Air Jordan 30 Performance Review | NYJumpman23


We’ve been expecting you all…and now we present to you the performance review of the Air Jordan 30.

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If interested, you can pick up the Air Jordan 30 at these retailers:

Eastbay | Footaction | Footlocker | Finishline | Champs

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Traction XXX

Traction – The traction utilizes the Flight Speed architecture of the Air Jordan XX9 and an implementation of a 3D rendering design inspired by the Jordan quote “Excellence is never second place.” The new traction pattern utilized on the outsole was a nice feature. While the traction is inspired by the quote “Excellence is never second place,” the traction on the Air Jordan 30 was third place compared to that on the 28 and 29. The outsole did pick up more dust than I expected so a lot more wipes were required while running back down court during plays. I did state that the Kobe 11 traction was faulty in my review — it collected too much dust and slipped — and the traction on the Air Jordan 30 was similar. 

The traction does execute well on very clean courts, but I still find that it could be improved. I wish it utilized the rubber content and design from the XX8. This traction was a slight step back, but I do like the idea and concept of utilizing a 3D inspired herringbone pattern to magnify Jordan’s pinnacle standard.

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XXX Cushion

Cushion – The cushion set up is something that you’ve probably all seen before. The Air Jordan 30 utilizes the same cushion set up as the Air Jordan 29. You feel the prominent forefoot Zoom and the cored out portion of the heel for impact compression. The Zoom on these felt a little bit better compared to the 29. I would much rather prefer full length Zoom or a combination or forefoot and heel Zoom, due to my age and how I land on impact upon rebounds and finishes around the basket. However, the cushion setup worked as expected.


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Materials – Here is where I have mixed thoughts. Jordan Brand states that the Air Jordan 30 debuts an “exclusive mix of woven, knit and printed materials.” The woven upper provides a much stronger feeling as it’s more tightly knit. Additionally, the knit at the ankle and the interior is stated as offering “softness and breath-ability.” I disagree on the softness of the interior itself because yes, there is knit material, but I did feel that the interior lining felt much more rough against the skin that what we’ve been used to.

If you wear low or no-show socks, and you have the shoe tied to the top eyelet, then you might feel the materials start to feel like an Indian burn against your skin. Also you might notice that the performance woven material around the foot feels slightly thin, but it’s not much of a concern overall due to how the material is architecturally structured.

XXX Cushion 3



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Fit – The overall fit, as stated in my previous overview, is that the shoe fits snug, especially on the area along the forefoot. There is a necessary break-in period for to the upper knit material to form around your foot. Even with the slight snug fit, the shoe felt more structurally sound than the 29. I would stay true to size, even with a slightly wider foot, but if you do have a much wider foot or require a usage of an ankle sleeve and/or brace, I would suggest half-size up. The best bet is to go to your local retailer to try these on. The alternate issue I would say with the fit is just the heel counter pushing harshly into my heel/ Achilles causing lot of pain and even blisters, but you’ll hear more about that in the next section.


XXX Suport

Support – This is where things get a little mixed up. The support is finite with the new upper collar and upper eyelet. Although support is added, I had circulation issues when tying the shoes tight.
The major issue I had was the heel counter. The heel counter dug into the back of my heel and Achilles which caused discomfort and created blisters. Even with those issues, the heel counter kept my foot in place. I tried lacing the shoe without the top eyelet but I was worried due to lockdown concerns. The only way I played without discomfort was to lace the shoe loosely so I wouldn’t have issues with the heel counter digging into the back of my foot. However, that is a major concern because I shouldn’t have to change the way I’ve always tested or worn a shoe just to wear the 30.

The one standout is the segmented rubberized pattern printed onto the insole. It kept my feet from shifting on quick cuts or movements regardless of the athletic socks I was wearing (Nike Elite and Stance NBA socks). That minor detail Jordan Brand utilized should be considered a standard on future basketball shoes.



Overall – The Air Jordan 30 performs decently. While the thought process of utilizing a 3D pattern of an outsole and an upgraded knit upper was quite appealing, the execution of these elements seemed like an afterthought. Brands generally have a two to three year window to design, acquire and implement new materials, and wear-test the shoe prior to release; so when the statement of “we had no time” came out at the 30 reveal, it caused some concerns.

