In 2005 Nike’s Jordan Brand began it’s trend of creating hybrid sneakers based on the features of some of it’s top silhouettes. It’s a love/hate practice depending upon who you talk to. Dub Zero, Spizike, Six Rings, and lest we forget the Air Force Fusions.
In the mid ’80s Nike Basketball did a lot of experimentation with its primary hoop silhouettes. Essentially it dealt with adjusting the uppers and using different mid and outsoles.
The Air Jordan I is, and perhaps will always be, the most recognizable basketball shoe ever. It sparked a revolution not only because of the player who wore it, but also because of its unconventional colors in contrast with prior basketball shoes.
The original Air Jordan, the general release, is seen below in its most popular colorway.
Michael Jordan wore this silhouette primarily, however Nike’s continuing mission of creating footwear “Engineered to the exact specifications of championship athletes.” allowed Air Jordan to be its game day guinea pig. “Where can we better the upper?” “How can we improve the midsole?” “How will new materials hold up to the rigors of the game?”
The Air Jordan I tried using the midsole of the Nike Dunk, seen below, however they incorporated Air into the player exclusive.
Perhaps the greatest Air Jordan I hybrid uses the midsole of the Air Jordan II. This hybrid offers a complete midsole change to polyurethane, as well as the winged logo labeling.
It was this change, or hybrid, which made the most impact on Air Jordans moving forward as this indeed became the midsole used for the Air Jordan II.
words by Todd Krevanchi (@krvanch)