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Air Jordan 2012 Performance Review

Hit the jump for the full written review…

Traction – 9.5/10

Cushion – 9/10

Material – 10/10

Fit – 9/10

Ventilation – 7.5/10

Support – 9/10

Overall – 9/10


Traction – Very pleasant from heel to toe. The pattern itself works very similar to herringbone and the rubber used is flexible giving you more friction on the surface of the floor. Only down side is that since the rubber is so soft it may not hold up outdoors very well unless they list them on NikeiD with an XDR outsole option.


Cushion – If you end up going with the entire ‘Choose you Flight’ system you have multiple options at your disposal. The step in comfort feeling is not their however, once you start to play you can feel the cushion go to work. I would recommend the Fly Around for quick Guards who need some cushion and enjoy court feel, Fly Over for those combo Guards or Small Forwards that need heel impact protection along with responsive low to the ground cushion for quick movements & the Fly Through for Power Forwards or Centers who need that extra protection upon impact from high energy plays.


Materials & Fit – Materials are great. Flywire is flexible and the leather overlays give additional strength right where you need it. They fit true to size and the higher cut inner sleeve has a bit more padding in the heel for a more secure feeling fit.


Ventilation – While it could be better, the secure fit is what helps offset the lack of ventilation from the upper. The inner sleeves do offer ventilation so not all is lost in that department.


Support – TPU is placed in the heel and toe for added durability and support along with an external Carbon Fiber shank to keep the shape and prevent over flexing.

      1. For A Bigger Perimeter Guard, Would You Recommend These, Fly Wade 2, Hyperdunk 2011, Lebron 9, Or Something Else? I have watched all of your videos(great work by the way) and I have enough money spend(250$) to get whatever the absolute best option would be. Im a 6’4 220(All muscle,not fat), High Jumping Shooting Guard. I want top notch performance and Also Something Good on knees,joints,arches, and ligaments. Thx!

  1. I’m really hoping for a comparison between the best shoes you’ve came across performance wise ;D fly wade2 jordan2012 and maybe CP5?
    Thanks for all the hard work , really appreciate all your work!!!
    Though you have so many shoes waiting for you to test i think you should still check out the MiCoach system added to Rose2.5 which seems really interesting 😉
    Keep up the great work!! Thanks again 🙂

    1. I may do that in the future. Appreciate all the support!

      I will see what i can do as far as the micoach goes.

  2. There are some models with nubuck panels instead of leather will those hold up just as well? Also how do these rank on your top 5 of all time?

    1. I went over that a bit in the video but i assume the leather will hold up better but im not positive about that.

        1. There is no such thing as ankle support, you can only restrict the ankle not support it… The ankle supports you.

          Lockdown & fit is key in ankle injury prevention.

  3. Thank you, sir.
    Great review, as always. Great shoes, but unfortunately, they are not really for me.
    I play outdoor most of the times and the price is just too high for me.

  4. hey! just curious, have you ever thought/tried to exchange the kobe 7, aj2011 and 2012’s midsoles? haha. great reviews as always. you look tired! you should take a rest. even though you have a lot of shoes coming up you could take a day or two off.

    1. They wouldnt work, totally different sizes/ thickness. I recorded this later than i usually do so it was nearing the end of the day… Im not tired though lol. Did take a couple days off just to rest my ankle but ill be going back on court tonight and keep going.

  5. I’m just hoping the Brand comes up with a more basic kind of model, like they did with the Q-flight, based upon the flagship, but more affordable and hopefully with improved breathability.

      1. afaik they will come out with the Q, A, and E flights, but at a $180 price point

        Q – mid bootie with fly around
        A – mid bootie with fly over
        E – high bootie with fly through

  6. Wow. Nice review, good work. Really loved the details in the reviews. I learned a bit about my needs.

    I’d like to ask for some help. Which to get?

    Qflight, WaDE2, Rose2.5, CP5, Juke or 2012…..or something else?

