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Air Jordan VII (7) Retro Performance Review


Hit the jump for full written review and scores…

Buy Air Jordan 7

Traction – The overall surface area is very good no matter your position or movements. Clean floors are ideal of course but even semi-dusty courts were no match for the AJ7. It wasn’t until I played on a debris (mostly dust) filled court that traction became an issue which was remedied by consistently wiping the bottom. Certain sections of the rubber are smooth and fairly sticky when new so this will accumulate dust even on the cleanest of courts so some wiping will be needed.

For what is offered, the Air Jordan VII offers some very nice traction that can keep you planted and stable throughout gameplay.


Cushion – The most notable difference between the AJ7 and the previous models would be the overall cushion. From what I’ve been told, the original and first round retro releases featured an embedded full length Air unit and these newer retro models have them placed directly under foot. Major change in cushion from all of the previous models and the midsole itself is much more forgiving as well. Out of all the Air Jordan’s from 1-9 I’d say the 7 offers the most out of cushion and comfort.


Material – Depending on the colorway the materials will be different. Each material option offers different levels of support so if you wish to maximize support then go with the leather versions. Nubuck versions will offer you less support but offer greater range of motion and mobility. Overall the materials held up nicely, most of the visible damage to the shoe is on the painted sections of the midsole so the leather is definitely a reliable option.

Fit – These fit a little strange for me… an 8.5 fits securely along the midfoot yet they are to short length wise while a sz 9 (which is what I wore) is fine length wise but could have had a slightly more secure midfoot fit. Once fully laced they aren’t too bad and the midfoot is held down nicely while the collar draws your heel back into the shoe keeping the heel and ankle secure. The best fitting Air Jordan right now comes down to the AJ4 & 7, in my opinion.


Ventilation – Not quite as good as the AJ6 but better than anything before that. I would have liked to have had the perforations found along the tongue to have been completely open from the inside out but everything else wasn’t horrible. These are thicker (material wise) than the AJ6 so what you lose in ventilation you gain in supportive materials.


Support – The molded arch does its job while the overall fit and materials will take care of the rest for you. As noted above, the material choice you make will improve the overall support in general. I did wear the Bordeaux colorway during my playing time in the AJ7 and the materials along the upper just didn’t give me enough support when putting a lot of torque on the shoe so I ended up switching back to the Olympic version… it was night and day with the amount of support the materials offer between the two.


Overall – The AJ7 is possibly the best early Air Jordan for on-court purposes. They are a very well rounded shoe in general when compared to the previous models as they offer the best cushion, solid traction, reliable materials with a pretty solid fit, above average ventilation and still offer plenty of support.

  1. Great review Nightwing. I especially appreciate the fact that you took the time to try out the suede/nubuck version to give us your thoughts on the difference between the two. Also, thanks for mentioning how the traction might hold up on a surface other than that of an indoor court… I’m in NYC and play on outside courts, so those bits of info help. Good lookin’ out.

  2. Great review! I always checkout Ur website but I have one question. Iplay basketball on somewhat dusty courts. I know how in your review you stated that they were no match for the aj7. Does that mean that the traction preformed well or that you found some slippage while playing in the 7s?

  3. Great review like always. What would you recommend for someone that plays the 3-4, a wide and flat foot, and has cushion as a main priority. Thanks

  4. Interesting that the different materials performed differently. I had the same experience with the xviii. The suede looks much nicer but the leather is much more pliable and more suited to oncourt performance than the suede.
    Amazing how the same shoe can perform completely different when you change the material

  5. Very nice – your getting closer to the 11’s. You need to sneak in the air more uptempo,”Back in the Day” (when I had a pager) I was killing people in the poste whith those on.

    1. Pick up the Melo 8’s. I tried the all blacks at WSS and i felt i needed a 1/2 size down. N dub did the same. They are very impressive. The cush is very diferent from other kix. I played quite a few games in the sz 11 and then felt maybe i needed my true size of 11.5 so i just received the red and blacks from Eastbay in 11.5 and now I wish i got them in 11. So you must try these on there is a lot more space at ther toe they really feel like a sz 12 instead. Last month Nike outlet had the Taxi colorway and they moved very quick. if they have your size you can get them for 80 and on ebay you can find them for near the same.

  6. Appreciate all the work on the shoes! Great job. Has Nike, JB, or any sneaker company contacted you for you opinion on their products? Keep up the good work!

  7. another nice review! i feel bad not getting a pair of VII’s last year because i got disapointed on the VI’s. i didn’t want to be disapointed if i tried to ball in them, since they were one of the best shoes i hooped in when they first released. hehe

    i’m gonna try to grab a pair of the VII’s once i get a go sign from my doctor that i can play again. hahaha

  8. I bought the orion 7s that were a bit worn, 8/10 for a decent retro to hoop in. Picked em up for $100. Rolled my ankle first night I played in them, but did it more so because I landed on someone’s foot getting a rebound. The cushion was great, and they run big. I usually wear a 13 and I have to put an additional sole in each shoe for it to fit, which really isn’t all that bad if you need to fill space. Good shoe, just out of hoops for a few days lol.

  9. Hey Nightwing2303 I know its a bit sudden for me to comment and ask for help but I only saw this review until today so straight to the point if you were to choose what would it be the Air Jordan 5 or the Air Jordan 7 hope for a immediate reply thanks in advance bro

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