The Air Jordan 2009 was a departure in more than just model designation. Following the Air Jordan 23 (Air Jordan XX3), the Air Jordan line moved from number to year designations (23 being considered the ultimate number to end the original system on), and it also abandoned some time-proven features that had become standbys. The standard cushioning systems of the past were replaced by an all-new setup called APT (Articulated Propulsion Technology), which came from artificial limbs and promised to enhance split-second reaction times. The look — which featured a separated heel — wasn’t readily accepted. The articulated Zoom Air in the front and conventional Zoom in the heel was welcome, however.
The overarching theme behind the shoe was defense, which was filtered through the art of fencing. The upper featured a pleated-silk upper, offset by luxurious leather, which provided elements of luxury and lockdown fit, as well as “sword slash” tread patterns. Another Considered shoe, the Air Jordan 2009 featured lasered detailing as well as diamond elements. The midsole was “blown glass,” said to be unique to each individual sneaker. Decidedly luxurious in look and feel, the cut was lower than the Air Jordan 23, and the upper was more sumptuously padded and enhanced.
wasn’t involved in the 2009 (Jason Mayden was the lead designer), which turned out to be something of an outlier in the Air Jordan line. Many of the elements which found their way into the 2009 were not to be repeated — which makes the Air Jordan 2009 both an evolutionary dead end of sorts, as well as something of a cautionary tale. The original retail price of the 2009 was $190—lower than the briefcase-encased $200, but still too steep for many, who waited for the inevitable deep discounts to come. This probably wasn’t an intended part of the fencing motif.