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Air Jordan XVIII (18) Retro Performance Review

18 down… 5 more to go.

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVIII (18) Retro Performance Review 1Traction – When you played on a clean floor then it was some of the best traction featured on an Air Jordan. Dusty on the other hand had a pretty nasty affect as it tended to stick to the rubber like glue. Wiping consistently is needed and playing outdoors wasn’t the best. You had either one extreme or the other with the Air Jordan 18… either the traction was great or it wasn’t… there really wasn’t an in between.





Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVIII (18) Retro Performance Review 2Cushion – Their cushion was amazing and like my experience with the more recent LeBron 11… there was almost too much cushion. Not only do you have a full length Zoom unit running under foot but its also double stacked in the heel. Like pillows. Yes, I would have personally preferred something a little firmer but if you’re after cushion… these will take care of that and then some.





Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVIII (18) Retro Performance Review 3Materials – The materials depend on the colorway. You have two options… leather or suede. Both are great and high quality but the leather will likely provide you with a tad bit more support than the suede did.







Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVIII (18) Retro Performance Review 4Fit – They fit true to size and lockdown was decent but awkward to lace up. The little plastic lace loops for heel lockdown were needed but if you use those… they’ll break. If you don’t use them then you have a sloppy fitting heel. I chose not to lace them up as they’d have broken then I would’ve had a sloppy fitting heel and broken parts on my shoes. I guess you just have to pick your poison.





Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVIII (18) Retro Performance Review 5Ventilation – Well… they tried putting ventilation into the design but it really just seemed like an afterthought. The ventilated tongue was actually laughable. When I was done playing I’d fold down the little overlapping enclosure and it would be soaked… the vented tongue worked but was rendered completely useless with the flap.






Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVIII (18) Retro Performance Review 6Support – Like the Air Jordan 17, the Air Jordan 18 was designed with an aging MJ in mind. The upper itself wrapped the foot well but some of the softness that comes with the suede would lack a bit of support – leather uppers would be a better option to resolve this issue. However, the underfoot and torsional support was great. You have a full length Carbon Fiber torsion/ spring plate built into the sole plus they reinforced the insole itself with additional Carbon Fiber. This additional support coupled with the increased cushion was to aid MJ with his Plantar issues.

I don't remember where this image came from. If you are or know the source please let me know. - Thanks!
I don’t remember where this image came from. If you are or know the source please let me know. – Thanks!

Overall – Another fun shoe to play in, and probably one of the better models to play in when it comes to Jordan Brand’s later signature models. If you can find a pair to play in, I’d recommend it just so you can have the experience. But if you’re looking for higher end performance then you might want to look for a pair of 19’s… spoiler alert.

Air Jordan Project – Air Jordan XVIII (18) Retro Performance Review 8

  1. have the 18 lows and the cushion is comfy. Wonder why nike or jordan does not employ the double stacked zoom?

  2. I’ve been watching eBay for a reasonably priced new or good shape pair of 18’s for years now. Prices on these are higher than I’d expect. I’m talking $150+ for used! 19’s are much the same!

  3. I just recently had these finally fall apart on me (the soles broke apart) after years of lifting and balling in them. Repurposed the AMAZING cushioning system (the large volume heel zoom and the carbon comfort plate) into a pair of chuck taylors with removable cushioning system (the premium ones have fully removable cushioning). Simply cored out the heel of the cushioning and glued in the zoom. They are amazing. Nothing like a pair of retro chucks with zoom air and carbon fiber!!

    1. hahaha that is awesome. Besides the fact the canvas has no support, I bet they are pretty sweet to play ball in.

  4. Your review was spot on to what I felt about the originals. The rear is a bit clunky. ZERO ventilation. Traction is either sticky or slippery. I played in the White/Royal and White/Red. The leather uppers held very nice. I always felt this shoe is perfect for low post players and not for light guards.

  5. to me, my fave type of air unit is unlocked zoom, 2nd is doble stacked, and third is 360 visible zoom

  6. Same zoom setup as the 2010. How is the firmness of the foam carrier compared to the 2010?

  7. Can’t wait for the XIX review. Hope he doesn’t take as much of a break from the AJ project like he usually does.

  8. I must say, I still own the original black suede/blue 18 In a sz 13 and after trying on the black/red retro from the pack, the original is far superior. The suede is a bit nicer and more abundant, and the cushion is less mushy. The OG has a really smooth heal to forefoot transition

    1. But mine are broken in though….awesome all around shoes though, I wore them with suits lol

  9. Had a family member rob me of these as well as 19 pairs of jordans. The icing on the cake, not even his @#$%ing size.

    I loved the cushion on these so much.

  10. Loved playing in my OG white/blues and white/reds back in the day. The cushioning was amazing and the traction was great when the soles were reasonably clean. My only complaints were the terrible ventilation and the traction doesn’t go to the edge of the shoe. Some people said it felt like shoe felt tippy on some moves and I experienced that a few times. This shoe really could have been awesome with an outrigger and some extra vents.

    BTW, the XIXs are awesome too. I still love playing in my Olympic SEs. 🙂

  11. I’ve been wanting to pick up a pair of the FILA Spaghettis.. will the outsole hold up outdoors? I know you aren’t doing a performance review anymore but uhh.. short summary of how they felt maybe?

  12. Do you have sweaty feet as is or was the ventilation THAT bad that it was just with these shoes?

  13. Man, wish I was a millionaire so I could pay for the info I get from you.. For FREE!
    Dude. You’re awesome keep these reviews coming.

  14. Hey bro, Nightwing, can I ask you some of your list of sole stores or website to help me in ordering kicks?
    MAny thanks.. I appreciate your work!..:)
    PS, I think we have same size of feet.. 🙂

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