In 1997, I inherited my first pair of Jordan 11 highs from my brother Ralph. While far from deadstock condition, they were free and came in a unique Columbia White hue.
The Columbia White Jordan 11s must have made me feel some kind of Bieberesque way, as I later purchased my own pair of Cool Grey 11 highs in 2001 when traveling in Hong Kong.
I stunted in my Cool Grey 11 highs like a proud peacock, with my sneaker plumage proudly on foot for display. The only issue was my Cool Grey 11s were fake, false, bunk, and close to $200 worth of junk.
I was duped and upon realization, later enraged with my purchase. I felt vulnerable, like Optimus Prime after getting tricked by Megatron.
We’ve been had.
Actually, I’ve been had.
What looked like a reputable sneaker shop in Hong Kong, with what appeared to be reputable sneakerheads, turned out not to be reputable at all. In fact, it was an elaborate Keyser Soze pre-Internet sneaker ring, featuring Usually Suspecting customers paying top dollar for good quality fakes.
Needless to say, after I found out they were fake, I donated my Cool Grey 11s. Shout out to the homeless guy who stunted in my 11s.
With the bitter taste of falsified 11s in my mouth, I never let myself enjoy another pair of retro released 11s, despite reappearing in hugely hyped OG colourways.
17 years later after my unpleasant experience with fake Cool Grey 11s, I inadvertently tried on a pair of Easter 11 lows and found myself pleasantly surprised by the midsole support, full air unit, carbon fiber spring plate tech, and of course sophisticated patent leather finish.
A raffle win later from Nike Richmond, here I am writing about the merits of the Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey low. Peep the Jason Markk lace swap. It definitely adds a premium, yet subtle touch to the AJ 11 silhouette.
In short, I dig the non-exposed midsole air unit propped up in carbon fiber, the late 90s tech that still kills it by today’s standards, and the low top Dad swag that says, “I like my lows and don’t care a rat’s bottom what you think.”
Bitter feelings associated with a previous pair of counterfeit Jordan 11s clouded my judgment on a really good pair of kicks. So here’s some maximum respeck for a pair of not so hyped 11s that I really dig. Put some respeck on it.