It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a much anticipated Air Jordan 11. For over twenty years now, it has been a staple of the sneaker calendar, and for good reason: the 11 remains one of the most beloved and coveted Jordan silhouettes of all time. As a result, the brand protects her more than others. This year is no different, except that it is an unusually big deal: For the first time in more than a decade, the beloved ‘Cool Gray’ colourway is making a long-awaited comeback.
For the uninitiated, the Air Jordan 11 could be legendary designer Tinker Hatfield’s crown jewel with the Air Jordan line – we’ve placed it number three in our massive Js ranking. Sporting a ballistic nylon mesh upper and accented by an iconic patent leather band, this was the shoe Michael Jordan donned upon his return to the NBA after a two-year retirement (and perhaps most notably, during his retirement). clash against the Monstars in the movie Space jam).
As the shoe legend grew, Jordan Brand began what would become an annual tradition in 2009. While a number of 11 had dropped in previous holiday seasons, 2009 saw the annual drop become official, with a retro of the “Space Jam” colorway. (It was also the first retro 11 to drop over the holidays, nine years ago.)
The model would remain the same over the years. While new colorways are occasionally introduced outside of the holidays (this year’s “Animal Instinct” colorway hit SNKRS on Thanksgiving weekend), this has long been the only time of year the 11 classics have come out. . In the past, the hype around these drops has become notorious, especially in the years leading up to the digital era of sneaker shopping. The wave reached its peak in 2011 when the holiday release of the classic âConcordâ colourway caused chaos across the country.
These days, there are more than enough 11 for everyone, however. Jordan Brand is releasing millions of pairs for the holiday season, regularly breaking its own sales records. The shoes are available through SNKRS as well as retail chains and your local sneaker store. As long as you don’t sleep on your alarm clock on the morning of the fall, you can probably buy a pair.
And this holiday season sees the first âCool Grayâ 11 drop since 2010. It’s arguably the most popular incarnation of the 11 outside of the original line, a clean and simple outfit in a shiny neutral gray. Seen for the first time in 2001, it inaugurated a new standard colourway for the Jordan line. The following year, the Air Jordan 9 received a similar gray treatment, the following 4 and 3 in 2004 and 2006, respectively. The 11, however, has only been demoted once since its original release, in 2010, although a weak interpretation of the silhouette and colorway dropped in 2018.
This âCool Grayâ 11 replaces primed ballistic mesh for a firm nubuck leather and is the first retro in the colourway to feature the now standard Ice Blue sole (which looks great, but also helps prevent premature yellowing). It’s tied with that classic band of patent leather in a darker shade of gray and crisp white laces. If you want a pair, don’t miss the drop. If history is any indicator, we may not see them again for a very, very long time.
The Air Jordan 11 âCool Grayâ will be released on December 11 at 10am ET via SNKRS and retailers nationwide.