February 13th, 2014 by John Kim
You might already know this, but it cannot be overstated: the Air Jordan line is the most influential signature shoe series ever. The ways in which Michael Jordan and his sneakers have impacted the world as we know it is a broader topic that would take pages if not entire books on its own. So let’s examine a specific area in which Air Jordans have irreversibly changed basketball footwear: material innovations.
From the very first release, Nike used the Air Jordan as an opportunity to push the envelope. To have the endorser go on to become the greatest player in the history of the game was fortunate. But designers like the great Tinker Hatfield seizing the moment and surprising us with beautiful and/or useful new materials was also required for this perfect storm. The following pages detail a history of those introductions and their impact on sneaker culture: