The Air Jordan 33 Introduces the FastFit System and Flight Utility Design Language

The Air Jordan 33, unveiled moments ago in Los Angeles, is Jordan Brand’s latest game shoe. It will introduce the brand’s new FastFit system and feature forefoot and heel Zoom Air cushioning.

The Air Jordan 33 will release next month, October 18, for $175 with a laceless design; FastFit will replace the laces, and it does so by allowing easier entry via loops on the tongue and heel. Wearers will lock themselves into the shoe with a single tug of the forefoot strap that activates the tightening cables. To remove the shoe, simply pull the side loops — that will loosen the textile and synthetic leather upper.

air jordan 33 on foot

“This year’s game shoe, the AJ XXXIII, is the first basketball shoe to feature FastFit technology, which provides ultimate lockdown to prepare athletes for flight,” said Michael Jordan in a statement. “From day one, we’ve taken pride in the Air Jordan game shoe, where we focus on athlete insights and the latest innovations to create silhouettes that are distinctly Jordan. That balance also allows the game shoe to continually revolutionize both in sport and style.”

air jordan 33 fast fit

The Air Jordan 33 is inspired by space suits, both visually and technologically, and it also draws from Tinker Hatfield’s Air Jordan 3 (see the Nike Air on the heel?). Of course, the shoe has tons of Jordan and Nike DNA; the window of the tightening system mimics the original Air window and the large tongue makes a perfect spot for a Jumpman logo.

air jordan 33 heel

“Applying FastFit allowed for a balance of art and science in the design,” said designer Tate Kuerbis in a statement. “We were inspired by how space suits look and function. It’s all very utilitarian, and the various elements and what they do are all clearly called out. Thinking about this led us to highlight the pull cord, eject cord and the inner workings of FastFit, and make the function integral to the aesthetic and graphic integrity of the design.”

The Air Jordan 33 will be cushioned by a large-volume forefoot Zoom Air unit and a hex Zoom unit at the heel. Moreover, the shoe will feature the latest iteration of Flight Speed, which now uses the same carbon plate as the Zoom VaporFly 4%. So, Flight Speed + Zoom Air + FastFit = Air Jordan 33.

“Flight has always been part of our Jordan DNA,” said Jordan Brand Vice President of Design David Creech in a statement. “Our team considered the utility-led design of space flight suits and used that inspiration to help craft the AJ XXXIII. Like those suits, the shoe features visible technology designed for function, but that also becomes a staple style element.”

The Air Jordan 33 will release on October 18 at select global retailers and at for $175.


air jordan 33 sketch

air jordan 33 sketch

air jordan 33 design sketch

air jordan 33 design sketch tate kuebris

air jordan 33 design sketch

air jordan 33 maya moore

Maya Moore

air jordan 33 victor oladipo

Victor Oladipo

air jordan 33 michael jordan

air jordan 33 tongue

air jordan 33 close

air jordan 33 fastfit


Source: Nike


  1. overly designed and pointlessly complicated. the lacing system is 25 years too late considering puma has been doing it since the 90s. just make a shoe. make it playable, fashionable, and accessible. this is none of those things. smdh

    1. DEFINITELY “overly designed and pointlessly complicated”. That gimmick alone must’ve forced their way into cheap materials (fuse and mesh) and underwhelming cushioning (hex zoom in the heel) in order to keep the price point southern of 200 bucks. Apart from the white one, which looks a tad (not much) more premium, the other colorways are really flat in terms of looks and materials (like the 2 and the Dub Zeros had a baby). Also, the amount of unnecessary branding (“pull”, “eject”, written content on the strap, “Nike Air” on the heel) on top of the already convoluted design has to feel like a far cry from a Nike x Off-white shoe. I’m a fan of the brand…I wanna support their products…but they make it really tough for us to.

      1. to add to your comment they have the “elf” looking heel tab. I was really hoping that tend would stop.

  2. This is a huge gimmick (c’mon, it only takes 3 seconds to tie a shoe), but if it performs well then whatever. Just a hex zoom in the heel, though? Really?

    1. it’s another forgettable gimmicky shoe. the reason the classics are the classics is because they didn’t rely on a gimmick to innovate . JB needs new blood if they think this is it…this is throwing shit at a wall and hoping it sticks.

