How Air Jordan Made Nike the Most Popular Athletic Shoe Company

Before 1984 Nike had absolutely no credit in the basketball world, in fact it faced jeopardy from the fast paced sportswear market in general. They basically needed a way in which to reinvent themselves in order to appeal to the market once again, which is how the business relationship with Michael Jordan first came about. Nike saw an opportunity in Jordan and as a result signed a $2.5 million deal with him for five years; Nike now stands as the most popular athletic shoe company in existence.

Since its first release back in 1985 there have continually been new designs of the Air Jordan athletic shoe released each year, even after Jordan retired from basketball. However when the first shoe was released back in 1985, things didn’t start out so smoothly and the release turned the athletic shoe industry upside down with some people praising its release while for others it caused nothing but controversy. For one this type of shoe had never been released in anything but white whereas the Air Jordans were black with bold red detail, causing them to soon be banned from the basketball league, a ban that Jordan himself broke time and time again, resulting in Nike getting fined but to Nike this was OK as people were starting to pay attention to the shoe. This attention soon became clear as many companies were starting to imitate the design in their own releases.

The designers responsible for the Air Jordans take aspects of Michael Jordans life, ideas and hobbies into account when producing the athletic shoes and as a result there are over 24 different models available. This offers an array of style, color and design for you to take advantage of; so basically with the amount of choice that is open to you, the Air Jordan makes the perfect shoe to be worn not just on the basketball court but also on a daily basis as well.

Each of the new Air Jordans that are created each push the boundaries of style and technology, an example of this can be seen within the third version of this athletic shoe that was created. This was designed by Tinker Hatfield and was the first within this product line to feature a visible air unit on the heel, similar to that of the Nike Air Max. Also within this version of the shoe, it was the first to feature the famous Jump-man logo. Out of all the sneakers that were produced within this brand it is this version that is said to be the favorite of Michael Jordan; in fact he wore this version during the 1988 Dunk Championship, which he went on to win along with many other historical events during his career. This shoe is definitely one of the most famous within the Air Jordan series.

The most recent release within this lineup comes curtsy of the Air Jordan 2009, which represents a sports shoe that uses technology known as Articulated Propulsion Technology, which is based around the carbon fiber prosthetic running technology. It is this increase in technology and the advancements that have come with it as well as Michael Jordans input that has pushed Nike to be the most popular Athletic Shoe Company in society today, a title that looks like its going to get stronger as more and more shoes are created and released.

How to Purchase the Right Athletic Shoes

If you’re in the market for a new pair of athletic shoes, you may have no clue where to go or even what to look for. There are so many places to shop and shoes to choose from, it’s no wonder shoe shopping has become such a chore. Here’s what you need to know before you set off on your shoe shopping expedition.

Athletic shoes usually consist of 3 categories: running shoes, cross-training shoes and walking shoes. Each shoe is designed specifically to help athletes avoid injury and discomfort. Remember that good shoes are ones that fit well, and not necessarily the most expensive. Bring an older pair of sneakers with you so that the fitter can determine your wear patterns.

Begin shopping at a specialty store for runners. These shops tend to be staffed by fellow athletes who are more knowledgeable about the various types of shoes and individual considerations in deciding which shoe to purchase. Plan on spending at least 30 minutes at the store to ensure time for a good fitting. Arch, Pronation and foot strike are three terms you might hear when you go for a shoe fitting. If the fitter does not mention any of these words, you should probably go to a different shop since these are essential components in finding the best-fitting shoes.

Arch
A fitter at a specialty store should determine what kind of arch you have. This is done by looking at an imprint of your bare foot. If you are able to see your complete foot print with no gaps, then you have a flat foot. If your print looks almost severed in half vertically, you have high arches. A normal arch is a print that is between the flat foot and high arch. There are a variety of shoes designed for people with specific arches, so know your arch before you purchase.

Pronation
When you run, you strike the ground with the outside of your heel. Then the rest of the foot comes down and rolls slightly inward as it meets the surface. Pronation is the down and inward roll of the foot-rolling from the outside heel to the inside toe. Pronation is not a bad thing because it helps your feet and legs absorb shock, but some people have a tendency to overpronate, which is when the foot rolls too much. People who overpronate need strong stabilizing shoes and underpronators, or those whose feet roll too little, need shoes with greater flexibility to encourage feet to pronate further.

