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Classic kicks with a twist

Trying to imitate Michael Jordan is difficult: not only do you need incredible size, athleticism, and leadership skills, but you need to endure various semi-famous men accosting you to expound on cotton briefs. Deciding to not be like Mike and do their own thing, Gourmet.Just barraging ATL shelves with their new Fall collection, Gourmet's an impressively diverse line of Italian-fabricated sneakers created by the founders of DC shoes, Zoo York, and Hall of Fame, who started up a year ago creating kicks directly inspired by OG Air Jordans, but're now moving towards more original designs/creations because they feared they'd eventually have to end up making really bad baseball cleats. The Autumn line kicks off with the super-clean mid-top Dieci, which slaps a swatch of suede on top of pebble leather, and rocks unique sidewinding laces; the black or green Quadici, basically urban galoshes with leather laces and an upper panel made of molded rubber; and the fat-tongued low-top Tredici, which gets a big visible air unit and whose laces run through bootlike metal D-rings, far more comfortable than O-rings. A couple MJ-influenced holdovers come in new colors, including the Jordan 7-aping Uno in gray canvas, with a little heel loop and the ankle-cover sections completely removed, and the vaugely 11-looking Due in chocolate or jet black, which gets a zipper closure over the laces and pigskin leather lining; things swing anti-Mike again with the chunky low-top Cinque, with fat white deck soles and the same EPI grain leather previously used by Louis Vuitton, who never called, and worse, went and got busy with nubuck the very next night.Yet to arrive are the Chuck Taylor-like, mid-top Quattro (cotton canvas upper, crepe rubber outsole), and the high-top forest green Nove, which gets a big velcro strap around the ankles and laces made of waxed cotton -- the fabric that at this very moment, in some crowded room, Cuba Gooding Jr. is screamingly recommending MJ invest in.