Nike, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) unveiled the Air Jordan XX9, the latest incarnation of its famed sneaker brand, at a press event in New York on Thursday.
The Air Jordan XX9 is the “world’s first basketball shoe to be tailored for flight,” according to Nike’s press release. The new sneaker combines a performance-woven upper with an updated version of the brand’s “Flight Plate.”
The woven upper allows for less abrasion and a better fit for the wearer. Meanwhile, the Flight Plate “harnesses the energy of every step,” allowing for greater explosiveness and athletic performance, according to the press release.
“We always try to ensure that when our athletes play in our shoes, they not only perform at their best, but they eliminate distractions,” Jordan Brand Vice President and Category Footwear Leader Dave Schechter. “We think the Air Jordan XX9 offers a fantastic, custom fit that’s lightweight and breathable, but also locks you in and gives you the right amount of containment.”
“All the shock just doesn’t come up through two spots, like underneath your forefoot and underneath your heel,” Vice President of Creative Concepts Tinker Hatfield added. “The plate itself, the Flight Plate, it spreads that load out. It gives you a little bit of spring, a little bit of pop off the floor. You’re saving a player’s legs a little bit over the course of a season by playing in a shoe like this.”
So far, Nike has unveiled two color schemes for the Air Jordan XX9 -- a black and red model and a black, orange and blue model. Both of these schemes will go on sale in September, in accord with the start of the 2014-15 NBA season. However, Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook will wear the shoe during the upcoming 2014 NBA playoffs, Sports Illustrated notes. The Air Jordan XX9 will sell for $225.
Nike executives described the Air Jordan XX9’s design changes in a promotional video, which can be viewed below.