The Jumpman brand is currently facing one of its toughest battles in terms of hype. There’s a clear drought in their releases, and fans have been waiting for something worthwhile to drop. Well, it seems like that special sneaker is finally here. There isn’t a sneaker that is more deserving of pulling the Jordans out of their popularity decline like a tribute to the legendary Concords. The upcoming Jordan 11 “Gratitude” retro is essentially a special edition version of the “Concord” design from back in 1995. These sneakers are a callback to one of the most hyped pairs of Sneakers four decades ago. It’s time to see if they still hold up, even in the eyes of younger sneakerheads.
Differences Between DMP And Jordan 11 Gratitude
The DMP set that initially dropped in ’06 was an iconic take on the 11s because they brought in a Metallic Gold finish to the sneakers. From the Jumpman to the other embellishments, it was a limited release that truly felt like it was targeted at only a special few. Its initial price retailed for $296, but with limited quantities, the value skyrocketed to thousands of dollars. Because of this, many fans began to question when they would get a re-release from Nike. At the same time that the DMP 11s came out, Nike also released a DMP version of the Jordan 6 retros.
Now, 14 years after the release of the original DMP set, Nike dropped a re-release of the Jordan 6 DMPs in April 2020. Many fans were happy to see that pair come back, but in the hearts of the majority, they were more keen on seeing the Jordan 11s return. That’s what brings us to the “Gratitude” 11s, their similarity to the original Concords, and the DMPs.
Earlier in January 2023, rumours began to spread that the Jordan 11 DMPs would be coming back later in the Holiday Season. However, that isn’t the case, and there’s confirmation that the “Gratitude” Jordan 11s are the sneakers set to drop soon. Now, what exactly is the difference between the DMPs and Air Jordan 11 Gratitude?
From a first look, they are identical to the Concords and DMPs. However, they have premium leather on its upper instead of the ballistic mesh many attribute to the 11s. The glossy black makes a return, and much of the general construction is identical. However, there’s also a slight difference in the midsole, where it has a milky hue that complements the Gratitude’s design. On an extremely close inspection, keen-eyed sneakerheads will find that the Jumpman is a lot brighter compared to the predecessor. It also has a high-cut mudguard for protection.
History Of The Jordan 11 Concords
The Concords originally debuted back in the 1995 Playoffs, and it was a true show-stealer. Seeing this sneaker on the court had players and fans in awe and utter confusion. But one thing rang true in their minds, “this is something special.” The Jordan brand had been struggling to find a sneaker that matched MJ’s desire for a shoe that felt truly new.
Specifically, he asked for a “shiny basketball shoe” which is something that confused the Nike team. However, it was clear that he was gunning for a luxury sneaker that was still going to be practical on the court.
Designed by Tinker Hatfield during Jordan’s baseball tenure, these sneakers were essentially a last effort from the design team to create something that would bring back the Jordan brand’s popularity. Especially after the uncertain future, they faced with MJ leaving basketball.
Tinker Hatfield got to work by creating a durable ballistic mesh at its upper, then using glossy patent leather for the shiny look that MJ was gunning for. The patent leather was designed to prevent Jordan’s heel from rolling over the sole area due to his large feet. However, the feature is now a unique staple in the Jordan 11 mythos. On the upper side, there’s also some air cushioning contained within the midsole, along with some translucent rubber on the outsole.
Once the sneakers were ready for debut, Jordan was still playing baseball, and it began to seem unlikely that we’d ever see it on the court. Hatfield showed Jordan the sample of this sneaker ahead of the 1994-95 playoffs, and he chose to wear the Concords onto the court to face Orlando Magic. A decision that was heavily cautioned by Hatfield, who insisted that they weren’t ready to debut just yet. The Concord colour scheme was worn on the court that day, and it made a second appearance before disappearing completely. We’d later come to find out that this was due to the NBA’s regulations at the time. Eventually, though, the shoes made their return during MJ’s fourth NBA title run.
Now, here’s where things get a bit more interesting with the Concords. The version that MJ first wore did not have the “23” featured on the heel, but retail pairs had it. This caused some members of the sneaker community to clamour for a version that fit closer to the original prototype. However, this wouldn’t be the last time that a pair of Jordan 11s would have a different look compared to the previous iteration. The “Defining Moments” Pack (DMP) is another example that was released in 2006.
Set to drop sometime in the holiday season, these will officially launch on the SNKRS app on December 9th. The Air Jordan 11 “Gratitude” is priced at $230 for adults, $ 100 for little kids, and $185 for big kids.
One thing that is still a mystery in relation to these sneakers is their availability. There are no clear reports on how many units that are set to release, but they are likely to sell out, especially considering the Concord legacy tied to them. It’s best to keep your eyes open and cop a pair of Jordan 11 “Gratitude” sneakers on launch day.