As we patiently wait on the September 3 release date, here’s a closer look at the Air Jordan XXXI in the signature line’s most heralded “bred” colorway. The “Banned” sneaker is a timely reminder of both MJ and Nike’s audacious approach to contemporary design and flashy aesthetics. Jordan received a $5,000 USD fine by the NBA for each time he brandished his red and black shoes on the court.
The XXXI brings you back in time, to the early days of Jordan’s career – the on-court flare of gold chains and high-flying dunks. The sneaker reintroduces the Nike swoosh, for the first time on a Jordan model since the His Airness’s debut silhouette. While aesthetically taking a few pages out of the Jordan 1 design, the newest addition to the Jordan line continues to implement cutting-edge advancements with FlightSpeed technology with full-length Zoom Air.
The most unique aspect of the shoe’s design is the combination of Flyweave technology with traditional synthetic leather to made an upper that blends the both seamlessly. The two seemingly contradicting materials actually fuse together well and create a very snug yet flexible fit. This combination also fits perfectly in line with the inclusion of the Jordan jumpman and Nike swoosh logos, appearing together on the outside of the upper. Of course, the big bold design statement lies within the translucent red waffle
outsole, with the extra large letters spread across the shoe, heel to toe – BANNED.
While overall, the shoe looks much more like a casual sneaker than an athletic shoe, on-foot, the feel is very secure and the shoe is far lighter than it initially looks. Nike’s ability to combine the Jordan 1 vintage with the modern design elements suitable for today’s style of play – with Russell Westbrook employing the sneaker currently – is what makes this Air Jordan XXXI “Banned” a special silhouette.