Could this (hopefully) be a sign of things to come? The Jordan Brand is now somewhat officially in the boot game, and they’ve only gone and done so by aligning themselves with one of the more unique players in the world of football in Brazil’s talisman Neymar. It is a pairing that just fits. In Neymar you have one of the most talented players in world football; and a player with a style of play which is shared by no one. While Michael Jordan is the greatest player in basketball history, who revolutionized the way basketball was played. Neymar grew up a fan of Jordan the player and Jordan’s brand; and His Airness is a fan of Neymar’s style on the pitch and off it.
So what boot will Neymar be wearing as the first footballer to represent the Jumpman? A customized version of NJR x JORDAN Hypervenom II that takes its design from the Air Jordan V shoe which was worn by Jordan during the 1989-90 NBA season for the Chicago Bulls, including the thrilling seven game Eastern Conference Final series against the eventual NBA Champion Detroit Pistons. The shoe was released to the retail market in 1990 and it’s also a shoe which is Neymar’s favorite of the Jordan line of releases. The boot will be released in a color combination on Black/Reflective Silver/Infrared which is an homage to the colors of the Chicago Bulls franchise Jordan represented at the time.
The Jordan V is a great option to meld with the style of the Hypervenom II, the Jordan V features “fighter jet teeth” on the side sole of the shoe and it bares more than a passing resemblance to the side of the current Hypervenom line. The Jordan V also featured the number of His Airness on the lateral side heels of the shoe. This is something which has been embraced for the Neymar boot, with a little twist. The designers at Nike put Neymar’s number 10 (national team) on the side heel of each boot. However, Neymar requested a change to have 10 on the left side and Jordan’s iconic 23 (in the font used for the 1989-90 season edition) on the lateral side of the right boot, a classic case of what the kids would call “Real recognizing Real”. As the Hypervenom is tongueless, the famed reflective tongue from the Air Jordan V has been replicated with the Nike swoosh on the forefoot of the boot. And of course one mustn’t forget to note that the famed Jordan Jumpman logo which features on the rear heel of the boot. The boot will also feature the initials ‘DL’ (Neymar’s son Davi Luca) and the Brazilian flag on the laces.
As for the material composite of the new NJR x JORDAN Hypervenom, it’s a different animal to the current Hypervenom II. While the current Hypervenom II has switched back to the boots original NikeSkin construction complete with the honeycomb textured upper. This NJR x JORDAN Hypervenom will feature a NikeSkin upper which features a much more knitted look than ever before, which is something I am curious to see how it handles on the pitch.
Also it’s not just a one boot partnership, the NJR x JORDAN Hypervenom will also be designed as part of the Proximo series with both Indoor Court (IC) and Turf (TF) layouts. Which will see smaller sided players get to sport the boots inspired by this new combination of Neymar and Jordan. But it won’t just be boots, for the first time ever the Jordan Brand is launching a complete collection for an athlete who isn’t a Jordan Brand specific athlete. Neymar will be getting a pair of customized Air Jordan V Low’s which as mentioned are his favourite shoe from the brands history. The sneaker will have Neymar’s name stitched to the tongue and will also feature Neymar’s national team number 10 on the left shoe mimicking the Hypervenom. The collection will also feature a cracking track jacket and a Jordan inspired Brazil jersey
The NJR x JORDAN collection is available as of June 1 on the Nike Football App, and will go live on the Nike website as of June 3. Availability will be limited so if you need to cop yourself something from this collection, act quickly. The FG boots will retail for $375, while the IC and TF pairs will be available for $190; all three styles will also come with a cracking boot bag!
What do you think of the NJRxJORDAN collection? Is there another player who could fit into the Jordan Brand in such a seamless manner? Let us know in the comments.