As someone who has tested for brands, if something didn’t work, I’d immediately get in touch with my contact and let them know the issue, and it would be brought to the design and product development team to make the proper adjustments. Now, if this shoe was tested and the testers gave it the thumbs up, then I’d personally take it as disrespect to not only the brand but also towards people who’ve done it before them and honed the craft. You cannot give an okay on a shoe if there are issues that, in my case, caused pain in certain areas to my foot. It’s generally unacceptable to not only the consumer, but also the core athlete.

If the shoe wasn’t tested and just released (which I sure hope wasn’t the case), then it would be easier to point the finger. When you give a nod to something that isn’t done properly, you’re accepting mediocrity. Or, you just don’t care about the process, which is unacceptable, especially under Jordan Brand, whose tag line on original models is “Performance brand of excellence,” or the tagline used now, “Excellence is never second place.

Don’t misinterpret this as being shots fired towards any brand at all. The thought process of the shoe was good, but the execution was slightly flawed. We all expected a different look of the shoe, but the general crowd gasped at an updated modern fit of the 29 (a 29.5 if you will). Don’t get me wrong, I like the shoe, I just have yet grown to love it. The issues I had caused my distaste.

However, there is a bright side to all this: I know somewhere, the team is busting it’s tail to get to where it’s supposed to be. You don’t work hard and attain the crown in the athletic footwear industry only to perform second best. Nike and Jordan Brand are the pinnacle when it comes to athletic performance and doing things outside the box. I’m hoping adjustments will be made and the individuals assigned testing particular shoes will be more thorough. I expect the brand to make sure things are done right and executed properly.

In the words of Drake, “I had someone tell me I fell off, ooh I needed that.” Again, this is not taking a jab towards the brand at all, but sometimes we all need a match lit under us to get us back on track, and I feel Jordan Brand will do it when we least expect it…hopefully sooner rather than later. With much anticipation, we’ll see you soon AJXXXI…! #TakeFlight




    1. Applepie, quite off topic, but I store my older shoes all around the house, same boxes. Try to keep it out of overly humid/moisture filled areas. And I take shoes out to air out once in a while. Oxygen is key. And I clean my performance based shoes right after i finish playing with them. You take care of your shoes, they take care of you. Thanks for checking it out.

  1. Thanks for the review, NyJumpman23.
    I wonder since they had to put out something quick it effected the wear testing as well?
    I agree that wear testing for brand is a privilege, and appreciate craft that goes into it.

    1. Nguyen, appreciate the support. It’s definitely a privilege. But Hopefully those who have were selected to product test aren’t taking advantage of the program. It’s a real shame b/c this shoe could have been something special. Thanks for your continued support.

  2. Great review as always. I liked the direct comparisons with the XX8 and XX9.

    As for the general “what went wrong”, only Nike/JB knows. It could’ve been sidelined by the whole lawsuit with the established imitation Jordan Brand, maybe it (also) was an intentional stand-in to buy time for a more radical XXX1 — who knows?

    1. Ventruck, always appreciate your support and insight. There are many possibilities, but like I stated, there was a 2-3 year window always with new shoes, and to release something that was executed with flaws is pretty unacceptable. Especially causing pain on a foot of an athlete. Again, who knows, but during the conference to already state, Oh we’re already done with the 31 and working on 32…doesn’t that say something?

  3. Great review, I do think you were bending-over backwards too much, in apologizing to Jordan Brand for noticing they did a half-hearted job of the Jordan 30.

    With JB stating ‘we had no time’, they’re basically admitting to all of it, no need to walk on eggshells.

    1. Nene33, I’m not behind the scenes of the testing nor in charge of the development process, so how would I pinpoint blame if I wasn’t “ACTUALLY” there to blame it on. It’s like saying you dropped the cup on the floor meanwhile your 5 rooms away and I blame you, yet the person next to me did it. But did I see it? No. General public are very quick to assume stipulation. I stated that there could be many facets to the fault. And neither the actual testers/ nor the Brand will ever come forth to claim fault. It’s just bad for business. At the end of the day, I’m here to give insight, and review of a shoe and provide facts of what I’ve tested and played on.

  4. Sucks to hear about the heel issuse. These diffenitly sound more like 29.5 then a 30. Traction, maybe a solid rubber outsole would help? Another good performance review by NYjumpman23

    1. Nate2, Thanks for the support and reading. Cheers to you. Unfortunately, The shoe just had mishaps. In terms of traction, the xx9 was translucent and it worked perfectly fine. I also have a XX8 SE in translucent and it was fine. It really depends on density of the rubber compound used and the fluidity of the traction pattern also. (also how often courts get cleaned).

