A production issue on this month’s retro of the Air Jordan 6 in the “Carmine” colorway is threatening to disrupt the shoe’s release. Jordan Brand has asked stores stocking the shoe to check the white midsole section of the pairs they received for pink discoloration. The company is asking stores to return affected pairs, several retailers told Complex.
Reached for comment on Monday, Jordan Brand confirmed that it was addressing the midsole issue.
“A small amount of the Air Jordan 6 Carmine product did not meet our standards for consumers,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Jordan Brand is working quickly with our retail partners to rectify this.”
The “Carmine” colorway of the Jordan 6, which uses red and white paneling for its distinctive upper, debuted during the shoe’s original run in 1991. It returned for the first time in 2008 as part of Jordan’s Countdown Pack series, packaged then with a pair of Air Jordan 17s. The sneakers came back again in 2014. Both the 2008 and 2014 pairs strayed from the original, replacing the “Nike Air” branding on the heel with Jumpman branding. The 2021 pair that’s scheduled to release on Feb. 13 will be the first retro of the sneaker to use the “Nike Air” branding from the 1991 version of the Jordan 6.
What will happen to the discolored pairs that are returned to the vendor? Nike, which owns Jordan Brand, will sometimes mark shoes with minor cosmetic defects as “B-grade” product and sell them at outlets at discounted prices. Jordan even turned one flub into a quasi-retail release, selling the factory-flawed black-bottomed version of the 2012 “Photo Blue” Jordan 9 as a nike.com exclusive in May 2013 at $30 below its original price. The “Carmine” Air Jordan 6s, though, may not ever see the light of day.
“That’s too bad to even be passed as a B-grade,” speculated one former Nike employee, “so they will be destroyed.”
The ex-Nike employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the factory producing the Air Jordan 6 used a flawed batch of midsole paint on the sneakers that turned from white to pink. They explained that it can take a sneaker six months to go from a factory line to a stockroom, and it’s not uncommon for material defects to manifest in that span.
While Jordan should be able to recover most of the product from retailers in this case, it won’t be able to totally remove the pink-sole “Carmine” Jordan 6s from the market. Sneaker resellers who already have the shoes, likely procured from stores selling stock early, are beyond the brand’s reach. Consumers might still come across the pink-tinted pairs on the markets where these sellers move their product.
On resale platform StockX, where you can buy the shoe’s before Friday’s release, there’s already a warning attached.
“Disclaimer: Pairs of the Jordan 6 Carmine (2021) may feature color migration on the midsole due to dye transferring from the upper,” it reads.