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Air Jordan XXXI Performance Review

Two Air Jordan flagship models released within the same year. Strange…very strange…

Air Jordan XXXI Performance Review Traction

Traction – While it’s nowhere near as bad as the XXX’s traction, it’s still pretty inconsistent. The cleaner the floor the better (obviously), but some floors with dust offered solid traction while others did not. The only explanation I can think of is that the rubber compound works better with certain court finish rather than certain conditions. Does your court offer the finish that is compatible with the outsole? Unfortunately, there’s only one way to find out…and $185 is a bit pricey for such an experiment.

Air Jordan XXXI Performance Review Cushion

Cushion – We haven’t had full length Zoom Air on the flagship Air Jordan since the 2010, and I wish I could say that this is the best implementation of the cushion since the 18. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

It’s unlocked and features the Flight Speed setup, but it’s still contained. If you wanted to experience a true unlocked full length Zoom setup then the KD 9 is where you’ll find it. The Air Jordan XXXI, while good, isn’t as good as the KD 9 is. Impact protection, court feel, responsiveness, it’s all there in the XXXI. The thing I wasn’t a fan of is how unstable it feels. You’ll eventually get used to the wobbly feeling the shoes offer, but it’s not something I’d prefer. Jordan Brand perfected the forefoot unlocked Zoom setup with the XX9 and XXX, but there is some room for improvement with the Air Jordan XXXI. If they can make this setup feel as stable as past models with full length Zoom then the setup will quickly become a favorite from those that try it. However, until then there are slightly better options out there that offer a more stable platform to work with.

Air Jordan XXXI Performance Review Materials

Materials – These feel like the true successor to the XX9. I’m not sure what went wrong and how we ended up with the XXX, but this is performance woven done right. The materials on the XXXI are easily its best attribute, and if you try them out for yourself I think you’d agree. Having the weave up front feels amazing and the break-in process is nonexistent. Then there is the transition from the weave to the synthetic leather which feels amazing as well. The snug, contained-feeling the rear section brings, while still offering unrestricted awesomeness up front, reminds me of a favorite shoe of mine…the J Crossover 2. These have a slightly tighter forefoot knit than those though, so the knit won’t stretch in the same fashion.

If you enjoy slightly more rigid materials in the back with less restrictive materials in the front then these should cover your needs perfectly.

Air Jordan XXXI Performance Review Fit

Fit – The Air Jordan XXXI fits true to size but it’s a bit wide. Great for wide footers, not the best for someone that really enjoyed the one-to-one fit of the XX9 Low. The toe box is a bit squared, which is another trait that it shares with the Air Jordan 18. Some lace adjustments will be needed during your first couple of games to ensure you’re getting the best and most secure fit, but once you’ve found it there will still be a bit of room.

While the forefoot isn’t a one size fits all situation, the heel definitely is. I loved the heel lockdown and everything that went into making it as good as it is. The inner boot, anatomical pillows, and synthetic leather wrapping around your ankle — it all works very well together. You’ll also be able to fit a brace in there if you happen to wear one.

Air Jordan XXXI Performance Review Support

Support – The support had potential to be great, but falls short. Having a slightly wider toe box is the first culprit. While you’ll be able to get them as snug as possible with some adjustments, it won’t fit as securely to everyone’s foot. Wide footers will likely be just fine in this area, but if you have a normal or narrow foot then it might leave a lot to be desired.

The second issue is the full length unlocked Zoom Air. Yes, you get used to it, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re wobbling at the foundation of the shoe…and if your foundation is wobbly then your lateral support will suffer. It can also throw off your balance as it’s far from a natural ride. The more stable the base the better off you’ll be.

Everything else worked well in the Air Jordan XXXI. Heel lockdown and fit was flawless. Torsional support is there from the FlightSpeed plate. They almost had it, but fell just short.

Air Jordan XXXI Performance Review Overall

Overall – While Jordan Brand tried to sell you on the XXXI being a reboot of the signature line, it’s actually just another Retro. JB might’ve thrown a Swoosh and Wings logo onto the shoe, but other than that the latest shoe has nothing to do with the Air Jordan 1. Rather, it’s a modern take on the Air Jordan 18. They both fit the same, have similar traction, similar cushion…and they even share the same designer.

Each piece of the shoe is great. Put them together and it’s not a perfect match. The biggest issue to tackle is how to get full length unlocked Zoom to be more stable underfoot. Get that part down and the rest is easy because Jordan Brand has already perfected performance woven materials.

Even if the Air Jordan XXXI isn’t perfect for me, I know they’ll be perfect for wide footers. It’s very difficult to find a shoe that’ll accommodate a wide foot nowadays. This is one, and they don’t skimp on any tech. While the XXX was a major disappointment for being a copy of the XX9, just nowhere near as good, you can’t be mad at the Jordan XXXI. JB tried a few new things, sort of failed a bit, but not to the point where they can’t fine tune what’s here to make a great performer next time around. Keep the materials, fine tune the cushion, use traction that works anywhere and you’ll have a shoe worthy of the $185 price tag.

Air Jordan XXXI Score


  1. I guess I’ll wait out for the breds then or for some other nice colors before copping.

    Tried on the rios and while the fit and the materials were awesome I was underwhelmed by the cushion. Then again I might have been expecting way too much out of it.

