Air Jordan 2009

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His Airness was all about defense, and that's the concept behind and inspiration for the Air Jordan 2009.

"Defense became my offense," says six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, who's also second on the NBA's all-time steals list. "I felt like if I can take the ball, I can always go down and score."

Jordan and his creative team definitely scored with the 24th Edition of the Air Jordan shoe, which hit stores mid-February.

Performance features

New this year is the groundbreaking Articulated Propulsion Technology (APT) heel system for maximum surface traction and change of direction speed.

"The APT Technology is a series of different products working in unison to create a feel of propulsion," says Jason Mayden, senior footwear designer for the Air Jordan 2009.

The Thermo Plastic Urethane chassis on the outsole of the shoe offers a midfoot lockdown for maximum support when cutting laterally, and the carbon reinforced APT cushioning on the bottom and in the arch keeps the foam from decompressing, giving you an extra spring in your step.

Split-heel technology keeps one side of the shoe in constant contact with the court, allowing you to cut at any angle regardless of your positioning.

"It functions like a motorcycle tire when it turns a corner," Mayden says. "We wanted to allow the shoe to flex on the edge, but also come back to its proper position, so you're using less effort to get a quicker reaction time."

Style features

Indulging Jordan's penchant for dress shoes, the upper flaunts polishable, panache leather. The shoe also features metallic mesh breathability ports and a pleated silk upper for increased durability and enhanced ventilation. The diamond Jumpman hologram adds a touch of sophistication, while inscriptions on the heels—"Greatest there ever was" and "Greatest there ever will be"—leave no doubt about the shoe's endorser.

Concerning the shoe's unique design, Jordan says, "We've come up with a way to individualize this shoe where it would be the only shoe made with that type of style. It's meant strictly for you, not for the next person. Nothing is duplicated." The same can be said about his legacy.
Be sure to scope the new line of Jordan shoes, as well as other basketball shoes and basketball clothing, before you step out on the hardwood. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock