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Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review

This is how you take something great and make it even better…

Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review 1Traction – My first experience with the Air Jordan XX9 was on the nicest basketball court I’ve ever stepped foot on… MJ’s. As you can imagine… the traction on that court was unbelievably good. However, I don’t play on pristine courts when I’m usually playing, and neither do most of you. Luckily, the XX9’s still held up on these more typical court conditions, where there were very few issues, and I only had to wipe the outsoles on really dusty floors. Definitely above average traction, not what I was expecting when I first laid eyes on the outsole pattern, but not quite up to the same level as the XX8. Is that a bad thing? Not at all, the XX8 had the best damn traction I’ve ever had (besides the Kobe 9) and the XX9’s just didn’t bite the floor in the same manor, but were still really good. I’d say the XX8’s went above and beyond what one would come to expect from their shoes’ traction, but the XX9’s give you what you should expect… something solid and reliable.

Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review 2Cushion – This can technically be considered a downgrade since they’ve removed the heel’s Zoom unit, but it didn’t feel like a downgrade when you were playing. With the XX8, there was a small adjustment period while you were getting used to the protruding Zoom unit underfoot – this is no longer the case as the Zoom has been recessed back into the midsole a few millimeters. Removing the protruding Zoom does lessen the ‘bounce’ you receive from the unlocked aspect, however, its still undeniable that this is the best Zoom Air setup to date. I’ve tried Zoom in nearly every single way possible, this is the best version of it. Great court feel, ultimate responsiveness and you get some impact protection on top of that. What minor tweaks they’ve made only enhances the transition of the shoe, some felt the XX8’s were a little slappy from heel to toe, and I think this setup is awesome for Zoom Air lovers.

Does the heel bother me at all? No… but I’m used to playing in such a wide verity of cushion systems (from good to bad to horrible) that these felt just fine to me. I don’t usually put too much weight onto my heels while playing as it is so the setup was nothing to complain about. Jordan Brand did core out a small portion of the heel, similar to a runner, so that those that typically strike with their heel will receive some added compression for comfort.

Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review 3Materials – Performance Woven upper… you the real MVP. In the video, I go over just what the upper does, how it’s constructed and thats something easier said than written. If I tried to write it out to you I’d probably go off on some huge tangent about every single little thread… and I’m not trying to do that. Just know that the upper feels great and it actually is supportive. One thing to note is that you’ll receive a better fit and experience the more you wear them… not sure why, but the woven upper really conforms to your foot shape the more you sweat in it. To the point to where you feel like you’ve got a custom shoe on your foot, way more than any Foamposite upper. They’re ready to go, fresh out the box, and almost reminds you of that one shoe that one shoe you’ve been wearing all year round then forgot about after you bought a new pair… then you’re reminded of how awesome they feel – being so broken in – when it comes time to mow your lawn. To top it off… the materials will allow wide footer to to rock these without having to go up a size as the upper will stretch and conform around your foot in no time.

Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review 4Fit – They fit true to size and the lockdown is incredible for something woven. There is no Fuse or glue here… just fabric… which is insane. Everything from the woven upper to the Flight Web lacing system work in tandem and balance each other out. No slipping or sliding… just a shoe you lace up and forget that they’re on your feet. Until you look down and think to yourself… ‘sh!t, those are clean as f*%$”.




Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review 5Ventilation – Not every attribute is perfect. Ventilation is okay… you have air flow because of the woven upper, however, this comes with a small drawback. Because the woven upper fabric, it tends to soak up moisture. Trying to get the shoe dried out enough for tomorrows run is hard unless you use a fan or something. Heat can escape, but not the moisture. Maybe if it were Dri-Fit? Not really sure… it wasn’t a ‘problem’ where I received blisters or anything… but its something to note.



Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review 6Support – You’d assume that a sock couldn’t possibly support your foot but this isn’t just any sock. This thing is a digitally mastered piece of equipment… put together with precision. Think of a bullet proof vest… that’s just Kevlar strands woven so tightly together that it stops a bullet from plowing through your chest. Similar concept only the supportive pieces are built into the upper in strategic areas. Stretch where you need it, stretch where you should have stretch… all done with a machine that can weave together anything your mind can think of. Then there are the typical support features… the TPU plate, heel counter and outrigger. All doing what they were meant to.

Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review 7Overall – I wasn’t sure how they were going to top the XX8… and they technically didn’t. Instead, they took what worked, made it work better then added some new tech on top of that. They took something great and made it even better…

Air Jordan XX9 Performance Review 8

  1. Im just gonna buy 1or 2 pair of the 28 they have zoom in the heel plus better traction beside it never popped for me either

    1. Some of the colorways are under retail, so they should be more attainable.
      Same experience with the shoe as well.
      Thanks for review, Nightwing.

