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The Air Jordan XX8 was unveiled yesterday and it got some very mixed responses to say the least.

Although we have to agree that it does look like a space boot, we also recognize that it has more technological advances than any Air Jordan to date.

Yes, the neoprene upper before the shoe gets zipped down leaves little to be desired, but if you can appreciate all the other improvements that longtime Air Jordan designer Tinker Hatfield made with Josh Heard, then you might be able to get past the initial shock of the design.

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One such technological advancement is the Jordan Flight Plate, a Pebax® moderator plate that maximizes the responsiveness of the Nike Zoom units through compression and deflection for optimal performance by essentially unlocking the airbags in the forefoot and heel, unleashing the power of the Zoom bags.

Also featured in The Air Jordan XX8 is Dynamic Fit technology that uses internal straps to wrap up from the midsole and integrate with the laces for lightweight support that moves with the foot, providing additional lockdown support and comfort.

Yet another feature is the high-performance, stretch-synthetic shroud that provides a sleek exterior, while a molded external heel counter is made of carbon fiber for lightweight support. A multidirectional outsole pattern provides excellent traction and durability for the court. Schoeller mesh, a Swiss fabric used in premium motorcycling jackets, is used in the shroud that encompasses the AIR JORDAN XX8 to provide an extra layer of support, stability and style for the athlete.

In reference to the technology in the Air Jordan XX8 Larry Miller, President of Jordan Brand, said:

“The Air Jordan XX8 is a reflection of Jordan Brand’s progression in the name of basketball performance. This newest iteration of our franchise shoe will further solidify Jordan Brand’s premium and innovative position within the industry.”

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Our question is, couldn’t they have made a better looking sneaker with these same technological advances? Let’s be honest, most people aren’t going to buy this shoe for $250 and then turn around and play basketball in them. Most people wear Air Jordan casually, so why not satisfy both consumers? Michael Jordan famously said that he wanted the Air Jordan XI to be sleek enough to be worn with a tuxedo which means he recognized the cultural influence that the Air Jordan had. The Air Jordan XX8 seems to have lost that and we think it’s the reason why most sneaker enthusiasts have reacted negatively to the initial release of the Air Jordan XX8. If you are interested in actually getting the shoe, it will be available for purchase at the House of Hoops in Houston on February 15th, 2013 and then nationwide on February 16th, 2013.

Take a look at Tinker Hatfield and Josh Heard explaining the design and technology of the Air Jordan XX8 in the video below and some of the detailed pictures of the shoe in the gallery above.