Jordan Brand, a Nike subsidiary, unveiled the all new Air Jordan 2012 shoe, the 27th in the Air Jordan franchise. According to the company, the shoe is “designed to encourage today’s athletes to rethink performance”.
It is based on the last years model’s modular midsole system, and features two inner sleeves and three midsoles that can be interchanged to optimize the shoe’s performance according to athletes’ needs. The DELUXE version of the shoe became available nationwide on Wednesday, February 8 in three colorways at a suggested retail price of $223, and the Flight System version will launch on Saturday, February 25 at a suggested retail price of $180.
Last year’s Air Jordan 2011 shoe, introducing the changeable midsole system
Besides the innovative technology and the premium materials that were used to make this shoe, its unique feature is that it can be customized in 6 different configurations, by combining the 2 inner sleeves with the 3 midsoles. Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s special projects alpha and omega, and Air Jordan 2012 co-designer/Vice President commented on the interchangeable parts feature:
“Through comprehensive research we saw an increasing need for footwear that could be customized to meet the needs of the world’s best athletes… Last year’s AIR JORDAN 2011 began the modular story for the brand with two interchangeable midsoles, but we took it a step further this year by introducing two interchangeable inner sleeves and three interchangeable midsoles to help players ‘fly through’, ‘fly over’ or ‘fly around’ their opponents.”
The three interchangeable midsoles have different names, and technologies applied to them:
- Green “Fly Around” (Quick) midsole – features a Nike Zoom unit in the heel
- Blue “Fly Over” (Air) midsole – features a Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot, and an encapsulated Air Sole unit in the heel
- Orange “Fly Through” (Explosive) midsole – features a full length encapsulated Air Sole unit
The interchangeable sleeves are different in “height”, one mid sized, perfect for players that need more freedom of motion in their ankles, and other, higher one, providing more protection for the ankle.
The interchangeability of the shoes parts is a feature highly praised by Michael Jordan:
“As a basketball player, I always wanted a shoe that adapted with my game… On any given night I had to adjust my style of play for countless reasons and the AIR JORDAN 2012 meets those needs with six different configurations. I’m proud to say there is not another shoe like it in the market.”
The difference between the DELUXE and the Flight System versions are that the Flight System shoe will be customized in-store, where the customer will choose the combination (one sleeve and one midsole) that will suit their needs best, while the DELUXE version will come with all the three midsoles and both sleeves, encased in a special tree drawer package. The top drawer will hold the shoe itself, the middle drawer will hold the sleeves, and the bottom one the midsoles.
Although the aesthetics of the Air Jordan shoes has always been a theme for discussion, the brand was always a step ahead thanks to their in-house designers’ forward thinking logic, and has never failed to deliver the top technologies, thus presenting the tomorrow of the basketball shoe industry. The DELUXE package is also a a clear example of how the brand has always paid special attention to their premium shoes’ packaging, a not so common phenomenon in the industry.