Rhapsody In Black and Blue

The power of Michael Jordan's footwear legacy has only one rival: Andre Agassi.

Released this week, for the first time in black, the Air Tech Court II is more subdued than ever. As subdued as a shoe with a bold royal blue sole and 3M accents can be, and only subdued because this is, after all, is the sneaker that pioneered "hot lava" and shocked Tennis' conservative core. New jack sneakerheads recognize the silhouette for its odes in the Yeezy 2 (where did you think that sole unit comes from?), but for those of us that grew up watching the man from Vegas achieve a career Grand Slam, this model holds grail status.

Like OG Jordan collectors, we can get a bit peeved by new color schemes applied to our classics. However, in US Open dress (black to refer to night matches, blue to connect to those courts in Flushing) we get a nod to some pivotal Agassi models. In 1995, he hit the clay at Roland Garros in a black and blue version of the brilliant Air Challenge LWP. 1998's Air Assailant and the Air Zoom Challenge (released in 1996 and worn by short shorts king John Stockton) also carry black and blue.

Why care? History in sneakers is passé, right? Care because your closet shouldn't just honor MJ and a few old Australian dudes. Care because as much as we've celebrated the Vapor Tour 9 and been dismayed by the slow appropriation of the shoe into casual wear, we still believe REAL MEN WEAR TENNIS SHOES. Care because Andre Agassi is the fucking man.