Foot Strike
Most runners tend to be heel strikers who land on the outside of the heel and then roll up to push off the ball of the foot and the toes. Some runners, however, are forefoot striker and land more on the ball of the foot. Often, wear patters on older shoes can tell a lot about a person’s foot strike. Knowing a person’s foot strike can help the fitter determine where more cushioning is needed.

More Tips

* Expect to wear shoes that are at least a half size bigger than your usual shoes
* Wear the same socks to the fitting that you intend on wearing during physical activity
* The top-of-the-line model is not necessarily the best fit for you
* Run and walk in every pair to get a feel for them
* Try on many styles of shoe to ensure you have the best fit
* Go for your shoe fitting near the end of the day when your feet will be slightly swollen (similar to after physical activity)

The New Lebron 9 Scarface

Now this is what makes being a sneakerhead fun! One of the new LeBron 9’s that is going to be released has been dubbed “Scarface”. That’s right. As in Al Pacino as Scarface. How cool is that? As sneakerheads, we definitely live in the golden age of basketball kicks. Every new sneaker that is dropped seems to now have a title. Miami Night, Grinch, Dark Knight,and South Beach are all titles we have seen on Nike shoes for basketball that have dropped recently. Of course, I could keep going but the list is endless. It didn’t used to be like this people. I can still vividly remember the days of sneaker drops in black and white colorways only that certainly didn’t have a cool title. My how the times have change.

The Lebron 9 “Scarface” uses both white and black on it’s upper. An upper that for the first time on a Nike shoe, features both Flywire and Hyperfuse technologies. The forefoot portion of the shoe is white and accents the Flywire very nicely in red. The rear portion of the upper is black and uses a white Swoosh. The upper portion of the midsole is black while the lower portion uses red and contains the Nike Air unit. This color scheme reflects not only the advertising for the movie but also represents the Heat very well.

Unlike the Kobe Bryant signature sneaker line, King James and his signature sneakers are going forth and multiplying. Already we have seen several colorways of the new LeBron 9. A LeBron 9 that has yet to see a single release. In addition, to Lebron’s signature sneaker, his “Soldier”, “Ambassador” and V/2 series are all looking like they will be making appearances very soon. As you can see, Lebron’s shoe line is working very hard. King James has also worked very hard in the promotion of these shoes. He and Nike shoe designer Jason Petrie have spent a lot of time abroad promoting his new shoe. Most of his time lately has been spent in China. Let’s just hope Lebron is doing the same during this off season. He needs to finally get an NBA Finals Championship Ring. That way his new LeBron 9 can drop in a beautiful metallic gold colorway.

We can expect to see more themed colorways from the new Lebron 9. It seems as if this shoe is filling the void left empty by the Kobe VI and VII. That is a good thing. This shoe gives me a reason to cop a pair and throw a copy of the newly released Blu-ray edition of “Scarface” in my PS3. Life is good!

Zoom LeBron Soldier I – The First to Be Battle – Ready

The First to be Battle-Ready

Want to know which shoes LeBron James was wearing during the 2007 playoffs? Here’s the answer-it’s the Zoom LeBron Soldier 1. He used the white/gold colorway during home games and the navy/white/gold for those away from the home court. In line with all Nike Zoom franchise shoes, these are as lightweight, comfortable and stylish. A single oversized strap in front which goes around the entire shoe is designed to keep the shoes strapped perfectly to the wearer. It is designed with the distinguishable Nike swoosh on it.

Like all Zoom shoes, these pair of sneakers is equipped Zoom Air unit at the bottom to help you wear the shoes comfortably. It is also about 10 ounces lighter than its predecessors, assuring you of the lightweight feel when you put on this pair. The Zoom LeBron Soldier 1 really shows how form and function can be molded in one perfect pair of shoes. It also features the usual King James lion – a design taken from LeBron James’ own lion tattoo found in his right arm. There were several colorways released exclusively to schools sponsored by LeBron James. His very own school, the Saint Vincent – Saint Mary High School in Ohio, had their school colors represented in a white/green/gold colorway. Another school, the Fairfax High School in Los Angeles has their own black/red/maize colorway to show school spirit.

Though not as popular as the later shoes in the Soldier line, this was the shoe that began it all, giving birth to a whole new line in the Nike Air Zoom franchise. With the Zoom LeBron Soldier 1, we can feel the beginning of another legend in the many sneakers created in the name of LeBron James, another shoe destined to bring all the opponents in court down.