There’s no question that Nike has revolutionized shoes, or at least athletic shoes. We don’t really know how far their influence reaches into the general world of shoes.
And it’s not just footwear. Because shoes are so much lighter and so structurally sound, things that used to be difficult or impossible no longer are.
Consider when you see a You Tube Gold on DBR from the 1960s that all those players were wearing Chuck Taylors and Chuck Taylors are awful shoes for an athlete. They can’t absorb shock, they’re thin and flat and offer no meaningful support. It’s a wonder guys like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell didn’t have annual stress fractures.
We haven’t always been fans of Nike’s sensibility though. Some of their shoes are frankly hideous. It doesn’t affect performance obviously but some are just butt ugly.
That hasn’t really been the case with the various shoes Zion Williamson has worn and the ones based on some doodles by his brother Noah are whimsical and charming.
The new Air Jordan XXXV’s though?
Those are some very nice looking kicks.
There are several versions listed on this page and all are custom designed for various Nike athletes, including Chinese basketball player Guo Ailun.
The color schemes aren’t as garish as some Nike/Jordan has done in the past which is nice. Some of the color schemes have been jarring frankly but not this time.
The design here is striking. There is a hole in the bottom which cuts a bit of weight. The pattern is reflected four times as you go up the side of the shoe and it’s a great look.
As cool as it is though one of the best features of these shoes are the soles.
The Williamson model features “crackled faux-gator leather, a marbled plate and a gumsole.” If we see this correctly (we might be wrong) this is the only one shown with a visibly obvious tread. And that’s fine; it’s the bottom of the shoe. Who cares?
Well people who get the other shoes might because the soles of two of these - one in a bright almost Carolina blue and one in a sort of neon red (the other one you could call neon Carolina blue too) is too pretty to be on the bottom of a shoe.
All of them have a nice Jumpman in the middle of the sole too.
It’s really stunning. Unfortunately the last thing you’d want to do is to wear this and take the sheen off because the design is brilliant.
In general, these look like amazing shoes. Our guess is Nike has hit a home run and will sell millions of these (hey, maybe Noah helped again).
And a lot will go straight into collections.