Air Jordan XXXVI: Glorious Legacy

There is no doubt that Michael Jordan is a living legend whose infuence goes far beyond the hardwood. He is one of the major driving forces behind sneaker culture, and he continues to inspire generations of basketball players to shine their brightest on and off the court. The Air Jordan XXXVI continues his legacy by delivering the following:

Overall lightness. Aware that shoes can weigh players down, Jordan shaves off a lot of weight from the AJ 36 by hollowing out the space between the outsole and the midsole. This basketball shoe is also made of materials that have lightness as one of their defining features.

Blend of impact protection and energy return. The midsole is equipped with full-length Zoom Air Strobel for well-distributed impact protection. Underneath the forefoot is a Zoom Air unit that delivers a healthy dose of court feel and explosiveness.

Solid movement control. Speed can never be attained if the player doesn't feel confident in their movements. Good multidirectional traction is important in gaining this confidence, and this is exactly what the outsole of the Air Jordan XXXVI delivers.

Air Jordan 36 and the power of teamwork

Though the whole shoe line is inspired by one man, each shoe is always a result of collaboration among those who believe in MJ's influence on basketball and sneaker culture. The team behind the AJ XXXVI endeavored to deliver lightness in how the shoe looks, feels, and works.

Each member of the design team makes contributions that are borne out of their expertise and years of personal research. Lead materials designer Jacqueline Lefferts chooses to use a jacquard leno-weave material for the upper. According to her, lightness is "a product of the upper’s weight, but it’s also a trait of the upper itself in that light is a defining quality."

Product line manager Chad Troyer, for his part, believes that lightness alone cannot stand on its own. It must be complimented by efficiency features that transform the energy of every step into something that propels the player's drive to the basket and eventual game success. "“In bringing in the Zoom Strobel and adding another Zoom unit beneath that, we were working toward that ‘pop’ for players so they can get of the floor quickly," he says.

Wrapping it all up is an aesthetic that is aligned with the quick lightness that the shoe aims to stand for. Footwear designer Tate Keurbis says that the overall shoe design "conveys Michael’s lasting influence in worldwide culture.” If His Airness Michael Jordan does not signify light with utmost clarity; then we don't know what does.

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Author
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.