  3. A lot of the tech seems gimmicky but the ad campaign and aesthetics remind me of the past Jordan models. I saw one thing about loosening during rest times during b-ball such as timeouts and end of quarters and I think that actually may be beneficial. Getting some additional airflow and blood flow might make a difference. On the point of the heel zoom, I can see why people may think it’s not enough for the money or performance but really it probably won’t matter that much in the heel

    1. I could kinda see the point of loosening during time outs (who the hell does that, though?), but once again it takes 3 seconds or less to loosen regular laces, so you can do that with any shoe ever made. Also: this is a 175 dollar shoe. Hex zoom is more for 75 dollar shoes.

  4. The design looks real chunky compare to the other Air Jordans.
    The lacing system is common with Puma & other brand’s golf shoes, so it’s nothing new. Hope that it won’t break.
    The forefoot Zoom looks it could work great & get a great responsiveness.
    I hope that all the technologies put into this model works perfectly for performance.

    1. Yes, this shoe does seem chunky, especially because of the tongue and heel strap, but I like how the rest of the shoe looks. Imagine how the low top would look… I’m going to wait for those before deciding to pick these up

  5. This nub traction trend has got to end. It’s bullish*t and they know it. Herringbone works and is durable but lets put nubs on it. WTF. Not even going to comment on the rest because it is what it is.

  6. Definitely a shoe I will wait to see if reviewers like or not. Cuz if that FastFit system doesn’t work or doesn’t last I’d be pretty upset as a consumer. Overall it looks like a mashup of stuff Nike has already done but with a Jumpman logo. I see a little LeBron, KD, Kobe…. oh ya and that pacing system is from a Nike Golf shoe. Sadly I’ll probably want a pair but only if I can get it on discount. Lol!

  7. I only see two possible outcomes of this shoe: EITHER the cables/mechanism will snap upon aggressive movements/foot flexion OR the cables will chew through the synthetic leather upper and eventually slice your feet into pieces 😂. The heel hex zoom unit is a real disappoint as well in my opinion.

  8. If they are indeed releasing these with multiple colorway options or customization, they I could cop these when those options becomes available and not on launch date. It does seem gimmicky but I could give these a chance. Still my 2 major complaints on these is the fuse textile upper and the translucent rubber. Hope those can be customized on future iterations. Hex zoom looks good enough. Wide and thick to cover the heel area, dunno what some are complaining about the shape though nor logic behind such complaint. Sidenote: people seem to be fine with the Why nots’ plastic textile, but I guess it comes down with the price tag. At $150, I believe the J33s would sell really well.

  9. Remember how everyone thinks the Air Jordan 31 looked a lot like the Air Jordan 1? Well, the Air Jordan 33 looks a lot like the Air Jordan 6 (and the Air Jordan 3 Nike Air at the heel ofc) for me. Design-wise, they do look pretty good. They give off that classic chunky/bulky retro shoe vibe while integrating a unique take on techs. Hopefully that FastFit lacing system would be a game-changer instead of a gimmick or placebo effect.

  10. It’s a design I can’t judge until I try it. Unfamiliar territory for me and I assume many people, especially in the context of being a performance basketball shoe. The traction is probably something we can all rightfully be wary of. I mean you take the LeBron 16 and in my initial wears I feel pretty confident in that design, which should also be reliable.

    Credit for the approach, though. I mean you can bash this lacing setup for not being all that new, but what basketball shoes are doing this right now?

  11. They look indeed more like the Jordan 6 or the Lebron 14. But I have to admit that I can’t wait to get more info or reviews because to me (who use puma Discs or Salomon lacing system) they look awesome !

    If zoom bags are great and lacing system works and is durable I can see me buy multiples 33 !

  12. These are hideous but the double stacked Hex zoom in the heel is intriguing.

    I wonder how it feels in comparison to the double stacked non-hex zoom in foamposites because that is lovely.

  13. Hopefully they’ve put some time into sorting out the heel to toe transition, it hasn’t worked for me since the XX8s!

  14. I hope Flight Speed will play well in a basketball shoe and FastFit be a game changer and not a gimmick. In the meantime I can say they look ugly and the plastic toe cap on the flagship Jordan retailing at 175 is an embarrassment

  15. They’re pretty good, very ‘Iverson-esque'(kind of a chunky-look to ’em, the overlays, straps, buckles, popped-up tongue).

    Not quite as fashionable as numbered-Jordan’s used to pride themselves on(because Iverson is very early-2000’s of course), and the lacing-system might prove a problem(I’d like to know how easy/hard it is to break the pull-tabs, and if there’s anything to do, if the system breaks).