          1. How is this a retro just because its a jordan model doesnt mean it is a retro. smh im pretty sure u said that too lmao

    1. Best shoe of 2016 IMO! I guess cause I got a wide foot they feel great I love the responsive bounce to them …. they are all I expected and more… plus the wings logo on the inside ankle whooed me even more

  2. Good to see some improvements from the Jordan xxx. I’m torn right now on whether or not to pick these up, with a discount code or the xx9 low. I’m currently loving the Kd 9 but want another shoe for my rotation and want to try unlocked zoom

  3. They improved the unlocked zoom with XX9 and now is still unstable like in the XX8. Jordan Brand is doing one step ahead and two behind.

    1. It’ll be good for those that fill the space. It’s not horrible for those that don’t though. However, I do wish they fit the same as the XX9 low, loved how those hugged my foot. But again, some thought the XX9 low was too snug. Just depends on your preference.

      1. Hi Nightwing great review. I play basketball on weekends and often I play on outdoor courts and I was wondering if I could wear these outdoors?

  4. Seems like a swing and a miss for Jordan brand. I think KD9 is the best for Nike followed by the new Hyperdunks. Good performance review by NW.

  5. I had the 18 lows and the zoom on those were amazing. However, I had fit issues in the toebox of those… bit roomy as I have a narrow to normal foot. I really wanted to try these out, but I guess I’ll have to wait for the 32.

  6. Will I be able to fit in a 12 or 13? They only release in these sizes and I wear a 12.5. What’s your opinion nw? Or should I just stick with another pair of kd 9?

    1. I feel your pain. I’m a 12.5 too, so it’s just about impossible to find a shoe in that size. I’m usually good rolling with 12s though.

    2. @ Bobby, if you are a half-size, add a flat EVA/PU insole under the stock/store-insole in a 13, it’ll add a little comfort, and fill-out any deadspace you have without changing the shoe too much.
      Between these, and the KD9, I’d say KD9.

  7. I believe it’s time to find another player that would don the JB. as exciting as WestBrook is, he isn’t that marketable. also, JB needs to seriously make some new shoes. I think it’s called INOVATION. please no more BS excuse such as Don’t FIX what isn’t broken. well, something is now really broken with such low demand for the new JB shoes.

  8. Sounds like another stab at making a 2010. That mug had guilty L bottom loaded w another Healy zoom unit. I tried them on but can’t do another clear outsole so let’s see what other CW are coming. BTW finally purchased that 29 low from FL 120 + 20% off. Dupid steal.

    1. I hate BUI (Blogging Under the Influnce) I keep missing etc. the 2010 had bottom loaded full length Zoom and a heel zoom unit. I was so geeked when those came out because the set up was like the LBJ 6 but the 2010 was oversized IMO. When I tried these 31’s on they reminded me of the 2010 and not so much the 18, the 18 outsole and shake were John Holmes stiff

  9. Hey nightwing great review! Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding of unlocked zoom is to have the flight plate distributing pinpoint pressure that was applied by our feet across the whole zoom bag this maximizing full potential of zoom air. Like physics pressure = force/area. The bottom where the bag protrudes out definitely helps u feel the cushion more, but I different rubber compound feels different. Xx8 had softer rubber and it was indeed wobbly, despite feeling great (also explains why they pop easy), while latter versions most recent being rising high 2 (?) feels much stiffer, maybe more stable? Solid rubber might also cure the traction problem. What’s ur opinion on maybe a xxx1 with solid rubber (jb probably wants clear rubber to showcase full length cushion).

  10. Great review Nightwing.

    I’ve balled in the melo m10 and AJ 29, and was looking forward to them continuing to improve the flightplate tech. I think the reason the m10/AJ28 setup wasn’t so “wobbly” to the point of being an issue is the fact that the heel outsole was pretty flat, compensating for the forefoot protrusion.

    When I heard they were doing the flightplate(/speed) technology with a full length zoom bag I was excited, but also confused as to how it would be implemented. From pictures I’ve seen the flight plate in the 31 doesn’t run over the heel, so really it is only engaging the front half of the bag, leaving the heel pretty average?

    I wish they’d go back to a setup similar to the 29, but with the inclusion of heel zoom. Just stick with what works with minor improvements.

  11. Expensive and a poor performer = No Buy!

    Jordan Brand should read reviews from Weartesters so they know what’s wrong with their shoes.

  12. So its a pretty good performer, but I don’t want a pretty good performer for $185. I know that performance is separate from price, but I can’t help wanting a reasonable price for a shoe. I don’t care whose name is slapped on it. I look at the performance and durability, and if I feel its equivalent to the price, then I’ll consider it. For the Jordan line launch prices, it should be revolutionary everytime they put them out. This is not revolutionary.

    Anyway, if you really need a Jordan, the 29 lows I think are on sale for like $79, and they probably perform better than these.

