Never before seen Air Jordan IX.
The design of a signature shoe is an exhaustive process. You have initial concepts, ideation sketches, renders, technology, material make-up and plenty of tweaks before you get to a sample of what a sneaker could potentially look like before it hits retail. Over the years, plenty of samples have shown up in collector’s closets on eBay but this version of the Air Jordan IX took most footwear aficionados by surprise.
Here’s a look at a second round look-see sample pair of the Air Jordan IX. Apparently the only other make-up of this sample is in the Nike Archive Warehouse. What’s interesting to see is what elements of this version IX actually went into production. For instance, the silhouette itself is different, as the sample is a low top instead of the high cut of the released IX.
The main noticeable components that made it into production are the midsole, outsole and plastic lace eyelets. The materials used include a leather upper and quilted mesh lining and tongue that almost looks like corduroy. The quilting on the quarter panel and toebox doesn’t look anything like what the eventual IX’s would look like. The reverse Jumpman heel embroidery was also used on the Air Jordan X’s and later models.
Overall, this Air Jordan IX look-see sample is a very interesting piece of sneaker history the type of changes that can happen from sample to final product. Truly a rare piece of Air Jordan legacy.