  5. That’s really odd. I’ve had the 30’s for 3 weeks now and there’s no heel rubbing / pain even with no-show socks. I guess it’s the shape of one’s heel/achilles or how far it protrudes posteriorly. I’m having a great experience so far actually. – Either way, really good and thorough review.

    1. Slinks, I can’t say for EVERYONE has the issue, but I’ve had the issue, and I’ve known and seen a number of alternate individuals who have the same issue I have to the point they returned the shoe. I’m not saying the problem is pertaining to everyone, but the issue is present and quite unfortunate. Thank you for your support. Cheers!

  6. Hey WearTesters,

    I’m a long-time reader/viewer. This video review had some great moments and some rough moments. You guys are usually the best. I hope you can smooth out some of the choppy narration in the future. Thanks!

    1. Jon,
      doing the best I can, not the teams fault, it’s mainly the issues with the shoe in itself, and needed to provide more details of the issue than norm. But it’s always a learning process and evolving, thanks for the support and insight.

  7. Hi,
    Would you think that lace-up ankle braces would get rid of the concern in the achilles area?

  8. When this shoe first dropped, I was disappointed. I agree, its more of a 29.5. Air Jordan’s have generally been the pinnacle for Nike basketball innovation. First basketball shoe (or any shoe I believe) to be named for a specific player. The AJ 2 introduced Italian leather and a softer midsole. AJ3 was the first basketball shoe with heel and forefoot cushioning. 30 years ago, the Air Jordan changed the basketball world as we knew it. It was radical. Almost every shoe after has been radical, changed things, until the 29. The 29 didn’t change much except for dropping the heel zoom air.

    I expected the 30th anniversary something as game changing as the original. I had planned to spend whatever it cost (within reason) for them. What a let down. Considering the 29 was not much different from the 28, Nike had PLENTY of time to prepare.

    They know people are going to buy them just for the fact that its an Air Jordan, so I guess they’ve decided to rest on their laurels for a while. I hate seeing trends like this. Its exploiting the consumer. Hopefully something awesome will come in the 31’s. Vis air would be nice.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. People are going to buy b/c they “want” it in their inventory. But if the shoe doesn’t fit to my personal needs, it’s not something I can back. I enjoyed the shoe, but not enough for the pain on my foot.

  9. Thanks for the review NYJUMPMAN23. If I had the chance to grab this AJ30 in store, I would have tried them on before I purchased them. I had a pair of AJ28SE and I have also tried on the AJ29, so I would expect nothing less from the AJ30. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been the case with this latest model.

    I did get my hands on these through nikestore online, but I have encountered the same issues regarding the heel counter which yourself and a few reviewers have experienced. Though I haven’t played through them in an in-game setting and have only walked around in them, I found the heel notches irritating and wonder if the pain will go away once I break them in. I heard that the heel notches will soften after a few games, not sure if that’s true in your case?

    I am a type of guy that would like to tie the laces to the very top eyelet as this would give me the maximum support and lock-down that I need from serious game play. If I had to loosen up the shoe just to relief the pain from the heel like you mentioned in your review, then I would have to give these up and replace them with a better performance hoop shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I really like them aesthetically and everything else except for the heel part is great, but if I have to worry about my heels while playing basketball, then that’s not a good performance shoe.

    1. Lamaniac9,
      I only write what is true. I know my video was probably longer than expected, but I had to devise the direct details on what worked and what didn’t. I’ll get the complaints regardless but then again, people complain about videos not explaining certain things/aspects, and when you do a video too long that explains all that is missing, they complain. You can’t win w/ the crowd. But I do it for the people that care to know about these things b/c it doesn’t seem like people are getting the “FULL” info about the shoe like we here at WearTesters care about. We appreciate your support, and we’re sorry to hear that you had the same pain as some of us had, especially me. The year’s just started, but it seems like the new Nike line is really hitting heavy and hard(no pun intended). Keep it locked.

  10. How do I clean them!? They are developing these blue black stains seeping from the midsole… How do I get rid of them!!!?

    1. Stop wearing colored socks. The coloring of the socks and sweat that builds up on foot is absorbed into the performance weave material. Maybe try some Jason Markk.

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