Nike took a huge financial risk when it signed Michael Jordan in 1984. In a time when Converse was paying NBA superstars Magic Johnson and Larry Bird $100,000 annually, Nike committed to pay Jordan $500,000 per year for five years.
The upstart shoe company was counting on the North Carolina standout to somehow blossom into a megastar once he reached the pros. Jordan played his first NBA game on October 26, 1984. The rest, as they say, is history.
To commemorate the monumental signing, Jordan Brand will be releasing the Air Jordan 31 “Fine Print” this weekend. The upcoming sneaker pays tribute to where it all started for the Air Jordan line.
According to Nike.com, the Air Jordan 31 “Fine Print” features a sleek black and white color scheme along its Flyweave and premium leather upper. The latest colorway of Jordan Brand’s flagship model has Jordan’s signature printed on its transparent outsole.
The Air Jordan 31 has a FlightSpeed cushioning system. The full-length Zoom Air units sit on top of the midsole and outsole. The forefoot and heel sections of the midsole are carved out so that those areas of the foot directly rest on top the Zoom Air units.
Sneaker reviewer Schwollo noted that the Flyweave material on the front two-thirds of the Air Jordan 31 is softer than the Flyweave material on the Air Jordan 30 and KD 8. Flyweave conforms to the shape of the foot while leather on the heel provides smooth heel transition during quick movements.
One of the main selling points of the Air Jordan 31 is step-in comfort. The shoe has a sock-like neoprene inner sleeve complete with six ankle pillows. The spongy lumps also help with support and lockdown.