The Jordan 2X3 was a nice performer that unfortunately never made its way to retail stateside. However, what could be called its successor in the Jordan Jumpman 2020 is available and we have a performance review ready.
Herringbone in a mostly traditional fashion makes up the Jumpman 2020. Though it directs from front to back, there is still multidirectional coverage due to the nature of the pattern. I wouldn’t call it super tacky or crazy stopping power, but I was secure making all types of movements on court, even when caught around the divot under the heel.
Most of the rubber is solid with nice groove spacing, while the forefoot pod showcasing tech is packed a little tighter in a translucent compound. This area not only attracts more dust but is a little more difficult to clear of any buildup.
Fortunately, the traction only failed me once early on in testing, and that was on a super dusty court. Otherwise traction has been super reliable indoors and outdoors, though I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time outside as the rubber wears down significantly from a few hours in the elements.
Nike has been doing a lot lately with larger volume forefoot Zoom units, and that trend has spilled over onto this Jordan Brand sneaker. I won’t lie – in person I was a little underwhelmed with the actual volume of the Jumpman 2020 Zoom compared to other sneakers with more standard oval-shaped bags, but on foot it does make a difference in my opinion.
I had a great experience with transition and response in the Jumpman 2020 as the extra bit of coverage up front added some fluidity to different types of movement. While the midsole doesn’t sit as close to the floor as some other sneakers, I don’t feel those that appreciate court feel will have much to complain about here as it rides lower than it appears to be externally.
There is no cushion in the rear of the shoe – my guess is that it is an injected Phylon — even though it is a little on the dense side. Fortunately, Jordan Brand added those divots – or “Landing Zone” as they call it – under each heel which provides some compression and slight bounce back upon impact. Despite my feelings that this part of the midsole may be bottoming out, this addition kept the Jumpman 2020 from being a pain to play in.
I also want to note that the midsole doesn’t seem to have much of a heel-to-toe drop. Some hoopers may like this, some may hate it. Personally, it didn’t bother me – just something I felt should be noted.
Well, if you’re not psyched to pay a premium for the mesh and other minimal materials the Air Jordan 34 offers, the good news is you can save $70 to get a similar build, which is a little beefier in some areas.
The mesh feels plasticky on the exterior, but on foot there hasn’t been any discomfort, pinching, or anything of the sort. The textile lining probably helps with that while the rest of the upper features synthetic leather overlays and skin fuse over the toe. Everything is lightweight, durable and supportive, including the thick nylon cables embedded in the upper, like the Nike Zoom Rize. I feel the synthetic leather could’ve been scaled down a bit, but for $110 you get cost-efficient materials that work, simple as that.
True to size works perfectly fine for me, and some wide footers may also be able to get away with true to size, though a half size up may also be more suitable – you’ll just have to judge for yourself. The lacing system allows for customization at each pair of eyelets and does a good job of locking down.
If you’ve had the chance to try on its big brother, the Air Jordan 34, expect the Jumpman 2020 to fit similar but not quite as snug. I liked the fit of both, but I feel the 2020 is a lot more forgiving while still being able to tighten things down so there are not issues with movement of the foot anywhere in the shoe.
All of the usual contributes to good support in the Jumpman 2020. It isn’t a standout in terms of category, but I had no issues with support at all. The internal heel counter does feel a little weak, but a good fit helped prevent any heel slip and the materials don’t seem substantial in the areas needed, but are actually pretty sturdy.
Most of all I enjoyed the nylon cabling along each side. As a part of the lacing system and the upper, they do a good job of keeping you in place on the footbed. That, combined with a semi-wide base make the Jordan Jumpman 2020 a breeze to play in.
Jordan Brand continues to follow a simple formula that offers signature-worthy performance in its lower-priced models. The Jordan Jumpman 2020 is a great alternative to the higher tier models as it is a more tried and truer set up compared to the potential growing pains that come with innovation in signature models. For a while I even enjoyed playing in the Jumpman 2020 over the flagship it was designed after.
If the Jordan Jumpman 2020 is on your radar, I say go for it as I think it does everything well enough to satisfy everyone, no matter the play style. As I sort of already mentioned, the flashy new stuff is great – even functional in many cases – but sometimes reliability trumps all, especially when its on better end of the hundred-dollar range.