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First Impression: Air Jordan XX8 (28)

These are insane… they may not be the best looking – possibly far from it depending on the person – but they fit like a glove… better than The Glove actually…

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Traction – I don’t like the way translucent soles perform. Everyone knows that by now. There are occasions where shoes with translucent outsoles perform extremely well – the Air Penny V being one of them – and I hope these are one of them.

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The rubber feels pliable enough but you never know when it comes to clear outsoles… as usual, if or when a solid rubber version releases then I’d typically go for that one.

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Cushion – The cushion feels amazing. This Proplate Zoom Air is pretty crazy just from standing and bouncing around a bit. They feel similar to the LeBron X’s spring-like effect but much more targeted and amplified a bit. You can feel the Zoom compress and spring back into shape… sort of the way a snake would coil up then strike. If they feel like this just from bouncing around with excitement; I can’t wait to see how they feel while running around the gym.

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Material – To be honest, I don’t know what the materials are. The interior features a woven finger-like lacing structure that has a micro mesh styled webbing attachment. The exterior is somewhat stretchy but not to where you would lose structure or support. Break-in time should be nonexistent.

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Fit – Since there is very little to the shoe itself, I went with an 8.5 vs. my usual sz 9. I personally prefer to have a snug fit so that the shoe’s design features can actually do what they were meant to… or in some cases – not do what they were meant to. If you wish for your shoes to fit like a glove then go ½ size down. If not, just go with your true size. Wide footers, a try on will be required.

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Ventilation – The interior is well ventilated but the outer layer doesn’t allow for too much air flow. If you are zipped up all the way this shouldn’t be a big deal since the material in pliable in the first place so retaining its shape isn’t happening. Zipped down on the other hand should provide you with some ventilation… since that is a playable option… it will be hard to come up with a solid rating on this attribute.

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Support – There is Carbon Fiber in all the right places. Under foot, lateral side and a decoupled heel counter. The placement of the plates actually compliments the minimalistic upper. With how snug everything is, the support should be similar to the Kobe 8 SYSTEM that featured engineered mesh… just more conforming to the foot.

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Overall, I can’t make up my mind with how these could end up performing. Everything about them is pretty new… maybe not completely new but the way they’ve implemented it all into the shoe is new. Torn cartilage or not… these are getting played in.

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37 comments
  1. Now these look very promising. I don’t really like the height of the outer portion when zipped but the performance factor has me excited. The price is also kinda intimidating but I will see how things go.

  2. I think you should buy team or shoes that are thew usual models that the regular highschool and rec ballers get cause sometimes like the Melo M9 it had the 3M and the clear sole, which kinda brought down the performance. I just think you should test the “normal” or just the ones that your average baller gets instead of the nicer clear soles and weirder materials thanks and keep up the good work. fingers crossed on your hand bro

  3. Awesome! Can’t wait for the performance review. Be sure to say whether you preferred the shoe zipped up or down cause I’m very curious about that

  4. Can’t wait how these will perform but dang! $250 is not the worth even to the best shoe in the world(I’m not saying this is the best yet). The word zoom just made me want to try this.

  5. You sir, are a trooper. As ballers, I’m sure everyone will agree when we say that we are very grateful for what you’re going through to keep the reviews coming so that we can stay in the know. Get better man. As always, I’ll stay posted on your site waiting for the performance review on these monsters!! $250 is crazy, but still not as crazy as what the XX9 will be if these are a success…

  6. Mate I hope you keep the independence of your performance review. There seems to be appearance of a conflict of interest here but I am sure you will never sell your soul to those large corporates 🙂

  7. Ahh…memories of sn over designed shoe that kids can’t afford. Ahh…the memories of Jordan Brand. So…Jordan can sit next to me in a club and eat an over sized shrimp boat cocktail. When they bring in an artistic designer for a shoe….its not really made for the layman. Now your getting shoes sent from Jordan brand? No comment is my comment.

    1. If you think NW is selling out then say it, don’t beat around the bush. The dude got these particular kicks from JB, and he told us fair and square. I’ve watched almost all of his reviews and he absolutely never came across as biased at all. Not really sure what your gripe is. “Artistic designers” for sports shoes? You can call them whatever the hell you want, but every major brand in clothing & footwear has people working exclusively on the style & looks department of their gear for the new season. If you wanna call them artists just because they may be doing a better job than their colleagues in other brands, I guess that’s kind of a compliment. What else my good sir? The price? Let me tell you, there are many many brands that do sneakers that are not even made for performance, that charge way more than $250 for a pair. Try Paciotti. And anyway, if you follow NW you will know he always points out shoes that play just as well or better than the $200+ Jordans or Lebrons, but cost only half or less of what the flagship models are. So really, I’d like to know, out of shear curiosity, what the hell is your problem friend?

      1. LOL! His comment didn’t even make sense. I read it 3 times and still didn’t get it fully. Don’t even engage him in any conversation. Not worth it. This guy thinks that just because JB gave Nightwing shoes he will sell out. Doubt it. He would probly just go back to doing it how he was doing it before without thinking twice if they tried to pressure him for better reviews. And he’s always been about performance over looks. Looks do make some ppl think more about getting the shoe but it doesn’t scare a pro from doing his work.

