Everyone knows that Nike, Inc. has plenty of retail spaces around the world. The majority of them have fun and vibrant atmospheres, providing separated product departments that are easily distinguishable. If you haven't been to any Nike stores, it's quite the experience exploring through multiple floors of incredible merchandise. I just left the NikeTown London store and I was amazed by a number of things, but this particular Air Jordan display caught my attention...
Take a second and try to imagine yourself as part of the Nike store visual team. The higher-ups ask you to decide which shoes you want on display in the Air Jordan section of the store. Deciding to create a display that showcases the entire Air Jordan line from I-XX9 would be a no-brainer---whether it'd be an all white display, the History of Flight series, or even showcasing the game shoes in their respective original colorways like the display pictured above. The problem with displaying all original colorways is that it would be a daunting task to track down all original pairs in the same size (AND in brand new condition). The answer to that problem is simple: re-run all the pairs.
I looked in a few of the sock liners displayed above and they all seem to be Promo Sample tagged. The majority of them were true to the original released pairs or the first retro versions, but I did spot a few that stood out to me (since I'm kind of a sneaker geek). When shoes get re-produced, I'm sure that different data entries can be overlooked. This can create a few minor differences when comparing these reproduced display Retros against their released counterparts.
Take this Air Jordan II for example. To the untrained eye, it might appear to be identical to any of the previous Retro versions. Take a closer look and you'll find that the molded heel tab out back is in white, as opposed to it being red on the retail pair. Sometimes, the smallest differences can make the biggest impact.
These obviously have NIKE AIR branding on the heel tab... Crazy right? Take a closer look and you'll also notice that the upper doesn't use the same tumbled leather as it's predecessors.
These Infrared VI's appeared to be very close to the released versions, except for the fact that the "Jumpman Air" logo on the heels were produced in Infrared...
This particular pair had quite a few differences... The upper was made with a smooth leather material, compared to the original version which was made in a pearlized patent leather. The black toe piece and heel counters also used to be in black nubuck, where these Samples above used patent leather.
Im a huge Air Jordan XX3 fan, so these were easily my favorite of the bunch. First off, the entire side panel is different compared to the released pairs. The stitched "MJ" pattern seen above is done up in the cursive pattern, versus the released pairs that had the angular diamond "MJ" pattern. That same panel, along with the toe piece and the tongue were produced in nubuck here, compared to the released ones which had a softer suede material. The tongue where the Jumpman is lasered also appeared to be in leather, which was a bit unusual to see for me. I provided a photo of my own pair below to better showcase the differences.
DISCLAIMER: This post DOES NOT mean that any of the shoes mentioned above are going to release. This post was merely an observation that I made of the display shoes shown at NikeTown London. I'm not sure what year any of the shoes displayed above were produced, or how long they've been on display. If they do release in the future, it would ultimately be pure coincidence.