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BrandBlack J Crossover II Performance Review

My current favorite hoop shoe of all time…

BrandBlack J Crossover II Performance Review 1Traction – I thoroughly enjoyed the traction on the J Crossover II. The initial pairs I had tested would begin to fray after I played in them, but it seems as if they’ve completely fixed that issue as the retail pair I’ve been playing in hasn’t worn down along the outsole at all. Outdoor hoopers might not want to play in these, even thought the rubber is stronger, just because it didn’t grip as nicely as it had indoors. If dust was ever an issue, a simple wipe was all that was needed to get back on track. I’d actually wipe the soles across the woven upper, since it’s cloth, and that would clean the soles without me needing to touch them… which I found to be pretty convenient.



BrandBlack J Crossover II Performance Review 2Cushion – Jetlon is back, and it’s better than what was used in the JC1. They’ve increased the amount of rubber used which not only provides you with more cushion, but it also delivers a bouncy responsiveness to them while in motion. It literally felt like I had full length Zoom units under my feet… or some Micro G… either way, I’m not complaining. Transition was super smooth and they even provide a cushioned sock liner/ insole that will mold to your foot nicely. With the additional rubber to the foam mix, you could potentially run into instability issues, but they’ve place support wings along the medial and lateral sides of the midsole to prevent that from happening. If you’re hesitant to try a foam for cushion… then you might want to reconsider.



BrandBlack J Crossover II Performance Review 3Materials – The heel portion utilizes a nice synthetic leather, much like the JC1 used along its entire upper. Then the entire shoe from midfoot to forefoot is completely woven. There were some issues with the woven material during wear testing the product prior to its current, and final, retail version, but adding some small amounts of glue tightens things up to the point where the Kobe 9 Elite should have been… somewhere between woven and rigid. I initially thought the Kobe 9 Elite used Fuse to back the knitted upper, but it was actually a ton of glue. The amount of glue used here is just enough, not too much… so you still feel as if you’re wearing something perfectly broken in without sacrificing any support. Being woven, long term durability may become an issue for some, but I haven’t experienced any issues at the moment.


BrandBlack J Crossover II Performance Review 4Fit – They fit true to size, and like other woven uppers, they’ll accommodate any foot shape/ width. Those with really narrow feet might want to try going 1/2 size down, but wide footers should be perfectly fine going true to size.

Lockdown was impressive as the midfoot enveloped your foot perfectly, and held it onto the footbed. The entire forefoot is free to move where you desire. Basically, you get great lockdown right where you need it, and complete mobility everywhere else… it’s a Guards dream. The heel, being the one part of the shoe constructed traditionally, locked your heel into place just as it should have and there were no issues present. Something that I enjoyed most was the fact that I could wear any sock with these without experiencing chaffing or hot spots.



BrandBlack J Crossover II Performance Review 5Support – The support is average. Not that average is bad… they have everything you need, and nothing you don’t. There is the traditional TPU heel counter, your lacing system works perfectly, a TPU shank for torsional support, and there is a small outrigger coupled with the slightly exaggerated midsole for increased stability. Everything put in place is there for a purpose, and will not hinder your movements at all. In my opinion, the biggest surprise was the woven upper… and I played in these long before I played in the XX9. It showed me what a woven upper was capable of, and I fell in love with it ever since.

Image Via TheShoeGame.com
Image Via TheShoeGame.com

Overall – There are multiple reasons why the BrandBlack J Crossover 2 is my new favorite shoe of all time… but they wouldn’t be held in such regard if they didn’t perform well. BrandBlack is a brand that wants to provide the best possible product to their consumers. It was evident the day they asked if I’d be interested in wear testing their products and providing input during the design/ manufacturing stage. Anything I had an issue with, they took note of and resolved. I know these are Jamal Crawford’s signature shoe, but I like to think of them as my signature shoe. They provided me with everything I want/ need… great traction, awesome cushion, materials are some of my favorite to play in, they fit me perfectly, and they have just enough support. These things are awesome, and I really hope that people try them out when they release.

Keep in mind, this is based on my personal experience, and I’m trying not to come off biased… even though I’m fully aware that I’m coming off that way. Just remember that there is no shoe meant for everyone… except the Hyperdunk. These will likely be less supportive for larger players than what a true big man might need, but smaller guys will likely enjoy the hell out of these. Expect these to release by February 2015, retail stays at $140, and they’ll be available at BrandBlack.com and Finish Line will carry BrandBlack in 2015 as well.

