By RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI
SNEAKERHEADS get their laces in a twist every time a Jordan sneaker drops.
This time it's the Jumpman Jeter Official, which hits stores Saturday for $100 a pair.
A basketball shoe branded by a Yankee shortstop may seem out of step, but Derek Jeter - the only active baseball player to have his own shoe - has made it work. This is the sixth season of Jeter-inspired shoes for Michael Jordan's Jumpman collection.
Sneaker aficionado Bobbito Garcia explains the Jeter-Jumpman success: "Only 20 percent of people actually use basketball shoes for athletics. The other 80 percent just wear them to look cool."
Garcia, who hosts ESPN2's "It's the Shoes" - a "Cribs"-style peek into celebrity shoe closets - is also the author of tennie tome "Where'd You Get Those? New York City's Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987."
"Over the years, baseball hasn't been a category that's been influential to what's hot on the streets. But people have taken basketball sneakers and running sneakers out of the arena from what they were designed for," Garcia says.
The shortstop and the shoe are a dream team.
"Who doesn't wear Jordans? I hang out at a lot of basketball courts, and the Jordan phenomenon is across the board, all ages," Garcia says.
"Parents and kids both wear Jordans, and that's not often that happens. It's unequivocally the most desirable shoe," he says.
While the Jeters will hit the courts this weekend, sneaker freaks can get a heads-up on future kicks when season two of "It's the Shoes" airs Wednesday at 1 a.m. Guests include Kobe Bryant, Ghostface Killah and Joseph "Reverend Run" Simmons of Run-DMC - but the slam dunk is Garcia's juicy sneaker scoop: While shooting at the Brand Jordan HQ in Los Angeles, he got a peek inside the super-secret sneaker vault.
"Die-hard sneakerheads would have been foaming at the mouth. They only let us film one side of the closet - they have issues with bootleggers, so they didn't want us showing all the ill colors," he says.
Garcia says he's laced with anticipation over a green and orange pair that were in the closet. But for now, he says he's cool with pounding the pavement in the new Jeters.
"These look aiight - very aiight."