    1. It’s def possible but I still wouldn’t rate it above the XX8. Traction here wasn’t bad at all, as stated above, the pattern just dosnt have the same bite the XX8’s did and both were translucent.

      1. I have both the kobe 9 elite low hyper grape and a kobe 9 em easters. I didn’t have to wipe AT ALL with the solid colour bottom on the easters but a few wipes are needed for the hyper grapes, which is disappointing. I also have both the XX8 se in the green camo colorway and a pair of melo m10s. The camo pattern bottom on the XX8 just doesn’t do it compared to the solid colour m10s, which is the best traction I’ve ever had. So I think I’m going to cop a pair of solid bottom XX9s. Thanks for embedding the video after I read the whole review lol.

      1. Did the back being high bother your achilles? My 14s bother me sometimes because the back rubs my leg…just a question no biggie.

        1. I think I went over that in the review. If I didnt, it didnt bother me luckily. The 14’s were hard and these are softer in the back. Maybe I went over that in the first impression. Cant remember.

          1. Maybe on the first impression…cant remember, It just hit me how the achilles on the 14 and 2k9 kinda sucked…

      2. Hi nightwing2303! I have Aj23 before, my issue there was the midsole is made up some kind of a plastic materials and it got seperate apart since the base is made of of a leather. maybe these Aj 29 goes likely what had happen to my Aj 23, since the midsole is also a made of plastic. What can u say about these?

        1. This midsole isn’t plastic, there is plastic placed on it but its foam. You can check the video, shows a complete breakdown of the cushion setup. The 23’s were also constructed differently, those used little to no glue to remain environmentally friendly.

  2. Good review as always…I won’t be copping but your review brought up a question in my head. You said the flightweb upper absorbs moisture. Seeing as that moisture is sweat, have you had any issues with these kicks smelling after a few good runs? Unlike socks, you can’t exactly throw these flyknit/flightweb uppers in the washing machine.

  3. Thank you for the review NW. During your time with jordan brand did they ever mention as to why they removed the heel zoom? Was it a Westbrook request?
    I at times like to post up during games and concerned the foam May bottom out. Not sure if u post as well when you play but thanks for the info

    1. They said it wasn’t needed. They analyse footage of movements and players rarely use their heels in this sport. Its cool to have it, but its not needed. Whatever wasnt needed, they removed.

      1. If players rarely use their heels in the sport, then why do almost all Basketball shoes have the main cushioning tech or some form of cushioning in the heel area of the shoe?

        1. i don’t know, but having played extensively in the cp3.vi, the cp3.vi ae, the cp3.vii and the super.fly 2 over the last year, i can’t say it really makes a world of difference, though that might have to do with the fact that the foam in those shoes is good enough as far as impact protection goes. then again, i still play in my air penny Vs all the time, and there is no forefoot cushion in them, so go figure….

        2. It’s called spin…they justified only forefoot air in KD’s for a long time with this same story then all of sudden KD’s started to have air in the heel and forefoot. Whether it’s “needed” or not is debatable but for $225, I expect every piece of tech Nike can muster

        3. I would have to disagree. When a shoe doesn’t have good heel cushioning I tend to get more fatigued and my knees start to hurt the longer I play. Reason why? Its hard to control how much you heel striking while playing especially when jumping and making hard cuts. So unless you’re have excellent conditioning and can avoid all heel striking them you gonna want really good heel cushioning. And while the foam might still work is still going to bottom out eventually. I much prefer to have some kind of Zoom like a max volume heel zoom unit!

          1. Actually if they made an Flight plate shoe with a lower heel Zoom unit than the original 28s (Not Max Volume Heel Zoom) on top of foam. That would make make the Heel drop lower and make it feel more natural while still being cushioned. I also think they should experiment with making the the Heel Zoom the same level as the Unlocked forefoot Zoom for a fantastic zero drop experience!!

          2. I meant to say Heel Zoom encased in foam not on top of foam but I think its something I’ll leave to Jordan Brand to figure out if they decide to bring back Heel Zoom.

      1. The only real concern I have for the XX8’s is the popping of the zoom units. Could you tell me how many hours you’ve put in with the XX8 (or XX8 se) and if you know anyone who hasn’t had their zoom unit pop with lots of hours on the XX8. Thanks!

