“Yellowing” - More Than Just A Color
2000 vs 2022 Air Jordan 6 “Midnight Navy” 

Our accurate association with “Icy Soles” has been great for protecting countless sneakers worldwide. Unfortunately, that success has come at a cost. “Yellowing” has been reduced to a change in color “non-icy” as opposed to the much more serious sole breakdown the colorful phenomenon should be associated with. If you have been around the sneaker game for a while, you probably know the general history behind what may also refer to as “sole decay.” However, that is not the case for everyone or even every modern sneakerhead. 

For example: How many people really think in terms of “connections” when they look at a pair of “yellowed” Air Jordan soles? Yellowing is also a good launching point because it links both to what we do and ranks high among the main reasons people visit our site. The topic also has real impact in our industry and even broader implications for others. 

Icy Sole Vs Yellow Sole

Over the course of many articles, we will dive deeper into this subject getting into cool science and some of the really admirable things companies are doing that could impact us in the sneaker and broader world context. To flesh out what this could look like, take the following example questions. 

Deeper Questions About Yellowing:

  • What connections if any are there between the “Macintosh” and sneakers? 
  • Is it correct to say that your sneakers decay because of oxidation?
  • Should we just give up because we are just human and yellow is a color? 

If we take the first question, we can branch in multiple directions that point to history, science and culture. Charles Macintosh is the name of the inventor associated with raincoats and at least back in the day it was not unusual for a British person to call a raincoat a Macintosh. His work was also influenced by others like Charles Goodyear and Thomas Hancock to refine processes associated with both natural and synthetic rubber which in turn has laid the foundation or “sole” for sneaker development as we know it today. Additionally, their work and the work of countless others serves as the starting point for companies like Sole Protector, Nike and other technical organizations to dig deeper into the material science that creates and kills the Icy Sole.

On the question of decay, we leave the 1800s and plunge into a more modern space where “rubber” is as complex as “fire.” 

Fire: Class A? Class B? Class C, D, E?

Fire [How To Extinguish]: Dry Powder? Water? Shut Off Valve? 

Fire [Derivatives and Uses]: Airplane Lights? Lightbulbs? Nuclear Power? Combustion Engines/Cars? Electrical Engineering? 


Rubber: Natural? Silicone? Neoprene? Nitrile? Fluorocarbon? You get the idea. 

Rubber [Protecting From Yellowing]: Humidity Control? Moisture Control? Chemical Control? Radiation Control. Temperature Control?

Rubber [Derivatives and Uses]: Crepe Rubber? Sneakers? Automobile Tires? Electric Shock Prevention? 

You get the idea. This approach also yields far more comprehensive understanding of the scope of the problem and begins to outline how solutions could arise with enough time, knowledge and experimentation.   

You already know the answer to the last example question. That’s why you are smart enough to be here. If there was any doubt, the super high level examples above give a glimpse of what’s possible. There’s a lot to know about the subject and a lot of work left to do - so no quitting - at least not for us. If nothing else, the further exploration of this topic should be incredibly informative and will hopefully lead to knowledge that will make you step even prouder because you know what you know.

Make sure you pick up a Jordan 6 Sole Protector to preserve your icy sole!


To kick things off, we could not ask for a better demonstration of what “Yellowing” actually means and the reality of what happens once the condition has completely infected your sneaker/shoe.

Relevant Details:
Case Name: The Death Of A Loved Pair
Model: 2000 Nike Air Jordan 6 “Midnight Navy”
Release Date: October 4th 2000 (Almost 22 Years Old)
Retail Price: $120
Condition: Near Dead Stock
Decay and Yellowing: Advanced

Potential Factors: Low use/wear, not equipped with Sole Protector, other shoe materials also left untreated or unprotected, improper storage, inadequate shoe care.  

This shoe looked almost perfect to the naked eye except for obvious “yellow” discoloration. Unfortunately, the trouble was below the surface.

2000 Air Jordan 6 Midnight Navy 

2000 Air Jordan 6 Midnight Navy vs 2022 Air Jordan 6 Midnight Navy

 2000 Air Jordan 6 "Midnight Navy" vs 2022 Air Jordan 6 "Midnight Navy"


2000 Air Jordan 6 Midnight Navy Yellow Sole2022 Air Jordan 6 Midnight Navy Icy Sole
2022 vs 2000 Air Jordan 6 "Midnight Navy" Sole


2000 Air Jordan 6 Midnight Navy Yellow Sole

Sole Looks Healthy At First Glance


2000 Air Jordan 6 Midnight Navy crumbling sole



Sneaker Decay

 Cracking Around The Air Bubble Chamber. Exposed Foam And Complete Breakdown Of Upper Sole


2000 Air Jordan 6 Midnight Navy Sole Separation

Total Sole Separation With Foam Breakdown Underneath













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