After a number of Retro releases of Air Jordan?s over past summer, Jordan Brand is back with another Michael Jordan signature shoe: the Air Jordan XXXI.
Air Jordan XXXI was unveiled in Las Vegas on Wednesday night in an event hosted by DJ Clark Kent and sneaker aficionado Russ Bengston, which was streamed live via jordan.com.?The shoe is the 31st iteration of the iconic Air Jordan I which initially debuted back in 1985 and kick-started the successful signature line. The Jordan XXXI will be available on Sept. 3 for $185.
The lead ?red and black? colorway of the shoe gives a nod to the the ?banned? story, a reference to the legend that gave the brand a defiant beginning to become unrivaled champion as far basketball shoes go.
Apparently Jordan was banned from wearing the iconic shoes by National Basketball Association as the shoes violated the dress code, reports ESPN. On Feb. 25, 1985, then-NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik sent a letter to Nike’s marketing chief Rob Strasser stressing that the red and black shoes violated the league’s uniform code.
“In accordance with our conversations, this will confirm and verify that the National Basketball Association’s rules and procedures prohibited the wearing of certain red and black NIKE basketball shoes by Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan on or around October 18, 1984,” the letter read.
Rumors then said that Jordan was told to pay $5000 fine per game for wearing the red and black shoes which ultimately proved a boon to Nike as over next nine months Nike sold $100 million worth of Air Jordans.
The shoe features first of its kind Flyweave and leather upper and incorporates a number of iconic Jordan elements, reintroducing the original Air Jordan ?Wings? logo and a subtle Swoosh logo. It is for the first time that a Swoosh and Jumpman branding is featured on a Air Jordan at the same time and also marks a first time that a Swoosh logo has featured on an Air Jordan since Air Jordan 1.
The Air Jordan XXXI also features FlightSpeed technology with full-length Zoom Air that enhances court feel, responsiveness and lateral support according to the brand. On the bottom of the shoe is the word “BANNED,” is too printed but only the initial colorway will sport it.
As has been tradition, the Air Jordan XXXI will be first worn by Jordan brand spokesman Russell Westbrook. The ?Banned? colorway will be available globally starting September 3 in select retail stores and on Jordan.com.