With Concord mania in full effect this weekend we wanted to take a look back at one of the more mysterious Air Jordan 11s to never release – the Blackouts. Lets rewind back to 2010 and the Air Jordan 11 retro landscape looked much different; instead of having 4+ pairs of 11s (mid, low, IE) releasing throughout the year Jordan Brand dropped two pairs.. two, one in the spring and one for winter. It was a fantastic year in terms of 11 execution with the Cool Greys and 25th Anniversary releasing to critical acclaim and fanfare from collectors. Both colorways stand as two of the best non-OG 11s ever to drop, but there was a third pair that never saw the light of day.
The above pictures from Kenny’s IG shows the level of craftsmanship on these 11s. The leather is super buttery and ages like fine wine. The cut of patent leather is lower, some would call ‘lower’ ‘traditional’ but that’s up to debate. The OG 11s did in fact have a higher cut of patent leather than the 2008-15 releases but the 2016’s+ (Space Jams and after) sit even higher than the OGs so it’s all relative. We personally like the cut of the Blackouts a lot because it allows for the beautiful nylon to take over more shoe real estate resulting in a more under stated look.
When the 2018 Cap And Gown 11s dropped sneakerheads speculated that they’d end up looking like these black beauties above; but we were given a completely different black Jordan. For starters the Cordura Nylon upper was switched for a nubuck/ suede-y material that darkens the overall hue of the shoe from a ‘black’ to ‘midnight’. The stitched Jumpman logo was replaced with a metal adornment and leather was removed from the collar. As we mentioned above the cut of patent leather is much higher on the Cap And Gowns and on top of that Jordan Brand changed the clear outsole to a blue hue. Big thick laces were added too. Which do you prefer? We would have liked to see Kenny’s 11s release but maybe that’ll happen in 2025 or something.
If you look at the 25th Anniversary 11s and the Blackouts then you can see how they mirror one another down to the pattern on the heel tab. Switch black for white and remove the Jumpman logo then you’d have a clean pair of ‘Annies’.