    Got my jordn.2010 when I viewed the review of yours. tGood kicks, they needed grip though, clear outsole on mine plus dirty court. Love the zoom though, no more chin pain. Now I got soldier5 ($50 on xmas), and I need more flexibility and better heel lock, chin splints back too. Im a 3 player I think. Soldier5 are a good shoe, good traction, tight fit mostly, but seem a little slow and inflexible. maybe its me. think ill try 2010s today and compare.

      1. pps. how can i become a better player besides playing more? how do you improve and how much do you need good shoes. would you be noticeably worse with one sneaker than another?

        1. Well you need to start with practice… Lots of it. If you struggle in a certain area then find a coach to help you work on that. When i was younger id get shipped off to different camps for a few weeks to train and when id get back id keep going with what i was taught. Also, since i dont train now i like to play against bigger opponents that are younger and more skilled than i am which helps me adapt to a wider variety of players and when i play with those who im used to playing with im usually a fee steps ahead of the competition since id been playing with larger caliber players.

          1. Cool. Im around better players now and I listen more to advice. I’d love to find a coach. and Ill work on playing more players. Gotta work on my fundamentals. thank you. again.

    1. Youd prob be better off with the wade 2, rose 2.5 or 2012. Make sure you get solid rubber outsoles bc that makes a huge difference on dusty courts. Since youre having shin pain you may want to really focus on the Wade and make sure you get the proper size bc fit is narrow in the forefoot, but the foam will ease your pain. 2012s will as well since the cushions are all bottom loaded.

  7. Thank You. Very cool to quick reply like you do. I noticed 2010 include bottom loaded zoom. guess it helped. Podulon sounded very interesting. I like a natural even feel. What bout court feel. Do wade2s compromise it?

    I may need for a sale of wades now.

      1. OK. I really want check them out. Hope no body around me has them. Lol. Kidding, sorta. Thnk you. appreciate the thoughtful replies. I’ll look to pay it forward. Take care Dude.

  8. i know the version you had were the year of the dragon version do u think the GR will have the same value when it comes to materials and not like the retros we have been getting ?

  9. Curiousity hit me and i was wondering; Did you try to see if the 2011 insoles fit into the 2012 and see how they feel?

    1. No i didnt. They are different molds and the shape along with the carbon fiber shank plate, it just wouldnt work.

  10. I just realized that comment bubble ran out of replies so ill ask it again here. Where do these rank in your all-time top 5

        1. I hardly have time to review the shoes i have lined up right now. After looking at them though they would be decent performers but lacking in traction.

  11. Great review man! I was very curious about how this shoe would perform and with your review, I’m sold. A price drop would be perfect lol.

    1. Thanks bro! Price is good if you think about it… $220 for foams or $223 for a high end & quality performance shoe w options… Not a bad price point imo but they will go on sale bc ppl are just stuck on retro products.

    1. Hmm… I dont know… I still love the wade more but the traction is better right out the box with the 2012s.

  12. Greetings Nightwing2303,

    This is my first post here since I recently started going through your reviews, which makes me feel stupid just for missing so much info and detail all this time that I had been reading reviews from other well known sites/blogs all these years.
    I am a performance addict just like you and I gotta admit that I was shocked with all the detail and notices you also make even before putting the shoes on your feet. As for now, you are by far my personal choice for reviews cause first off I’m a guard too and secondly you look at the shoes strictly from a performance perspective just like I do.
    I almost completely understand how the shoe will perform(feet are always different even if mine are on the narrow side too) and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your work and NO you don’t talk much. I would say that only if you went through the same things on and on again which you don’t.

    1. It wouldve been a full 10 had i not seen some of the rubber peeling… So yeah, if the outsoles were a little more durable it wouldve gotten a perfect score.

  13. I play on a very dusty indoor court and need shoes with great traction. As a 1 guard, I have the CP3 iv’s and always preferred the herringbone pattern. I am looking for a new pair of shoes and was wondering what you would suggest? I’m looking at the new CP3 5’s (just b/c of great past experience and the fact that it is a light shoe). Anything else you suggest?

      1. But in terms of which ones attract the least dust you mentioned the new AJ2012 do well but how do the CP3 5’s and FlyWade 2 compare

    1. Well fuse and foamposite are the most durable materials ive come across. The Flywire is fairly durable but wont last forever.

