A number of strange things have recently happened in the world of footwear. Prestos are back (and in flyknit, too) after a long time. Kanye West jumps to Adidas, makes a diss track against Nike, and makes a sneaker that sells like hotcakes despite looking like something an astronaut would wear in space. The NMD silhouette is taking over street style.
Now, get this: a football player will be wearing Jordans to the pitch. And not just any Jordans—Jordan cleats. And in a world where the Swoosh has finally figured out how to make shoelaces tie themselves, why not?
Young Barcelona star Neymar becomes the first football player to sign with Jordan, a brand that’s traditionally known for featuring basketball players. The NJR x Jordan collection most prominently features what is literally (if shoes can mate and reproduce) the love child of the classic Air Jordan Vs and the Nike Hypervenom football shoe.
“The Jordan V is very iconic and has the fighter jet shark teeth on the front,” explains Nathan VanHook, Nike Football Sr. Design Director and the man who designed the mash-up. “The Hypervenom II that Neymar wears has an almost modernized version of that feature, so we took those elements and put them together.”
Other nice little features of the shoe include the AJ5 cement print, a combination of the NJR and Jordan logos on the sockliner, the Brazilian flag on the laces, Neymar’s jersey number 10 and Jordan’s legendary 23 on the left and right shoe, respectively.
On top of that, included in the NJR x Jordan collection is a custom Neymar edition of the Air Jordan V, with “Neymar” stitched in the shoe’s tongue.
“Michael Jordan set the standard for greatness,” says Neymar, commenting on why he decided to collab with Jordan. “He’s an incredible competitor and a champion. I’ve always admired him, so to collaborate with him and have his icon on my boots means a great deal to me.”
“I’m excited that Neymar and the Jordan Brand are working together,” said Michael Jordan. “I’m a fan of his creativity, style and passion for the game of soccer. He’s a special player and I look forward to this collaboration.”
“Neymar’s style is continuously evolving, like his game,” comments Max Blau, Vice President of Nike Football Footwear. What I like about him is he doesn’t follow; he likes to create his own point of view. You see it on and off the pitch—he’s a guy who cares about style.”
The NJR x Jordan collection, which also includes a whole set of football apparel, became available on Nike.com last week.
Photos from Nike