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Jordan Brand unveils the Air Jordan XX9

Apr 18, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT

NEW YORK — Jordan Brand unveiled the latest iteration of its signature sneaker at a private event in Manhattan on Thursday, and the Air Jordan XX9 immediately impressed thanks to its ground-breaking and innovative design.

From the official release:

“The Air Jordan XX9 features the world’s first performance-woven upper. Finding inspiration in Italy, the home of some of the world’s greatest craftsmen, the Jordan design team created an upper that provides structure, support, interior comfort and exterior abrasion resistance. Using state-of-the-art weaving machines, the team learned they could provide all four major elements of the shoe in a single layer of material.”

“In the past, we’ve drawn inspiration from myriad places—everything from fighter jets to motorcycles—and have ended up with some pretty fun designs along the way,” said Tinker Hatfield, Vice President of Creative Concepts. “This year, our inspiration and challenge to ourselves was to create the best performance basketball shoe ever—and I think the XX9 and the performance-woven upper pay that off.”

“The performance-woven upper delivers superior abrasion resistance, along with an entirely new look on the outside of the shoe. The structure and fit of the shoe are engineered through Flight Web tunnels, and strategic panels of stiffer and softer flex to enhance natural motion. The absence of numerous layers and adhesion technologies creates an incredibly comfortable, sock-like interior lining with superior breathability. Using webbed straps that wrap the foot and integrate with the laces, the Flight Web fit system offers superior mid-foot lockdown that moves with the athlete. Woven channels in the upper enhance the Flight Web fit system, while a double-lasted heel helps dampen the impact on hard landings. Articulated padding in the collar adds to the premium, signature feel of the shoe and helps prevent the heel from slipping.”

Hatfield and Michael Jordan were in attendance, and both spoke to the unique process that makes the Jordan XX9 the first shoe of its kind.

Jordan XX9Video Maker

But while the woven upper was impressive, this particular shoe had to follow in the footsteps of what was widely regarded as the best performance basketball shoe to hit the market in quite some time in the Jordan XX8. And by the accounts of wear-testers, including Jordan Brand athlete Russell Westbrook, they managed to somehow make the XX9 perform at an even higher standard, thanks to evolving the Flight Plate to provide an even smoother ride.

“The plate provides managed compression and deflection of the Nike Zoom Air cushioning units, creating a larger sweet spot for optimal performance,” it was explained. “In this year’s shoe, the forefoot and heel are linked by a tendril – a small bridge of outsole – providing a smoother heel-to-toe transition.”

The performance reviews will ultimately determine the success of the XX9, but there’s no question that the design process is already an amazing step in the evolution of basketball footwear from the game’s most iconic brand.

The Air Jordan XX9 launches in September in the two colorways shown, and for a few more photos from the launch, check out the gallery below.

Jordan XX9 SamplesVideo Maker
  1. goraidersgospurs - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I only have 3 numbers for everyone ($225)

    • chicagosports2014 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Always launch jordan gear in NY, we always been your main supporters! YOU ALSO NEED TO SELL YOUR SNEAKERS THE ORIGINAL WAY AGAIN, NOT A FAN OF THE TICKETS!

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:18 PM

        Deep Dish!

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      $200 piece for some foam and rubber. Yikes

  2. shuttaman1990 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    What the hell is this crap?!!!
    Man it’s a damn shame when the retros for Jordan are better than this new crap broski.
    Like Lebron or Kobe still got better shoes than the new Jordans.
    Lakers all day, but nah I ain’t buying this.

  3. lj312chicago - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    I can honestly say….I’ve never seen anyone rocking LeBron’s in real life……does anyone really rock those ugly ass shoes LeQueen pushes?

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      Daaaaa Bulls!

    • antistratfordian - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      He just had the #1 selling signature shoe in the country, that’s all. He signature shoe generated 20% more business than Jordan’s signature shoe. Complex named the LeBron XI the #1 shoe of 2013.

      Any other questions?

  4. odenxx - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Those look good, I could see some poor impoverished people getting pushed to death or shot over those .

  5. jvw1982 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Those shoes are sweet

  6. ptownbearsfan420 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Pushed to death? Did you even think before writing that..

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      Think? Are you kidding!

  7. thevza - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Can someone please explain how this is basketball news?

    • calkinsrob - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      because most basketball fans/players like jordans or bball shoes in general. I dont see any issue with news of a new jordan release. If you dont like it dont click on it.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        You must be a teacher.

  8. wwttww - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Pushed to death in a Black Friday south Georgia Walmart kinda way

  9. dirk504 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    These are garbage. Lebrons look way better.

    • money2long - Apr 19, 2014 at 1:14 AM

      Lebron’s what ?

  10. mightbegoingtohellforthis - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Look at that fine third world craftsmanship. Where are these made? India? China? Mexico? Nothing better than paying $225 for a pair of shoes that were more than likely manufactured by child laborers working 10 hour shifts, 7 days a week, earning pennies per day. Just Do It.

  11. mackcarrington - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    Looks like another set of footwear that you wouldn’t actually play basketball in.
    Buy them, stick them in the back of your closet, and sell them in 15 years as you would a piece of art.
    Seems like a better investment than buying stock.

  12. andreboy1 - Apr 18, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Jordan has come out with a design I like in a really long time. Didn’t LBJ’s cost like $180 out the door or something? Absurd.

  13. Big Ant TV - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    WOW more shoes for teen boys and grown men too waste there rent,,job-paychecks,child-support,allowances and in some cases drugs-illegal money on here in NYC they goinG be cutting school,work and other important things too get these NYPD will stop the stores again from selling these
    ugh 225+ dollars for what? i mean there nice lookin shoes but whats so special about them??
    lets face guys buy these too get noticed or too get girls or even too give the hood impression they get money or are fashionable am i right?

    • mackcarrington - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:26 PM

      What kind of women do you know that would give you some because of your sneakers?

      • Big Ant TV - Apr 20, 2014 at 7:38 PM


  14. antistratfordian - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    MJ is lucky he still has his backlog because he’s not going to be happy with the numbers on these. It’s been a while since Jordan released a really killer signature sneaker.

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