  13. So do all of you fanboys actually try on and wear shoes? Or do you all just d*ck ride NW and the other WT bloggers and take everything they say as fact? It seems that NW is super biased towards Adidas these days and if something isn’t boost with primeknit, he doesn’t praise it too heavily and the cronies in the comments start squawking about how bad this shoe is or doesn’t perform. Newsflash, this is his personal opinion. That doesn’t mean the shoe is bad or doesn’t work well, he just doesn’t prefer it. For any wide footers out there (myself), this shoe is AMAZING. The fit and support for wide feet as well as the good impact protection and court feel with a high ankle for good support for those of us that enjoy that, makes this shoe a VERY GOOD performer. Yeah it’s not Boost but what’s the point of having different brands if you all just want them all to feel the same way. This shoe is sexy imo and many others agree so my advice to all you fanboys is to form your own damn opinion. Watch reviews from multiple resources (Kickgenius, Weartesters, SoleBrothers etc.), try them on, and make your decisions from there. Tired of fucking seeing “OHhhhhhhhh CL boosts are SOOOOO good” or “Crazy explosives best shoe EVER!!! (Bc NW said it not bc you actually know)”. I’ve tried on and ran around in those shoes and they honestly don’t fit my foot well and aren’t that great. So stop being damn sheep and think on your own.

    1. Sorry, Matt. I’m not biased. I gave an unbiased review on these. Said what I thought was good and what I thought didn’t work out too well. Never did I say these weren’t good performers. I believe I even said the cushion and materials here were excellent, and pointed out the issue with the current setup of full length unlocked Zoom Air. Maybe you should try to relax, and let people have their own opinions. You seem to only want your opinion to be valid while everyone else is disregarded. You’re getting upset over a sneaker… a sneaker. I also said that these would be great for wide footers. So I’m not sure how you can feel I’m being biased when everything you’ve mentioned you enjoyed in the shoe is what I mentioned the shoe offered in the review. That’s a little strange, my man. That’s a little strange.

      1. First, I’ll say I never said your reviews were bad or inaccurate. It just seems obvious that you hold Nike and JB to a different standard cause you’re used to OG ball shoes where they went all out and feel recently they have been letdowns whereas Adidas was usually trash and now that they have good shoes, its overblown how good they are. Second, I never said people can’t have opinions, but I will say it’s super annoying and honestly sad to see people be so strong about opinions that aren’t their own. I was referring to readers who don’t even have their own opinion, but simply regurgitate everything you say without experiencing the shoe for themselves. I am fine with people have different opinions than me if they at least tried the shoe in some form and know firsthand what it’s about as opposed to what you say in your review. You honestly gave a good review of the JB XXXI, in my comment I don’t think I said anything negative about it. But what I was saying was that you seem to have more enthusiasm for Adidas models of late, and I would personally attribute that to their much better price points and again, being good shoes where they used to lack. But, from my point of view people don’t see what I see (you think this a good shoe) because you don’t say things in the same style you do for let’s say the CL boost or Crazy explosive and thus go straight to the YouTube or WT comments and talk as if they worn the shoe for months directly after reading your review. I’m not upset, more just annoyed and my stress levels are not even moved over the needle even a little bit. I just wanted to voice my opinion and displeasure with a lot of readers that take the hoard mentality and maybe discourage others from trying shoes based on no research of their own. Also, stop talking so condescending towards people like me who may say negative things of some sort on your site. I’m not a 14 year old kid like a lot of your readers, and feel my comment was pretty coherent in expressing my thoughts in a calm, and thoughtful manner. Get off of your moral pedestal and actually read what I wrote. I never even called you out directly, just made an observation based on body language in your videos and diction choices in your articles. I think this review is fine, I just got the sense right away that tons of commenters saw you weren’t as ecstatic as you were with some other shoes and automatically said “Oh these aren’t worth it, too pricey” “not good performers” when I think you would agree that’s not true.

        1. I don’t think I said you said the reviews were bad. You said I was being biased so that’s was a talking point. Can you also explain where I was being condescending towards you? Everything coming from you is a personal attack on me and my character, meanwhile all I’ve said about you is that you should relax a little. So, if you could point out where my high horse moment is that’d be great.

          I don’t talk mean to anyone. You read text in whatever tone and attitude you choose. If you choose to read things like a 14 year old then I cannot really help that. We are well aware of our readers demographics. Most are not 14 years old. We have a highly intelligent readership here that consists of well educated individuals. Of course, not everyone is the same… but we try to make anyone feel out of place. This is just sneakers, after all.

          But yeah, if you can point out where I personally attacked you (as you have me) along with the condescending portions then I’d be grateful so I could refrain from doing so in the future, since there seems to be a small number of people that take anything I reply back to them as me being mean, negative, condescending, or angry. Which is far from what you see in videos, so I have no clue how anyone can see those things unless that is the type of person they are vs the type of person I am.


          1. That whole last paragraph was very holier than thou.

            “I’d be grateful so I could refrain from doing so in the future, since there seems to be a small number of people that take anything I reply back to them as me being mean, negative, condescending, or angry.”

            Dude, come on. That sarcasm is the definition of condescending. You’d be “grateful”? lol. I like you and your content, but that was pretty disingenuous and seems like you think I was trying to attack you.

            Honestly it’s not a big deal, but when you say things like “You’re getting upset over a sneaker… a sneaker.” it’s hilariously ironic since your entire career is based around sneakers and if you don’t think that sounds entirely condescending well then I guess we’ll just agree to disagree.

