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The Jordan Fly ‘89 | Missed Opportunities

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The Air Jordan IV continues to be one of the most iconic sneakers ever. Now it has evolved into an all-new sportswear silhouette with the Jordan Fly ’89.

Source: Nike News – Introducing the Jordan Fly ‘89

This is the year of the Air Jordan 4. Every year Jordan takes one of its classic Jordan Brand sneakers and they update it with a modern feel and look. In sneaker communities this never goes over well. In the mainstream or with the commercial market the shoes perform well because they are still Jordan. Basically the brand can do no wrong because it doesn’t rely on the limited release market to generate the massive billion dollar income that makes annual Jordan Brand sales for Nike comparable to an entire sneaker company like Under Armour.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t missteps. The Jordan Fly 89 is an attempt at Jordan Brand to remain relevant in the current running inspired retro trend being dominated by adidas with the NMD and UltraBOOST. The shoe looks a lot like the Nike Lunarcharge, but is clearly inspired by the Air Jordan 4. While it’s clear that the intent isn’t to update the basketball shoe which is basically an unplayable block of rubber and leather that can’t be utilized as a basketball shoe anymore, I think this is a missed opportunity.

Each year the flagship shoe has dropped and the response has been lukewarm. This year the Air Jordan XXX1 implemented elements of the Air Jordan 1 into the release and the shoe has been well received (in terms of how the sneaker community views Jordan Brand numbered shoes). The shoe can be found in multiple stores on discount racks. Certain models have been linked with Retro 1 releases and some of those models in the 31 have sold out (Consider the College Team 31 Lows, and Fine Print 31) which is solid for the Brand.

This Jordan Fly 89 however seems like a misstep to me. It really doesn’t look very good and I think this is a moment where the Air Jordan 4 should have been the inspiration for the next Jordan model. Which would be a jump ahead since the Retro 1 just inspired the 31. I expect the Retro 2 to inspire the 32. If this is the case then the Retro 4 should inspire the 34 in a few years and what I would hope to see is the 4 recreated with a ZoomX midsole and Flyknit. The shoe would take on a similar shape to the KD10. A playable Air Jordan 4 as the 34 would make sense. Right now this Jordan Fly 89, doesn’t fly. It feels forced.