  16. Passing on these

    – Hex zoom in the heel
    – No flyknit
    – Collar with loops reeks of Lebron 15
    – Lacing system from the parent company’s golf shoes line

    Gimmicky. Like what Dantecamp21 commented, I’d really loved to support Jordan Brand products, but I’ll continue to use my 32s and look forward to see what 34 can offer.

  17. I actually kinda like how these look (even though they remind me NOTHING of the 3’s). They lack the elegance of past models. The design language is busy and it looks like they’re trying too hard to impress the deconstructed OFF White crowd. The lacing system is a HUGE gimmick obviously but I’m seriously amazed they’re “only” charging $175. Normally Nike/Jordan charge the moon for “New” technology even if the shoe is comprised of cheap synthetics. I was honestly expecting $220 when I first saw these. Hex zoom needs to die though. So does indoor only traction.

  18. The design team had one job: make an updated AJ 3, just like they did with the 31 and 32. I don’t know what the hell this is.

  19. I am a bit surprised that the design team is jumping ship from how the Air Jordan XXXI and XXXII traced back to the Jordan 1 and 2 respectively. However, although the new technology sounds a bit gimmicky, the flagship shoe of performance for a brand should be allowed to push new technology. Unfortunately, the results are 50-50; ie. DRose 5 with boost (good) , Hyperdunk and Superfly 2017 with react (bad). Though the shoe does not look aesthetically pleasing, neither did the Westbrook Why Not Zero.1 which utilized similar technology as the 33 except the 33 seems to upgrade upon that technology. Still I can see why people are disappointed with the materials, cushion (even though they might have fixed the heel unit’s stability issues by making it smaller), and overall aesthetics but if it performs well then it will shut people up.

  20. I think they look cool. Jordan brand seems to me to wanted to balance performance and casual wear. I just don’t know why they won’t go with a simple herringbone traction. I hope this lacing system is not a fail, and I hope they offer some cool solid rubber options as well.

  21. I really like the look of this shoe in white. People tend to revere earlier Jordans now, but growing up there plenty of comments each year about how ugly Jordans had gotten.

    So the comments I see are really par for the course. In however many years when this shoe retros people will wax poetically how dope they thought these were back in the day. Such is the nature.

    I was really excited to see how Jordan Brand would update the 3’s, but even if the legacy design wasn’t carried forward, I like the space design. Can’t wait to buy them and rock them.

  22. Just a HORRIBLE Silhouette! These look clunky and heavy. There doesn’t appear to be an outrigger, which I think is SO key to having a stable shoe. The upper is basically the Lillard 2. The materials on half the shoe look super cheap and once again Nike/Jordan say it with me……HERRINGBONE TRACTION!!!! They need to stop with these BS nubby tractions that wear down in 2 weeks of indoor play. Also, the tractions SUCK!!! How is it 2018 and they are still F’n up traction? PUT KOBE 9 TRACTION ON EVERYTHING IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT THEN HERRINGBONE! Rant over.

  23. I know I’ve been critical on Jordan, but this time I don’t agree with a lot of the comments. I think Jordan made a step in the right direction. The shoe has an unique appeal. Off course the pull stap must work not good but better than laces, otherwise it’s pointless, but I think it looks great. So lets wait what the reviewers of wear testers tell us, after trying them on.
    Only downside for me is that elephant print on the black one. They really gotta stop using that on every model. Create something new, that comes iconic over time. But that’s just a small esthetic minor.

  24. This shoe is quite interesting. They say pull to to tighten up the laces, makes me wonder if that lace is elastic. Cause if not imagine hooping with a piece of string flopping around. They look cool and “high tech” especially at a price point at $175. This shoe may be a hit or miss, I’d say it’ll be a miss because it’s their first time doing a shoelace tech like this and they say it’s never right the first time.

  25. Not sure whether you can adjust lockdown section by section using this FastFit system. And the thin wire worries me about its durability.

  26. I was a little disappointed when I first saw the shoe from an aesthetical standpoint. Like a lot of things, I think this will kinda grow on me. Hope all this tech works well though and that they are beastly on court. The materials are pretty cheap but at least the price was dropped $10. Nightwing, I saw that you were at the event and got to lace (lol) these up. I’m dying for a 1st impression!

