Russell Westbrook Air Jordan XXXI received flak from some of Westbrook’s fans after it was officially unveiled in Las Vegas. The Air Jordan XXXI named “Banned” will hit the stores on September 3.
However, if the fans’ reactions are to be used as gauge, the Jordan brand may have to do some re-designing. A fan succinctly voiced his displeasure at the Banned shoe design saying it’s “ugly.”
The shoe design features the right balance between the brand’s ironic tradition of game-changing ways and dynamic on- and off-court design. The Banned pair also brings back the iconic Air Jordan “Wings” logo. The Air Jordan XXXI pair will also sport the Swoosh detail. The detail has only appeared once before in the first Air Jordan shoe design.
Working with Michael Jordan, shoe designer Tate Kuerbis said the Swoosh idea came from MJ. MJ wanted the subtle Swoosh to slowly fade out, giving way to the clear Jumpman logo. Kuerbis told Complex that this signified the evolution of the shoe brand from its Nike roots to the full-fledged Air Jordan brand.
However, some fans found the Swoosh beside the Jumpman unfavorable. Some even thought the design was a move away from the established Air Jordan brand. Some simply did not understand the Swoosh-Jumpman connection.
Aside from the logo backstory, the Banned pair also features the Flight Weave that Air Jordan XXX first featured. It promotes in-flight flexibility in terms of a player’s performance.
There are also heel pods, which ensure safe landing every time a player goes up in the air.
However, despite these features, it seemed the early unveiling of the latest Air Jordan shoe design did not mesh well with its fans. Some found it unimpressive and others found the red and black colorway boring.
Though no official word has come yet whether the Air Jordan XXXI will carry other colorway variants, the latest shoes give a nod to the sneaker era.
The controversially designed Russell Westbrook Air Jordan XXXI will hit the shoe racks this September 3. Only future shoe sales will tell whether the fans have warmed up to the design.