            I really didn’t attack you at all; saying I feel like you’re biased is a character assassination? If you took it that way, I’m sorry, I really was just expressing how I interpret your body language and way of saying things, not that you are mean spirited or purposefully deceiving people on your reviews. I don’t think you’re biased in the sense that you give bad reviews, but that you seem to prefer certain cushion/materials at the moment for yourself which is fine it’s just I don’t think a lot of fans get that your personal preference doesn’t mean the other shoes are bad. And again, that’s why this wasn’t even directed at you. I literally said, “this is NW’s opinion of what he likes and prefers” when referring how you seem to smile more and are more demonstrative with your body language when describing shoes you personally prefer; but I agree you still say good things about other shoes. All I was meaning to say was that many of your fans see the body language, and don’t listen to the review and then base their “opinion” off of that when in reality, that is a product of your personal preference and not your professional opinion. I hope that clears up my original comment because I didn’t mean to come off as “Oh NW is terrible and he sucks at reviewing shoes and he hates Nike and JB so won’t give them a good review” because I obviously don’t think that to be true otherwise I wouldn’t visit the site. I just think fans misinterpret your work sometimes, which again is not your fault and why I wasn’t even coming at you in the first place, and that some of them need a wake up call because that sheep mentality is crippling my entire generation.

            1. Wow… okay.

              That wasn’t me being sarcastic. I was literally asking you to point out where things in what I write go wrong in a way for someone to interpret things in that way. It was more of a “help a brother out” thing, but instead you took the entire thing as me being disingenuous.

              Sarcasm is something that is typically delivered vocally with tone. I cannot speak to you verbally so you have no way of knowing what my tone or demeanor is when this is all just text. All of that is applied by you while reading something written.

              All you’ve done is bash me, which is fine. I get this from people daily. You straight up said I was being biased. That isn’t a comment on a thing, that is a comment on a person. That person is me. Then you try to explain why you’ve attacked me based on your ability to read my body language in a video? A video where I’m trying my hardest not to flail my damn hands and arms around like an idiot (which I do in person all the time as I talk with my hands a lot) so that it doesn’t distract people from the shoe and the information. I mean… wow.

              You’re literally picking me apart based on nothing at all. But you haven’t attacked me personally at all. That last sentence was definitely sarcasm lol.

              Anyway, I can see that no matter what I say that it’ll be turned around somehow. This is a main reason why I don’t reply to very many people anymore. There is always a handful of people that take me being active and engaging with readers/ viewers as if I’m being mean, disingenuous, condescending, riding in on a high horse and the list can go on.

              I do what I do here out of my own pocket. Yes, I accidentally turned this passion of mine into a business. But while doing so, I’ve never once taken any money from any person. Any revenue I’ve earned has gone right back into the site, reviews, equipment etc. I’ve never asked anyone for a donation as I feel that I could be more beneficial to people making this type of information free of charge. I pay for all the shoes we test (with the exception of a few pairs that get sent from brands here and there) and all the testers do this on our own time – unpaid. Then we come back online to converse with our readers, and some of them act like you. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt/ sting a bit because it definitely does. Especially when it comes unwarranted. It’s not like I put up an article and asked “Hey, Matt. How am I doing today?” You came here on your own, and wrote what you wrote on your own. All I did was invite you to my space (the website) to share my thoughts on a sneakers performance with you, and whoever else wanted to listen.

              Thanks for listening. Seriously, not disingenuously, or sarcastically… or anything of the sort. Genuinely. Thanks. I appreciate it.

          2. I respect your feelings and truly apologize if you think I am bashing you. I’ll say it directly, I do not and never have thought you were a bad reviewer or think anything bad about you. I guess looking back, the way you took it, it was wrong of me to use the word bias because you feel that degrades your work as a professional sneaker reviewer. I’m sorry you felt that way, because honestly it wasn’t the original intent of my comment. I will say it again because I didn’t communicate this to you well enough before but my comment was directed at other readers/commenters. I never was intending to diss you because there’s nothing to hate on. I was simply fed up with commenters basically not having simple comprehension skills and strongly defending and spreading their uninformed opinions everywhere. And again, if it sounded like I was somehow entitled I apologize because it wasn’t my intent. I really was hating more on other readers as opposed to you. I get that the comment on Adidas vs. JB hurt you but it was a tiny detail in the grand scheme of things. I clearly mentioned in my last comment that what I was interpreting wasn’t any intentional harm on your part. It was my opinion. I wasn’t trying to speak for you, all I was doing was giving my thoughts and why certain people were coming to conclusions from your reviews based on things you never said. I know that you aren’t biased on purpose and I said that multiple times in the comment. All I was saying is that the way people perceive your information can factor in your body language in videos and articulation in articles, which again is nothing you can control. Haha this comment chain is ridiculously long and I didn’t think this would be that big of an issue. I felt you were condescending towards me because it looked to you like I was attacking you, and when I tried to clarify that I wasn’t, you continued to say that I was trying to attack you. I apologized and reiterated my true intent and then you continue to mention how I am personally attacking you. I respect your reviews and opinions and take them to help me inform my own. Thanks for the great content and keep doing what you do, I never meant to detract from or bash your success, because you are at the top of the industry. I retract my statements about your bias because you have told me directly that you do not have any. Sorry if I came off as a hater, that’s the opposite of the truth.

        2. Dude unless u spell d*ck ride with a “u” I think u r angry and butthurt and even more so after he replied and u felt more embarrassed. Any grown man would take others’ opinion with a grain of salt, u don’t have to act like u r reincarnation of Jesus Christ holding everyone to a certain moral standard. Their reviews are helpful because not everyone has the luxury of being able to try on every pair of shoes. U wanna learn abt certain aspects of a pair of shoes before maybe order online, with fit being one of the most important one. Heck many cant even afford to buy more than 2 pairs per season so obviously they need to get a better idea before investing their lunch month for next month.