        1. There are people that have been lucky and never had a unit pop but I think there were plenty that did. I wore my XX8s extensively for their review, I broke the toe areas Fuse, but my Zoom Air was fine. There were many factors that went into the Zoom units popping in the XX8’s, it wasn’t just one thing. The things that caused this to happen are not present in the XX9.

          1. Are you actually allowed to tell us what Jordan brand said in regards to the issues that could cause then Zoom Air bags to pop.

            I assume it’s a fundamental flaw in the shoe and can’t be fixed to stop it completely from happening. I know they tried to improve it, but it seems like it’s a problem they couldn’t fix completely.

  4. Great Review NW! Although I think I’d pass on this first because Kobe X i believe is coming up and there are other releases still pending. Once all the shoes have been layed out thats when I’ll choose, already have 2 Kobe 9 EM’s, and just cant really cop on all of them, But this is definitely something I’d look for. Again Great Job!

  5. Excellent review Nightwing!! I’m really interested in trying the woven upper, I’m pretty sure that’s what brought the price. Maybe a little overpriced, but its still worth it for a great performance shoe. But I’m still really disappointed that there’s no zoom in the heel, but that is just my personal preference. I know the Flightplate Zoom will be amazing just like the XX8s! Also would you say the flexibility is similar to the XX8s?

      1. That’s amazing dude! I was a bit worried about the TPU plating but I’m glad the TPU is flexible enough and I like the support the comes from the tpu wrapping up a little on the upper on the lateral side.

  6. Hey Nightwing, I’ve never tried on or felt a shoe with zoom in it, this sounds stupid but could you describe what it feels like on foot since cushion is my top priority?

    1. Zoom is usually bouncy. You’d never know this if you played in something with a cheap Zoom unit in place like the Soldier 7 or 8, KD 4 etc. but if you try the Jordan 12, 13, 14, 15 then you’d know how its supposed to feel. Then if you use the XX8’s or XX9’s then thats the same feeling but on steroids.

    2. Along with the bounce/responsiveness, Zoom is low-profile
      as in low to the ground cushion as it gets for an Nike Air bag cushioning.

      For good reason and before Nike implement it poorly on shoes mentioned, a lot of people would say it is their preferred Nike Air cushioning.

      Usually it was the heel/forefoot Zoom Air setup.

      If you look up both Kobe’s and LeBron’s signature lines: 1-6 respectively, each had heel/forefoot Zoom Air.

      Aside or as a note:
      It was common for Nike to include some sort of Carbon Fiber spring plate or Carbon Fiber shank Plate in, but not all, of their Zoom Air footwear. (More often implemented in signature lines)

  7. Great review NW… I think I’ll stick with my 28SE since the only major difference is the materials used. If these go on sale , maybe I’ll get them. It seems the 28 was the game changer for JB signature shoe and this 29 is just an evolutionary design. I’m not saying it’s not a good shoe, but not enough to warrant me to spend $225 plus tax.

    1. It’s an evolution, and I think that’s a good thing. Sometimes fine tuning and improving something is better than starting over with something completely new/different.

      1. thanks NW for the quick response. I forget which video you did but you mentioned how much you prefer lows and that AJ has not made any lows since the 23s… did you plant the seed with JB that a signature low should be produced? 😉

  8. as an arrtist in many media…I cant see HOW they could do an se version or a .5 oe whatever…there really isnt any way to take it down really…even changing the mesh to fuse or an EM like kobe wouldnt change it enough to make it worth changing…not every pair needs an se version really either…just a personal opinion…

      1. but would it enhance or change the aspect of the shoe by changing the height? The 18.5 15 se 28 se 19 se were way easier to wear, the low versions didnt make anything better or worse…5,6,11,14 so on and so on…would the height make it better??

          1. There is very little to theses structurally to begin with . you would have to add some sort of a heel counter to keep slippage to a minimum so that wouldnt really reduce weight dramatically enough to warrant nike/jordan developing these into a low top version. I think it would cost more to make than they would likely sell. Look at the 2010 outdoors. I got a brand new pair for 30 dollars…that cant make nike/jordan happy so it would likely end up the same way…with them losing money. I will go out on a limb and state on the record, NO SE THIS YEAR…

  9. Im a high school basketball player and ive saved up a good amount of money and i want to spend it on 2 or 3 more pairs of baskball shoes (right now i have the Kobe 9’s). I really wanted these but now im starting to question it due to a worse score than the xx8’s (which i loved, until the zoom popped). My question is do you think its worth dropping the $225 on these or should i wait awhile and get the superfly 3’s and the cp3viii or the kobe x’s or the lebron 12’s or just get some xx8 se’s on sale right now and hope the zoom doesnt pop. I know its kinda a dumb question but im really hoping some of you guys and nightwing can give me your opinion. Thanks.

