Air Jordan II: The Rise To Greatness

Name: Air Jordan II

Release: 1986

Designer: Bruce Kilgore

Could the Air Jordan sneaker continue its dominance on the sneaker market?  Well in 1986 Nike released the second version of the shoe to the public to continue the storm of success that the original did. This sneaker was designed by Bruce Kilgore who was the same individual that designed the widely popular Nike Air Force 1. It is said that the design of this particular shoe was inspired by a woman’s 19th century boot with highlights of lizard skin. This shoe was also the last of the Air Jordan line to feature the logo of a basketball surrounded by a cloud…thank the lord! One very interesting fact about this shoe is that it was the only one in the Air Jordan series that was produced in Italy. It also did not feature the patented Nike “Swoosh” on it, which was highly uncommon with Nike sneakers at that time.

This sneaker was the first to be retailed at the dreaded $100 price tag that year and it was quite a jump from $65, which many considered unreasonable already. To make matters even harder for marketing purposes, this sneaker was released during the same period when “Black Monday” happened (the stock market crashed in 1987).  Though this sneaker was not the most popular one when re-released to the masses it definitely was very important to the legacy that was sparked from the Air Jordan collection. It is said that when this shoe was released as a retro version it sold very poorly…so bad that it was found in discount bins…*SIGH*…what a shame. It makes me think of the days when you would go to stores and see shoes sold without a box and zip tied together through the lace holes. To make matters worse during that season Jordan broke his ankle and was sidelined for most of the season.  Therefore making him unable to showcase these sneakers the way they needed to be…was this the end of something that seemed so good? Nothing seemed to be going right with the second round Air Jordan sneakers…

Bottom Line:
It was a pair of Air Jordans and it didn’t matter what shoe was out that year YOU HAD TO HAVE THEM! Looking back now after all the gems we have experienced in the series of this dominant collection of shoes it is easy to say that these might not have met up to the standards of the later sneakers…but really think about it…it was 1986! To put things in perspective of where my mind was at during that time I can put it to you like this… in 1986 my biggest concern was getting home from school in time to watch the Transformers and Silver Hawks cartoon series!

  • I.B. Da Force Masta

    Call me wierd but those are in my top 5 or top 6 of all Jordans. I like them. “Rockabyebaby”!

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Sole Theory is a sneaker lifestyle guide that explores the social impact of the sneaker culture. Users can expect to gain insight on recent trends, historic brands and signature styles that have heavily influenced the shoe industry. Content will be driven by articles, interviews and reviews that will uncover interesting facts and stories that have rarely been told.