Nike unveils Air Jordan XX9, the first high-def sneaker


(Courtesy Brand Jordan)

What the heck are high-definition sneakers and do you really need them?

Who knows and … oh, my, yes.

They’re the new Air Jordan XX9s, unveiled today by Nike and Air Jordan in New York. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook will wear them in the NBA playoffs this weekend, but they won’t hit stores until September, when they’ll go for $225. That’s plenty of time to ponder exactly what is a high-def shoe.

It’s one that, USA Today reports, “has 25 million pixels on its performance woven upper. It’s crafted by Italian artisans using a two-headed jacquard weaving machine normally for high-quality labels or silk neckties — definitely not shoes. It goes beyond appearance, however. From a structural standpoint, each pixel has a specific function and reason for being.”

Oh. Does it still squeak on a wooden floor?

(Courtesy Brand Jordan)
(Courtesy Brand Jordan)

“I was literally thinking about designing more and more with computer technology in mind and I was thinking about pixels,” Tinker Hatfield, who has designed 19 models of Air Jordans, told USA Today. “High-definition? Sort of, yeah.”

Two styles of the shoe, designed, Hatfield said, to “fit like a glove and to feel like you’re wearing nothing at all,” were unveiled: one in black and red and the other in black and orange.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Kelyn Soong · April 17, 2014