We were all blessed with The Air Jordan 8s when they made their debut in February 1993 while MJ was playing for the Bulls—chasing his third consecutive NBA title--and the majority of us were learning how to look both ways before we crossed the street. During the release, we were introduced to the “Bull’s Home” model in the Chicago Bulls black, white and True-red colorway.
“All-Star Aquas” were simultaneously released in Black and Bright Concord-Aqua Tone, while the “Playoff 8s” were released in April of that year in a White, Black and True-Red colorway. It wasn’t until 10 years later that the Jordan brand produced a retro version of the Bull’s Home model followed by the Air Jordan 8 Chromes and finally the low Chromes and low Playoff 8s with one cross strap instead of two. Four years later—in 2007—the company had one of its largest release years to date with the Jordan Brand retro-ing the Air Jordan All Star 8s (aquas), the women’s Aquas, and several other retro plus lifestyle release shoes in 2007. The following year the Jordan Brand released the first two Player Exclusive models available to the public—the Ray Allens and the Q Richs.
These Player Exclusive models were only sold at the House of Hoops in New York; this release went unannounced and somehow managed to go completely unnoticed by the media. The Jordan Brand continued to contribute to the culture by re-releasing even more incredible retro plus and retro colorways in 2013-2016.
Air Jordan’s most recent reinterpretation—The Air Jordan 8 Take Flights—were released in January 2017 providing us with an amalgam of dark and light tones such as sequoia green and Max orange on the sole, toe, heel and chenille patch.
Black and wolf grey accents can also be seen on the rear mudguard, tongue and sole, staying true to the attention to detail that Air Jordan has always exhibited in their products.
These retro plus 8s are almost entirely wrapped in nubuck with patches of neoprene caressing either side of the sneaker. This is the very first time that Air Jordan has used Neoprene on the outside of a pair 8s, making this rendition of the Air Jordan 8 even more exclusive.
The shoe is a novelty, but the colorway looks familiar, doesn’t it? It was rumored that the colorway instituted on this sneaker was the result of a collaboration between Air Jordan and Undefeated—an LA-based streetwear company started in 2002 by Eddie Cruz and James Bond. These rumors were further supported by the fact that the Take Flight model is an obvious relative of the
Air Jordan Undefeated 4s and the Air Jordan 5 Army olives, which were the brainchild of a creative collusion between Air Jordan and Undefeated in 2005. The Undefeated 4s and 5s also used a similar mixture of earth tones, such as army green, and electric pop color, such as retro orange.
This rumor was later revealed not to be true and instead, the colorway was said to have been inspired by bomber jackets and fighter planes—which is conceivable given the militaristic aesthetic that is conspicuous in the design. Either way, the shoes have earned themselves the nickname “Undefeated 8s” even though Undefeated was not directly involved in the making of this particular sneaker.
The Take Flight 8s are one of the latest Air Jordan lifestyle releases to have sold out completely, which is why it was important to highlight the shoe in this week’s newsletter. So, while other releases remain on the shelves, the Take Flights can only be found on feet and in closets all around the country. I know some of you are currently rubbing your hands together thinking “resale!” and I’m right there with you!
The Take Flight 8s are the first pair of Air Jordans that I’ve been really crazy about and I was fortunate enough to run into one of the last pair that Foot Action had in May of this year. I instantly fell in love with the silhouette and overall design of the shoe. Unfortunately, they only had the shoe in a half size small—but I’m not fool—I copped anyway! This shoe very beautifully integrates sophistication and a bit of edginess with the max orange colorway; I just knew these would be a timeless addition to my collection and more importantly an even more exclusive resale item. But even a half size down, this shoe is incredibly comfortable and stable. All of the members of this epic Jordan family—such as the Bugs Bunnies, Chromes, and Aquas—are extremely versatile and can easily be worn with just about anything that coincide with the infinite number of colorways found in these shoes.
It honestly goes without saying, the Jordan brand can almost be credited with creating the culture in which other streetwear brands could only hope to make a contribution to. The Air Jordan 8 is no exception to the brilliance of the Jordan Brand and it’s no mistake that the 8s are some of the most coveted sneakers that the world has ever seen. The 8s are significantly heavier than its predecessors, but it’s definitely for good reason. The Jordan 8s have far more detail packed into one shoe than any Jordan before and sneaker enthusiasts—as well as your everyday streetwear consumer—love the Jordan Brand for this innovation. Let’s face it, many of us have a shirt of pair of jeans we love, and perhaps we build outfits around those items, the same cannot be said when a person has made the decision to rock the Jordan 8s. It is a virtual certainty that one can only build an outfit around these shoes and not vice versa. It's not so much that the 8s are not meant to complement an outfit, as it is that they are meant to create the outfit itself, and every other clothing item worn serves the sole purpose of enhancing the shoe.
So what’s next for the Jordan Brand?
It looks like on the 22nd the Air Jordan Brand will be releasing the retro-ed Air Jordan 13 “The History of Flight” in a captivating white/Metallic Silver-University Red. The shoes will retail for the normal $190 and will be available at your local mall. On this shoe, The Jordan Brand uses a tumbled leather counterposed by the super sharp university red on the sole unit, lining, and branding. This shoe will, of course, be added to “The History of Flight” family, as it stays true to the colorway of that series.
Were you one of the chosen few to procure a pair of Air Jordan Take Flight 8s? Maybe not, perhaps you have another pair of 8s that you feel are worthier of a mention? Post your 8s and tag them to increase your Threadsetter score!
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