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BrandBlack J Crossover 3 Performance Review

BrandBlack is back with the third iteration of the popular J Crossover line. Hopefully they were able to meet the expectations set by the J Crossover 2.

Buy Brandblack J Crossover 3
BrandBlack J Crossover 3 Performance Review 1

Traction BrandBlack’s Blade traction is back with the J Crossover 3. The original wear-test samples offered less than stellar traction, but BrandBlack was able to throw on a ton of texture to the rubber mold which enabled the compound to grip the floor much better than before.

On clean courts you’re going to receive some of the best traction you’ve ever had, but when dust is present you’ll want to do what you can to keep the outsole clean. Again, the texture helped with this a lot, so you won’t need to focus on your traction the entire time you’re playing, but it won’t hurt anything by wiping at dead balls.


Cushion Jetlon, while awesome, has been replaced with what BrandBlack is calling Black Foam. It’s a foam midsole that has 20% more rebound…aka rubber. Super bouncy stuff, and highly unstable by itself. Hence the upgraded Force Vector plates used along the midsole. This stabilizes the ride so you don’t feel like you’ve got Flubber on your soles. If you like cushion, need impact protection, hoop primarily outdoors, or whatever the case may be… try this stuff out. Your knees can thank me later.

BrandBlack J Crossover 3 Performance Review 2

Materials Cordura mesh is found along the entire upper with Fuse overlays in high-wear areas that also add support. If you hate breaking in a shoe then you won’t have to worry about these as the upper feels broken in from the moment you lace them up. This type of mesh is a woven thread so there is going to be some stretching involved with the amount of force that’s applied during basketball movements.

That’s where the TPU overlays really comes into play. At the forefoot, the rand that makes it’s way to the lateral forefoot keeps that high-wear area from stretching too much. Crossovers, cuts, and quick changes of direction will be covered, all thanks to the TPU overlays.

BrandBlack J Crossover 3 Performance Review 3

Fit I feel that these run 1/2 size big, especially once you’ve played in them a bit. Going down 1/2 size will create a much tighter fit, but once you’ve worked the upper out after a couple runs you’ll be glad you went down. Wide footers will want to go true to size, otherwise you’ll compromise the support, which is already minimal.

Lockdown is great, especially at the midfoot. The collar area is also awesome when laced tightly, but that area has some awesomness of it’s own going on. Not only is the ankle collar anatomically correct for a perfect fit, but the interior also features huge Achillies pillows that cup the entire ankle area without any chaffing or hot spots.

BrandBlack J Crossover 3 Performance Review 4

Support Much like the J Crossover 2, support is on the minimal side due to the nature of the materials used. That’s not to say that the support isn’t sufficient, it’s just not sufficient for everyone. These are Guard oriented shoes so that’s what to expect. You’ll get plenty of support for Guard movements, but larger players that play like big men will likely want to stick with the Force Vector.

The support relies heavily on the fit — so make sure you get that taken care of — while other pieces are in place to help move things along. Heel counter, TPU shank, outrigger, and even an additional shroud that will provide you with a little less stretch along the ankle collar area for those that wish to have a bit more support in that location.

BrandBlack J Crossover 3 Performance Review 5
BrandBlack J Crossover 3 Performance Review Score

Overall I like the J Crossover 2 a bit more, but that isn’t taking anything away from the J Crossover 3. If you love trying out new cushion setups then this is a must-have for that alone. Materials are awesome, and the overall look takes BrandBlack’s slogan of “Look good winning” to another level. There’s a clear evolution between the J Crossover 1, 2, and now 3. It makes me anticipate what else BrandBlack has up its sleeve.

    1. Hey Nightwing my questioni a the black foam better than boost? Or could you make a comparison between the black d rose’s and the j crossover III PLZ

  1. How do you compare the fit on these to the JC2? I got the JC2 in 7.5 and thought they were a bit tight, and got a Force Vector premium in 8, and they were perfect.

    Great video as always.

  2. They look like a famelic af1…but uglier! no performance highlights, no off cout appeal, total miss, a clear fail and that’s me reading between the lines of your review NW

  3. Naaahhhh you kiddin right?! Man these look fugly! An overused silohuette taken directly from the FUBU catalogue? REALLY?! That last line got me thinking: “It makes me anticipate what else BrandBlack has up its sleeve.” Well, my man, take a trip to the nearest Payless and wonder at the possibilities, WHAT A JOKE!

