Style - Kicks and Gear / Dec 22, 2011 / 5:00 pm

Purple Craze: The Air Jordan XI “Concord” Arrives At Midnight

Air Jordan XI

If you’re a sneakerhead, you’ve had tonight at midnight circled on your calendar for months. It’s not every year the Air Jordan XI “Concord” comes out – in fact, it’s pretty much not every decade. Though the Concords are not a limited release, they’ll sell out in mere minutes online, and however many pairs exist will probably sell out in most areas before Friday is over.

Copping Concords in the past has proved somewhat treacherous. Back when they were first released, you heard stories of people getting robbed for their Jordans – which isn’t necessarily unheard of today. In addition, when last year’s Cool Grey 11s released, there were reports of riots and such at malls – and the Concords are far more hyped than the Cool Greys.

So what is it exactly that makes the Concord so coveted? A little of everything, really.

For one, they haven’t been available in stores for quite some time. The Concords were originally released in 1995 and were retroed in 2000, and haven’t been seen since. (The black/white version of the 11s in the Defining Moments pack in January 2006 had gold accents and black soles, rather than Concord purple.) Heretofore, if you wanted a pair of Concords, you had to get a well-preserved pair of the ones released in 2000, which proves costly.

Besides that, the shoe was a trailblazer. Plenty of sneakers use patent leather now, but the Jordan XIs were the first. It’s a testament to Michael Jordan‘s eternal cool factor that he made basketball sneakers with patent leather – previously restricted to tuxedo shoes or women’s pumps – not only viable, but valuable.

For that matter, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield recalled Jordan predicting people would wear XIs with suits and tuxes. Even among sneakerheads, it’s a polarizing notion, but it has been known to happen, for better or worse.

This all speaks to the sheer beauty of the sneaker from a design perspective. It’s not just the patent leather, it’s the heavy-duty nylon and icy blue soles – both of which do tend to yellow over time, but all that shimmers is sure to fade. It’s the stylized 23 on the back, and the elegant black Jumpman insignia simultaneously standing out and perfectly blending in. If you don’t think it’s a magnificent sneaker, you either don’t really get sneaker culture, or you’re a contrarian. It’s not a matter of taste, it’s a matter of fact.

However, the main selling point for the booming Jordan retro market is Jordan himself having worn them during significant moments of his career. Even today, Jordan is his own best advertisement, stirring the pot a bit more by being photographed in Concords lows two days prior to the re-release.

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  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    Awesome post.

  • BiGShoTBoB

    I concur!

  • Me

    most. helpful. article. EVER!!!

    you don’t even wanna know how pissed i was when eastbay AND footlocker crashed on my space jams order. I’ma have to have like 4 sites up around 1130 just to make sure tonight.


    You stupid DARKKIES! Keep it a secret you fools! These gonna be hell to get, God help us all!

  • https://twitter.com/DARKWINGpro DarkWing Productions

    Can we get bruce’s racist ass banned?

  • beiber newz

    jordan thinks he’s so cool in his sneakers…..shit, he is cool. i want these. i wonder if wade can send mj a text and have a pair in his size at his door by tomoro. hell, i bet if it were possible, wade would have got a pair last month!

  • Me

    darkies? really?

  • http://www.sportsangle.com Bryan Horowitz

    It wasn’t as bad as Eastbay or Foot Locker — which I think is still broken — but Nike.com had its problems tonight too. If you couldn’t get through to any of those, I believe NBA.com posts theirs at 6 a.m. ET, and that European site I mentioned above is around the same time.


    Forgive me but I got TWO pairs. Thanks. NDC came through. The less people know about this release, the better!

  • Me

    thanks to Dime, I got the tweet at midnight. eastbay and footlocker went down as usual, still got 2 pair thru nike! with FREE next day shipping too.
    didn’t even think to buy at nike’s site till i saw it here.
    I didn’t have any problem with Nike’s site either. the confirmation page took about 30 seconds longer than normal, but every other page loaded right up.

    So me and bruce can’t be the only ones who got thru. who else?

    Dime rocks!!

  • Me

    Oh wait, lemme give props to Bryan Horowitz too.

    Now i gotta see if wifey will get me my Fab 5 huaraches, and I’ll be a happy man this Xmas.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    I wonder if I should grab me a pair and sell them on EBay? How much are people willing to pay for these?

  • LeRoy Green


    if anybody knows ANYWHERE to get a pair of these, please post. All the websites crashed immediately at midnight and by the time they came back on all the shoes were gone.

    Guess I gotta wait another 10 years SMH.

  • SWAT

    Lol man I traded my banned ones and a bill and got a fresh pair. I had them early to so I loved shutting it down. The looks on cats faces was priceless.
    At chitown I hv seen these range from 350 to 500. Easiest way to double ur money

  • http://www.sportsangle.com Bryan Horowitz

    @LRG — I think your best bet at this point would be to wait a bit for the hype to die down, then try on eBay or the Sole Collector forums. The more detailed pictures, the better to ensure they’re not fakes. (If anything looks iffy or the price is TOO reasonable, don’t buy them.) Right now, with everyone beasting over these, you’ll see some crazy prices out there. I would think you might be able to get them for $250 or so in a few months, when the demand isn’t quite as great. This is one of the craziest releases in years, so obviously no guarantees, but this is usually how it goes.

  • http://www.sportsangle.com Bryan Horowitz

    Also, I’m not sure what kind of prices they’ll have, but this site is apparently getting them on the 27th: http://store.kix-files.com/nike-air-jordan-11-retro-concord/

  • King

    i love the 11s but even now that im working and bring in a good salary i cant just cant see me dropping near 200 for a pair of sneakers.

  • Mojo

    How many people have gotten robbed or killed over a pair of Jordan’s yet nobody has ever heard Michael Jordan say anything to try and get people to stop it. I love what Jordan did for the game but I will never buy a pair and never allow my son to rock a pair because its like blood money that we are giving him for all the bad and negative things that the Jordan shoe shows and symbolize. Like I read atop all these people standing in line for the Jordans but they wont stand in line for College which is why us blacks are looked at as fools to society.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Just check the statement below from Spike Lee.

    Spike Lee countered that instead of blaming manufacturers of apparel, “deal with the conditions that make a kid put so much importance on a pair of sneakers, a jacket and gold”

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    People get beat up and robbed for IPods, Cell Phones, Nike FoamPosites, chains, girls, cars, rims, bikes, and pretty much anything that looks good to another n!&&a who wants your shit.

    Do you suggest that all those things be apologized for? Should the parents of the fine young lady come out and apologize for their daughter looking so damn good that it forced some dude to beat up another dude?
    Should Steve Jobbs (estate) apologize for making IPods and IPads so expensive that dudes is stealing them from eachother?

    The point is, you can’t just look at these select few acts of violence and point to the shoes as a reason behind them. It goes much deeper than that.

  • beiber newz

    chicagorilla, u rep chitown, so u might just be DEFENDing JORDAN AND THE CITY OF CHICAGO. i have no opinion other than, damn, people will always do crazy things .