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The Air Jordan XXXIV is an Exercise in Reductive Design

The Air Jordan XXXIV delivers a distinctly Jordan perspective on providing the best basketball shoe for the sport’s future stars. 

“The Air Jordan signature game shoes have become the most influential line of performance footwear in basketball history,” says Gentry Humphrey, VP of Jordan Brand Footwear. “By introducing new, proprietary innovation with the XXXIV, the line's game-changing legacy is extended to a new generation of athletes.”

The shoe delivers by stripping away non-essential material from the tooling and upper to leave athletes only what they need.  

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Jordan Brand athletes Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum and Rui Hachimura

“Work on this shoe began by collating feedback from the Air Jordan XXXIII," says Jordan Brand designer Tate Kuerbis. "Athletes noted a desire to improve traction and reduce weight — that became our starting point. We focused on athletes who are playing above the rim and making them more explosive." 

The solution follows Jordan Brand’s longstanding commitment to game-changing innovation with the introduction of the Jordan Eclipse Plate. This technology, formed by two Pebax pieces and a forefoot Zoom Air unit, helps provide optimal explosion off the foot.

The Air Jordan signature game shoes have become the most influential line of performance footwear in basketball history.

Gentry Humphrey, VP of Jordan Brand Footwear
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Eclipse Plate detail on the Air Jordan XXXIV Blue Void

“The Eclipse Plate takes the inherent values of the propulsion Flight Plate, a technology that is well-loved by Jordan athletes, and helps reduce the overall stiffness and strips down the weight,” says Kuerbis. “We achieve this by thinking about the type of plate materials used and how we can harness the principle value of each element.” 

That idea is best articulated in the Air Jordan XXXIV’s forefoot Zoom Air unit. To unlock the full deflection point of the unit — maximizing its piston-like effect — the Eclipse Plate forms a cove, which allows the unit to compress and move without restraint. The composition of the plate, with its focus on stability (particularly in the heel), then gives more control to basketball’s full range of explosive movements: cuts, sprints, jumps.     

What is the Jordan Eclipse Plate?

An evolution of the Jordan Flight Speed plate, the proprietary Jordan Brand Eclipse Plate is designed for smooth transition from midfoot to forefoot, helping the athlete be more controlled and jump faster.

The positioning of the Eclipse Plate unlocks the sensation of the forefoot Zoom Air unit, which provides bounce and lateral support.

The plate is made of two Pebax pieces with a hollow core where foam would normally exist, exposing the Zoom Air unit and helping provide stability.

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Air Jordan XXXIV outsole detail

Augmenting the properties of the Eclipse Plate is a herringbone traction pattern that, in unapologetic Jordan Brand fashion, promises a new performance benchmark to the standard scheme. After conducting athlete foot scans, the rationale for using a classic pattern is that it propels a superior first step and a quick cut, while also helping players to stop on a dime while on defense. 

Tried and true basketball design is also fundamental to the XXXIV’s upper. What you see is what you get: heel counter, tongue, eyestay, midfoot reinforcer. "One of the things I love about this shoe is that it doesn't remind you of any Jordan from the past," says Kuerbis. “But it does remind you of the purest form of a basketball shoe.” 

First Impressions from Jordan Brand athletes

“I want a shoe that is comfortable and stylish on and off the court. The XXXIV delivers on all of this and more.” — Zion Williamson, forward for the New Orleans Pelicans 

“The XXXIV has zero distractions and is extremely lightweight.”  — Blake Griffin, forward for the Detroit Pistons

“It's very important to my game that my shoes are light and secure. The Eclipse Plate in the XXXIV helps with stability so that I feel secure in the shoe, yet still explosive and light on my feet.” — Jayson Tatum, forward for the Boston Celtics  

“The XXXIV is what I always imagined basketball shoes would look like in the future.” — Rui Hachimura, forward for the Washington Wizards 

“I love the sleekness of the shoe. I love the new design element that we have with the Eclipse Plate. That's something that hasn't been done before. That’s what you expect from an Air Jordan." — Kia Nurse, guard for New York Liberty 

The Air Jordan XXXIV will be worn by select Jordan Brand athletes and partner high school and collegiate teams. The shoe lands September 25.

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