If you looked closely at the cover of SLAM 197, you may have noticed some new Jordan kicks on Jimmy Butler’s feet. Curious? You’ve come to the right place. Scroll through the photos above for a closer look, and read on for more…
Ever since His Airness began banging backboards in the ’80s, Chicago has been a hub for breaking new basketball footwear. Make waves as a primetime player in Chi-Town and your kicks get respect. Enter Jimmy Butler. His simultaneous ascension in Jordan Brand’s ranks and on the Bulls’ roster means he’s next up to carry the torch when it comes to hawking sneaks in the Windy City.
With that in mind, Butler is helping Jumpman introduce its latest on-court offering, the Jordan Ultra.Fly. An innovative sneaker with a sleek design, the Ultra.Fly should immediately join its close DNA relative and predecessor, the Jordan Super.Fly—the fourth incarnation of which has been the go-to sneaker for Kemba Walker, Victor Oladipo and Blake Griffin this season—as one of the most popular sneakers in the NBA.
The Ultra.Fly is versatile, built to provide responsiveness and “out-of-the-box comfort” for two-way players, according to the brand. How? Multiple mesh materials make up the shoe’s upper for increased breathability and lightweight support. And the plush ride is a product of a nine-chamber Zoom Air bag in the forefoot. Butler himself is ready for a Playoff push in the luxurious but bouncy shoe, which is hitting retail the first week of April for $125.
“These bad babies is comfortable, man. This is one of the most comfortable basketball shoes I ever put on,” an animated Butler told us after posing for our SLAM 197 cover shoot. “And they look good. They might make me look a little bit more athletic. From the angles, they make my calf muscles look bigger. Overall, it’s very comfortable. I can’t wait to get back out on the court and wear them.”
Beyond the mythical muscle-morphing powers Butler promises, the distinguishing feature of the Ultra.Fly is the brand-new webbing pattern overlaying the mesh upper. It’s what Jordan calls Zonal Kurim, a flexible, durable material placed to act as a second skin for the foot, moving naturally with each step, whether you’re a pro or a pickup regular. Beyond its functional construction, the Ultra.Fly’s kurim has an aesthetic style deliberately aimed at mimicking the spots of a black leopard—a not-so-subtle homage to MJ’s “Black Cat” nickname. Now that’s fly.
Photos courtesy of Jordan Brand