NK Conversation // Are You Pleased With Jordan’s Remastered Sneakers?

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words // Nick DePaula:

It feels like forever that I’ve been talking about sneakers. With friends at school, every year, since basically the 4th grade. Since Niketalk. Since text messaging became a thing. Since Disqus. Since Instagram.

Literally throughout an entire two decades that saw technology permeate and forever impact sneaker culture, there’s been a constant complaint that’s never waned:

Jordan Brand. And quality.

Were we holding these beautifully designed models simply to a higher standard? Was the fact that Michael wore them for the league’s grandest moments, during our childhood’s most defining mementos clouding everything? Did Jordan Brand in its infancy produce sneakers with a quality so strong that it would become unsustainable over time through the inevitable waves of inflation to come?

Or was the leather just subpar? Below standard? “Pleather,” even?

It’s been discussed and debated for what feels like far more than a decade, but just this year, Jordan Brand directly addressed the community’s concerns, for the first time, ever.

Remastered.

Jordan Remastered.

“We are resetting the experience of a remastered retro, so the Retro Jordans starting [in 2015] will have been remastered, and it’s as close to the original as we can possibly get,” Jordan Category Footwear Leader Dave Schechter told TheShoeGame.com last summer. “It’s something we are very proud of, and we want to deliver more value to our consumer and everyone who supports our brand. The [price] increase will be anywhere from 10-15% more. When you get a shoe that looks better, feels better, it’s more comfortable because it’s made with higher quality materials – it will last longer, so you’re getting more value.”

The answer to all complaints, on all things quality related, in official on-the-record form.

When I first saw the distinct campaign to spread the word that hit literally every blog last summer, I thought, “Oh nice, Nike Air is finally coming back to original colorways, and with good materials.”

Not so fast. But while they might not be true-to-form in every sense of the word, the intent is still there on paper. Upgraded quality. Improved shape. Closer attention to detail. It was great news for all of us that love sneakers. For many people, Jordans alone are the reason they love sneakers.

The first few launches under the “Remastered” umbrella — Lady Liberty Xs, a few early 2000 Retro+ joints & some teal IVs — might not’ve thrilled the most purist of purists.

But just last weekend, one of the most monumental of Air Jordans returned — The Chicago X.

Simply say, “I’m back,” and any Jordan fanatic’s radar peers upward. These had the 45 though. And dropped right around the 20th anniversary. Oh, and they were “Remastered,” of course.

For quite a few people, it was their first Remastered experience.

An experience that, if you aren’t aware, basically includes a $20 upcharge from past year’s pricing. “Premium materials” is the product description.

So, now that you’ve had some time to think it over — what are your early impressions of the Remastered program?

Is this the quality you’ve been yearning for all these years?

Is that slight upgrade in full grain feel worth your $20?

Do you have a renewed love affair for the brand that we’ve all loved unconditionally all this time anyway?

Let us know in the comments section below. We’ll be listening, and featuring the top comments here on Nice Kicks on Friday, as well as on this Saturday’s Nice Kicks Live radio show.

Also stay tuned each Wednesday for our ongoing Nice Kicks Conversation series, addressing topics we all talk about amongst ourselves anyways, whether it’s with friends, over on NikeTalk, on Instagram, or wherever this so-called culture might take us.

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