          Why u so bothered by a Jordan shoe not getting as good of a review anyway? JB pays u? To be honest, Jordan charges u more than what other brands offers in equivalent (full length boost bs full length zoom). Why should we ecstatic that they finally added some better specs when they have been charging top dollars for mediocre spec for a few years now?

          If u think u ain’t butthurt, stay off the comment section cuz it’s getting wmbarassing

          1. “Why u so bothered by a Jordan shoe not getting as good of a review anyway? JB pays u? To be honest, Jordan charges u more than what other brands offers in equivalent (full length boost bs full length zoom). Why should we ecstatic that they finally added some better specs when they have been charging top dollars for mediocre spec for a few years now?”

            This rhetoric is exactly what I’m talking about. I’m not bothered by the rating at all that’s NW’s opinion and he is totally entitled to it, I’m bothered by people like you who aren’t even weartesting the shoe calling it “mediocre”. You have no idea unless you’ve tested it yourself, which I’m assuming if you don’t think it’s good you would never buy the shoes in the first place.

            Price shouldn’t factor into performance. First of all, if you can’t afford something that is $40 more, maybe you shouldn’t be buying any shoes if they aren’t in the budget. That’s besides the point but it’s not as though they are $250 anymore.

            I never said you should be ecstatic, but don’t bash the shoe when you haven’t worn it. You honestly have no idea. If NW says a shoe is bad, that still doesn’t make me think that the shoe is awful and can’t be worn. It just shows me that he personally doesn’t like it and more people should treat it that way instead of telling other people in the comments or all over social media that the shoe is trash “Because Nightwing said so”. Because if you’ve never worn the shoe, then you are basically only going off of what he said and that’s dumb if you’re going to debate other people. If you think I’m butthurt go ahead, but I don’t feel stressed or hurt over it at all. More just had to air out my opinion because too many dumb people post unintelligent, uninformed comments.

  14. NW, you mentioned the KD9s being the best version of full-length “unlocked Zoom”, did you mean that as a figure of speech? The Phylon is thinner but the feel reminds me more of the bottom-loaded units we’ve seen before (AJ2010), but upgraded with the segmented forefoot. How would you compare the XXXI to the XX8 comfort wise?
    Solid outsoles are releasing so that should take care of the traction issue.

    1. Unlocked Zoom is where there is nothing restricting its compression once pressure is applied. So in that sense, exposed Zoom Air is truly unlocked and is greater (in volume) than a basic full length Zoom unit that’s been bottom loaded. Something that hinders the 31’s Zoom from being completely unlocked is that its encased in the rubber outsole, but the outsole also acts as a piston, pushing it up when compressed and thats where its able to expand. Whereas the KD9 is just there, out in the open and compresses with pressure.

      I think the pure volume of air and impact absorption on the KD9 is greater. Court feel is about the same since they removed most of the midsole on the KD so you’re nearly at the same distance from the ground in either shoe.

      As far as comfort, 28 vs 31, I’d go with the 31. It’s full length and feels more even. Whereas the 28 had the butt forefoot unit with a flat heel. Once you get used to the wobbling of the 31 I think it’s fine, but being full length also is what caused the wobbling in the first place. This is why I mentioned that I think with some fine tuning that this could be a great setup as it has a really solid foundation to start with.

  15. The KD9s slow me down… Playing straight up and down is ok, but going side to side on offense or defense I feel slower. They’re cushioned well, but it gives too much when I need it to lock in. Will give the 31s a try.

    1. I’m in total agreement on this one. The KD9s feel a little unstable side to side for me, which slows me down. I really like the zoom setup in the 31s and find it a better balance of impact protection, court feel, and responsiveness.

  16. I’ve only played in these for 3 sessions so far, so my opinions are pretty raw. Solid, quality shoe, but I’ve been enjoying the KD 9s zoom setup much more. I do like the 31 better than the 29s and 30s, namely because I hated that tendril setup on the outsole. Also, with the 29s and 30s, I felt like I was on top of a shoe, rather than in the shoe. I definitely prefer more outsole coverage, than less. The 28s were the only exception, but those rode lower to the ground than the 29s and 30s (damn those zoom bag pops).

    1. Oh, forgot to say thanks for the review btw! I appreciate the community you guys have established here through out the years.

  17. Nightwing u better watch out. Ppl aren’t buying Jordan’s cuz u didn’t like them. JB gonna send out hitmen for u.

    “Price shouldn’t factor into performance”. I hope this guy never posts again…

    Thanks for the review, u r helping a lotta ppl. As I said, ppl who could only afford so many pairs of shoes definitely shud hear some opinions before buying. For those who’s gonna buy the newest Jordan anyways and needs to know that others thinks the same shud just…well, not visit here

    1. Dude wrote a damn novel defending his beloved 31s. He should march down to his local city hall and marry them immediately. He is obviously infatuated. Hey, some guy in Japan married a pillow.

      1. You’re totally right dude! I mean it’s not like you read novels by these writers on shoes all the time, but yeah for sure there’s something up with me! FOH with that BS man sorry intelligent people like to debate things instead of believing everything they’re told.

