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Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review

Jazz it up…

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review 1Traction – This is how you pull off a storytelling traction surface. The entire design is based on MJ’s love for Golf and instead of using some random pattern they went with herringbone – which worked really well. They used contrasting colors to add additional effects without sacrificing coverage. Now, I will say that the traction wasn’t perfect but it was pretty damn close. Only time I had an issue was during certain movements where the shoe flexed at a point where the traction wasn’t in contact with the floor so I had slight slippage but that didn’t happen often so it was nothing crazy… very minor and its the only thing I experienced that I could nit-pick on.

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review 2Cushion – This shoe was built for an aging MJ that required quite a bit of support in order for his knees to hold up on-court. There was a blow molded Air unit in place at the heel – I still don’t know the difference between blow molded Air units vs a regular one – which was housed within a giant TPU (plastic) cage. The entire heel area reminded me a lot of caged Zoom Air but firmer. Was it incredibly uncomfortable? No, but it wasn’t what I’ve been used to with previous Air setups. However, forefoot cushion was fantastic. Zoom Air is placed at the forefoot and the entire forefoot section of the shoe is built traditionally with a Phylon footbed which happens to be double lasted. Its a really interesting way to construct a shoe where you have incredible support with adequate cushion.

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review 3Material – I love the materials used on this 2008 CDP version and especially the originals which featured buttery leather uppers. This pair utilizes a nice nubuck at the heel and forefoot. This has its strong points and weak points. Its strength is its fit and feel along with the minimal break-in time required. As for the weakness… its just not as durable as leather overall but again… that’s me nitpicking since the materials are really nice in general. There is a section of woven material – identical to what was used on the LeBron 9’s support wings – at the midfoot that offers great fit and its the most durable section of the upper. My favorite material used is located at the collar… the Neoprene lining is so comfortable it makes all other collars seem inferior.

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review 4Fit – They fit true to size and lockdown for me was near perfect. Only gripe is that I had to lace them all the way to the top eyelet and I usually leave one or two free so I have better range of motion for my ankles. I couldn’t do that with these since every time I tried my heel would flop in and out of the shoe a bit but once laced them up the way they were intended then they were perfectly fine. The midfoot lockdown was fantastic and you even have additional lacing options if you wish with the Shroud’s ‘eyelet’ system for a more snug fit. We also have a squared toe again so that area of the shoe is very comfortable while stoping and changing direction without jamming any toes.

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review 5Ventilation – Definitely not their strong suit… but not as bad as the XVIII. *Spoiler alert





Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review 6Support – As mentioned earlier, this shoe was designed for an aging MJ that needed more support than his past models provided. The TPU heel, lacing system and Carbon Fiber plate running throughout the entire outsole provided some of the best support I’ve had in any Air Jordan to date… almost topping the XX8. Only reason why I’d personally choose the XX8 over these is due to the fact that they offer support that wont restrict my movement at all while these are a bit more restrictive overall.

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review 7

Overall – This was probably the one shoe – besides the XV – that I was looking forward to wearing the least. I don’t know why… I’ve just never been entirely enthusiastic about the model in general. After playing in them they’ve actually surpassed my initial impression and are among the top performance models featured within the Air Jordan Legacy. This is definitely one model that I’d love to see get the Retro treatment as they are 100% playable even by today’s standards. Truly an innovative sneaker that was ahead of its time.

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review 8

  1. Noticed at the end of the vid, it showed a link to the 16 performance review. What kind of sweats were you wearing?

  2. totally agree that the collar is the most comfortable part of the shoe. i’m happy you’re continuing the project… can’t wait for the xviii and xx3 reviews.

  3. Something that caught my attention in the video was the mention of Jordan’s knees wearing down. How does support(carbon fiber) play into that over cushion?

    I recall these being the first Jordans to cross the $200 mark. That was like 2001-2002 and that was ridiculously expensive at the time. Remember they came in the metal briefcase with the DVD? Yeah I never bought these because of the unprecedented pricing back then.

    1. I watched the video on YouTube, but I see that you mention his knees again in the cushion write up section. Carbon Fiber was brought up too.

      1. I’m not sure, I just know that’s why it’s used full length on his later models and he said that he attributes the length of his career to the material being used.

    2. Stability is always more important than “cushion” when it comes to protection.

      Seriously, a pure phylon midsole can already provide enough cushion. Also, players always wear customized orthotics that can provide some additional cushion and stability

      Heel stability, midfoot stability, and forefoot flexibility are the three most important attributes in a pair of basketball shoes.

