Look, a Carolina guy owning a Duke guy... again. Image: Charlotte Bobcats
Look, a Carolina guy owning a Duke guy... again. Image: Charlotte Bobcats
Look, a Carolina guy owning a Duke guy… again. Image: Charlotte Bobcats

From the moment it was first revealed a little over a year ago in New York, the Air Jordan XX8 has been a standout from the crowd, which is ironic considering so much of the shoe was shrouded in mystery. With a revolutionary new Flight Plate technology that maximized the responsiveness of Zoom Air, this was Jordan Brand was again pushing the boundaries of what is possible with a basketball shoe. They were at the bleeding edge once again after a few years were maybe got a little too cute with modularity and trying to please everybody.

Now if only sneakerheads could get over themselves and talk about the merits of the shoe and how they perform instead of whining and complaining that they don’t have the jeans to match it.

Exactly... Image: Jordan Brand
Exactly… Image: Jordan Brand

It took some time for people to truly embrace the Air Jordan XX8. After the “Stealth” colorway that we all saw in New York looking like something Solid Snake would wear in the battlefield, we have seen various prints and graphics on the shroud that have turned people, but it was the SE version – which dropped the shroud and about a $100 off the retail price – of the XX8 that got them over. When people finally started to see what was behind the shroud, they were on board. Granted, they don’t have the built-in fan base of a retro (and thank God for that), but all that means is that you get to be on the ground floor of something special that Jordan Brand is hopefully looking to iterate on (see the Jordan Super.Fly 2 and Jordan Melo M10 and how they incorporate Flight Plate) for years to come.  And if you can find these at Nordstrom Rack for half off or more, is that really a bad thing?

Here is a look back at the year that was for the Air Jordan XX8 and our 10 favorite colorways as part of our Kicks On Fire Best of 2013 feature. Note that PEs are not included because those would kill on this list.