    2. If you can’t afford a $160 shoe but can afford a $110 shoe, something is wrong with your finances and you should probably budget your money a little better. It’s not like some shoes are $500 and some are $30…

  18. @NT
    Greet review man…been following and reading your performance reviews for almost 3 months now. Keep it up and may God Bless you always and the rest of the WT team.

    if you’re only going to give such a response over NT’s reviews then put up your own site and do shoe reviews yourself then will see what others well say to you. If you don’t have something nice to say just keep it to yourself. Just appreciate that someone is doing these things/stuff to guide us on our hoop shoe purchases. You don’t have to take everything, at the end of the day it’s still your own decision that you’re going to follow whether to cop a shoe or not. WT doesn’t dictate you on what to buy, they’re just there to give advice and points on what the shoe offers. Just keep it cool

    1. Yeah, I wasn’t trying to start shit, really just voiced my disapproval with readers. People are taking this too seriously.

      1. a revolution always starts with one voice… i think these jokers are not taking us seriously and crapping on our support..i think you’ve got NW’s attention. I see questions sitting in the comment section for ages without any response..Brava Matt, thanks for starting the fire. I hope more will help keep it alive!

        1. hey NW…why don’t you go back to all the comments for your posts for the last year. I think some supporters (who have been there since you were on sneakerfiles), are a bit gutted that you’ve changed and have become an elitist..you don’t address the concerns we ask and you are not as interactive as you were back in the days of kickscourt. we love you and support your site to what it has become today, although the quantity has increased, the quality has declined. you are too ‘mainstream’ and you’ve forgotten where you came from. I guess only someone like Matt can open your eyes and force you to interact with your readers. (Thanks Matt, I applaud your effort). Anyways, to all fans and supporters remembers WT is nothing without us. The traffic we give them, the support we give them..following on IG, FB and Twitter and all that, we make them what they are. If we stop coming here, and stop supporting they will have to close down one day. WT should be taught a lesson on humility and needs to humble down. All those free shoes and gears are getting to your head. I’ve been with you since day 1 NW, and I don’t think I am the only one that feels this way. #solesquad

          PS: i pitied you when Nicekicks trademarked KicksonCourt and pushed you to change your name to WT.
          **I can do this all day

          1. You do realize that you and Matt are the same person, right? Like, we can see your IP address and every other bit of info it provides to us on the back end of the site. You’re literally talking to yourself lol.

          2. LMAO bruh be talking to himself.

            “Hey Matt, like the AJ XXX1?”
            “Yup, Maggs, I’m digging them”
            “What do you want for lunch today? Pizza?”
            “Nah, we had that yesterday.”

        2. A revolution? On a sneaker website that provides visitors with free information? A revolution should stand for something important. Something meaningful. To fight against oppression, racism, slavery, segregation… not a sneaker website because not every single comment that isn’t replied to.

          1. i am standing up to egotistical douches like you who they they are above other..elitism is also a form of discrimination, which is what this is!

          2. Nightwing don’t entertain this guy…Doesn’t deserve your attention and energy. Thanks for the reviews btw

          3. Hey NW, your discovery is hilarious. You now have me wondering if half of the comments are now coming from the same kid lol. Not sure how much time you spent responding to the same person but I bet you’d like to have that part of your life back to do other things if you could go back in time. I find myself still getting sucked into these long debates that go nowhere even when I’ve told myself I wouldn’t again..keep up the good work, you and I were born in the same era (early 80s) and enjoy the same shoes.

          4. You literally just lied straight out of your teeth. Show me the IP address that shows we’re the same person. Because I don’t support anything that guy said, but for you to accuse me of being them is outrageous. I sent this from work, so maybe the intranet for my company has a similar IP address to someone else, but I guarantee my email address doesn’t match and we are not the same person. It’s hilarious that you would be such a shithead to lie and try to belittle someone else’s comments. His comments were so dumb, but the fact you’re trying to say we’re the same person is honestly laughable.

          5. I would legitimately do anything to prove you’re wrong on this so give me a way to prove I’m not this guy and I’ll prove you’re absolutely lying. Literally dude ask for my phone number, IG, Twitter, anything and do the same for this other person.

            1. Calm down, Matt. I replied to the wrong Matt comment. Why are you so quick to be offended? The other “Matt” had been bouncing around numerous posts with the same email and IP — not as yours, but as Mags. You stay steady with the insults as well.

  19. Not all readers are as sensible and aware as you and I are, we can agree to disagree, however lot of us try to do the best we can to accommodate. Yes, we all have full-time jobs too, but again, we can’t stare at a website 24/7, but the website does provide enough in-depth knowledge over the course of all reviews to “hopefully” help the user understand the details of the product they plan to or not plan to obtain.
    We also try to get to as much questions as we can, but some do fall through the cracks (darnit!). We can only hope that some, if not most users do take the time to learn a little about the shoe on what works particularlly for them. Everyone’s foot is shaped and engulfed differently to each product, so we hope people understand the simplicities of that. We’ve provided the platform, the rest is up to them where they spend their money, and hopefully with a little insight from us, make the right decision on what works best for them on- court. Just because we enjoy the shoe, doesn’t mean someone else might. Just a daily reminder for the reader, right?
    Thanks for reading!

  20. Thank you Nightwing for another great report. I love this site. Honestly, the best in-depth reviews for shoes and the first place I read when making buying decisions for performance footwear. Thank you for putting the weight of the shoe on the stats (14.03 oz) for the Jordan 31. My only question is, what is your shoe size so I know where the weight came from?

    I really hope they make the 31 in a low. The 29 low was amazing and now a great bargain.

