Over the past decade Jordan Brand and Nike have dominated Black Friday as far as sneaker releases are concerned, but the landscape has changed for 2015. This year, Jordan Brand will be going toe-to-toe with Kanye West and Adidas, as the return of the OG Jordan 8 “Aqua” releases the same day as either the Yeezy 350 or 750 Boosts. While both shoes may represent different categories — one a 22-year-old limited edition retro basketball shoe worn by the greatest basketball player of all time and the other, a limited edition casual signature shoe by one of the greatest recording artists — it will ultimately breath new life into Kanye’s 2012 line from “New God Flow” (“Hold Up, I ain’t trying to stunt, man. But the Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman”) if the Yeezy Boost sells out and the Aqua 8s sit. With that said, in anticipation of this “match up, ” let’s take a look at 13 years of Jordan Brand’s Black Friday releases below.
Nike Air Jordan 12 Retro Black/White-University Blue
Considered the “big bang” for Jordan Brand Black Friday releases, this 2003 pack sparked off 12+ years of dominance. First, contrary to popular belief, this release was not the first pack released by Jordan Brand — that title goes to the Jordan Camp 23 Pack released back in 2001 (a pack that included the Jordan Camp basketball shoe, Jordan travel bag and a pair of Jordan slides). It was however, the first retro release that hit $200 USD (which at that price included a hoody and hat) and was somewhat limited in production. Needless to say, it was the first pack that created a chaotic sneaker buying experience online — albeit online only — and a small sampling of just how thirsty the sneaker community was for exclusive product. They would eventually see another retro in 2009 minus the hat, hoodie and a lot of the frustration surrounding the buying experience of the first drop.
Jordan Melo 1.5 White/Metallic Gold-University Blue
The Melo 1.5 was the first shoe created by Jordan Brand for Carmelo Anthony and the first of several Black Friday releases for the series. Taking subtle design cues from the Jordan 1 and 2, reviews were mixed. Some found them to be a little too clunky (sporting their super baggy jeans and tall tees nonetheless), while others loved the modern interpretation of their beloved Jordan 1 & 2 packaged in a shoe that could be worn on court without destroying their feet. Jordan Brand brought them back in 2014 for the 10th anniversary and everyone immediately scratched their heads in disbelief that it’s been a decade since this shoe originally hit shelves.
Jordan Melo 5.5 Black/Metallic Silver-University Blue
The hype for the black/metallic silver-University Blue Melo 5.5 was real. Melo’s second signature shoe was a mashup of the Jordan 5 (complete with shark teeth on the midsole, perforations and icy blue soles) and the Jordan 6 (which can be seen on the tongue) and fed off the hype that previous Denver Nuggets “PE” colorway’s created, most notably the Jordan 12 “Melo” (2004) and Jordan 2 “Melo” (2004). Some argued that like the Melo 1.5, they were too clunky while others have declared this release the best in the series.