The Doernbecher Freestyle x Air Jordan V aka the “Isaac Arzate” is one of the dopest releases this year. Unfortunately, it’s inspired by a tragic story. For those who are unfamiliar, in 2004 Nike partnered up with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland to create a program where patients can design shoes with the proceeds benefiting the hospital.
Isaac Arzate was a 12-year-old boy from Salem, Oregon. The athletically versatile sixth grader excelled in both basketball and baseball. After going into cardiac arrest at a basketball practice last year Isaac was admitted to the Doernbecher for open-heart surgery. Afterward, Arzate went back to his everyday activity stating that he felt back to normal. During baseball practice, however, he experienced a second heart attack and collapsed while jogging, leading to his untimely death. While recovering from his initial surgery, though, Isaac began working on sketches for the “Doernbecher Air Jordan V.”
Usually when I write about sneakers, its just me feeding my obsession for the materialistic. This time around, it feels a little deeper because as a kid I was always in and out the hospital, stuck in a wheel chair, for as long as a year. I remember being angry at life because I couldn’t do the things other kids were doing like running around and play sports. Isaac Arzate took full advantage of life on and off the field and court. I could never fully empathize with him or his family but have the utmost admiration for Isaac’s persistence; a quality that is found in the hearts and souls of all champions. As a sneaker head, I respect the Doernbecher Freestyle Project and Nike for allowing kids like Arzate to create a really well-designed sneaker that has more than an aesthetic, but an actual story. The “Doernbecher V” celebrates the life of Isaac Arzate through intricate details by using his original sketches and a poem written by the young athlete on the leather upper which reads:
My team, my family, We are brothers forever, No matter what – Issac Arzate
The inside of the tongue features Isaac’s initials, date of birth, and date of passing. The side of the heels boast the numbers of his jersey’s, 9 for baseball and 31 for basketball. The sneaker drops Sept. 14th for a retail price of $180 with proceeds from the sales benefiting OHSU Doernbecher. The “Doernbecher V’s” are only exclusive only to the Nike Store and the Nike Store Twitter.