Following a reductive theme represented in the shoe’s less-is-more approach, the Air Jordan 34 is among the lightest sneakers in the Jordan series; a men’s size 9 weighs just 13.1 ounces. Taking notes from Williamson and other explosive Jordan athletes that play above the rim—like the newly signed Jayson Tatum and veterans Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook—creating a lightweight shoe with bouncy energy return was central to the design. In response, Jordan Brand is debuting its Eclipse Plate, a clever technology formed by two Pebax pieces for heightened propulsion. Eclipse Plate is largely a modernized iteration of Jordan Flight Plate, a beloved brand innovation from years past. The Air Jordan 34 is also packed with hallmark Nike cushioning. Customary Zoom Air units pack both the heel and forefoot for long-standing comfort and durability.
Though it is premature to deem a new sneaker a future classic before it is even released, this behavior is exhibited in popular culture with relative consistency. When a new album debuts on a Friday, we quickly label it as among the year’s best (or worst) by Monday morning. When adored fashion collections grace the runway, we deem them “best in show” even though they’re presented seasons ahead of landing in stores. The common thread is both enchantment with newness and personal experience, where people know exactly what it is they like when they’re presented with it. Is that so wrong?
The Air Jordan 34 has all the traits of a perfect basketball-meets-lifestyle sneaker: glowing new design language for off-court functionality and boundary-breaking performance innovations for on-court dominance. Its defiance to repeat the past breathes life into Jordan’s present. Moreover, it promises limitless possibilities for the future.
Expect the Air Jordan 34 to be available at select Jordan retailers and on SNKRS on September 25.