be missing out on this. That being said, it is intriguing to me that this colorway is the PE for Rui Hachimura since he’s playing for the Washington Wizards and this is not the color scheme for the Team; navy blue, red, silver and white.

Another highlight of this colorway that drew me to is the Kanji-inspired samurai logo, designed by his mother in honor of his family’s name and warrior spirit on the court. Not least of all, is the lush suede/nubuck materials used in the upper reminiscent of the AIR JORDAN XII and capped off with a full grey solid outsole decorated with white/black speckles.

So of the five upcoming colorways for 2020 which is your pick?
Do leave a comment.

Some of the comments that Jordan Brand Athlete have about the AIR JORDAN XXXV

“The XXXV is comfortable, supportive and lightweight, to the point that I don’t even feel like I’m wearing it. I can play my style without even thinking about it. I was shocked that Jordan could take the Eclipse Plate in the XXXIV and upgrade it in the XXXV.” — Jayson Tatum, forward for the Boston Celtics

“The 35s feel broken in right out of the box. I love the fit around my ankle and how comfortable they are.” — Rui Hachimura, forward for the Washington Wizards

The Warrior colorway (B-RED) draws inspiration from Jordan Brand athlete Rui Hachimura’s identity and a Kanji-inspired samurai logo, designed by his mother in honor of his family’s name and warrior spirit on the court. The colorway releases October 21.

“I’m always using change of speed to set up the offense, and on defense, I need to react quickly. The herringbone traction helps me be fast on my feet.” — Guo Ailun, guard for the China Men’s National Basketball Team

The Morpho colorway is meant to symbolize the effortless grace of a butterfly, referencing Chinese guard Guo Ailun’s smooth playing style. The colorway releases December 24 in China.

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