Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 4:07 pm  |  44 responses

The Air Jordan 2011 Is Here!

The latest in a storied line meets the press.

Q: Clearly this started after Dwyane had signed with Jordan, as opposed to the 2010, which he wore but was clearly in the works before he signed. So this is the first shoe designed that you knew he’d be wearing. I’m curious how that impacted you and Tinker, and also when Dwyane got involved and what he had to say about everything.
TL: So one of the first sketches out of that series from November already said “For DWade” in one of the sketches. So Tinker definitely was thinking of him as an athlete—his style of play really lends itself to the concept well, and vice versa: the concept really lends itself to his style of play. He was the athlete that we were thinking about, along with the entire stable of Jordan athletes, so definitely part of the plan there. We always check with MJ on the game shoe, because that’s a key inspiration point for us, and we want to make sure the concept is thoroughly gone through at that point, and we have an agreeance as a team, because MJ is a part of our team. But [the sneaker was designed] definitely with Dwyane in mind. So Dwyane’s a great closer, for example, and his style of play now is sort of how I described before. The first three quarters you might see him on the perimeter; fourth quarter, a closer, he goes in and goes in the paint and plays a quicker style of basketball than the first three quarters. That’s what people know him for, that’s what he’s respected for in the game of basketball. We’re trying to serve him this product.

Q: When did you guys show Dwyane and what did he have to say about it?
TL: He’s practicing with the product as we speak, and we had a couple checkpoints to make sure his fit is right and he trusts the product, and we had some feedback that we needed to include, more on the technical side. But the product’s beautiful; he loves the product from an aesthetic perspective. There were some tweaks we had to do to the product in order to make sure it fits him right, and his mechanics are addressed. So definitely had to check in, probably in August.

Q: The performance aspects are clear, as always with Jordan, but what will make it a success is if non-players wear it. What do you think makes it stand out for the guy who’s gonna play in it once or is never gonna play in it? For collecting, or wearing it to school or work…
TL: It’s extremely iconic, even when we were wear-testing, we get players on the court wearing the shoe, giving us feedback, [and] some wanted to wear it to the side and take pictures of it. We have other products mixed in so there’s a balance of the proper testing with some of the controls. And [the sneaker is] extremely iconic. So 50 yards—where you can sit two courts away, three courts away, and can tell it’s a Jordan. You can call this out on the ground like no other shoe, quite honestly. It’s very sophisticated, very bold, graphically bold. And it’s very unique, in its distance read. You get up close and all these beautiful details—every surface is paid attention to and taken care of. Every thing you touch is there for a reason, attention to craft. So from a distance something you ironically are drawn to, and up close something you start loving. You get into it just because of the finishing details of it. So I’d say that, on the aesthetic side, a lot of energy was spent to make sure every single part of that shoe was beautifully crafted and finished.

Here’s a nice video clip from today:

The Jordan-inspired fun continues tomorrow, when I’ll get to wear test the shoes on the court at Madison Square Garden. I’ll then come to the office and get another post up about how they play and probably post some more photos and video, too. So be sure and come back then. And of course, if you want more on the shoe—right from the brand—you should check out jumpman23.com. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to learn how the shoe plays and get more photos and video.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I like ‘em. Looks like they tried for an updated XI look…..with the blue sole and the black over the toe. Look a bit bulky for an Air Jordan….almost like the platform Lebron’s shoes are built on. They would probably look even better in a black/red colorway.

  • http://jayemmbee23.tumblr.com Clutch Performer

    now thats what im talking about , thats sexy

  • ramo

    first,nice shoes

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Uncle05Sam Earl


  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Uncle05Sam Earl

    Shoe of the year.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Uncle05Sam Earl

    By the way, I like the shoe.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Uncle05Sam Earl

    Oh now I get it, 2000+XI =2011 hehehehehehehehehehe. . . . . . . . . . . .

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Glad you guys like, and not surprised. I was really impressed. Looking forward to playing in them tomorrow.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    It does look bulky for a basketball shoe. But dope as hell to just wear casually. Besides, who really balls in $170 shoes anyways? Besides NBA ballers, rich dudes…and Slam editors, apparently.

  • robb

    Simple yet complex design. I like it.

  • http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Russell_vs._Wilt nbk

    ehh, they look to heavy, and not very flexible. I got the Kobe V’s because the VI’s were too stiff. These look like a shoe from the 90′s, i like the concept but not the shoe.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    Play in them tomorrow? Sounds fun.