    1. The score isn’t “bad”, it’s a solid score for a high end performance shoe. You have to look at the categories by themselves to obtain their actual personal value. However, I’d buy a pair of XX8’s and when they pop return then for a nikestore credit voucher and use that towards the purchase of the XX9’s. If the XX9 is something you’re interested in.

    2. Props to you if you can be patient for waiting on the pending newer models.

      Getting SEs isn’t that bad especially when it can be return for another pair
      or for voucher if the problem occurs.

      In addition, when using the voucher, you could use it for the any of those shoes you listed: Superfly 3, CP3.VII, Kobe X, LeBron XII.

    3. If you’re in the US grab another pair of Jordan XX8 SEs. You can just return them if the Zoom Air units pop, or just get a voucher like the other guys mentioned.

      1. Thanks to all of you for your input. I’m still interested in the xx9’s but i have a lot to think about, ill probably try to try them on when they release (hopefully there are lots in stock) you all also have great points. With so many upcoming performance shoes (rose’s, kobe’s, lebron’s, superflys, cp3’s,j crossover 2, etc) its gonna be really hard to figure out what the best options are to spend my money on. Thanks again

  10. A question NW. How about for Durability? Since the upper is woven. Would it hold up to outdoor courts. Thanks for the review

  11. Great review as always NW. but right now my sights are set on the roses cause boost. Also I’m digging your video style, very clean I don’t know if this is the first video with the minor changes, but this is the first one I noticed

  12. Yo Nightwing, just a heads up in the ‘Traction’ paragraph. You wrote “manor” instead of “manner”. Sorry to go all grammar nazi chief! Otherwise nice work!

  13. Hey Nightwing, great review as always! Would you recommend these for someone with serious shin splints or what model would be best?

  14. Shoe fiend in me wants to get these, but the sensible side of me tells me to stick with my KB 9 Elites. Who am I kidding? I definitely need to try a pair of these out.

    Loved the low profile play on the XX8s, but hated the zoom pops I experienced, hoping the XX9s have that all sorted with the improvements they made to the unlocked zoom.

  15. off topic question just saw the jordan 14.5 interesting looking they are Zoom unit in the forefoot, Lunarlon in the heel maybe a review on these guys ?

  16. Shall be interesting to see well the super.fly 3 sells this year. Without heel zoom i wonder if the XX9 will be worth the $225 investment over the $130 superfly

  17. How do these fit compared to the XX8 SE? I remember you saying that you had to size down to get a snug fit for those shoes, and I’m just wondering if it was the same for these? Thanks.

  18. NW sounds like upper xx9 and bottom xx8 come together u have the perfect shoe! Traction u mention Kobe 9 and xx8 as “the best” I always thought “cp3 vi” had the best traction! Anyways thanks for your hardwork!

  19. hi night wing, great review as usual
    i have a question and i really hope you can help me on this.
    I’m quite big and heavy , but i played SF
    shooter and rebounder.
    my current go to shoes are Lebron X Elite, Lebron X, and Lining way of wade.
    i did try and bought melo M10 after reading your review, but after playing in them for a few times, my achilles hurts like hell,
    i did have history of my achilles torn about 50% , no operation needed, just half a year rest.
    and now on my heel exactly a little bit below the cut of the shoe collar, there’s a little bit of bulging out , i guess its because my previous achilles problem.
    anyway, when i played with my M10, the top inner collar is like poking into this part of my foot those creating pain on my achilles.
    i don’t have any problem when i wear lebron X , X elite and lining way of wade.

    anyway now i really want this XX9 and i think they look amazing,
    but will i face the same trouble as the M10 ?
    can you at least help me out on this ?
    cause in my country i can’t try the shoes before buying it, thank you.

    1. I actually tore my achilles last year and also am a bigger player with more of a football player linebacker built. The 28 in all its variants, including the M10, really helped me get back to running as the energy return was incredibly helpful. They did at times and other shoes as well, really can bother the Achilles area and bother it as you have stated.

      The XX9’s are incredibly soft all the way around and almost feel like a thick wool sock. Definitely no irritations to speak of at any point. The heel and achilles area are especially well padded with very plush materials so I can confidently say you should be fine.

      Also, after my achilles injury, I became much more sensitive to heel cushion. This made me weary of the XX9’s vs my go to Kobe 9 Elite with Lebron XI cushion or XX8’s. After playing in them this week. The heel cushion, even without any zoom or air cushion, did the job and I had no issues.

