Sneaker News Top 30 Sneakers of 2011

December 29th, 2011 by

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How many legendary colorways from the prolific Nike Air Jordan era have never seen a retro release? Are you done counting? You probably are because there’s not much left to list. In fact, they can probably be counted on one hand with fingers to spare. Up until this past spring, there was one obvious answer that would likely have been the first to come to mind for most – the Air Jordan VII ‘Bordeaux.’ Originally released in 1992, the Bordeaux VII’s somehow slipped through the cracks during all of these retro-heavy years and took an astounding 19 years to make it back to store shelves. It wasn’t because the popular demand wasn’t there and it certainly wasn’t because the shoe lacked timeless style and practical relevance, but somehow it still managed to elude us for all this time.

At the time of the Bordeaux’s original release, Air Jordans were a primarily “white/red” “black/red” world, with the occasional True/Military Blue or Grape thrown in for variety. The Bordeaux came through and shattered the limitations of the yearly “non-Bulls” release with a grey/black upper accented by a splash of vibrant colors all over the tongue and outsole, with the most notable being

the wine-colored hue from which the shoe’s eventual nickname was derived. Aside from the unconventional and sophisticated color scheme and Michael’s stint in the shoe during the Bulls’ 1992 championship run, the other lasting image of the Bordeaux VII was Mike’s classic team-up with another iconic MJ. Jordan wore the shoe during his guest appearance in Michael Jackson’s video for the song “Jam,” where the two living legends faced off for a “game” of one-on-one.

So much history and yet, no re-release for all of those years. Finally in 2011, whatever stars that needed to align fortunately did so, and the last remaining un-retroed heavyweight finally returned to its adoring masses. While the year was headlined by the barrage of Air Jordan III and V releases, the VII quietly had a nice year of its own with the Cardinal, Orion and Year of the Rabbit, but it was the Bordeaux back in April that proved to be the pick of the litter and a mouth-watering missing piece to a lot of sneaker collections. For those who copped a pair, cherish the feeling, because there’s not many unturned stones left in the Nike Air Jordan OG archives and certainly none that will be likely to elicit the feeling of joy and satisfaction that a crispy pair of Air Jordan VII Bordeaux’s brought to a lot of happy folks earlier this year.

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