  • JTaylor21

    Ugly shoes and co-sign Enigmatic, I’ve got about 20 Js and I’ve never even ran in them let alone balled in them.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    Play in them tomorrow at the Garden? Sounds even funner.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    not really feelin it

  • http://slamonline.com rudy

    wth. I thought those were supposed to be a new pair of Jordans, not Shaq shoes.

  • vic21

    “Ok Dwayne we’re gonna need you to post up your man”
    “AAAHHH Coach!! Now I need to change the soles on my shoes!”

  • http://www.b-ballistics.com Darksaber

    Disturbing trend at the swoosh, Shoe i’m most hyped about this year, Shox Hyperballer, is gonna cost 160 dollars. Now the new Jordan’s even more expensive? What gives?
    Thevshoe design draws a “meh” from me but the tech sounds promising. Unless you ball with custom insoles (loke me), which probably cancel the effect of the modular midsole.

  • zoom

    Where the hell are my comments?

  • jufu

    thank gawd. they’re baaaack

  • Dunleavysucks

    It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane… No. It’s a AJ2011 sole flying loose thru the Air!

  • http://slamonline.com niQ

    Uggo. cosign rudy.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    The effect of custom insoles is something I’m curious about, wearing orthotics is something I have to do, I wonder how that’ll work with these shoes.

  • Colt6

    Not feeling it. I’m predicting a $180+ price tag. No. Hell no.

  • will

    They retail for $170. they seem pretty nice i love the emphasis on quality the only thing is they seem a bit chunky to me. lookin forward to a all black colorway maybe? personally tho ima ball in the new cp3′s considering the hefty price tag on these.
    I know it’s not related to the topic but has any subscribers in Australia got slam 145 yet. i’m new to subscribing so im not sure how long it takes seems long though.

  • Galagu

    anybody know the weight of these?

  • http://airtsinelas21.blogspot.com Roy

    I actually like the new J’s….

  • riggs

    anyone buying sneakers for 170 is an idiot. simple as that. You drive the company into selling a shoe that’s made for not even half of that. The only way theyre going to make them cheaper is for people to stop buying them.

  • Michael

    Moments like these make me proud, excites me what the future will bring with this brand. Always cutting edge and unique compared to other shoes in the market. Comfort and quality of materials used in OG never dissapoint.

  • ab40

    I’ve got insoles that are now an acumuilated three times the worth of that shoe. Why should I pay for a shoe which special feature is orthodix when I got better ones for myself made especialy for my foot.

  • youngmuggsy

    @Galagu – Do you honestly notice the difference in weight between different high end basketball shoes? My legs just aren’t sensitive enough to notice a couple of ounces difference.


    Hella nice. Better lookin than any shoe being released recently. John wall? Lbj? Kobe? Jennings? Yeah I’m talkin 2 u

  • http://slamonline.com reeses

    Jordans are wack. Step into the 21st century people. It’s not the 90′s, so unless you’re rocking retros you are officially lame.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    God forbid you from wearing basketball shoes to play ball in, right reeses?

  • http://slamonline.com reeses

    You don’t pay $170 to play ball in a pair of kicks when there are better, cheaper ones out there for that. Sorry, still lame to rock Jordans in the 21st (unless it’s a rare pair of retros).

  • M5

    By the way, these are better looking than the previous Jordan’s starting at 21st, but still I don’t see myself dropping $170 on Hoop shoes.

  • M5

    Half of the league hoops in Kobe’s signature shoes.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    i wouldn’t pay 170, but, is that so expensive when compared to other sneakers?

    And, how do you know there are better sneakers out there? Did you try them on? For instance, the kobe VI are supposed to be one of the better ones out there, but, they don’t work for me. Chill, resses, try the freaking shoes before you say there are better ones to play in…

  • Galagu

    @youngmugsy….balling in jordan 1′s then balling in the new kobe’s u feel the difference…i like jordan’s but ya personally to me it does make a difference…to each their own tho

  • Davie

    Really dont like the look of them at all

  • Luke

    I remember when Jordans used to be the hottest shoes out. These ain’t sh#t. No one should buy these. Maybe they will make nicer ones, once they realize that people aren’t going to just buy anything because it says Jordan on it.

  • Pop’s

    Wow. Once again MJ is rapin yall by putting out the same kicks in different colorways for $180

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Air Jordan 2011 Wear Test


    GIVE ME THE CLASSICS.1-13 and u can keep the rest. The 11s by the way r the lightest most responsive to ball n.