    2. Why do you continue to come to my site if you just want to talk trash to me and talk down to those who visit? I see your comments and just dont understand why you keep coming around if you are so displeased? I find it funny that someone who never shows face can be such a critique to those that you do not know. It must be very easy for you to speak to people the way you do online, if you said half of the thing you say here in person I’m sure you would get much different results.

    3. To the fellow who initiated this thread, it is understandable that brands (their marketing department) may try to “bribe” independent reviewer like NW by giving free kicks. But so far he has fully and transparently disclosed it and I don’t see there being a problem. I am not trying to defend NW at all. For the sheer value of shoes he buys (if one just tries to work out price and quantity), I doubt one or two pairs of freebies will blur his view.

      Also if I remember correctly, he received that huge “awesome” media pack from Rose 3.0 but there is no evidence that this biased his review. The shoes were ranked behind LeBron X in 2012, plus I personally think it is a good pair of shoes.

      There is always a possibility brands will try to influence him by other means (e.g. free lunch with Westbrook – I am just speculating here). But NW is a ball player, he actually wears the shoes. If one day bias ever arises, it will be obvious. We have no reason to doubt him now.

  8. Even if you have to take a break from playing because of your hand, even if you eventually retire because of effin old age and calcium deposits on the joints, I for one will continue visiting your site daily. You have the best performance reviews for kicks bar none imho, and as long as you are the one doing the vids and explaining the technical side of performance, you WILL have followers. Just keep doin your thing man, all the best!

  9. NW would you please tell me which shoe is better for undersized SF:
    Lebron 8 PS
    Kobe 4
    Hyperfuse 2010
    Hyperdunk 2011
    Crazy light 1
    Rose 2.5

  10. Really excited to see the performance review. The tech in these shoes is very intriguing. The zoom alone could be great. Not excited by the super high cut and price of the shoes. If these are performance beasts then I will grab a pair on discount.

    Nightwing, I have no worries with your integrity. I believe you give honest reviews and won’t be swayed when a company sends you product for free to review. You’re a class act and continue to provide a great service to the community. I’m glad you can review shoes and pay the bills.

  11. just want to give my thoughts regarding the speculations that brands may be trying to bribe NW. first, this would depend on NW himself. just remember that he would lose not just his credibility, but his followers as well which wouldn’t really benefit him at all. why would a person in the right mind risk losing hits on his website and ads that would generate his income for a pair of free shoes? not to mention that this would not reflect well on the shoe company that promotes false advertising and start a ground for a lawsuit and you know how crazy people can be.

    point is, only a stupid or clueless person could never notice if a review is total B.S. and I don’t think visitors of this site are not a bunch of 5 year olds that are easily fooled.

    if NW, receives freebies, then good for him since he deserves it and surely the shoe companies are grateful as well not because NW is giving them a favor by providing them insights on what they need to fix with their shoes or not to fix, on what a regular consumer and hops user think about their shoe, not just because a famous basketball player says it would make you play like them. it is obvious that the shoe companies are listening to what the consumers want which is great for us and taking a damn about our (customers) perspective and not just their engineers. basically, it is a form of consumer report or study and a few people are even getting paid for it.

    1. I completely agree with this. It just wouldn’t even make sense for him to change the way that he does things by being biased. I also agree that someone must be paying attention to what is being said. When I search for shoes on youtube, Nightwing is one of the first if not the first vids that show up. He’s putting in work, getting the recognition, and finally breaking through. More power to him.

  12. thanks for the heads up NW, can’t wait to read your full review on these. glad you got them sooner so that I could decide on getting them during next month’s launch.

    on the otherhand, as I suspected about the proplate zoom tech, the direct interaction of the zoom bag from under the feet to the ground would give a certain feel of rebound and responsiveness. I hope you can give Jordan Brand some insights with regards to the design (looks) that most of us are complaining about.

  13. Hey man, cant wait for the full performance review – I am waiting for that one as used to get pretty much most of the models of J’s (apart from 2012 and a few post-retro models) and thinking (maybe) about getting this one – for the moment torn between either LBJX or XX8.

    All the best anyways!

  14. Right on with the Jordan brand memories thing. I just wanted to know Will you be doin a performance review on the Rose 3.5? Wasnt sure because the traction and everything looks identical to the Rose 3s. Thanks

  15. Awesome!!!! Cant wait for ur videos!!!!

    do elaborate more on the support and cushioning. i’m very curious about this part; sort of the way a snake would coil up then strike.

    i was informed that JB is not going to bring this to my country (Malaysia)… it is absolutely disappointing. >=( will have to get this somewhere else.

    hope your hand gets well soon.

  16. Dude these are insane!!!!¡¡¡ Lol I absolutly can’t wait for the review bro! It’ll be ingesting to see how these play for you

  17. Had these for 7 months and the outsole ripped… then got the Bel-Air SEs and found them tonight with the right forefoot ZoomAir bag popped. This is after just 5 weeks of basketbal this time… So with Jordan’s top-of-the-line ‘premier’ shoes you are NOT getting what you pay for. So long, JB.

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