A Sum Greater Than Its Parts: Reintroducing the Jordan Dub Zero

Jordan Brand began 2015 with one big celebratory picture in mind – the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan. This year, you’ll be treated to a euphoric barrage of Jordan Retro releases that recall the legendary originals and introduce some fresh concepts that aim to tell rich and premium stories, and you’ll find that the Dub Zero will fit right in with what the brand has to offer. If you’re not familiar with this upcoming sneaker release, Champs Sports is here to fill you in on the roots of this striking design; if you’re noticing a plethora of familiar details, you’re already on the right track.

In fact, the Dub Zero played an integral role in celebrating an equally astounding milestone in 2005 – the 20th Anniversary of the Air Jordan. This hybrid design served as a tribute to the great Tinker Hatfield, with key features from eight different Air Jordans contributing to the overall concept. There were, of course, a string of other hybrid models to follow the Dub Zero, so it’s clear that this model had its own pioneering tendencies when it was first introduced. With a new colorway of the shoe releasing this weekend at Champs Sports, featuring University Blue coloring and laser printing on a Wolf Grey panel, the silhouette is about to endear itself to another generation of sneakerheads.

Here you’ll find a complete breakdown of the design details of the Dub Zero from 2005, so continue on to educate yourself on the first-ever hybrid sneaker from Jordan Brand.

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THE SOLE: AIR JORDAN IV
Air Jordan 4, Jordan Dub Zero

Starting in number order, we’ll highlight the outsole of the Dub Zero. The visible Air Unit and the signature peak at the forefoot is certainly from the popular Air Jordan IV from 1989, which was Tinker Hatfield’s second Air Jordan design.

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THE PULL-TAB: AIR JORDAN VI
Air Jordan 6, Jordan Dub Zero

The Dub Zero skips a model to the Air Jordan VI (a wildly popular sneaker in 2014). The funky pull-tab seen on the shoe was indeed inspired by the spoiler of a sports car, which served a muse of sorts to Tinker’s Air Jordan VI design.

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THE MUDGUARD: AIR JORDAN XI
Jordan Dub Zero

The original Dub Zeros from 2005 boasted a slick patent leather mudguard, which was a clear nod to the Air Jordan XI. The upcoming Saturday release, however, does not opt for that material, but this choice coerced a huge reaction 10 years ago! Pictured above is one of the laser releases from 2009.

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THE TONGUE EMBROIDERY: AIR JORDAN XII
Air Jordan 12, Jordan Dub Zero

A design cue that you might not be quick to recognize is the “TWO3” that runs down the tongue. That’s taken straight from the Air Jordan XII, which Tinker Hatfield designed for a release in 1997.

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THE UPPER: AIR JORDAN XIII
Air Jordan 13, Jordan Dub Zero

Going from borderline hidden to downright obvious is the upper silhouette. The construction of the upper, which features a two-piece build, honors the Air Jordan XIII. This particular choice of design dominates the Dub Zero identity.

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THE HEEL: AIR JORDAN XV
Air Jordan 15, Jordan Dub Zero

Another original detail that is lost in the upcoming Saturday release of the Dub Zero is the woven patch on the heel. Although you might not find it in this year’s versions, the original Dub Zeros were known for this stylish touch that was borrowed from the Air Jordan XV. Tinker also designed the XV, but bowed out when Michael Jordan officially retired from the Bulls.

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THE CHROME: AIR JORDAN XVII
Air Jordan 17, Jordan Dub Zero

Another small yet powerful detail of the Dub Zero lies on the heel once again. Again missing from the upcoming Saturday release is the small “chrome” bumper, which was originally featured on the Air Jordan XVII.

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THE LASER: AIR JORDAN XX
Air Jordan 20, Jordan Dub Zero

Like the Dub Zero, the Air Jordan XX was unveiled in 2005 and is also subject to a Retro release here. The release of the 20th Air Jordan came during Nike/Jordan Brand’s absolute obsession with “laser” treatment, which you would have found on several limited edition shoes and promo samples during that era. It was offered to the masses by way of the huge mid-foot strap, which acted as a canvas for a Michael Jordan mosaic of sorts. Over the years, the laser print has solidified itself as one of the most significant design details of the Air Jordan, and you’ll find ample use of it in 2015.