History Repeated – Air Jordan XXXI “Banned”

History doesn’t repeat itself, they say. Well, sometimes it does. For instance, when a certain someone dribbles down the clock to deliver a championship-deciding play in game 6 of the finals – just to do it all over again the following year.

Mr. Michael Jeffrey Jordan loved to make history. And he loved mimicking his prior heroics. Not in the exact same way, yet with a fierce, merciless demeanor that won him MVP after MVP, championship after championship. On the hardwood MJ basically constantly repemichael-jordan-banned-jordan-1ated history.

Whenever it counted, Jordan was there to change the game in favor of his Bulls. He is THE game changer in NBA history. In a then big man’s league, MJ helped switching the focus towards smaller, more athletic wings. Within seven years he helped transform the Bulls from the NBA’s equivalent to your Average Joe to the Association’s biggest juggernaut. Eight years. Six championships. History repeated. Game changed.



In one aspect Jordan did not even need years to make a difference. In that aspect, a night was enough. When in 1985 Nike introduced the Air Jordan 1, the sneaker game basically changed over night.

The shoe marks the starting point of the biggest success story in endorsement history. It skyrocketed thereby setting the tone for what we today know as the Jordan Brand. Had Nike not introduced the AJ1, things simply would not be the same.

Deep breath. Luckily, they did. The rest, as they say, is history. Today we appreciate Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe as one of the most popular, most iconic sneakers in history. Something, nobody could even dream of when he was first released.




31 years have since gone by. A long time. So now it is time. Time to let history repeat itself. To remember Nike’s genius marketing trick that helped provide the Air Jordan 1 with an unprecedented fan-base.

All they needed, was one simple word. Banned! Due to his famous black and red colorway the first Air Jordan I violated the NBA’s uniform policy. Hence, the league banned the shoe. That’s, what Nike suggested. That’s what people believed. That’s  – in part – why people bought the shoe.

Well, let’s just say Nike twisted the truth a little. In reality, the AJ1 was not quite the shoe the league did not approve of. Granted. The campaign worked. The Air Jordan 1 worked. Hence, the Air Jordan XXXI “Banned” will work.





Why? Because JB’s newest edition gets as close to repeating sneaker history as one could possibly get. Not only does the shoe perfectly mimic the (in-)famous colorway, more importantly it takes the beautiful silhouette on a journey. A journey that starts in 1985, passes the 90s, jumps over the 00s and comes to a stop on September 3rd, 2016.

That is the day where history’s circle is complete, where starting point and future melt, producing a unique yet classic shoe that borrows from its predecessor while mixing the AJ1’s strengths with state-of-the-art technology.

Granted, capturing the style, the attitude of history’s probably most popular sneakers is not easy. Yet, the Air Jordan XXXI does it with ease. The AJ1’s silhouette is recognizable in every aspect of its successor. It has simply gotten a modern makeover, giving the AJXXXI just the right amount of traditional feeling while, at the same time, pointing towards the shoe’s main purpose.




As fresh as it might look, the Air Jordan XXXI is a performance juggernaut. Heck, it is even a pioneer. A game changer. Or have you ever seen a performance shoe combine Flyweave and synthetic leader? Well, that’s exactly what the AJXXXI does. A mix of off-court sensibility and on-court performance arises.

More importantly, though, the combination gives just the right amount of lightweight support, the game’s best like Russell Westbrook or Jimmy Butler enjoy. Another thing they love? FlightSpeed featuring full-length Zoom that enhances court feel, responsiveness and lateral support. Just as MJ liked it back when he used to raise the question whether man really was not meant to fly.




Oh, and speaking of fly: Flywire cables, of course, are part of the AJXXXI-package as well. The fit? Perfectly tight! The lateral support? Outstanding!

With that being said, let’s get back to history. Not only is the Air Jordan XXXI the first sneaker to combine the famous Wings-logo, the Jumpman and Swoosh, it is the first Jordan shoe since the AJ1 to feature a swoosh at all. History repeating successful!




Because all good things come in threes, Nike releases the Air Jordan XXXI and the Jordan Trainer 1 Low along with the Air Jordan 1 on the same day (Sept. 3rd, 2016) and in the matching ‘banned’ colorway. To learn more about the Air Jordan 1, its iconic history and famous ‘banned’ campaign, please read Rob’s blogpost here.


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About the author

Max is quite new to KICKZ.COM. Having quit his job as a basketball writer to travel the world he didn't want to lose touch with the basketball world. After all the relationship has been too intimate ever since seeing Michael Jordan play for the first time in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals. After those fat MJ years times as a Bulls fan have not always been easy, but having guys like Jimmy Butler now makes up for a lot of those rough years. Max has also got a weakness for the occasional perfect shooting stroke. Watching guys like Ray Allen or Steph Curry shoot ... it's simply poetry in motion. When it comes to sneakers it's retro basketball all the way – with the occasional runner making an appearance. The Nike Blazer is as much a favorite as the Air Jordan 1.

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