The Jordan Spizike: a Tribute to MJ and Spike
Following the release of the Dub Zero in 2005, the Jordan Spizike debuted on Oct 21, 2006, as a tribute to Michael Jordan's relationship with iconic filmmaker Spike Lee. The Spizike became the second Jordan silhouette to combine elements of several sneakers in one design.
Spike Lee's Influence on Air Jordans
In the sneaker world, Spike Lee is best known for his appearances in Air Jordan ad campaigns in the late 1980s and 1990s, playing the fictional character Mars Blackmon, the sports and sneaker-loving Brooklynite.
Lee starred in commercials for the Air Jordan 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9. He coined the phrase, "It's gotta be the shoes," and fully embodied what it meant to be a sneaker fanatic — a phenomenon that was relatively new at the time.
In fact, Lee's affinity for Air Jordans dates back to Mars' performance in the classic 1986 film She's Gotta Have It. In the movie, the character loved his original Air Jordan 1s so much, he refused to take them off when finally given the opportunity to be intimate with his love interest, Nola Darling. That scene was one of the earliest depictions of the cultural significance of Air Jordans off the court.
In 1989, Spike Lee created another iconic sneaker moment in the film Do the Right Thing. A character named Buggin' Out gets his new "White Cement" Air Jordan 4s scuffed by a Celtics fan and contemplates making him pay $100 plus tax for a new pair. Later on, Spike Lee also featured the Air Jordan 13 in his 1998 film He Got Game.
Landing on Mars: the Spizike's Collaborative Design
While Spike Lee has had many memorable moments in pop culture involving Air Jordans, the Jordan Spizike is specifically designed using the sneakers from the Mars Blackmon ads.
The Spizike incorporates midsoles, outsoles and mudguards from the Air Jordan 3. The wing to hold the laces is courtesy of the 4, while the Air Jordan 5 inspired most of the upper, including eyelets, ankle support and the netting. The lace locks and windowed tongue comes from the Air Jordan 6, and the heel pull tab lifts from the Air Jordan 9. The Spizike is finished off with laser-engraved graphic details initially found on the Air Jordan 20.
Air Jordan Spizike: Collectibility and Resale Value
Although sneakers outside the signature Air Jordan line aren't often as collectible, the Jordan Spizike has a special place in most Jordan collectors' closets.
The original numbered pairs from 2006 are the rarest to find, but they aren't unreasonably expensive. Popular original colorways like the "White/Varsity Red/Classic Green," "Black/Varsity Red/Classic Green" and "White/Cement" have all been re-released over the years and are easily obtainable.
Except for pristine examples of the limited-numbered release, collectors can find a wide range of Jordan Spizike versions on eBay for under $100.
Original Jordan Spizike Releases
The initial plan for the Jordan Spizike was to release only the first two colorways. Many sneakerheads were skeptical of the hybrid mash-up. But sales momentum grew, and Nike eventually released more than 30 colorways, making the Spizike one of the most iconic shoes in the Jordan family.
The first Spizike got released in the "White/Varsity Red/Classic Green" (315371-161) colorway. To commemorate Lee's and Mars' Brooklyn roots, the shoe was only available on the East Coast and was limited to 4,032 pairs. Each pair was individually numbered and came with a hangtag.
In 2007, the Jordan Spizike saw wider releases in seven colorways. The first three colorways — "Black/Varsity Red/Classic Green" (3125371-061), "True Blue" (315371-163) and "White/Varsity Red/Cement Grey/Black" (315371-164) — were only available in men's sizes.
Jordan Spizike - "True Blue" (315371-163)
Jordan Spizike - "Kings County" (315371-071)
Jordan Spizike - "Cement Grey" (315371-101)
Next, Jordan Brand paid homage with the "Kings County" (315371-071) colorway. Featuring eye-catching elephant print overlays, it was the first pair to get released in grade school sizing. There was also a limited-edition "Do the Right Thing" (315371-162) colorway and a women's "Black/Pinkfire/Ice Blue" (317574-062) version.
At the end of 2007, the "Cement Grey" (315371-101) colorway got released in full family sizing. It was the first widely available general release. Since the original run of the Spizike in 2006 and 2007, the sneaker has been released in a handful of additional colorways — some inspired by classic Air Jordan colorways, others new takes.
Cultural Relevance of the Jordan Spizike
Of the handful of Jordans made using elements from various shoes, the Jordan Spizike is arguably the most popular. The design itself was executed so well that it feels like it could have been its own signature Air Jordan in the late 1980s or early 1990s. And Spike Lee's impact on sneaker culture via Jordan Brand deserves to be celebrated. If you're a diehard sneaker fan like Mars Blackmon, and you own some or all of the shoes that make up the Spizike, adding a pair of Spizikes is the crowning touch. Those looking for sneakers that quickly appreciate in value may prefer the classic models, signature models or hyped-up collaborations.