      1. Yo quick question on this – is this the weight of a single shoe or both shoes total? Without the box right?

  21. @NYJUMPMAN23

    Well explained man. Hopefully MATT understands it. lol
    I do hope he finds something productive rather than say crap on this site.


    You’re not a child anymore so don’t act like one. You said it yourself that you’re not a 14 yr old kid. Be grateful and show some appreciation on their work.

  22. By the way, on a random note when you were comparing the Jordan 14 retro smell with the OG smell you sounded like me. My parents still laugh at me to this day knowing I can tell if a Jordan is fake or not by the smell.

  23. Nightwing – I must be the only person on earth who loves the 30s! I copped these before seeing your review, they’re in the post now so hopefully I enjoy these too ….

    1. You are not, some guy on YouTube argued with me that they were the perfect shoe, as in the best ever. I like them OK but I think that is a stretch. They fixed some issues with the XX9 (more stable fit in both the ankle and toe) but that was maybe restrictive for some people. The traction took a step backwards, which is puzzling since the tooling didn’t change much at all. I guess the clear rubber was a big factor. For me they were sort of a cheat to the public, they should have been the XX9 SE and the XXX should have been a new set up. I think that set me against them from the start. They do perform OK but nothing that the M11 didn’t already do and do better for me.

  24. Great review as always. I think people miss the purpose of this site and the reviews. Most people can not afford multiple pair of basketball shoes or play enough to justify purchasing multiple pairs. These reviews are to educate the consumer so he/she can make a purchase that best suited for performance needs. Unfortunately, many consumers are not able to buy and test which product is best for their needs. This is why WT and NW have become a viable option to educate a person about performance aspects of a sneaker. I have been following NW reviews since the Kobe V days. He was reviewing shoes on his desk with a desk top calendar. That doesn’t mean I purchase every shoe he likes or recommends. Right now, I am playing in the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit and it is one of my favorite Nike shoes of all time. Last winter and spring I was playing in the DRose 6 and Jcrossover 2. Different shoes fit my game better than others as I get older and my game changes. Plus, we are all different sizes, builds, and foot shapes. I understand the sheeple comment because our society is driven by commercialism and do not always form an educated opinion. Everyone is entitled now. There is a good way to hand out constructive criticism in order to help with growing professionally, but so many are just negative with the delivery. I applaud you NW and rest of the WT for the effort. Are you always right with your review? Probably not, but you are trying and I feel you guys do it for the right reason. I can honestly say, NW and actually Just4kicks 212 with his tech closets have help me become educated in performance tech so I can better manage my performance purchases. Thank you all.

  25. Hey NW, first off–thanks for all the great reviews. I’m about your age, and this has become–by far–my favorite sneaker review site. I keep thinking as I look at these AJ XXX1’s though…they just seem like slight changes of the AJ2010. Full-length bottom-loaded zoom, achilles padding, wide toe, light…I dunno. I’m just saying–I LOVE the AJ2010 (I know, people always hate on their looks, but whatever), and it seems like they took back-steps on trying to “improve” on previous incarnations of shoes–namely the 18s and 2010s.

    1. I thought the 2010 was wider than these, almost too wide (and I have a wide foot). They were also more stable although that is a trade off because I didn’t like the way the outrigger felt, especially when moving laterally. I think a shoe right between the two in terms of lateral support and width would be *perfect* for me, personally. I also think the 2010 had softer cushion but it wasn’t as fluid and didn’t have the same bounce in the toe (felt flatter). The lockdown is sorta similar but different. I liked the the way the 2010 fit in the heel more but not so much in the toe. An underrated shoe, at least for me, was the Team Jordan 2010. Sort of a no-frills version of the 2010. Loved the fit, heel-to-toe ride, cushioning and speed on those. They weren’t as a built up as the regular 2010 but had enough support for me.

  26. Great review Nightwing. I just got the Rios and I’m really liking them so far. I’m a heavy foot striker and zoom feels responsive and stable. I know that 18 side to side tipping and these don’t have it for me. Probably since I’m heavier and compress the zoom a little more.

  27. Dear Nw,
    Appreciated ur well performance on shoes testing all the time ,kindly let me be everything get to be straight, “anyone have their own free choices for shoes or clothes , attitudes, education, financial ,relationship”… so, as above my words will be simple and easy to understand, right? give u thumbs!

    By the way, I still prefer to aj12 ! Even though, JB less the thickness of full length zoom air in 2016 retro version…that make me disappointed,
    How about HD 2016 fk ? Like aj12 bouncy feeling? Don’t tell me similar to hyperrev 2014
    Thank you!

  28. Wore them on court for the first time tonight. Cushion is really nice for me. Traction on the other hand was really subpar. Played on a clean court freshly resurfaced and just couldn’t get the traction to bite. Almost like it wouldn’t stick to the varnishe. I belive nightwing might have mentioned something similar as well.

  29. Hey NW,
    Always appreciate the work you do! I was someone who went from the retro 13’s to the 30’s, and was looking forward to your review on the 31’s so I could see what the fit difference would be from the 30’s to 31’s. Unfortunately being in Australia we don’t get the opportunity to try them on before buying, so your info (along with other wear testers) is vital to knowing what size we need to go with.

    Thankyou again! Keep it up!