      Lastly, compared to many other shoes in the past few years which have an indoor traction durability bias, the XX9’s use a much harder rubber that should last longer on all surfaces. As much as I like my Kobe’s and XX8’s or even Lebrons, they are expensive shoes that will wear fast if used outdoor much. This really limits them for the prices. The XX9’s are a shoe that can really be used indoor or outdoor, casual or court, and really appear to be much more durable. That makes the price much more palatable in my opinion.

      I hope that helps.

  20. Great review like always.

    I’m definitely copping these. After watching your review and listening at Tinker Hatfield in several videos, I know the woven is gonna feel like a glove.

    The only problem for me is ventilation, since I sweat a lot and I live in a warm area, but wearing them with Dri-Fit Elite shocks should be enough.

    Keep up the good work, Mr. Chase.

  21. Kobe 9 Elite or XX9? So close to committing on a pair of the XX9’s but a bit scared to drop $225 on a shoe that is highly likely to rip… (Referring to the woven upper).

    1. I’d try ’em both on to see what works better for you. I don’t think you can go wrong with either, it really just comes down to preference. One thing though with the Kobes, you don’t have to worry about zoom bags popping, but hopefully that’s fixed with the XX9 setup.

  22. Thanks for the review Nightwing. Since you say the xx8 and xx9 are pretty close then I”m going to still ball in my oak hill xx8’s I got at Nike clearance for $70 but once those are done these are next on my list once the price goes down.

  23. For as nice as the woven upper is on the XX9, I still love the zipped up containment of the XX8. I literally have one of each shoe on right now.

    A couple things that I still have questions about are:
    (1)Is this TPU and not Carbon Fiber on a $225 shoe?
    (2)Does the Jumpman aid or hinder traction on toe offs?

    **If I were not looking down at my feet, then I’d probably be thinking I was wearing my Hyper Revs when wearing the XX9

    1. Never mind the Jumpman. I realize that it wasn’t mentioned because it is smartly embedded in the between the traction grooves rather than being raised like a protrusion.

      1. This is one thing that I read that made me interpret the material as being TPU. Maybe it was just referring to some of it being TPU this time.

        http://weartesters (dot) com/top-5-performance-aspects-look-forward-air-jordan-xx9/2/

      1. hi nw!! got mine a couple days ago.. the tpu looks good but carbon fiber would looked better. im a bit curious,,,why tpu instead of carbonfiber?

        1. I know TPU works just as good as Carbon Fiber and reduces weight so that could have been part of it. Its also cheaper as well. I dont think they could have wrapped the midsole with Carbon Fiber though, TPU flexes a little more and Carbon is a bit restrictive.

  24. The woven upper is a thing of beauty. I’ve never felt anything like it. Forget fuse, forget leather, forget flyknit, I don’t think I can ball in any other upper now. The comfort and fit are out of this world. If this had heel zoom, it would literally be the perfect shoe for me.

    1. I want to cosign with that, but Tre from Kick Genius has already damaged the woven upper on his pair and it’s been less than a month. I did get to hoop in my pair for 3 hours today and my feet never felt fatigued from foot restraint; the upper really is legit. The cushion isn’t what I’m use to after playing so much in last generation’s flight plate shoes. I mean I understand why they did the recessing on the zoom unit, but I like feeling the bump and risking that it doesn’t pop(1 pair has already). I’m looking forward to dedicating this whole week of hooping only in the XX9.

      1. I have both and I prefer the XX9s by far. But keep in mind the cost. The only thing KD7 has over the XXx is heel cushion.

      2. I think it was a good decision. Zoom durability was my top reason for skipping on purchasing a XX8. Dropping 225 plus and having the shoe gives it on you in unacceptable. I hope the upper lasts for me. It should be a lot sturdier than mesh

  25. I haven’t been able to play in these yet, but for those who sport custom orthotics, they work really well fit wise. I also like the heel to toe transition on these better than the XX8 from a first try-on. Looking forward to playing in these once I get my back and achilles strain right in a couple weeks.

  26. Ordered gym red on saturday and now the best part: my melo10 zoom popped on sunday and will be trying to return them to nike. It is called a perfect timing.

    So now it is 2/2 pairs that zoom popped: first xx8 and now melo10. Will see how long these will hold up: super fly 2 had to be returned after one of the eyelets was gone and then cp3.7 had to be returned as there were issues with zoom again. So will be my 5th pair of Js in the last year and a half

    On a separate know NW, great work (as usual) – great review as usual

    All the best

    1. Are you in the US? Where did you return them all to? The store you bought them from or did you have to return them directly to Nike?

