Nike Air Jordan Imminent Shoe Review:
No doubt Nike makes great shoes, but today we are going to take a critical look at the Nike Air Jordan Imminent. Rather than review the styling from “Sneaker Freak” perspective or the performance of the shoe for actually playing basketball, I want to do a “tear down” to study the construction, materials, assembly, value and production costs.
Our review will start with what it costs Nike to make the Air Jordan Imminent. The retail price of the Jordan Imminent is on the high side at $120. Based on the selling price of $120 for an 8% import duty shoe, with ocean shipping included, I calculate the shoe factory build price to be around $25.00. In 2012, Nike paid Michael Jordan over 60 million dollars, so I figure there must be a royalty payment of maybe a dollar per pair? So let’s figure it’s around $24.00 to make the shoe. Of Nike’s build price we can estimate 25% to 35% for the factory LOP, maybe $8.00. That leaves between $16.00 to $18.00 dollars for the materials, upper, leather and outsole parts.
The Nike Air Jordan Imminent upper pattern is not complicated. Only 7 panels to make the upper, so the stitching make or cost is not very high. The Jordan Imminent is very well put together. The stitching is clean and straight and all the upper stitching is a double row. While I’m a little surprised to see that none of leather edges are skived and tuned, the exposed edges are solid black, by drum dyed leather or painted edges. The full grain leather vamp is smooth and well-formed, evidence that the leather is well backed, I would expect Imminent’s upper parts are assembled with hot melt glue and carefully pre-molded before the lasting operations to make such a nice shape.
For the logo treatments, Nike has gone with a very simple look for the Air Jordan Imminent. Only 2 embossed logos made by RF welding process. The heel side logo on the lateral side and tongue logos are both cleanly and deeply embossed, this leads me to believe that Nike has swapped in a matte finish synthetic material for these panels instead of full grain leather. Full grain leather doesn’t melt so it will resist deep embossing. The synthetic leather logo panel is showing white backing on the edge…could be better.
The double row of stitching around the tongue logo is super clean and perfectly round, definitely made by a computer stitching machine. The embossed stitch flange is a nice touch also.
The 3D air mesh with black over red for the tongue and heel pad is a neat and subtle accent. All the tongue seams are turned out so there is not a stitch to be seen, very nice.
The upper materials in general are nice but nothing exotic or expensive. The waxed laces are simple and clean. Red webbing covers the heel seams, a great way to hide ugly seams and a good way to increase the cutting yield without the shoe looking like a puzzle. The collar topline is neatly rolled into the lycra lining. I did notice a small kink where the eyestay reinforcing ends, maybe a little extra skiving inside could smooth that out. A word about the eyelets, there is none. Just punched holes for all the positions. Okay…but not great.
Following the ultra clean theme for the Air Jordan Imminent outsole, Nike has gone with a very simple design for the midsole and outsole parts. The injection molded EVA midsole is a single color with three contour breaks. I did see some waves in the midsole top line, I do expect there will be waves where the uppers leather panels overlap, but my pair has a few small waves on flat panels, not the best workmanship but a very minor issue.
The midsole is solid EVA in the forefoot with a small heel air bag. The Nike Air bag is blow molded with 10 stabilizing pillars. After molding, the air bag is painted silver to add an accent. A closer look shows the Air Jordan Imminent air bag has the blow mold seam hidden by the outsole bottom or midsole.
The rubber bottom is a simple color blocking with an EVA break showing in the forefoot. The rubber parting lines are thin and super clean, well-trimmed. This is evidence of high quality tooling, as you would expect on any Air Jordan shoe.
Overall this is a clean shoe, simply built, nice materials. An efficient, labor-saving design, lacking the extra nice touches that you would like to see in a shoe which costs $120.00. I like the shoe. It’s well made, with high quality materials, a basic clean shoe.
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