TURIN, Italy — Nike’s Jordan Brand unveiled the latest model of the Air Jordan sneaker, the Air Jordan XXXII, at a special event in Italy, harkening back to the company’s deep roots in the industry. The sneaker will be released on Sept. 23 and retail for $185, the same price as last year’s edition.
The newest addition to the Jordan line takes heavy inspiration from the original Air Jordan II of 31 years ago, which was manufactured in Italy for its initial 1986 release. After the breakout success of the inaugural Air Jordan sneaker upon Michael Jordan’s entrance into the NBA, his second signature shoe pushed the envelope for a basketball sneaker at the time. Crafted in Italy with rich leathers and unique faux iguana-textured paneling, the Air Jordan II originally retailed for $105, a steep increase over the Asia-made Air Jordan I’s price tag of $65.
With Jordan long retired from the game, the shoe will be headlined on the court this season by Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s reigning MVP. Other All-Stars, such as? Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and Carmelo Anthony, are also expected to wear it in their own exclusive uniform-specific versions.
Since the iconic series turned 30 during the 2015-16 NBA season, the subsequent Air Jordan designs have drafted off of the model three decades before it, beginning with the Air Jordan XXXI last season. Designed by Tate Kuerbis, the new Air Jordan XXXII features a knitted fabric upper, swooping collar wings inspired by the II for added support, and the brand’s “Flight Speed” cushioning system of both heel and forefoot Zoom Air units.
Both Flyknit and Zoom Air have been incorporated into countless sneakers from the brand, but the newest Air Jordan looks to amplify the experience that both provide. The knitted upper aims to make the XXXII the most flexible Air Jordan yet, while the ribbed detailing gives it a unique look unlike past woven and knit models.
“I wanted to make the laces just…