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Jordan Brand Capitalizes on Outdoor Footwear Craze Ahead of the Holiday

Nike’s Jordan Brand has unveiled its Holiday 2020 collection with a bit of a twist. The brand is introducing an outdoor shoe as part of its three-pronged seasonal offering, which includes the Jordan Spizike 270 Boot, the Jordan Delta and the Jordan Zoom ’92.

The Jordan Spizike 270 Boot, a spinoff of last year’s Michael Jordan-Spike Lee sneaker collaboration, combines elements from various Air Jordan models, with the shoe design meant to infuse Jumpman heritage with modern comfort and utility. A Nike Air Max 270 sole unit is designed to provide all-day comfort while winterized materials allow for outdoor use across all seasons.

The shoe’s initial drop includes four seasonal color pairings, designed to accentuate its durable construction: lighter tans and browns accented with touches of black and red, dark brown tones, triple black and a Nike ACG (All Conditions Gear)-inspired iteration with bright pops of pink, purple, and teal contrasting accents on a gray base. Accents like a mesh cage, suede top and mudguard all are colored to match, with the adjacent overlays detailed even further with a tinted cement print.

While Nike offers plenty of outdoor and hiking shoes, the Jordan Brand rarely offers models designed for that purpose, and certainly doesn’t lead off major collections with them. But it shows that the market’s continued growth throughout the Covid-19 pandemic is a money maker that the biggest names are leaning further on, especially given the struggles of the overall footwear sector.

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In taking a look at the numbers, Jordan’s foray into outdoors makes financial sense. NPD data shows total U.S. footwear sales for July reached $2.3 billion, representing a decline of 16 percent versus the previous July. Yet despite this decline, which included a performance footwear niche that was also down 16 percent, hiking shoes actually increased more than 15 percent, demonstrating just how much of a difference one subsector is making right now.

But the holiday launch doesn’t end with the Spizike 270 Boot. The Jordan Delta, blending high-end craftsmanship with high-tech construction, is offered in two men’s colorways for the winter season. One is inspired by the bold colors of Nike ACG, while the second is an alternate take on Jordan Brand’s timeless black-and-red colorway using various hues of gray with bright crimson and white. Two women’s Delta iterations also release this holiday season: one in a guava ice and sail colorway, and the other in hyper royal, bright crimson and sail.

Finally, Jordan is playing the hits with the third silhouette in the collection. Jordan Brand’s Zoom ’92 sneaker is returning this winter with six fresh models that weave visible, modern technology and graphic design to create a remixed basketball-inspired silhouette. The shoe is inspired by three models: the Air Jordan VII, the Nike Air Max 180 and the Nike Air Force 5.

Zoom ’92 will drop with three men’s colorways alongside three women’s exclusives this winter. The former will include heritage-inspired mixes brimming with royal, red and Chicago themes, while the women’s exclusive variants are a bit more unique, pairing dark bordeaux or light pink with neutral colors, while one is inspired by the Air Max 180 ultramarine.

Always the brands to keep up with (and stay ahead of) modern trends, Nike and Jordan both released eco-friendly shoes in July, which falls very much in line with the footwear supply chain’s need to push sustainability and circularity initiatives forward.

Nike’s Air VaporMax 2020 implements recycled Flyknit yarn within its upper that is made from nearly 67 percent post-industrial recycled content, and has a heel counter crafted from approximately 60 percent recycled thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which sits atop the VaporMax Air unit crafted with recycled materials. The model also uses laceless FlyEase technology, which helps people of all capabilities wear the shoes.

And Jordan’s Crater collection, which includes a new iteration of the Air Jordan 1 High Zoom, the Jordan Crater and the Jordan Crater Slide, was launched earlier this month as part of Nike’s Move to Zero initiative.

The High Zoom features a synthetic suede upper crafted from a canvas-like material, with reinforcements and webbings built from 80 percent to 100 percent mechanically recycled polyester and 100 percent recycled nylon, respectively. The upper sits atop Crater foam tooling made from repurposed Nike foams with approximately 12 percent Nike Grind rubber from manufacturing waste.

In another recent attempt to test shifting consumer habits, Jordan Brand debuted a denim-textured iteration of the Air Jordan 3 Retro SE in Japan and the U.S., which includes Japanese-made denim along the toe-guard, heel and lace collar with a gray elephant-print overlay.