  14. Very good review man! I hope you can also add the adi zero rose 2.5 on your long list of basketball shoes to review. I am kind of torn between the jordan 2012s and the adizero rose 2.5 for my next sneaker. Thanks!

    For me, you are the number one source of performance reviews related to basketball. The other reviewers don’t go into full depth with their reviews. I’ve always enjoyed your reviews man! Keep it up!

  15. I’m getting these feb 11 I worked 3 weeks and it cost 300 bux here on Australia I just love shoes…. I’m copping these definitely tnx man!!

  16. Great review, so Ive wanted to ask this, but since the 2011’s were not all that great, which do you prefer the 2010’s or 12’s???

    1. Overall i prefer the 2012s. They are more inline with “todays” standards but i love the 2010s still.

  17. Dam..you’re pumping out more Nike/Jordan reviews than Kobe takes shots in a game….

    I’m assuming your saving the Howard reviews for version 3…then since there hasn’t be sneak peek review on the Howard 2s then

    1. he is a guard, it only makes sense he reviews shoes lines like kobe, CP, Rose etc. Might be kinda hard for nightwing to play in a howard

    1. They have their own signatures but Jordan Brand athletes will probably be seen wearing them All Star weekend.

      1. you have a point but just for the sake of debuting it before the all star game with there team colors or team appropriate white and black colors. maybe for its debut on nike id for the 14th. they could have just one game to show jordan’s flagship model.

        1. Im sure Ray Allen, Joe Johnson and maybe Mike Bibby will rock them. I doubt Wade, Melo & CP3 will just because they have their own shoes to promote.

  18. Thanks for the review, Nightwing2303. I remember reading from Solecollector Issue where they interviewed Jordan Brand saying they want more of their endorsed athletes to stop wearing retros on the court and wear more of performance models instead. Looking at it now, that statement is legit. If I’m looking for new basketball shoes this year, I’ll definitely consider Air Jordan 2012s when its on sale. I wonder next year’s model(keeping up with interchangeable midsoles them) will add a Lunarlon midsole.

  19. Great review. Grew up playing in Jordans and really got away from them the later shoes. Big fan of the ZK’s and was buying this years, but thanks to the reviews I will have my 2012 Jordans here next week and stoked to have a pair of Jordans that will actually be fun to play in again. Keep up the good work.

  20. great review. you just got me off the fence with these performance shoes. will cop a pair, since i also agree that the kobe’s are a let down this year. keep it up!

  21. Hey Nightwing i have been wondering which position ould help. would be a better bang for your buck the air jordan 2012 or the wades? I have an USSSA tournament coming up so i would appreciate if you would respond soon. Btw I am 5’3 in division 1 and play point so a shoe better suited for this position. Thanks.

    1. At your height you could wear either of the two and be fine. But the wade is less money so id go with those, which are still my personal pick as well even though the 2012 is a wonderful shoe.

  22. Anybody else notice that in some of the pics from the launch event that the Jordan brand actually describes the cushioning on the Flyaround as having forefoot and heel zoom air units?

  23. Another great review. Thanks!

    I’ve been testing my UNC version of these 2012 Air Jordans and they are my favorite playing sneakers right now over the AJ 2011, Concord XIs, Lebron 9s, and Candy Cane XIVs, in that order of my preference. (Side note… I have the retro AJ X Chicago which I refuse to play in again because they have absolutely NO grip on a dusty gym surface, though they feel great… and that is very disappointing that the grip holds back an otherwise very nice shoe.)

    Fit and finish on the AJ 2012 are superb, as are the materials. What I really like about these sneakers are the low feel and grip that they provide. I think they give me an advantage over some of my other kicks while playing defense, especially, because I can recover from someone putting a good move on me much faster than usual. When someone puts a crossover on you, fractions of a second determine whether they blow by you or not. In this regard, the shoes perform very well. On offense, they allow for quick transitions even on a dusty court. No slipping so far like I have with the Lebron 9s.

