And we’re back…
Traction – Herringbone pods are in place and they are very similar to what was featured on the Air Jordan XI so one can assume that with the addition of solid rubber, these should perform perfectly fine in the traction department. Just to throw this part out there… the outsole on this particular AJ12 isn’t completely solid, it’s actually translucent, but has the same properties as a solid rubber sole.
Cushion – Phylon is used for the third time in an Air Jordan signature (originally) and Zoom Air makes it’s Air Jordan debut! Not just any Zoom Air either… they went all out and placed a full length Zoom unit… full length meaning from heel to toe by the way. Comfort would be an understatement with the Air Jordan XII…
Material – Every original model featured leather uppers so that is what I’m going with. With the Retro releases there are some with Nubuck but since MJ didn’t use Nubuck XII’s on-court then I won’t be either. The leather will take time to break in but it should only get better with each wear. Being able to retain their shape was always a downside for all leather kicks… these should be no different.
Fit – They fit true to size but if you wanted the most secure fit after break-in time then a ½ down wouldn’t be a bad idea… unless you have wide feet of course. As long as the leather can retain its shape then these should be just fine… I recall playing in a pair of XII’s a few times when I would forget my hoop shoes – had to borrow a friends pair – but those were well worn so I never got a good feel for them so this will be a pretty new experience for me.
Ventilation – Well… this is pretty obvious. There is mesh on the shoe but you would never know it unless you pulled the tongue to one side. Again, if the materials can retain their shape well enough then this won’t be a huge issue but growing up in the 90’s I already know better. These are built with less ventilation than the Reebok Question and the materials were unable to retain its shape for very long. Overall, this part will come down to someone’s personal preferences.
Support – Carbon Fiber shank sits at the base for torsional support and arch support. Other than the shank plate, the fit will provide the rest of the support. There is an internal heel counter but I think it’s made out of a cardboard type of material. Don’t harp on the quality because of that though… it was standard back then… long before the age of TPU heel counters.
Other than the bulkiness, the Air Jordan XII should perform well. I am a little worried about the overall transition since I’m not a very big guy but for all I know these could blow my mind. Either way… I can’t wait to hoop in them!