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?