by Brendan Dunne
The "Legend Blue" Jordan 11 is, of course, an echo of the classic "Columbia" colorway that's linked with MJ's days as a Tarheel.
The younger generation of sneakerheads may have never had a pair of original Columbias though—maybe they've never even seen a pair save for online. Following up on Sole Collector's Retrograde episode breaking down the differences between the 2014 "Legend Blue" Jordans, the 2001 Columbia, and the original 1996 "Columbia", is this photo set that puts the shoes side by side. Key differences here involve the Jumpman placement on the left shoe, the branding on the insides, as well as the overall shape of the shoe over the years. The main differences in these Jordan 11s are as follows:
Air Jordan 11 retros in recent years have reversed the ankle-area Jumpman on the left shoe. Above, from left to right: the 2014 Jordan 11 "Legend Blue", 2001 the Jordan 11 "Columbia" Retro, and the 1996 Jordan 11 "Columbia" Original.
Above, from left to right: the Jordan 11 "Legend Blue", the Jordan 11 "Columbia" Retro, and the Jordan 11 "Columbia" Original.
The sole on the 2014 "Legend Blue" Jordan 11s (left) features a white Jumpman outline, while the original (right) fills in the silhouette. The 2014 pair also has a deeper icy blue tint on the outsole.
The 1996 and 2001 versions of the "Columbia" Jordan 11 feature the tongue tag shown on the left, while the "Legend Blue" 2014 on the right uses more blue.
"Nike Air" branding was used on the 1996 and 2001 retros (left), but the 2014 "Legend Blue" Jordan 11 (right) uses a Jumpman logo.
These three Jordan 11s all use a clean patent leather, but most original and retro pairs have faded to yellow with age. The 2014 (left) features a pristine white while the others here have discolored. The discoloring process depends largely on storage techniques.
A special thanks to Image NY.