  27. Hey @nightwing2303 do you have any idea when the JordanXX9 UNC colorway is gonna drop? Because i am waiting on that one

  28. Was lucky enough to get myself a pair in Hong Kong, but the shoes come with a “tag” that said shoes are “intended for indoor use only”….I am just curious if other countries have same tag?

    1. Hmm, that’s weird/interesting.

      I thought I read where Nightwing said that Jordan Brand told him that the traction and upper are somewhat durable for outdoor use.

  29. Do they stretch out at all and conform to your feet? got my regular size as jordan usually runs little bigger than nike basketball line but aj xx9 actually fits similar to lebron 9. Lebron 9 fits fine length wise for me but cramps up my pinkie toe. Fan since your first review on aj “24”.

  30. Just got my pair and these are hands down the best basketball shoes I’ve ever played in. The comfort level is out of this world and the shoe performance with no fault. The only concern I have would be durability as I can see any mesh ripping over time with constant pressure from lateral movement. Regardless, this shoe will likely stay a favorite for the near future.

    You were right on the money with this review, keep doing your thing!

  31. Put in some time (4 hours) with these yesterday. Really like how these feel on feet. The cushion is soft but responsive, the upper is really nice and they’re super light. Crossing my fingers that the zoom durability holds up. I could see myself doubling up on these if they can last a month in my current rotation unlike the XX8s. Didn’t have any problems with the Team Orange translucent sole on the dusty rec court I played on. I did notice that the jump man on the toe of the sole pick up a lot of dust, but nothing that’ll slow you down.

  32. After spending every waking hour in these since I bought them my official conclusion is…There are better shoes on the market for far less money. I dont mean they arent worth the money if you really want them( like I did), I am however saying these are unfortunatly not the best of the best of the best. The zoom could be better, And to that point there could be some sort of zoom in the heel. For 225 dollars heel zoom or full length for that matter should be in there. Im sure they could have made it work had they tried. They are really really comfortable and look good to me though so Im pretty happy with them. I saw kicks genius’s review and a pair they were using got torn up pretty badly. I just hope mine last slightlly longer. Just saying..

    1. I absolutely cosign on this and I also think this idea is reflected in the scores. The XX9 is an excellent performance shoe, but it does fall slightly short in some areas in comparison to the XX8; which has cheaper options by way of the SE. The unlocked zoom seems too conservative in comparison to last generation, but the durability “should” hold up. The XX9 really is for those who have the money to spend on them. It is as you said that you can definitely get some “better” shoes for less money. Better is relative to the price/performance ration I assume?

      Before I bought my pair, I had already thought ahead of time to plan for copping another pair. The Black & White that drops in October 11th was on my hit list, but now I highly think I’ll pass now. I can’t say it’s because of the price either because I own 3 pairs of Kobe 9 Elites that cost the same.

      Here is what I think is what’s going on at JB. Tinker and gang are always working ahead on the next generation signature flagship. The XX9 is sort of a buffer for us consumers, meaning that we got a shoe similar to the previous XX8 but with an innovative woven upper. They bought themselves some more time to really break ground with the XXX for next season…MARK MY WORDS!!!

      1. Didn’t they already take an extra 6-8 months longer than usual to release the XX9s? If anything, they took too long to release these, so I would have to assume that they were working on them for a long time, not as a buffer shoe.

        1. Well I read that JB wanted to get back on season release track. Think about brands that have two versions of a shoe in the same generation, but the latter is like the “playoff” model. The OG Jordans used to release in the fall and then the playoffs A.K.A. “Breds” would drop in the Spring.

          1. How long ago did they last use that release schedule? Back when Jordan was playing? That definitely makes more sense to release them before the start of the season. I’d prefer that kind of release schedule.

            When I got back into the shoe game, correct me if I am wrong, I think the XX8s released around January? How long were they using that release schedule?

            So from what you’ve read, the XXXs should be released next fall, around a year from now? If so, that would be great if they changed it to that IMO.

            Also, what used to change for the playoff models? Was it just a black and red colorway?

  33. After playing in these a few times, I have to retire them for casual wear and go back to my Melo M10. The lack of heel zoom or a better foam than phylon really affects my legs. They are noticeably more sore. I do think these are excellent for grounded players, but I’m the type that really loves to jump everywhere and it all adds up in the end. It doesn’t help that I do a lot of jump stops, which puts heavy pressure on the heel and in turn, on my legs.

