Jordan Brand Jumpman Jeter Vital
Hard to believe as this may be, the Jumpman Jeter Vital (which drops on Saturday, March 31st) is the SEVENTH shoe that the Jordan Brand has designed for Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter. The first dropped in May of 2001, making Jeter one of the longest-tenured Brand Jordan athletes, along with Michael Finley, Eddie Jonesâ€”and, of course, Jordan himself.
The Vital is technically a baseball trainerâ€”shocking, I knowâ€”but it incorporates elements of Jordan's basketball shoes as well. The navy portion of the ankle collar, which rises up the heel, harkens back to the Melo 1.5, Carmelo Anthony's first signature shoe. But most of the design elements are specific to Jeter himself, who, with four rings, is the most successful Jordan Brand athlete with the exception of Jordan himself. The four stripes on the heel tab (as well as the sides of the shoe) represent the four Yankee championships. There are several hits with Jeter's No. 2. And there's actually a photo of him embedded in the heel outsole, replicating Jordan's famous "Wings" poster, with the phrase "Respect Earned When No One Is Looking" molded in the clear rubber overlying it. Each outsole also is studded with five symbols representing the five tools essential to being a Hall of Fame type player. And Jeter's new home-plate shaped logo appears on the tongue and insole.
It's kind of hard to remember many other pure baseball trainers. Reebok did one for Frank Thomas, and Nike's Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders shoes served doubly for baseball and football. But Jeter's line has eclipsed all its predecessors. (OK, maybe not the Deions and Bos, but they WERE more all-purpose trainers. Sorry Big Hurt.) Having the Jumpman on it certainly doesn't hurt.
The Jeter Vital will retail for $110. This is the first colorwayâ€”the second, black and silver, will drop on June 1st. Anyway, here's some more photos.