    1. dude be polite come on. Everyone has different opinions and u don’t need to trash his for being different than yours.

  4. Cool ?, guard orientated with great cushioning. Is Brandblack going to expand out to retailers or are they strictly online.

  5. Hey nightwing, how does the traction perform outdoors? Because in one of the pics youre at a outdoor court and I just got curious. Better than indoors or worse?

  6. Nightwing, due to the materials change (from woven upper to cordura mesh), do you think that is a downgrade or something?

  7. I think i’ll be picking these up, but not right away, i got my pair of jc2’s for 110, so i think ill stick with those. But for now i think im going to cop the curry 2 longshots, curry 2 home, and curry 2 suit and tie

  8. I’m looking forward to try these out. I loved the JC 2 and Jetlon. The weight of 13.8 oz; is that with or without the shroud?I like the shroud aesthetically, but hope it doesn’t add more weight.

    1. The weight of the shroud doesn’t affect the the shoe at all. Yet, the shroud is less than a .1 ounce itself. It’s pliable to play with our without it. It just depends on your preference of fit.

  9. Awesome performance review man. I feel like the only step back in these is the materials, I feel like the JC2’S was better in that aspect.

  10. thanks. another shoe on my radar list for next year. I somehow have the same feelings towards the shroud. I just don’t like the look and I’m glad that it is removable.

  11. On outdoor courts, is the impact protection of blackfoam at par with boost?

    Also, in the JC2, the toe part where wear and tear is faster, did they improve this on JC3?

    I would really like to try this. I feel condura mesh is one of the more durable types of woven material.

    1. Impact protection is perfectly fine if you’ve felt it on the JC2 itself. The blackfoam performs on par with Boost. The Force vector plates hold the rubber from being overly bouncy, while giving proper stability. Wear and Tear on a shoe is normal depending on surface and how you play.

  12. OK, another Hall of Fame-Cushion! How is the cushion-setup compared to the Rose 6-Boost in terms of impact protection, courtfeel and responsiveness? What cushion setup would you prefer? I am really curious about the JC 3 now because of that Hall of Fame-badge…
    And nice review, as always! Keep up the great work, I really appreciate it!

    1. Great question and a perfect comparison. Jetlon I did *not* think compared closely to Zoom Air or even all that closely to Micro G. I think it was sort of a hybrid, think about maybe Formotion setup in the TMac 6 but without the fluidity/speed or Micro G but much sloppier in terms of weight distribution and court feel.

      Here, the Black Foam is pretty much what you would *hope* Boost would be upon seeing it. It looks similar but it’s lower-profile (not as high of a stack height versus Rose 6) and SOFTER. I think the Boost cushion is a little more durable in the long term and, importantly on a use-to-use basis. I think if you played an hour in both shoes, you’d prefer the Black Foam. It’s soft, responsive and a big improvement on what was a decent cushioning setup in the JC2. If you played for three hours, you’d probably prefer the Rose 6 Boost.

      Now, that’s just comparing the cushioning. To me these were a bit disappointing in other areas. The only edge I would give them over the Rose 6 is breathability, they are much better ventilated. The reason is the mesh through the midfoot and toe. That has disadvantages. I think it has better lockdown and support than some other iffy-containment-having mesh shoes (e.g. KD7) but it’s still a minor issue. They have an overlay material that makes sure there is no slippage in the toes. The lockdown at the ankle is pretty good if you fiddle around with it and the backing is effective without being intrusive (foot is held in place, here is supported but no heavy material or aggressive heel counter on these). That said, the Rose 6 cradles the heel effectively (nice external counter, right?) and the PrimeKnit version and leather version (only two I have used) are much better materials. The PK fits great throughout the foot and as an older guy I like the feel of leather even if the fit is not quite as precise. That brings me to my main gripe with the JC3, this does not feel like a $160 shoe, the materials are just not that strong to merit that kind of MSRP. It has pretty solid engineering and design, the cushioning tech is great and the fit/support are at least adequate. But comparing this with its competitors at the price point, it’s average at best. A company without a big name behind them should focus on performance and value. These come up just a little short in that regard, but then again you can find them for $60-$90 and at that price they are worth a shot.