  27. Was looking forward to how they would improve the AJ3 design like what they did on the Aj32. I do see the elements of AJ3 besides the Nike air (like the heel cup, etc). As a wide footer, kinda worried about the fit.
    I will say, the design kinda growed on me. Hated it when I first saw it, now it’s kinda OK.

  28. Not really seeing where the chunky comments are coming from. It doesn’t look chunky to me. I do agree with the Jordan 6 comparison, I also see some 28’s in the silloutte with the pronounced tongue. I really like the different layers used, gimmicky yes, but definitely interesting. I share the concerns on the thin wires and that it might cut through the shoe if pulled too tight. My other concern is the red pull tags on the medial side. For me these will show signs of wear very quickly as I tend to brush my feet together at times. The only other disappointment is that it doesn’t resemble the 3s. I was wishing we were going to get a protroish version of them with the 33s. Overall pretty interested in the shoe. Ive always liked shoes with lots of texture and things that you can play with and adjust other than laces. Hope they perform.

  29. Im not mad they are trying to release a different new model. It pisses me off that they try to pass gimmicks as a reason to overprice shit. There is no reason for this lacing system at all. It’s just a way for them to keep justifying $175 price tag. Look at the materials they are using. You telling me hyperfuse (aka the same materials used in the KYRIE 1 a shoe that retailed for 100 bucks), is worth $175 to you? Hell naw. OPEN your eyes. It baffles me that people actually like this shoe more than the 32. Really? this cheapass unfinished shoe is what you call innovation? It looks like they focused more on the gimmick then to actually try to put some effort into the design because the final product looks rushed as hell. If you want more evidence of a rushed job, LOOK AT THE TONGUE, ITS PRETTY MUCH JUST SLAPPED ON THERE, IT DOESNT EVEN LOOK LIKE IT SHOULD BE THERE.

  30. Forefoot zoom bag done right, why can’t we get this more consistently instead of those small met bags or oval bags. Running inspired carbon fiber springplate, if it feels and performs that propulsion sensation as in the zoom 4% it will be awesome, but with the shoe looking this clunky it might be a wash. And hex zoom bag in the heel, really? Not at this price point in a flagship shoe, could have used a double stacked bag or those thick soldier zoom bags. And what happens if the windup motor seizes or a tension cable snaps, far fetched but bball players put a pounding on their kicks.

    Nike and Jordan Brand might want to look at some of them Pencil student designers for some fresh ideas.

    Might give them the 33s a go once they hit outlets in a few months.

  31. Pretty disappointed in these. Aesthetically they look off to me and performance seems iffy. I just want great performance in a sleek package.

    1. The lacing system. The cable system is gimmicky and unnecessary. Better get the tongue padding right or that cable “label” pressure is going to be terrible. I hate Velcro straps and using Velcro for the upper shoe/tongue looks terrible and annoying. This just screams of “new technology” for marketing and design language. Seriously, what problem is this system addressing? Regular laces work great and are quick enough.
    2. The ankle area. The huge tongue, huge heel flaps, and giant pull tabs too are unnecessary and awkward looking. They could have cleaned all that up and saved some weight in the process. This just seems like JB trying too hard to make these casual friendly.

    1. Giant forefoot zoom that looks to protrude just a bit.
    2. Double stacked heel zoom. Heel cushioning is important to me.

    Not Sure About:
    1. Branding. I like the jumpman on the tongue. Seems a bit big. Mixed feelings about the Nike air on the heel. Should eat least been moved lower on the heel. Slight preference for there to be a small jumpman there instead.
    2. Hex zoom in the heel. Love the double stack. Wondering if it should be longer and wider.
    3. Materials look so-so. Not loving the look of the taped mesh around the front of the foot nor the flaps of material around the mid foot. Maybe it looks better in hand.
    4. Cushioning. I prefer a nice, simple herringbone pattern. Nubs can work. Just remains to be seen if these give good bite in all directions and are durable.

    Overall, this looks to be an easy pass at buying these full price. If these are performance beasts I might pick up a pair on STEEP discount. If performance is great, then my hope is that JB releases a low year that cleans up the ankle area and simplifies the lacing system.

  32. I play in JB for decades. Only JB, nothing else. I feel perfect in JB. But there are some models that didn’t fit me and that I didn’t like, and never owned or played in those. 33 is one of them. Period. Will wait for 34…or go back to those favorites of mine.

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