BrandBlack J Crossover II Performance Review 7Additional Images Used Via DimeMag


  1. Hey Nightwing, do you know if Blackbrand will be restocking the JC Crossover 1’s? And I like your new performance ratings, it’s different.

  2. Nightwing would you personally use the clutchfit drive outdoors please help me if not I saw what you responded with the link to another outdoor baksetball shoe question but you use them outdoors and if not what do you personally play in when you hoop outdoor

  3. Oh man, no international shipping at Brand Black themselves and Finish Line is pretty expensive.. I’m going to need to find someone who’ll be visiting the US next year to bring back a pair for me haha!

    I love it when a shoe that looks great, turns out to most likely be great!

    1. I don’t see why BrandBlack wouldn’t offer international shipping on their own site.

      If they want to get their brand out there, there’s people outside of the US wanting to purchase their shoes, so they really should consider offering it.

      1. I’ve always wondered that with certain brands and retailers, but I also know that shipping internationally can be a huge pain in the ass. Maybe they don’t have the want or feel the need to deal with that part of the business just yet.

  4. In 2015, looking to give these a run along with the Curry 1 and Lillard sig from 3 stripes. Looks to be another banner year for performance hoops shoes

  5. Looks like they will have big sizes as well based on their site. I’ll get the black/red pair in the photo. Great review

  6. I hope BrandBlack is ready for the all the new orders that are about to be made xD! Great job as always Nightwing! Happy Holidays!

  7. Whoa.. new scoring card system? Is there a help link for this new one? Didnt found it anywhere..
    I think the previous one is easier to understand..
    Great review though I always search for Your review first before buying any shoes.. pls Keep reviewing..! 😀

  8. Good review but seems biased. Not sure how people can expect an impartial review of this shoe(which im sure is great) since you were a part of the weartest process for it, which you didn’t mention in the review.

    1. It seemed biased yet not one hall of fame was given , an even a 6th man was given an he did clearly mention it in the video , gtfo, maybe it’s just a good shoe. That ever cross your mind ?

      1. Im not debating whether the shoe is a solid performer, it looks pretty solid and its nice to see other brands in the performance basketball sector. I’m just pointing out that although nightwing alludes to the fact that he had a part in the development of the shoe he doesn’t EXPLICITLY say that in either the performance review video or the write up (yes I’m aware you have already said this in previous videos but people may have decided to just watch the performance review). And Jay you don’t have to give a shoe perfect scores to be biased, you just need to have an unfair prejudice for or against it.

        1. I haven’t illuded to anything, really. I have openly let people know on various social media outlets. Whether you follow me on those outlets or not is not really my fault nor my concern. I just know what I like, and these have what I like bc I had a voice in the process.

          I like woven and mesh uppers, so by your logic, I’d be coming off biased based on the fact that the shoe features a piece of tech that I’m partial to.

          Also; “It was evident the day they asked if I’d be interested in wear testing their products and providing input during the design/ manufacturing stage. ”

          How much more explicit do I need to be? Like I said before as well, I made an entire video, which I posted here on the site, showing all the versions of the shoe that I’ve worn and tested, and I even went over the things that I wanted them to change bc it didn’t work performance wise.

          You can think what you want though, I don’t mind… you’re not the first to say these things about me.

          1. If you bothered to read my last post properly you would be aware that I said “he doesn’t EXPLICITLY say that in either the performance review video or the write up..”. You have quoted a section of text that doesn’t show up IN THIS WRITTEN REVIEW or THIS VIDEO,“It was evident the day they asked if I’d be interested in wear testing their products and providing input during the design/ manufacturing stage. ”. As i acknowledged in the previous post you do make people aware of the fact that you were a part of the weartest process for this shoe but you don’t say it anywhere in the actual performance review (which was kind of the whole point of my posts…) , which is the video most people who are interested in purchasing the shoe would watch, which seems disingenuous for a so called “impartial” reviewer. You also mentioned in your first reply that you “mentioned it in the review”. If you can quote the place the mentioned it I will be happy to take everything I’ve said back and apologise. As you’ve said I’m not the first to say your biased and judging by this I probably won’t be the last so.

