WearTesters is reader-supported. When you make purchases using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Why trust us?

Performance Teaser: Air Jordan XX8 (28) Pt. 2

Consumers begged for change… and we got it. Funny thing is, every time Jordan Brand gives us what we ask for, the majority then complain about it…


The last time we were given something different – something outside the box – from Jordan Brand was back in 2009. Sure, the modular cushion systems were different and cool for a moment but they don’t work as well as a well put together setup. Technology can forever evolve and change but the basics and fundamentals must remain the same in order to make it work.


This new Proplate Zoom, Unlocked Zoom or whatever you’d like to call it is insane. Much like the Propulsion Tech that was featured in the Air Jordan 2009, this is really something new. Whats interesting is that they used an older piece of tech and made it function differently. I don’t know about you but when I watched the video featuring Tinker Hatfield & Josh Heard speaking on the “Unlocked Zoom” I sort of rolled my eyes a little… in theory it sounded cool but Zoom is Zoom; right?



I’ll be honest… walking and running around on a miniaturized butt crack isn’t easy and takes some time getting used to. It may just be my small stature and lack of weight – as we all know… I’m not exactly an NBA sized player – but once you get used to it you will appreciate its presence.

If you remember the concept behind I.P.S. – Air Jordan XX through XX3 – it shares a similar trait in terms of compression and reaction upon impact. The main difference is that I.P.S. utilized dual density foams which eventually lose their bounce… this is like having I.P.S. with Zoom… really big Zoom… or what I like to call… Plumbers Crack Zoom. All jokes aside, these offer you a Zoom Air experience that you’ve never felt before.


The re-engineered Zoom placement is really cool and all but the coolest part about the Air Jordan XX8 is the Flight Plate and support system. I believe there are five carbon Fiber plates within the shoes build. One you cannot see… the one you cannot see might not be Carbon Fiber but I think it is… I can’t really tell from this image. Either way, its a support feature.


This entire setup reminds me a little of the adidas SprintFrame but it works more efficiently. Because it’s broken up into targeted sections, you only receive restriction where you need it – primarily at the Arch for torsional support and rigidity. The rest of the sections are independent but function as one piece. It’s hard to explain and I’m beginning to confuse myself because it’s something you need to feel for yourself… it’s not exactly something someone like me can express but I know what I’m feeling.


The bottom line is this… if you wish to have the same stuff given to you year after year then there are brands that will provide that for you. If you want design, innovation and most importantly, something new… then this is it.

It may not look like something you are used to seeing but that’s because this hasn’t been done before.

Everyone always says they enjoy the original Air Jordan models so much because they are like pieces of functional art… what isn’t artistic about this?

  1. We want the full review as soon as possible please NW I cannot wait !!! I have to make choice between those shoes and the M9 .. I’m needding shoes right now so plz..!!

  2. Jordan Brand is bashed so much for everything they do. People won’t give any non-retro the time of day and write it off as whack the moment they see it. I like these but not enough to pay $250 since I can’t afford any more shoes these days. Excited for this review! Nightwing, you seriously have stayed so consistent with bringing us top-notch, in-depth, detailed performance reviews I can’t thank you enough.

  3. ey nightwing2303.. do you know if Jordan brand is going to release the jordan xx8 New York Knicks colorways?? those colors look dope man!

  4. i have been intrigued by this model ever since i first saw it. i didn’t like the design of the 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2012 enough to buy them but this has really caught my eye.

  5. NW,

    personally, which cushioning do you prefer, the 2009’s or XX8’s ? and how does the 2009 fare in comparison with the Melo 8’s and 9’s ? sorry, I have no experience with the I.P.S tech, and would be nice to hear your opinion about this. thanks

    I expect these to be significantly lighter compared to the 2009, am I correct?

  6. yeah, these are cool and all…might even get a pair when they’ve gone on sale. the thing with JB almost across the board is that when they put something like this or the retros out the price becomes a barrier to a lot of people and then they make them so limited it’s beyond ridiculous trying to get a pair. technology? great, but MJ and a whole slew of other players didn’t need $250 shoes to play ball better than anyone on this site could ever dream of but we’re still told we need THIS SHOE to “fly”…sorry, the gigs up.

  7. Might get these shoes but 250 seems a little too much… Probably just get them for AAU season and wear them for high school too. Hopefully these last unlike the hyper dunk 2011 and LeBron 9. Even my hyper dunk 2012s are starting to fall apart

  8. Great Stuff! These are on my list to get next. Probably ill go with this colorway but…im starting to lean towards that Amazing blue/black/white….with the ridges in the upper. (Waves) Hope that’s out or coming.

  9. I love the concept and the shoe in general. but I HATE the outta sleeve, it just seems very fiddly and unnecessarily annoying; I wouldn’t wanna zip it up and at the same time I would wanna leave it swinging around unzipped either. I wish they did one without the outta sleeve then I would definitely cop.

  10. NW. You surely are a good presenter and writer. I almost got sold a pair of XX8 by this post. What do you do for a living?

  11. I wouldn’t say these are totally different and never done before… They look very similar to the air zoonm flight 98. I loved that shoe so I’m getting this one because it reminds me of it.
    I used to play in them with one zipper up one down which is what I’m going to do with the xx8s.

    1. Trust me, this has never been dope before. Anything can be compared to another but are they remotely similar… not always. The Gloves are awesome but these perfected the zip up enclosure. Without it the shoe would be useless, the Glove could have been a shoe without the cover as they were built like any normal shoe but with a shroud.

          1. But they could’ve easily made the shoe without the shroud. I haven’t used or even seen the shoe in person so i cant say that it doesn’t serve a function but it seems pretty useless and somewhat counterproductive(ventilation)

            1. They could have made a shoe without a shroud, but they didnt. If the shroud were not in place with the current design then the under layer wouldnt keep your foot contained as well as it does. You would have heel and midfoot lockdown but then it would almost be as if your foot were wearing a sandal. The shroud serves a purpose, just like most features on performance shoes.

          2. But what if the under layer was attached to the bottom of the shoe? Don’t get me wrong, Im a big fan of the new design, but a lot of people didn’t like it. and I’m copping these on release day, depending on your review

    1. I agree. The gloves and FP1s are sweat boxes without much ventilation. I can’t imagine these are any better. A lower cut and better ventilation would go a long way.

  12. I think that the high-cut length of the shroud when zipped-up will only look good on very tall leggy players, and I think that performance would be inhibited if it were worn peeled-down. Performance may be king, but that very high cut shape such as this and the even higher under armour model of a few months ago would make anyone under 6ft 5 or so look silly on court

    appreciate the excellent work as ever NW 🙂

Add a Comment

Related Posts