Russell Westbrook appears in latest spot from Jordan and Foot Locker (VIDEO)


Russell Westbrook doesn’t quite get the signature athlete treatment from Jordan Brand, but he is the current face of the legendary sneaker company’s flagship model.

In this latest spot from Jordan and Foot Locker promoting the Jordan XX9, Westbrook shows a young hooper what it takes to make it to his level by taking him through a series of workouts — some of which are more serious than others.

MORE: Reviewing the Air Jordan XX9, after testing the shoes at Michael Jordan’s house

Air Jordan XX9: First impressions from the wear test experience (VIDEO)


CHICAGO — The newest edition of the flagship sneaker from Jordan Brand has a September release date, but the company had a group of media members out to Chicago this week to put it through its paces, while giving those participating an amazing experience.

The Air Jordan XX8 set the standard for performance in basketball footwear when it was released about 18 months ago, and improving upon it is no small task. But that’s what was attempted with the Jordan XX9, and few will be disappointed with the end result.

I broke down some first impressions after playing a couple of games in them on Tuesday — at Michael Jordan’s house.

More on that later in the full recap of the experience, but for now, check out my initial review in the video clip above.

Jordan Brand unveils the Air Jordan XX9


NEW YORK — Jordan Brand unveiled the latest iteration of its signature sneaker at a private event in Manhattan on Thursday, and the Air Jordan XX9 immediately impressed thanks to its ground-breaking and innovative design.

From the official release:

“The Air Jordan XX9 features the world’s first performance-woven upper. Finding inspiration in Italy, the home of some of the world’s greatest craftsmen, the Jordan design team created an upper that provides structure, support, interior comfort and exterior abrasion resistance. Using state-of-the-art weaving machines, the team learned they could provide all four major elements of the shoe in a single layer of material.”

“In the past, we’ve drawn inspiration from myriad places—everything from fighter jets to motorcycles—and have ended up with some pretty fun designs along the way,” said Tinker Hatfield, Vice President of Creative Concepts. “This year, our inspiration and challenge to ourselves was to create the best performance basketball shoe ever—and I think the XX9 and the performance-woven upper pay that off.”

“The performance-woven upper delivers superior abrasion resistance, along with an entirely new look on the outside of the shoe. The structure and fit of the shoe are engineered through Flight Web tunnels, and strategic panels of stiffer and softer flex to enhance natural motion. The absence of numerous layers and adhesion technologies creates an incredibly comfortable, sock-like interior lining with superior breathability. Using webbed straps that wrap the foot and integrate with the laces, the Flight Web fit system offers superior mid-foot lockdown that moves with the athlete. Woven channels in the upper enhance the Flight Web fit system, while a double-lasted heel helps dampen the impact on hard landings. Articulated padding in the collar adds to the premium, signature feel of the shoe and helps prevent the heel from slipping.”

Hatfield and Michael Jordan were in attendance, and both spoke to the unique process that makes the Jordan XX9 the first shoe of its kind.

Jordan XX9Video Maker

But while the woven upper was impressive, this particular shoe had to follow in the footsteps of what was widely regarded as the best performance basketball shoe to hit the market in quite some time in the Jordan XX8. And by the accounts of wear-testers, including Jordan Brand athlete Russell Westbrook, they managed to somehow make the XX9 perform at an even higher standard, thanks to evolving the Flight Plate to provide an even smoother ride.

“The plate provides managed compression and deflection of the Nike Zoom Air cushioning units, creating a larger sweet spot for optimal performance,” it was explained. “In this year’s shoe, the forefoot and heel are linked by a tendril – a small bridge of outsole – providing a smoother heel-to-toe transition.”

The performance reviews will ultimately determine the success of the XX9, but there’s no question that the design process is already an amazing step in the evolution of basketball footwear from the game’s most iconic brand.

The Air Jordan XX9 launches in September in the two colorways shown, and for a few more photos from the launch, check out the gallery below.

Jordan XX9 SamplesVideo Maker