            1. The quote was from the write-up, actually. The overall section is where its from. Which is ‘in the review’. And yes, there are plenty of people that hate on me for one reason or another, I’m well aware of it.

          2. And this is where Bulls needs to gracefully bow out. It was interesting to watch the exchange but yeah, that was in there and it’s game, set, match. Fun times. Comment sections can make for an interesting read. LOL!

          3. The page I am commenting on is the performance review. This performance review also has an embedded video form of the performance review. Neither the aforementioned post or video contain the quote , “It was evident the day they asked if I’d be interested in wear testing their products and providing input during the design/ manufacturing stage. ”. No hating from my side, just stating my opinion and backing up the claims with facts. This doesn’t look like its going anywhere so I’m just going to agree to disagree.

  9. This shoe looks sick just wondering if it’s suitable for a forward who bangs it inside?

    P.s. Really appreciate the reviews you give night wing, there very helpful since in Australia we pay lots for shipping and it’s incredibly helpful to hear how a shoe performs before making a big purchase.

  10. Just ordered the futurelegends CW from MajorDC. This is why companies should value your opinion on performance basketball shoes. I would never EVER have ordered the pair I just did without your review and your exposure of the product. Same thing for Li-Ning’s way of wade. And on the same vein, I would never have found out about these brands without your reviews. Thanks again for your reviews. I am super stoked right now. Just hope the pair I ordered doesn’t get cancelled.

    1. I tried on my pair that came in. I am so in love with this shoe. I’m going ape shit when these release. Absolutely no pinching anywhere, step in comfort is amazing, and the cushion feels great.

        1. Never doubted your review 🙂 hence why I ordered a pair. I am completely amazed how a new brand could put out such an amazing product at a decent price. Talk about bang for your buck. I’m happy for now that people are sleeping on brandblack. That means I can cop with ease. But I also want them to be successful so hopefully people can stop being blinded by the swoosh and jumpman and open their eyes a bit. There are other brands that are putting out quality products at great prices.

    1. They still have them on brandblack.com for $140 retail. I own the black J Crossover I’s and they are awesome. For me, they are on par with both the Clutchfit Drive and XX9 in terms of fit and cushion. I use them at work because the jetlon cushioning is seriously slept on IMO.

  11. Nightwing how will BrandBlack handle their official release? Will the ones that have trickled out over the last couple of months be restocked? That Future Legends black and brown color way is the one I’m hunting for and “Ohhhh you almost had it!”

      1. I really like what I heard in your review, especially the part when they improved the previous model based on other players’ opinions. They’re pretty good looking too. Hope Brandblack roll out quickly internationally very soon, definitely gonna grab a pair. Btw great reviews NW, helped me a lot. Keep it up!

      2. What shoe would you compare to these in terms of size(i.e. the Kobe mentality fitting like the Kobe 8) I’m not sure if I should get a 9 or a 9.5

      3. What shoe would you compare to these in terms of size(like the Kobe mentality fitting like the Kobe 8) I’m not sure if I should get a 9 or a 9.5

  12. first post. super site. I’ve been telling people at my local gym to come here when I see what their wearing. #sneakerpolice 😉

  13. Question, in the video I noticed the foam insole wore down a bit. I play for about 4 hours a day for at least 4 days a week. How long do you think these would last me? I know there is no true number, just wondering an estimate. I’m 5’10, 160 lbs. Thanks.

  14. I just received mine and these are indeed very high quality basketball shoes, so kudos to BrandBlack. The thing I noticed is that there is a lot of length space between my big toe and the front of the shoe. I compared them against my Jordan XX9 (my go-to shoe) of the same 8.5 size and the J Crossover II is about 1/4 inch longer. I’m thinking about potentially exchanging for a half size smaller to get a more stable toe-off, although I don’t mind the extra wiggle room. Anyone have similar experience?

      1. Thanks as always NW! I watched the first impression and the traction at the toe of a testing model looked all torn up, is this the same with the retail version?