    I tried the Fly Around insert first, based on your recommendation. For me, they worked well, but I have sensitive arches ever since I jacked up my feet once running in Nike Free running shoes (about six years ago). It’s not like I have chronic foot pain, but if I don’t have enough cushion on my bball shoes, I will may experience a mini flare up. The Fly Around inserts were kind of lacking in cushion for me, so I switched to the Fly Through insert and have not had any issues whatsoever. This is somewhat surprising, as in my AJ 2011s I went with the less cushioned insert first and never even tried the more padded insert. Felt comfortable in the 2011s from day 1.

    One problem I had was with the design of the sock. Because the seam is right down the center, and somewhat “rough” (for anyone trying on the AJ 2012, put your hand inside the sock and feel the seam and you will see what I mean), it rubbed the middle toe on my right foot raw the first time I played in them. This could also be due to not breaking them in yet, lacing too tightly, or thinner socks. I first wore them with regular Nike Dri-Fit socks, but changed to Nike Elite socks. Since then, no issues with rubbing. I don’t think I laced them any looser, but maybe I did.

    Overall, I like these shoes a lot. They look great, are built to high standards and perform outstandingly on the court. They fit a little bit small (I wear size 10 normally), but not as small as the Lebron 9, which to me fits much too small lengthwise. I feel as though the AJ 2011 has similar grip and more comfort overall vs the AJ 2012, but they were not built to last. I’ve got peeling on the front of my 2011 from the front outside tip. The AJ 2011 to me, also has slightly better ankle support because of the way it laces up at the top and wraps the ankle a little bit more. I’m still on the fence about which one is better, but I’m leaning towards the 2012 for performance, and 2011 for comfort. Both the 2012 and 2011 have similar grip to the XI Concords, but both have superior ankle support. I rolled my ankle in the Concords twice, even though I love playing in them too. It’s just hard to lace those puppies up right sometimes.



  24. Hey man, so I’m 13 and a shooting guard. I weigh 108 lbs and am 5 foot 4. I was wondering If I should get these (2012 J’s) or lebron 9’s (not low.) And if you say the 2012’s should I get the lows or the ones with the ankle support slide. Thanks and keep up the awesome video:)

  25. Hey Nightwing ,
    I am in 6th grade and i play basketball for my school . ( i verse other schools )
    I am also a power forward/center . Should i get the hyper dunks 2012 or adipower
    howard 2 .PLEASE HELP.
    BTW great review

  26. Should i get these, the rose 2.5s, or something different. (with a $120 budget) I’m a 5’6″ PF for my school bball team. What do i do?

  27. Thanks for the review. I just copped the 2012 Q Flight from Jimmy Jazz. They’re on sale for 89.95. Use code LJ45 and get another 15% off. Got them for 76.50 plus shipping. Can wait to try these out on the court. Thanks for the review.

  28. These were extremely uncomfortable/painful laced up tight and took ages to break in with the fly over insole but as i loosened the laces and wear them more and more they get better and better. As they keep breaking in they are the best shoe i have used. My only gripe is while court feel is good i Would have liked a bit more foam on top of the articulated zoom for a bit more cushion dont know what foam they use but its great. The heel is springy, responsive cushioned and stable. Im a heavy player and like zoom but sometimes zoom can be a bit spongy 4 me (hyperdunk 2011) wheras the heel in these with thicker foam i find perfect. Flex at toes is wonderful and stiffness flight plate and contoured fit great. Feel lighter than they are

  29. I got these awhile ago, and did not see this review after purchase. I know they are still showing up at some outlets. I generally agree with NW, but not on the cushioning aspect. I tried all 3 setups and to me they feel the same. I must have played at least 4-5 games in each and not only do they all feel the same, the cushioning is not much. I tried using my Kobe 8 lunarlon insert in these (and vice versa with the 3 inserts into Kobe 8)…. the lunarlon does not feel as soft or plush in the AJ2012 than the Kobe 8. Overall, however, I love all the other aspects of the AJ2012. The traction and fit are awesome. These are some of the best fitting shoes I have, no matter which bootie I used… I prefer the low cut for more range of motion. These are definitely an underrated shoe.

  30. Just for hell of it I weighed 2012 setups to see the lightest. Nubuck+low boot+fly around 502grams. Leather+high boot+fly around heaviest 587grams… 2.9 ounce difference in size 13

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