2011 marks the year of the 26th edition of the Air Jordan and much like how Apple changes technology with each perennial update, the Air Jordan hopes to change the way people will look at sneakers. Senior Footwear Designer Tom Luede told us that it’s customization that’s “essential to elevating the Air Jordan brand to the next level and making it more adaptable to the game.” The Air Jordan 2011 will offer the customer two different types of removable midsoles—the “quick,” for responsive and cutting action and the “explosive” made for impact protection. Each shoe is finished by handcrafting the last touches, each pair a one of a kind.
Inspired by warriors, the creative design team, head up by Tinker Hatfield and Luede, took ideas from the winged birds of Avatar and gladiator sandals. With MJ’s metaphor of, “choosing your weapon,” the Air Jordan’s come in 3 different warrior-types. The black and white is The Classic, red and blue The All Star, and our favorite, grey and red-gold is called The Year of the Rabbit, in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year and MJ’s Chinese zodiac sign. Put on that pair, and you might wear some of Jordan’s astrological luck. After the jump, check out more pictures of the shoe, some behind-the-scenes looks at design sketches, and a better view of the removable insoles.