Jordan Why Not .5
The Jordan Why Not .5 will feel redundant to many people, and we can’t blame them. Despite that, it’s still a good performer, and Westbrook fans will be happy.
Colorway: Amethyst Tint/Black/Chlorine Blue/Bright Crimson
Release Date: March 1, 2022
The Jordan Why Not .5 is Russell Westbrook‘s newest signature shoe and it’s what we’ve come to expect. The line has been a bit disappointing the past few times out. Not with performance, but with the lack of new technology or design language. You can check out the Why Zero0.4 review here and the Why Not Zer0.3 review here. We basically know what we’re going to get every time. That’s a good thing for some and not so much for others. Also, if you’re in the market to get the Why Not .5, we recommend getting the standard version to play in. For our detailed reasons why, watch the video above.
I feel like terms such as “data-driven” or “data-informed” have been a little overused lately for traction patterns. Especially when performance is decent at best, which seemed to be the case here.
While I personally had no major issues sliding in the Jordan Why Not .5 compared to others in slippery conditions, I could tell the bite wasn’t quite as good as I think it could’ve been. What is just sufficient enough for me may not suit players that put a little more torque into their shoes than I do. This is a stiff rubber that hardly gives in, making it almost seem like a smooth surface at times.
While there’s not a ton of wear to be found after testing, I would still look elsewhere for outdoor options. At the end of the day, nubs gonna nub.
It’s clear that Russ likes his decoupled outsoles, forefoot Zoom, and EVA midsole combination — some form of it has existed in his last seven sneakers, including his takedown One Take series.
While the setup is tried and true, it’s hard to be excited about it as there are no true surprises other than an abundance of court feel in the Why Not .5. I appreciated the tiny bit of extra volume Zoom compared to the takedown along with the responsive and connected feeling to the court I received.
I normally don’t heavily critique cheap, lightweight materials used for performance basketball these days, but something felt off with the Jordan Why Not .5 upper. Fit felt right, and I’ve played in plenty of see-through, rip-stop-like materials combined with synthetics, but it just never felt substantial enough in my experience.
The trail shoe inspiration would lead you to believe materials would contain very well, but instead, it felt like a sock that fits but doesn’t quite compress enough. It’s comfortable, but comfort doesn’t always equal peace of mind when it comes to security.
The more premium-textile materials used on the Honor The Gift collab colorway felt no more secure, by the way, so I wouldn’t look there for a performance option.
I would recommend true to size for both average width and wide footers, despite issues of not feeling well-contained by the materials. If you are a narrow footer, I recommend you consider going down a half size if this is a shoe you want to try.
Given the pretty cozy, no-break-in nature of the upper, these sizing recommendations should wrap the foot pretty well while accommodating for things like foot swell as you play, based on my experience in the shoe.
I’m a big fan of the torsional support provided by the thick plastic shank as well as the lightweight heel clip and internal counter. At the midfoot, the Why Not .5 feels nice and sturdy without feeling too stiff underneath, and the heel is just as cozy as the rest of the shoe without sacrificing security like it felt in the forefoot.
I think along with the suspect material choices, the slightly asymmetrical cable lacing at the forefoot hurt the support a bit. It’s funny because, after that first rung, the thick cable eyelets help lockdown well. It’s just that first set where things feel a bit too shifty.
Fortunately, the low to ground cushion setup where you sit within the midsole helps combat that shifting in the forefoot, so I never fully rolled over the footbed.
While the Jordan Why Not .5 is a very easy shoe to play in, unfortunately, I won’t be going back to them. If you are a Jordan Brand or Russell Westbrook fan that’s interested though, I certainly would discourage you from purchasing.
I personally feel like there’s too much competition around the $130 price point the Why Not offers. You can check out some of those options here. Even going below that price point, something like the Jordan One Take 3 offers near-exact specs and performance while still supporting the player and brand.
What’s in the video?
In the video, Chris provides detailed information from all the usual categories, providing the in-depth information you need. He supplies expert-level opinions on the materials, cushioning, traction, support, and fit. Here’s some of what he discusses:
- No “Zero” in the name
- Honor the Gift collab
- White and gold box
- Data-driven traction pattern
- Decoupled, multi-colored outsole
- Full-length Phylon midsole
- Forefoot Zoom Air unit
- Similar design elements to previous signatures
- Materials resembling trail shoes
- Lightweight heel counter like the Nike Kobe 6
- See-through textile upper
- Exposed foam on top of the tongue
- Sizing recommendations
- External plastic shank
- Differences with Honor the Gift collab
How to Buy the Jordan Why Not .5
Did you know we have a great community where we discuss reviews and various other nerdy topics? You can join WearTesters here.