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Air Jordan XX9 – Performance Review

Ready for flight, immediately.

Air Jordan XX9 - Performance Review-2Traction: While not as intense as its predecessor, the traction on the XX9 is still one of the best in the business. The rubber compound does pick up dust from non-maintained floors, so wipes may be necessary but its nothing that hinders your performance. While the entire body of the traction doesn’t seem extremely pliable, outdoor use is not recommended and the tendril area in the arch of the foot had some durability issues for me. Some of the rubber is starting to peel off, but only in this area. While this is only an aesthetic issue as of right now, if the rubber had fallen completely off the traction could be ineffective, and for $225 USD, this type of issue is not expected.


My Top 5 Performance Aspects to Look Forward to in The Air Jordan XX9 2Cushion: The XX9 gets rid of the heel Zoom unit in favor of a more lightweight setup. Also with the Super.Fly 3 featuring a heel unit, the XX9 looks like it is catered more fore guards who are forefoot heavy. Speaking of the forefoot, the unlocked Zoom unit has been recessed back to be less protruding as the XX8 setup. This makes for a more stable ride that provides great court feel while still giving the user a decent amount of impact protection. For those who do strike with their heel will find that the heel features a cored out area that provides compression similar to a running model. While not as explosive as the XX8, the cushion setup on the XX9 is faster and more predictable which allows for a smoother transition and more natural ride.


Air Jordan XX9 - Performance Review-1Materials: The Performance Woven upper is a real game changer. While its appearance from a distance may seem simple, the Performance Woven upper so complex, writing its purpose in words is a near impossible. Basically, the upper is a sock that uses higher thread counts in areas where more support is necessary (forefoot, heel, etc.). The more you use the XX9, the more the Performance Woven upper conforms to your foot making it a very personal model that provides top of its class comfort. Again, this is a woven upper, not Foampoiste or Hyperposite, so it is not going to be as durable as other materials on the market. Outdoor use is not recommended, and during wear the medial forefoot did experience some ripping on only the top layer of the upper, and the performance of the XX9 was not hindered at all. This is more of an aesthetic issue that has nothing to do with performance, but not everyone likes dropping over $200 for something that isn’t extremely durable.

Air Jordan XX9 - Performance Review-4Fit: As mentioned in the materials section above the XX9 is ready to go out the box with world class fit. Over time the Performance Woven upper will conform to your foot to make the fit a personal for another level comfort. Wider footers shouldn’t be shy, as the Performance Woven upper will conform and accommodate any foot shape and size, all you need to do, is go true to size.



Air Jordan XX9 - Performance Review-5Ventilation: Given that the upper is a Woven material, some airflow is natural but the overall breathability of the XX9 is minimal. Your foot won’t be on fire or anything like that, but it will be extremely wet due to the sweat build up. While the overall ventilation is lacking in the XX9, it wasn’t a glaring issue that hindered the overall experience.



Air Jordan XX9 - Performance Review-3Support: Jordan Brand never ceases to amaze me. You would think that a woven upper would have support issues but it is quite to opposite. The upper uses a higher thread count in strategic areas which allows the XX9 to be more lightweight and maintain its core function. That core function would be freedom of movement and unrivaled fit. The woven upper lets you do the movements you want to do without any restrictions, the XX9 wont rub or pinch your foot in the wrong way. You get to do what you want, when you want, while at the same time getting the support you need. Not to mention the TPU plate, heel counter, and outrigger, which do what they all advertise to do, the XX9 is a prefect balance between freedom and support.


Air Jordan XX9 - Performance Review-7

Overall: What I like most about the XX9 is that its just a basketball sneaker. It never gets in the way of what you are doing and it doesn’t try hard to stand out like the XX8’s did with its unique silhouette. If i were to go to an art school and ask 20 people to sketch me what they think a basketball sneaker looks like, most of those sketches would probably look similar to the XX9’s silhouette, because the XX9 is a very traditional sneaker from an aesthetic stand point with advance technology to bring it into a modern space. Not once did it feel like the XX9 got in the way of what I was doing and that allowed me to focus on the game of basketball. The Performance Woven upper is truly worth the price of admission alone in my opinion, and the modifications made to the flight plate provide a more natural ride. All in all the XX9 is worth of being the next chapter in the Air Jordan legacy and if you have the privilege of experiencing it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

Jordan XX9 Score Card


  1. Good job man! If Nightwing is the Batman, you’re on your way to becoming his Robin 🙂 those XX9 on the last picture, though, they don’t look so 200$-worthy…

  2. Great review! Good thoughts, glad to see another voice on this site, nightwing only has enough feet to review one shoe at a time so I’m glad we get another perspective as well as additional reviews (hopefully)!

  3. i hope these drop to around $100 because looking at your pics and seeing your review, $250 is too much to shell out for such delicate materials.

  4. Thanks for the review. Its pretty surprising that they have those durability issues even with indoor only play. Especially since your not a big guy. If I can get them for around $130-160 I’ll cop. Unless they come out with an amazing colorway… in which case I might be willing to spend more.

  5. Thanks a lot for the great review, Jarron. Also, thanks a lot for bringing up the durability issues. That is something that is a big consideration for me, especially when shelling out for shoes that cost as much as these do.

    I’m pretty surprised that those things have happened with indoor only use. Have you logged many hours in the shoes?

  6. Durability seems fine for my pair so far. But we all have different experience and luck. For those who really want to try an innovative and comfortable upper for basketball, I highly suggest trying it out. Its well worth it, especially casually as durability would be fine casually. The shoe is really comfortable to wear around.

  7. The only reason they changed the forefoot protrusion is the zoom popping : had xx8 and m10 and they both popped.

    Will keep an eye on those: 2 months and still great.

    On a separate note, great job Jarron, really good read!

  8. Good review. I like the thought you put into it and the little details you considered that may make us think twice before dishing out 225 bucks for a shoe. But you may want to consider reviewing how you write the review (wording, grammar, sentence composition).

    This isn’t a shot at you. I’m just trying to help so that you’ll be able to write better reviews

  9. I will cop SF3 instead of XX9..SF3 is cheaper and I think the differences between these two shoes are not so significant..

    1. As an owner of both, I beg to differ. That SF3 upper is WAAAAY stiffer than the XX9 woven upper. I haven’t hooped in the SF3 because I got them for casual wear(Slam Dunk). The significance to you how they feel when you run can make the difference, however I’d recommend maybe waiting a little longer for a coupon to come out and pay a little more for the XX9 when you can get them for less.

  10. My XX9’s have been amazing, The only thing i wish they changed was the lack of heel cushion.

    I have had no durability issues either.

    As for zoom bag popping, i have only had one case which was the M10’s.

    I have 2 pairs of XX8’s, 2 pairs of M10’s and a pair of super fly 2’s.

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