  13. If anyone knows how to but them in Europe reply me please, the last time i checked BrandBlack doesn’t sell out of US.

    1. You can order them from Footaction and Champs Sports, but shipping is $40.

      No word yet on when Revolve Clothing will get these.

        1. Yeah, sorry, looks like they’re an in store exclusive, at least for now. Revolve will probably have them soonish, at least I hope. I fortunately had a friend pick up a pair before he came home for Xmas, so I’m sorted for now.

  14. Does the shroud provide any extra support? And if so would it have moved your rating up to staring five (because I see that you took yours off)? Thanks so much, I always love reading your reviews.

  15. This has been a very confusing product launch: Rapid sellouts on 3 sites, physical product scattered around the country, the remaining sites haven’t posted product online, and the company not providing online release dates for Finishline, Champs, and Footaction.

    I’m happy that physical stores have the shoes, it feels like the online release was handicapped. I’m ready to buy 4 pairs as soon as sites have product.

    1. The online release was definitely handicapped. I’m not buying that they sold out that quick unless they literally had like 4 pairs of each size available. I say each size available because there’s no way that every size, big to small, sold out that quick with reasonable numbers produced. I also never once saw the all black show up on the site. That was the only one that I would have truly been interested in.

      1. It feels like January 1st is the real launch date and this was a test of physical and online distribution. No straight answers about Champs, Footaction, Finishline online inventory made me curious. Shoe Palace must be based in California, because only Nike moves product that fast.

  16. so the brandblack ether has the same cushion setup, im not knocking these its just prefer that silhouette. when do the ethers release, u happen to know youself NW?

    1. They do, and I prefer the Ether as well. It’ll retail for less and offer a bit more traditional support due to the build while offering dope materials. They drop in Spring.

  17. How would you compare the fit of the JC3 to the Mirage XB Sport Mid? I’ve got the Mirage and I noticed there was little more room in the forefoot. Thank you and keep up the great work!

  18. This new cushion setup or the Boost in the Rose 6?
    Great review as always man! Glad to see companies like BrandBlack, Anta, Li-Ning, etc getting love at least here at weartesters, trying to get my friends out of the Nike/Jordan bandwagon and try something different.

  19. Is it just me? I think I already saw the Top 4 shoes of Nightwing for 2015, played on the last part of the video? I guess it is also on that same order… Can you confirm this Sir Nightwing?

    1. Depends on the knee problems boss. I had to go through knee physical therapy last year with lingering issues every now and again and either one of those options should be fine for you if the damage to your knee is not significant. Rose 6 is the pinnacle but I have all 3 (Rose 6, JC2, and JC3) and can testify that my knee doesn’t hurt after playing in any of them.

  20. Yo Nightwing I think there nice but that christmas day colorway seemed a bit different in the way it was built the cape looked as if it were stitched on to the shoe and instead of mesh the upper was synthetic they looked a little more Dope than these will they release that model as a JC3.5 or something ???

  21. I picked these shoes up and knew right off the bat they were not for me and here’s why: yes the cushion was nice and felt great walking on them but the lockdown was loose. My ankle is already slipping. Yes I could go 1/2 size down but likely will be tight on the toe box. For me the shoe felt more like a casual walking shoe than a bball performer. My regret is that I could not try out the J Cross 2 since they are sold out everywhere and have many positive reviews. Still searching for a good shoe. 🙁
    Other shoes that have disappointed: Curry 2, Drose 6, Melo M11, Hyper Rev 6. Someone help! I need shoes as good as my hyperdunks 2012/2013 and Clutchfit Drives!

  22. how does the traction last in the outdoor courts? Is the rubber durable? Will the gum bottom be more durable which i mean the off white ether or Weartester Ether?

  23. Finally picked up my pair from FL. I went half size down and they got but very snug, i can barely move my email roots but can’t move my toes at all. Hopefully they will break in like the KD7. But other than that i like the shoes and love the shoes for under $50 but i did have to pay Duty+Tax on them. I really like how the toe part area is cushioned which will help when i stub my toes against the shoe.

    1. Going a half size down was a mistake, these fit true to size and especially so if your foot is wide at all.

      I bought my usual size 11. The more I wear them, the more I like them. I still think they could have used finer materials but the upper but the lockdown is still decent. Cushioning is super soft. Love these for casual wear, too, in fact I plan to wear them now.

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