Jordan Brand Unveils the Air Jordan 33’s Traction

In a new teaser for the Air Jordan 33, Jordan Brand has unveiled the shoe’s traction and given us a better look at the Flight Utility system.

What stood out most to Nightwing2303 and myself is the huge cushioning unit beneath the forefoot. Of course, almost none of the official tech specs of the Air Jordan 33 are known  yet so we’ll just have to wait to hear if cushioning will be forefoot-only or forefoot and heel (perhaps the heel unit is top-loaded, unlike the forefoot unit).

The traction looks beastly, and although it’s translucent rubber, the pattern appears to me comprised of small nubs that should bite clean NBA floors well. Additionally, we can spot the Flight Utility system underfoot, which looks like a mechanical watch movement from afar. The system, which Jordan Brand creative director David Creech shared some details about in an essay yesterday, appears to be an innovation driving the future of Jordan Brand.

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Fit for flight. #PrepareToFly 09.20.18.

A post shared by Jordan (@jumpman23) on

“In the end, Flight Utility opens a new aperture to form the future visual language of Jordan Brand. Call it an attitude or a championship mentality or a commitment to the pursuit of greatness — it’s all predicated on adapting to athletic and aesthetic shifts,” wrote Creech. “This is the mentality you’ll see come to life in our design going forward. After all, for us at Jordan Brand, conquering change is second-nature; you can see it in the Jumpman, shaking free from the grip of gravity.”

For now, we’ll wait until the Air Jordan 33 is unveiled on September 20 to learn more about the tech. For now, let us know what you think in the comments below.

air jordan 33 traction


Images courtesy of Jordan Brand


  1. Looks like the nubs on the Kobe AD NXT 360. Maybe articulated Zoom like the 28’s? I always wondered why bball shoes never used this type of retractable lacing system. Hiking shoes have them (Cabela’s Men’s 360 Boa).

  2. I know it helps with zoom compression, but protruding the zoom bag on the outsole makes it kinda tippy to me. The medial side is fine, but on the lateral side it feels somewhat unstable. It dampens the effectiveness of the outrigger to me.

    I do like the size of that forefoot zoom unit, though.

    1. this was the same issue I had with the earlier Jordans with unlocked zoom. they were indeed tippy and felt unstable. I just hope the protrusion would be the same as the 32s which weren’t that bad and were actually nice.

  3. Once again, Jordan Brand goes for the translucent outsole to showcase tech once again. Also quite concerned on the somewhat absence of a lateral outrigger. Oh well, at least the forefoot Zoom bag looks massive and the traction looks pretty aggressive. I wonder if the aggressiveness can finally match the XX8’s traction or if it’s like the Kobe AD NXT 360.

  4. For goodness’ sake, just stick with herringbone. These little nubs smack of ‘we want OK grip, but we want it to break apart fairly quickly so people buy new shoes’.

    Huge forefoot zoom tickles my fancy though.

  5. Can’t help but think / hope we’re looking at the first autolacing Air Jordan. Also it wasn’t possible to comment from the mobile site because the reCAPTCHA doesn’t appear.

  6. looks like it’s going to grip the floor well until the nubs fray and fall off. But in saying that, the same problem presents itself in almost all current traction’s of similar design from any brand. I think if they come out with a solid rubber outsole once the consumer understands the tech within the sneaker they will be a little more durable.

  7. so far, I’m quite excited by the way the outsole is shaped and look aesthetically. it seems to be a very good sign and hope the upper aesthetic doesn’t disappoint. I couldn’t care less about the traction pattern anymore and more worried about the rubber compound in terms of durability and bite. sorry to say that traction pattern doesn’t equate to good nor great performance. traction now relies heavily on the rubber compound. anyway, please do this right Jordan Brand. the silhouette looks very promising.

  8. I love this huge chunk of forefoot Zoom Air.
    I’m really expecting a great response from this cushioning.
    But I’m worried about the durability of the traction pattern.
    I hope it’s much more durable than the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360.

      1. As far as the upper is concerned, my feelings exactly. I felt they could have gone a bit more premium like a flyknit, woven, leather or even neoprene. Not this cheapish textile plastic mesh. But I guess that’s where the $10 downgrade went (pun).

        1. what’s funny to me is if this lacing system is supposed to be “innovative” they’re 25 years too late. puma has been doing it since the 90’s.

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