Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Time to Deflate Air Jordans

AP: Nike kicks off Air Jordan 23, the last?

HHR: One can only hope.

If you are sucker enough to shell out $230 for an ugly pair of athletic footwear, you're a far richer and far stupider person than I.

Michael Jordan's role and his relationship with Nike was revolutionary and nothing short of historic - both for the sneaker industry and for African-American athletes as pitchmen.

But in terms of the shoe line itself, it's continued popularity simply proves that people will sacrifice common sense and good taste for what they deem as "cool," even as the star endorser himself fades from everyday relevancy. This wouldn't be such an issue had it not been for two main factors:

1. They are high-top basketball shoes.

2. The price.

I'm not an old fuddy duddy bitching about the price of shoes. I'd spend a few hundred bones on a pair I liked. But they wouldn't be a pair I'd wear with sweat socks that would be out of date in a year.

Acknowledging that the 80's through mid-90's will unlikely be heralded as a high point in fashion, I can almost forgive the Air Jordan designers exploiting the public's warped sense of style. Some of the early ones were cool in the day, even if (in retrospect) they are laughable.

As the line continued, so did its audacious designs and colors.

It was a good run. You fooled a lot of people a lot of the time and made a lot of money in the process. Can't say I fault anyone for that.

Now it's time to hang them up. has a nice little site. Go take one last trip down memory lane and pay your respects.

Take us out, Mars.

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