We don't know when this much-loved colourway
of the equally much-loved Air Jordan
VII got its "Raptor" nickname. Around the time of its first retro? The Toronto Raptors weren't even around when it first dropped in 1992. Charcoals and Black/Reds seemed to be the nicknames we knew them by back in the day. Despite a couple of efforts, we have yet to see a definitive colourway of this shoe arrive again. Is there a more early 1990s' outsole pattern than the Jordan VII? In 2002 we got an all-black uppered variation with round laces (that actually appeared in TK Maxx circa 2004 in small sizes) and a DMP duo of VIIs in 2009 gave us another interpretation that brought back the charcoal grey and black contrast that OG pairs seemed to amplify with age. After last year's Cardinal reissue landed with a thud, we weren't sure as to how this reissue would go down after such a recent retro too, but 3 years is a lion's share of a sneaker cycle, so a lot seems to have changed since then. We've said it before, but multiple generations being besotted with the brand means that one man's Jordan III is another youth's Jordan XIII. It's all down to youthful aspiration.
Even without ever seeing Michael play in your lifetime, those associations remain. Born in 1987? You might have borne witness to an older brother, father or cousin losing their mind over the Jordan VII in 1992. A child of the 1990s might have witnessed similar hype for the 2002 version and been denied a pair. It's those kind of experiences that give Brand Jordan such power and we're inclined to think that anyone writing young fans off as "hypebeasts" is missing the bigger picture. These editions feel pretty different from the 2009 retro but there's parallels with the 2002s. Decent quality (taking off the rose tinted Persols for a second, our Durabuck textured pairs back in the day were pretty easily ruined) and colours that seem to pop a little better than before, shorn of that odd glossy feel that the retros have had, all makes these worthy of consideration when they drop again this coming Saturday.