    I really, really wish they used heel zoom. I would double, triple up on these if they did. I just gotta pray my zoom bags on my Melo M10 never pops. I’m going to grab more M10s for future use. It helps they’re on sale everywhere.

    1. If heel is your major issue on this shoe.. the drop in performance soles from Spenco and/or SofSole does the job and make the shoe even that much butter. BUT! I do agree…. Zoom in the heel area would make this shoe PERFECT.

      1. I just can’t justify doing that when the melo m10 has everything I’m looking for except weight. That huge heel zoom bag is godsend, the forefoot zoom is bouncier, and the leather feels just as good as the woven upper if broken in, the only downside being the weight. I guess that’s why there’s choices. Just a shame since I really love the woven upper.

      2. What performance insole/s do you recommend? I’ve never tried one of those two brands before.

        Can you recommend 1 or 2 that you’ve used before?

          1. Hey Mark,

            Thanks a lot for the recommendation, appreciate it. Did you paste the same link twice? It seems both those links are the same. Looks like a great insole though.

            Also, what’s the deal with the sizing? Am I missing something in regards to how the sizing works on insoles? I’m size 11.5US, so what would I use for that?

          2. They are true to size… check the sizing chart.

            Example i wear 8.5 get Men’s 8-9.

            There is online support ready for you to utilize if you have any additional questions. (There available at footlocker to) So you can try it out.

          3. Hey man, thanks for the reply. There’s no size 11-12 though. That’s why I am confused about the sizing and what I’d need for 11.5.

            Did you have to cut the size 8-9 to make it fit? I assume you personally use the Spenco Cross Trainer ones? I might have to get a 12-13 and cut it down a bit.

            Also, what is the second insole that you recommended? Both links you posted are for the same insole. I’d like to see what the other one was that you were recommending.

            The Sof Sole Athlete ones seems to be popular. You ever tried those?

            I’d have to order online and the Insole Store ships internationally, so I think I will get a pair or two from there. I’d also like to get 2-3 different ones to try and see why I like best. Getting 2-3 insoles also makes it more worthwhile shipping wise.

            1. Yeah, you might have to cut it down. But for my 8-9 in my 8.5 I didn’t have to cut anything…

              Try hitting up there customer service, bro! I can assure you that they can assist you further in regards to not having your size.

    2. I actually prefer these to the XX8/M10 Flight Plate setup, but more so because of the fluid heel to toe transition. The foam heel doesn’t bother me as I’m not really missing zoom back there. I agree that these are definitely on the expensive side, and you can get comparable shoes that get the job done for much less.

      Definitely like these in my rotation regardless as a change-up to the Kobe IXs when I need a little more support from a shoe that I’m able to use my custom orthotics in. Love the upper more than anything, super comfortable. If my first pair make it through the month with no zoom problems, I’ll debate doubling up on these.

      1. I think these are great for those who are a bit more grounded or have fresh legs. Wish I had fresh legs lol. 195 pounds and 6 feet really puts a beating on my legs.

        1. Haha I hear ya man. They’re definitely lower to the ground than most shoes out there. I still feel that these absorb impact better than the XX8/M10 for me personally at least. The Kobe IX Lunarlon definitely has more impact protection for me in comparison, but I like these as a change up shoe when I want/need more stability under my foot and arch.

          At any rate, some jackass youngin jumped under me the other the day when he had no chance at contesting my put-back shot and I rolled my ankle as a result, so I’m sidelined reading about hoops and shoes rather than playing :/ for the time being.

          1. I thought they used the same sized unit as the 28s if that’s the case than the 29s are not for me I need more impact protection since my knees aren’t what they used to be. I also prefer having heel zoom. I think i’ll just stick with my 28s and Lebron Xs. The Lebron Xs dont feel as high as the ground as they look for me but I have very good balance so I benefit from they cushioning without feeling unstable, same thing with the 28s and the protruding Unlocked Zoom and I the only one that doesn’t care for very low profile cushioning???

        2. JB is killing me. I tried to go back to my melo m10. I ended up switching back to the xx9s. I can’t go back. I just can’t even if my legs get sore. That upper is not to be trifled with. It feels so good I even wear it to work.

  34. so my teams bigs got the xx9s. laced up mine and first practice somebody stepped on my left foot and the toebox on my xx9 ripped. good performance but durability of the upper is s*&t. upon looking closely at the rip, i can see the individual threads of the weave are very prone to scuffing, tearing, ripping.. i know mine is showing the second layer of weave, some red thread on the toebox under the black weave. the team mate who stepped on my foor is also on xx9s and when i asked to check his shoe, it seems that the flight plate bottom part around the “tendril” area is very sharp which might have contributed to the rip. all in, it hurt for a 225$ shoe to be so flimsy as to rip on the first outing

    1. Bummer about the durability of the Prime Knit. You can try returning them to http://nikeclaims.com for NDC credit. Worst case scenario, they reject your claim and send the kicks back to you (you only pay for shipping one way going this route).

