Chris Paul’s tenth signature sneaker, the Jordan CP3.X, has almost everything a great sneaker needs. Almost…
Traction – It’s durable and thick with multi-directional coverage. This setup worked beautifully indoors. If heavy dust became an issue a simple wipe got things back to normal. What’s funny is that this setup is ideal for outdoor players in terms of rubber compound and thickness, but whenever I took the Jordan CP3.X outside I wound up sliding all over the place — especially upon lateral movements. If you’re playing on a rough outdoor surface then you may be fine, but most of the outdoor courts here are made the same way a tennis court is: smooth.
Cushion – JB is back at it again with the bottom-loaded articulated Zoom Air on the Jordan CP3.X and I’m not a fan of this setup at all. Impact protection is minimal while court feel is abundant. There are other cushion sources currently available that will give you the best of both, but this isn’t one of them. Jordan Brand had things covered from a guard perspective when it used Podulon and Podulite systems; those were dual-density foam systems — sometimes paired with Hex Zoom Air units — that gave you a protective ride with court feel and responsiveness.
It’s hard to watch a brand like this cut so many corners when it comes to performance models. You’ve come to expect it on the Retro models, but the performance models were always where you’d get the most bang for your buck. Fingers crossed that the brand brings back what worked or that it figures out how to fit a thicker Zoom Air unit in the forefoot if it insists on using this type of tech — even though it has already accomplished this with the Air Jordan XX9 Low.
Materials – One of my favorite aspects of the shoe is the upper. Performance woven (Flyweave is what they call it now) is all over the shoe. There is a thin TPU cage that wraps the midfoot and heel, but the entire shoe is made out of the same materials as the beloved Air Jordan XX9. It’s light, it’s flexible, and it’s form-fitting without being restrictive or pinching. It’s freaking awesome!
Fit – The Jordan CP3.X fits true to size, but are a paint in the ass to get on — this is due to the lace belts that are attached to the tongue that are also the eyelets. The length of those belts are one size and don’t stretch. This is great once you’re inside the shoe, and a little annoying when you’re trying to get inside the shoe. Once you’re in the Jordan CP3.X and laced up then you’ll have one of the best one-to-one fits you’ll ever experience. You’ll receive this without needing break-in time since the materials are nice and forgiving but not to the point to where it would be dangerous to play in. If you enjoyed the fit on the Air Jordan XX9 Low then you’ll absolutely love these.
Support – Due to the perfect fit, the support on these were great. The basic support features were nothing to write home about, but the way it all worked together made for a wonderful ride. Standard support features include the internal TPU heel counter and internal midfoot TPU torsional shank. Additional features include the TPU cage which helps support the woven upper upon lateral movements, narrow last for precise fit, lace belts at the eyestay, and two outriggers at the forefoot. The CrazyLight Boost 2016 was one of the best fitting (for me) low tops I’ve worn in recent years, but these blew them out of the water in that regard.
Overall – I love everything on the Jordan CP3.X enough to overlook the cushion issue so long as I know I’m not going to be on-court for more than a couple hours. Not that that gives anyone an excuse for using poor cushioning, but some may not want that bounce or slight mush that a more plush cushion tends to bring. They CP3.X was fun to play in overall, and it was so close to being perfect that the cushion, or lack there of, ended up really standing out.
If you’re looking for a shoe that offers an abundant amount of court feel with all the modern advances in materials then the Jordan CP3.X is definitely something to try. Again, you may be underwhelmed by the cushion — or just whelmed — but everything else was a hit.
If you’re interested, you can pick up the Jordan CP3.X for $125 here.