Air Jordan XXXI (31) Low Performance Review


Does the Air Jordan XXXI Low fair better than its higher cut counterpart? Check out the full performance review to find out.

Traction – It started off just as bad, maybe even worse, than the original version of the Air Jordan XXXI, but once the Low broke in was better with every wear — something that the high top version just never did. I’m not sure if the rubber compound has changed or not but something is definitely different between the two. Dust does get lodged in the crevasses within the outsole but wipe it away and you’ll be good to go. The best word for me to use to explain my experience with the original AJXXXI would be inconsistent. However, the low top rendition is very consistent. It’s a great update to the original shoe; wearers should enjoy their experience in the Low.

Cushion – Nothing has changed between the high and low AJXXXI. Unlocked full-length Zoom Air is used and it’s awesome. It’s low profile cushion that maintains court feel without sacrificing impact protection — exactly why Zoom Air was created. Yes, the heel still has a slight wobble to it during certain foot strikes but once you’re aware of it then you won’t be surprised if you happen to teeter a little bit. Is there room for improvement to this full-length unlocked Zoom setup? Of course. Nothing is perfect. Hopefully it’s refined for the upcoming Air Jordan XXX2 — really excited to see what JB has got cooking. Overall, if you enjoy full-length cushion that doesn’t make you sit too high off the floor then this is a great option.

Materials – Much like the cushion, nothing has changed between the high and low. Performance woven Flyweave is still featured along the forefoot and midfoot, and it transitions to synthetic leather at the heel. This is my ideal setup: free and form fitting up front with a bit more structure in the rear. It feels fantastic on-foot and moves perfectly without restriction or hot spots. No complaints.

Fit – The overall fit is true to size. However, the low tops feel a bit more narrow compared to the original XXXI. I prefer the way the Low fits my foot because I don’t like any dead space in my shoes; snug and secure is just how I like it and that’s what the Low offers.

Lockdown in the Low was nearly identical to what’s found in the high top — other than the tweaks that were made to make the forefoot feel a bit closer to the foot. Midfoot lockdown was solid while the heel was great as well. Yes, I did miss the heel pillows that were on the high top version, but the sculpt and padding placed within the rear of the Low gets the job done perfectly fine.

Support – With the tweaks to the fit, making the forefoot a bit more snug and secure, the support went from good to really good. The support isn’t restrictive but just enough to allow you to maneuver on-court without feeling like you’ve just laced a brick to your foot. I don’t know about you, but I’d say thats a good thing. Unless you like wearing bricks. Then it could be bad.

Overall – I liked the Air Jordan XXXI but I love the Air Jordan XXXI Low. It’s one of my favorite shoes of 2017 so far, and I’m actually looking forward to grabbing a colorway or two for casual use.

If you enjoy woven materials up front and slightly stronger materials in the back atop a low profile bouncy cushion setup then the AJXXXI Low might be the shoe you’re looking for. The traction starts off pretty bad so give it some time to break-in before completely giving up on them.

If you happen to miss out on the Air Jordan XXXI ‘Why Not?’ PE when it releases then maybe you can try out a pair of the Air Jordan XXXI Low tops instead. I mean, why not?


28 Comments

    1. Probably because it favors Transition, that’s the spectrum Transition-2-Support, if a sneaker facilitates 1, it economizes on the other.

    2. The slight wobble from the unlocked Zoom unit causes the shoe to teeter at times. Causing a delay in reaction speed and can cause some to feel unstable. Was an issue for me mostly when gathering my feet for a shot while stoping — coming off a screen or just stepping back. 6th man is average and not a bad score. Benched is bad. We have the three rating badge system to make that easier to understand. Bad, good, best. HoF when best of the best.

  1. My 31 Chicago, kick on courts just above one month later , the zoom air was pop that is tragedy, since 28 also got this same issued, flight plate combined with zoom air. Frankly speaking, I don’t want to burn my budget for those low quality shoes… I don’t know who have same condition like me?

    1. You can send them back to Nike and they will email you back with a Nike Voucher, which is basically like a Nike gift card that you can use

  2. Have the UNC colourway coming. Keen to see how they go for me. I am a big fan of lows, performance woven and Zoom Air. The traction reports prevented me from getting the mids, so happy to hear some positive reviews about traction on the low. Will advise how they go.

  3. Took my Michigan lows back to foot locker after playing in them once bc the traction was so bad. I wonder if that pair gets better too…I loved them otherwise.

      1. What’s the ventilation/breathability like in these shoes Nightwing and how does it compare to that of the Brandblack Rare Metal (regular version)?

      2. I’m thinking about re-buying them, because they offer everything I’m looking for in a hoop shoe that isn’t really available on the market right now.

        So, NW, are they still gripping pretty well since the performance review? How many wears did it take to get that traction to break in? Also – I usually play on garbage 24 hour fitness courts – did the traction break in work well enough that you felt stable on the dirty courts too, besides the obvious occasional need to wipe.

        Thanks a million NW. Channels like this are really valuable to hoopers on a budget.

          1. Is the rubber compound strong enough to hold up outdoors for some time? Thinking of getting these for balling on the beach courts in Hawaii.

  4. Do you think the improved traction from the highs is just this georgetown color way or do you think that all the low tops will have this traction. I dig the shoes and want them I just don’t like any of the college team pes except the UNCs but those don’t match my jersey, so I have my eye on the pink Oreo color way as long as it has this kind of traction.

  5. Nightwing, which socks do you wear to make your performances reviews?
    Thanks and congrats for your great job!

  6. Why doesn’t Nike ever use soccer technology on their basketball shoes? I’m sure if the indoor traction on soccer shoes works, it would work for basketball shoes. Plus the sock on Nike soccer shoes works, so why not give it a try on basketball shoes? Or maybe Nike should use boa lacing to get a better wrap and fit on shoes. Maybe team with vibram to give their traction an extra kick. Maybe study hand textures to get better traction. Just a thought

  7. Hey Nightwing, I didn’t have any problem with my kobe 11 and Jordan 30 traction on the court that I play. Do you think that I can have problem with the J31’s low traction on the same court? Thanks!!

  8. Hey Nightwing! I’m planning on purchasing some new shoes for the upcoming high school season. I’ve had my eye on the Jordan 28s, but part of me wants to wait for the 32. However, with the 31 being inconsistent in traction, should I just trust the 28s to do the job? I need a shoe with bounce, excellent traction and some support. Kobes don’t seem to fit my feet anymore. Thanks!

  9. I picked up the lows and i find the unlocked too bouncy and unstable for bball…are the mids any firmer/less bouncy?

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