Color Me Unsure

by Chris O’Leary / @olearychris

Take a look at the pics below and tell me what you think.


As you probably already know, the Air Jordan 2011 hit NikeiD this week, making the most recognizable sneaker in the world a blank canvas left in the hands of you, the avid sneakerhead.

So is that a good thing or a bad thing?

In making the 2011 available like this, Jordan Brand is heading into new territory. This is the first time the brand has taken its flagship shoe and left its face to essentially be penned in by its fans. Sure, there have been other shoes — the Air Jordan 1 Alpha is up on the site right now and has been for months — but an actual model of an Air Jordan, with no skater-friendly modifications, has never been put up on iD before.

A part of the mystique with the Air Jordan line has been that you take what they give you and are left to speculate on what other colorways could look like. It’s also what’s driven the company’s retro appeal over the years as well. And that might be a part of the reason behind the direction that the Jordan 2011 is taking this year. Can you think of an Air Jordan model after the XX3 that you’d be willing to drop cash on if it re-released? The retro appeal of these current shoes might be lacking, but giving Jordan fans a palate of colors to work with is something new and gives a re-ignition to a shoe that’s been on store shelves for six months already.

When I first started obsessing over sneakers way back, I found a site that let you color a silhouette of the Air Jordan XI in any way you wanted. Looking at that site then, I thought you’d never see the day when you could actually build an Air Jordan to whatever color combination you wanted. If I see a Jordan 2011 that looks like pic No. 6 up above, I’m not gonna feel very good about it.