  30. Put in a lot more time into these and I have to say it’s a shame that the traction on the 31s is so inconsistent with how much I like the materials and overall fit + comfort. I’ve really been trying to make these work at the top of my rotation, but I may have finally given up on playing in ’em after all the slipping I’ve experienced at a local rec center I play at with average floors. For reference, when I swapped to the KD9s on the same floor, I had 0 issues with traction. I say inconsistent, because I’ve had acceptable traction at a couple other gyms I play at occasionally.

    1. I ran into someone today on the court and they had the 31s on. I was telling him how sold mine cause the traction was just too bad. He told me I had to be patient. He said his were the same but he kept playing in them and the traction broke in and is good now. He said you gotta let the that top rubber layer of the traction shave down. Took him about a week and some change.

  31. Hey nightwing, wanna start by saying I love your site, I visit multiple times a week. Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of people arguing with you and it bothers me, cause I think you do a good job of letting viewers know that your experience with a said shoe may be different than theirs. For me it’s easy to understand, we all have different feet!! I don’t always agree with you but I still appreciate your opinion. Thanks for listening.

  32. I worked in research and development for NIKE Basketball and Jordan Brand footwear. The surface of the clear TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) used for the outsole is less porous and slicker than solid or gum rubber. It collects dirt and dust very easily. We had the same traction issues when testing the AJ XVI.

    I haven’t played on unlocked Zoom Air yet – I prefer a Double-Stacked Zoom Air heel and a regular Zoom Air forefoot.

    I really enjoyed your writing; keep up the good work.

  33. You guys have got to break the Xxx in. Play hard in it and you’ll love it. You’ll be surprised. Jog around and you’ll hate it. It’s an all out shoe. Not for joggers …

  34. So far my experience has been a little different. I thought there was definitely break-in time with the forefoot and while it’s slightly wider than the XX9/XXX I don’t find it to be super ample. I had a thick pair of Jordan socks on when I first broke these out and I had to remove the laces and give them time to expand up front. Once they did, they were good to go and I had great lockdown throughout the shoe, including the forefoot. My foot is on the wide side but nothing drastic (a 2E running shoe would be pushing it, more like smack between D and 2E).

    I love the cushion, personally, so much more in the heel than its predecessors had and they feel great through the midfoot. I liked the XX8 setup more–more speed and your felt the forefoot Zoom a bit more–but they also gave me minor soreness i the midfoot if I played in them for more than a couple hours. These have a nice mix of softness and support in the midfoot, which is welcome.

    I also loved the heel/ankle area, reinforced for superior fit and lockdown. If they added some other support feature I think they might be too rigid but that’s just a guess since I’d have to see what they actually added. I don’t think they are as good as say the old Big Flyer or the UA Torch 2–my two favorite ankle support setups of all time–but they are good. Unlike the XX9, I don’t think the woven upper makes the forefoot sloppy or lack support. They feel pretty solid to me.

    One area where I will definitely agree is stability, particularly once you get moving. I don’t know how to describe it but you definitely move to the lateral side more than you’d like in these and they don’t have anything that acts as a strong outrigger. As a bigger player I do not mind this but for guards I bet it would be annoying or at least take some getting used to.

    I also agree with you about the traction. Fickle indoors and not good outdoors. I hope some pairs will come out without translucent rubber, which I generally despise. So far that doesn’t look good though. Gum rubber on the shattered backboard pair would have been killer and an EXT type setup would be a welcome addition also. As it is, they don’t dig in to most surfaces very well, squeak is average at best. That was a disappointment because I thought the XX8 had incredible traction, maybe the best ever, and I also liked the XX9 setup (except the clear-soled colorways). Though they didn’t last super long, the XX9/SF4/M11 all played great outdoors. Zero hope for these outdoors IMO.

    Overall I think starting at $185 is very fair for these, especially since you can find many colors for around $140 shipped already and that price will continue to decrease. You get good materials, a lot of cushion and a firmly built shoe for the price. Some of the colors are also visually appealing. Some missed potential here but I think the lower price and higher tech are both encouraging trends.

  35. @nightwing2303 how was traction on the outdoor court you were playing on, I’m gonna play on a similar surface so…?

  36. I got a couple pairs but mostly wore them casually after reading this shoe being panned so widely. Now I am playing in them some and I actually like the overall performance. I am a pretty straight ahead player so the traction doesn’t bother me and the tippiness was a one day adjustment. Somewhat similar to the LeBron 15 in both regards, though I like those a bit more because of the more flexible materials.

    With the 31, well, the cushion is pretty solid in my view. I preferred the xx8 but would take these over the 29 and 30 easily. The cored out foam in the heel felt like nothing, though I admit they engineered both models to keep you on your forefoot effectively. These have more heel zoom and I think a pretty nice transition, definitely great impact protection. Not an ideal setup because of the lack of stability but softness, impact protection and step in comfort are all very good.

    Support I thought was adequate in the forefoot and great in the heel and ankle area. Nice padding around the ankle. To me the battle Grey had the best material setup with less knit. The knit here is not as cheesy as the kobe 9, as floppy as the xx9 or j crossover 2 (2.5 much better) or as odd fitting as the anta kt3, but it is a little odd. Not like Primeknit or battle knit, still just a bit too stiff. In one pair this caused discomfort, the first banned pair, but later ones had no issues.

    Overall they could have kept the outsole a bit simpler and stabilized the shoe better, but outside of that I think these played pretty well, especially for a bigger player

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