WearTesters is reader-supported. When you make purchases using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

First Impression: Air Jordan XII (12) Retro


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!

  1. Sorry if this question has been asked too many times, I don’t know, I haven’t got the chance to be up to date recently with this blog. At the begging of the project you mentioned that the 11 lows will be tested too. Is that true, if so, when is it gonna be?

  2. Are you playing in an original XII, or a retro? I wasn’t sure if you meant you’re playing in an actual original or a retro of an original colorway.

      1. If you play in the OG’s make sure you go to a shoe repair store so you can re-glue the sole, because my first retro’s of the XII sole are coming off fast! I’m sure you knew this already. Keep up the good work though man!

  3. Sorry this is so off topic, but nightwing I wanted to get your opinion on insoles. I want to pick up a good pair of insoles, do you have any suggestions? Any chance you would do a review of different after market insoles? 😀

  4. I just played in my XII’s today. I wonder if we will have the same conception of the shoe. Can’t wait for the review. Oh and sported my Kicksoncourt tee when I was on court, it made me jump higher..haha

  5. I honestly love to play in my taxi 12’s I love the strong traction I think your actually going to like them. The 12 had the best zoom in my opinion. But I cant wait for the XIV review because thats one of my all time favs

  6. this was the best Jordan IMO, i worn them from Varsity to Playground till they basically broke the carbon fiber shank and had holes on the outsoles lol

  7. Surprised you went with this cw. I was assuming you’d go with the Playoffs since they were the newest and had the same material and cushioning. Either way I’m stoked for this review! If it’s any good, I’ll try to complete a “Playoff Pack” for the XI-XIII’s hahaha. Already got the Playoff XIIIs and Bred XIs are on the way.

      1. Knew it hahaha. They are too nice. I regret not getting a pair early this year but I’ll eventually find one. Can’t wait for this and the XIII review!

  8. hey, in your jordan 11 review you said not to hoop in the space jams. I own a pair and want to rock them on-court so could you go into detail about why you think the space jams aren’t good enough to play in? I’m a 6’5″ center and I love super soft cushion if it helps any. thanks for all the reviews and stuff, theyre great.

    1. I said i wouldnt recommend it. Reason being is that the shape and cushion arent like they are in the CG and Concord. They were better than the CDP release but not by much. Its all up to you though. If theyre comfortable and fit well for you then at least you know the traction and all that will hold up.

  9. The XII’s have the best zoom air cushioning of the retros in my opinion. My bred 12’s are still springy after all these years. My favorite retro to play in.

Add a Comment

Related Posts