As Michael Jordan ascended to superstardom, it wasn’t enough for Nike to rest on its laurels when it came to his sneakers. Yes, the first Air Jordan was a resounding success, releasing in a handful of different colorways while changing the landscape forever with the “Banned” Jordan I. But following that up with something just as revolutionary was going to be hard. Add in Mike’s broken foot, which caused him to miss 64 games his second season, and the pressure was palpable.
So while the Jordan II wasn’t quite a classic sneaker in that sense, give credit to the Swoosh. Instead of ponying up and attempting to do the unthinkable by topping what went down with the first shoe, they took another direction. Italian design. High price point. No Swoosh logo on the upper. The Jordan II wasn’t going to get boxed in and, in a sense, designer Bruce Kilgore crafted a sneaker that worked for the times and yet still works in 2016.
Even now, Kilgore’s design feels very futuristic. Available at Champs Sports this Saturday will be the “Alternate ’87” colorway of the perennially overlooked Air Jordan II. This particular colorway is part of the Jordan Brand‘s “Alternate” collection. Its focus? Reimagining Jordan’s shoes into stuff that he could’ve conceivably played in had there been player exclusives back in the day.
The latest retro from Jordan Brand features a black-based sneaker with Chicago Bull red accents. I can easily imagine MJ rocking these back in ’86-87 while he was on his way to a career-high mark of 37.1 points per game.