Who: Nick De Paula
When the news broke on Friday that Jordan Brand plans to restore respectability to its legendary Retro line by releasing "remastered" versions with upgraded quality, I couldn't have been happier. For the last five years or so, I've actually completely lost interest in most of the brand's launches. The shoes I like, I already had A re-re-Retro of original colorways don't do much for me. And with the way pairs are even released nowadays in an era of Twitter-only links, actually getting a pair you want is a hassle and ordeal in itself. There's been three launches in the last year that I would've liked to have scooped, only to completely strike out at 5 a.m. Then there's the quality, which has been pretty much terrible for a shoe priced at $100, let alone $170. I've been buying Air Monarchs each year for my dad and uncle, and at $62 bucks, they've got materials just as suspect as my Military IVs.
The fact that the Jordan Brand even admitted that they needed to take an honest look at the quality of its Retros was a huge surprise, and a bold statement from the brand's end. For me, paying a difference of $20-25 for improved quality seems completely worth it. A key factor is I don't really buy as many shoes as I used to a few years ago, but I'll definitely be getting one or two pairs a season now. (Which probably still counts as a lot.) For a shoe like the Air Jordan XII or a City Series Air Jordan X, where the leather quality can be a make or break deal, that extra hit to the wallet is completely worth it. When brand leaders talk about things like improving comfort and longevity of their shoes, that should be a win for everyone involved. More than anything, it's just encouraging to hear that the brand has a renewed sense of value, and that they're actually listening to their most loyal audience. For someone that's been frustrated endlessly with the handling of retros over the last few years, the news couldn't be more exciting.