      1. They’re aredy on their way back to nike along with a teammate’s with a laceloop ripped off. I also preferred the xx8 over the xx9 but both of my xx8 and xx8 se forefoot zooms are goners after only 1 season. I developed shin splints from playing with deflated zooms. Dint know they were goners until i checked when my shins started to hurt

  35. After balling in these for a while, I really like them but prefer my Kobe IX Elite Highs over them. I also liked the shrouded XX8s more than these, but had terrible luck with the durability on them.

    The XX9s are definitely more well rounded and durable for me thus far. The fit and feel that prime knit provides is something I hope we see more of from JB and Nike in general. The shrouded XX8s to me felt lower to the ground which I prefer, but I like the transition on the XX9s w/ the tendril and all as well. I also did not miss zoom in the heel at all (Note: I prefer well made foam tech over air gimmicks even if they do work).

    1. btw, apologies for dubbing these “prime knit” in my comments, no idea why that came out of my fingertips. Sorry Adidas!

  36. hey,
    was going to ask you about support around heel/ankle, but read through the comments and saw some mentions to what i was going to ask about.

    suffering a little plantar fasciitis also.

    would these fit fine with an ankle brace? thats my only question,

  37. hey,
    was going to ask you about support around heel/ankle, but read through the comments and saw some mentions to what i was going to ask about.

    suffering a little plantar fasciitis also.

    would these fit fine with an ankle brace? thats my only question,

  38. I am thinking of buying these my only concern is if they will rip after a lot of playing. I play club and high school ball and I will probably have them for like a year or more. Do you think the performance woven upper will last that long? I have the 28 se’s currently and I LOVE them should I just get another pair of them?

  39. To me the upper and the forefoot are the really superlative elements here. not just in and of themselves, but how they are integrated into the shoe. The heel is a no-frills phylon but they are engineered to keep you on the balls of your feet so that foam is more than adequate. The improved forefoot is a real masterpiece and the upper, though a little sweaty, offers a no-hot-spot, consistently comfortable experience. The lockdown is pretty good, unlike with Flyknit runners which are sort of flimsy generally.

    For $225 I do feel like they should have had some sort of Air unit in the heel and the tongue should have been more of a focal point for ventilation.

    I actually like the traction a lot on these, but maybe I would have noticed the advantages of the XX8 if I were a guard. Personally I like the overall stability of the XX9 more, and I also find that removing that weird little “peg” on the lateral side of the forefoot was a big improvement. With the XX8 it didn’t bother me after a few years, but it was downright ruinous with the Melo M10 that had the same tooling.

      1. If i worried about heel cushion, can i buy Spenci Polysorb insoles into the shoe? I wear 9.5 if i insert it do i need to buy size 10 ?

            1. That is what the site recommends…

              Also these insole are meant to replace the stock insoles.

              Don’t believe me. Go to spenco.com and check the information yourself.

  40. Hey man, I have the J Wall 1 and the Kobe 9 EM both size 8.5. The J Wall 1 fits perfect on me and the Kobe 9 EM fits a little tight. Do yout think that it’s better for me go with the Jordan XX9 size 8.5 or 9? Thanks!

  41. Hey Nightwing, I love your reviews. I know I’m late on this one, but I have a question I was hoping I could get your opinion on. I have a couple pair of these 29s deadstock. I was wondering how long I could wait and still be able to wear them and get good performance out of them. And just in general, how long is a shoe still typically good for just sitting deadstock, mainly for performance but also even casually. Appreciate it man.

    1. It depends on the shoe and the conditions the shoes are stored. What I typically do is wear the shoe for a bit to bond the glue, stretch the materials, stretch the midsole/ outsole etc. Break the shoe in a bit. Then I’ll put them away. Usually, when I finally pull them back out they’re still good to go. I wouldn’t wait more than a year for performance purposes. Casual use has no real time table.

      1. Interesting; thank you. I also have some Hyperdunk 2008 OG deadstock. Those are obviously 8 years old by now; What I’m hearing is I shouldn’t play ball in them? Maybe just wear them running errands or at the gym lifting?

  42. I hope you see my question even though this post is from years ago but are these still playable even if the zoom pops? plus how would you tell if they already popped?

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