  15. Ok nw, real legit question here. No b.s., no disrespect, just a straight out question. Besides the money it would take (obviously) with your knowledge and experience why aren’t you the head of your own sneaker company? I know tons of people talk about it, why not do it? If there’s one guy I know that without a shadow of a doubt could do it it would be you. I’m not stroking your ego or kissing your Ass, in being straight up honest. Why not do it? I personally have designs and a brand name picked and have basically done everything I can do and I don’t know $hIt about anything…

    1. It’s really freaking expensive, and the market is dominated by Nike to the point that starting a brand is financial suicide. I’m also not really a designer. I’m more of a nitpicker. I wouldn’t mind being involved in the development of performance footwear, but I don’t think I want to have my own brand of footwear.

      1. I got designs coming out of my ears. Things I would improve upon in my own way in the existing market. Things I KNOW are better than about 90% of Nike’s Casio they put it now especially Jordan brand and there retroes. After searching fat and wide for those hare VII and being wildly disappointed I’m it if the Jordan game remastered out nut they were still garbage. There has to be a better way..

  16. I’d love to get back to that 90s Feeling, the innovation, the competition, the whole culture. Not today, today we have…the yeezy, whether it’s Nike or Adidas it’s all garbage slapped together from spare parts of superior shoes and sold to the privileged few. There’s no workmanship, no pride in design. Maybe that’s what I miss most, knowing that there’s an aero jam our weapon out there trying to out do what came before it. Nothing is exiting anymore. It’s all just recycled. Or I’m just getting too old for this (expletive).

  17. nightwing been watching your vid’s for a few years, this is my first comment or question so i hope you respond. in short, looking at the kobe 10 and the j crossover 2. clearly you like the j crossover, and feel the kobe 10 is decent. im 38, 6′-190lbs. which would you grab and why. i know you try to be objective and i commend you, but when i found out you gave a lot of input to brandblack ii had to ask to get an objective answer. i am also asking becuase i am currently playing in the jordan 29 and really like them and you compared the j crossover to them.
    thanks in advance for your further feedback; and keep up the great work!!!

  18. Nightwing I’m sure you’re busy but if you wouldn’t mind I’d really appreciate your feedback on my previous question. I do realize you are in high demand but if you could find a few moments to get back with me it would be appreciated. Kind regards

  19. So I would like to try these as I want to experiment with the BB tech and they seem somewhat like a mix of the M11 and XX9 up top. My only concern is the heel counter. How aggressive is it? Shoes that have rigid heel counters such as the Kobe 7, Under Armour BB Charge (high), Hyperrev, etc I absolutely cannot wear, they cause me considerable pain. Something like the Melo M11 or Anatomix Anomaly is more my speed, a heel counter with a bit more give. Do you think the heel counter on the Crossover 2 would be prohibitive? Also I have a wide foot, in most Nikes/Jordans/UA I wear 11, in Reebok and many Adidas 10.5. How would you compare the fit of these? Thanks!

    1. Hey man, did you get a pair? 11 or 10.5? I ask because I wear 11 in Nike, but I don’t know if I should get a 11 or 10.5 in Brandblack… Thanks!

      1. I got 11 and they fit well. I would not go down half a size. I have a slightly wider than normal foot if that helps

  20. Philippines released these brand but only for limited sizes. So, I’m wondering what would be the good shoes for me, guard and playing outdoors. Also please recommend me with a variety of prices. Thanks my friends and to you NW.

      1. What do you think about the Curry 2 Low, it will be better than the BrandBlack J Crossover 2 Low?

  21. What do you think about the Curry 2 Low, it will be better than the BrandBlack J Crossover 2 Low?

  22. I wish these were made with the Black Foam cushioning or the JC3 was made with these upper materials (I guess that is the same thing). The woven upper is pretty nice in fact I prefer it to Nike’s woven stuff and certainly any FlyKnit stuff (still not a strong tech for basketball, IMHO). The back is supported effectively and the lacing system is simple and efficient adjusting the fit of the shoe. I did not think they had ideal forefoot stability or cushioning. These are below average if not weak for a big man, more for a guard or a slasher, a lighter player. I do like the speed and fit, the stability and support are adequate for many but not all.

  23. played in them 6 hours and the outsole is fraying heavily, to the extent individual traction “blades” are torn out leaving holes. this is happening just on one shoe, tough. a faulty pair?

  24. Yo Nightwing I know this has been a long time but I just got the all-red pair here in the Philippines for half the price! Cushion and traction felt great! Mad comfy too, can’t wait to take them to the court. Thanks for the review man!!!

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