Ball Don't Lie - NBA

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Being born in 1984 makes it easy to keep track of what edition Air Jordans are the most current. As I turned 25 this year, so did the shoes. I don't think this is a coincidence. Seeing as 25 is a milestone of sorts, this year's version of the Air Jordan is extra special. Yeah, they said the same thing about the XXs, XIIIs, and last year's, which were the first to be named after the year (Jordan 2009), but let's push that aside for a minute.

So these are the Jordan 2010s, and with the new shoe comes a new endorser, Dwyane Wade(notes). Wade is the newest member of Jordan Brand, and owner of probably the most Jordan-styled game in the NBA. As both Carmelo Anthony(notes) and Chris Paul(notes) already have signature shoes, this is a natural fit. As you can imagine, there's been a huge promotional push about that very fact. All of this makes sense: Chicago kid who plays like Jordan wearing the new Jordans. Perfect. Except the shoes.

Now, these aren't the worst Jordans (the XVs), but they certainly aren't the best (XIs). To these piercing blue eyes, they're kind of boring, and more than a little like something Converse would design. That's disappointing from the Air Jordan, which made its name on innovative designs and technologies. The big feature on these shoes is a see-through window, which I guess let's people see your socks. Great.

However, famed sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield is back in the fold. You might know him from designing several of the best shoes ever made. Hatfield is emphasizing fit from the Jordan 2010. Any improvements in this field will be greatly appreciated after the Jordan 2009, a shoe that was stiff and awkward to wear. These might be the most comfortable Jordans yet, but the low cut on the lateral side of the ankle scares a fellow who can't take out the garbage without tearing some ligaments.

All in all, the Jordan 2010 looks fine. But these shoes get graded on the Jordan curve, which makes the entire thing seem a little underwhelming. Here's hoping the shoes feel great, making up for the lackluster design.

The Jordan 2010 will be released nationwide February 13, 2010 for a suggested retail price of $170.

Ball Don't Lie's Swag Rating: Three (out of five) Muggsy Bogues ...

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