  4. I drove a buddy of mine to st pete florida to get this pack the XVII VI and he gave me the XVII out of the pack for the ride, However…my XVII’s were leather not nubuck. They have the cdp logo stitched to the insert and everything, There definitly authentic…I was there when he bought them..just wondering if anyone else got theleather ones too? And I agree NW,these shoesare in my opinion among the top 5 most well cushioned in the line. Stylish too. I wore them to my sister in laws wedding…I looked pimp as hell in pin stripes and j’s

  5. I didn’t know they released these in nuback, mine are all leather(OG). I’d love to have these again.

  6. The XVIIIs do have the worst ventilation I’ve ever experienced in basketball shoes…. Even worse than the XVs, Crazy 1, Foamposite, Flightposite, and the legendary LBJ4

    Also, that lid is really, really annoying…I wish it was removable like the ones they used on the XVIs and the XVIIs…..

    1. I didn’t steal anything, I left your tag there and found them via Google images. Don’t come at me like that again. There are respectful and tasteful ways to do so.


        But really, NW since everyone asks you for silly stuff, can you fix my air bags 🙂
        (not really serious).

    2. Come at you like what? Don’t act fake hard over the internet. There are respectful ways to acknowledge where you got pictures from. Fall back little boy

      1. Only one acting hard online is you. If you can’t handle the fact that you “came at me wrong” which isn’t a “hard” statement but a fact then that isn’t my fault. I already told you where the pics came from and your tag is clearly visible this giving credit to the owner. All you needed to do was hit the contact button and shoot me an email. Instead your here leaving comments falsely accusing me of stealing and now insulting me, once again coming at me disrespectfully and unprofessionally. Not the best way to go about something like this IMO.

  7. I know this is random NW, but I know you do product reviews of more than shoes including shorts etc. I was wondering if you would happen to know where taller guys can find warm up pants to accomodate 36″ inseams? Im 6’6″ and have contacted Nike a number of times about this however, they pretty much just tell me too bad. Have looked at other obvuious manufacturers like Reebok, adidas, and UA but with no success. Do you know if there are any smaller label companies with quality products that make warm ups with the longer inseams. It just seems amazing to me that with as many ball players as Nike caters to that they are reluctant to be able to produce warm up pants for regular customers in lengths that would be facilitating to taller people as many ball players tend to be.

  8. Good stuff. Again…thank you for continuing the your Jordan project on my nudging. I’m looking forward to the 18 and 19 maybe the XX as well…definitely my favorite the XX3 to play in. (I have 5 colorways…hint…”dont” play in the collezione pack stealths[black ones]…they are not meant to be played in…use the allstars and don’t play in the XXs on a slippery court-especially if new) These “projects” in BLUE…I think look great. The other blue projects in the collection look even better than these.

  9. I was referring to the Countdown packs…nothing in these packs is really ever meant to see the court and some are designed differently than the single released versions. So…performance reviews should really be from single releases or single retro releases. Different matterial and thicknesses etc. Hence the XX3 Stealth packs

  10. Could you state what size you wore in these and in other pairs of the numbered Jordans as well as whether you have wide/narrow/regular width feet?

    I only ask because I’m a 8 in 12s and a 8.5 in 23s and 10s and a size 9 in Jordan 1 Phat. I have a wide foot so maybe that’s why I have these sizing issues.


  11. I had the original white blue ones when they released. It was a quality shoe with premium materials but sadly I had to return them. I wore an 11 back then but these fit so narrow I had to get a 13, which obviously didn’t work. Had no problem with the 16s or 18s. Both were fine in an 11 for me

  12. Hi,
    I was able to get a pair for a real good price, your review is absolute on point.
    I love these shoes!
    Only point I don’t agree, is the cushioning…on my pair the heel air felt great and the forefoot is very responsive. I would rate it with a 8.5 or 9.

    Even my pair is a half size up, I have no problems with lockdown. I think these may run little narrow in true size, so wide footers should be careful.
    Thanks for your reviews and Greetings from Germany!

  13. Just balled in my CDP 17s today… I liked most everything about the shoe except its clunkiness. The feel from midfoot to heel is so stiff. I was really surprised how low to the ground they feel, but the zoom cushioning did its job in terms of impact protection. The materials are crappy from a casual standpoint, because the suede-like upper fades, but it is very durable for outdoor play.

  14. Hey NW, just wanted to know if this shoe material will last for a good while. I’m planning to buy the 2008 Jordan 17 on ebay. Seller said unused so I’m wondering if i play ball with them, it won’t crumble down.

    Appreicate if you could give me an advice.

  15. The only problem on 17 is midsole. I have it and it’s easy to crack. And i have to reglue it cause it’s made from plastic

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