Since the Curry 3 review is just around the corner, I thought I’d step back and review the AJ XX2 since the Curry 3 took a huge bite out of the AJ XX2 back story.  I’m disappointed that UA went there but if the Curry 3 performs, nobody will care. I guess since the XX2 was such a sales dud maybe UA thought they could pull it off without anyone noticing? I don’t know …

Pros
: traction, fit, support, materials 

Cons: pod cushioning is too targeted and feels unnatural, tippy in the heel, pricey at $175 especially in 2007. 

Sizing: half size down 

Best for: guards 

Weight


16.5 oz so just a half ounce more than the Crazylight Boost 2016. 

Traction


Jordan Brand usually does a good job with traction and this was the highlight of the XX2 for me. Stuck extremely well on clean floors and needed minimal wiping on dusty floors.  Probably would have been better if the entire outsole was the same depth but then the IPS system wouldn’t “work” as well

Cushioning


IPS is back again for the third straight model starting with the XX. Hurray?
I couldn’t tell a difference in density in any of the aforementioned models and this was no different. The IPS foam feels great overall at least with a nice bit of springiness. 

As for the heel, Jordan Brand brought back the modularity idea allowing the player to swap between Max Air and Double Stacked Zoom. Now that sounds great in theory but the Max and Zoom don’t cover much surface area And the double stacked Zoom is nearly as thin as a quarter (I mean two quarters since its double stacked). Maybe this was the beginning of the end for real Zoom


You can feel the cushioning if you like quarter size set ups. It literally feels like a quarter size lump of cushioning is under your heel. Having the logo raised in the insole doesn’t help either.


Which feels better between the two ? Zoom pod for sure. It just has a more even feeling than the Max set up. 

Overall cushioning is decent but far from ideal. A simple forefoot zoom and regular heel that covers the entire heel like the Kobe VI would have been great. 

Fit

The XX2 came out before Nike and JB went to a more narrow last and fit so 10.5 fit me perfectly. Finger width of space at the toe, no heel slip and no space side to side. 

The upper starts a little stiff since it is real leather but it breaks in nicely and gives a decent almost one to one fit. Not quite perfect but still good overall. 

I really liked the simple lacing set up with the lace lock because it just works. 

Materials


What is this foreign space age material ? Oh it’s real leather. Good luck ever seeing leather again from any company.  
JB and Nike were really pushing the quilted interior back in 2007. 


Personally I like the look and feel but it doesn’t make a difference performance wise. 

Nice materials and build quality, may leather Rest In Peace

Support and Stability 

Ah, when a higher cut shoe didn’t fold like a bad hand in Texas Hold em. I really liked the combo of the firmer mid cut with a stiff heel counter


JB also says the XX2 features a titanium coated midfoot shank plate


Errr, just because it is painted silver doesn’t mean it’s titanium Jordan Brand. Clearly plastic with silver paint. It does its job just fine but don’t hype a piece a plastic as something it isn’t. 

The XX2 is stable in the forefoot even without an outrigger but the heel is a little tippier than I prefer. The protruding outsole under the modular unit doesn’t help either. 

 

Overall support is good but the tippy heel isn’t trustworthy. 

Containment 

Clean simple lines with no major physical barriers would be worrisome with today’s knits and woven uppers but leather is strong and doesn’t have that stretch on hard cuts. Also this extra leather rand helps in containing the foot. Similar idea to the Curry 3 “midsole frame”

Conclusion 

Every sneaker has a snorey..I mean story. Out of ideas, let’s say make up one about fighter planes! Zooooom fast powerful stealthy (is that a word? ). It’s everything an Air Jordan should be! Whoever was running Jordan Brand back then needs to be destroyed like Cyberdyne in Terminator 2 to prevent the proliferation of story telling these days. Unnecessary and adds no value to sneakers; let the players wearing them write the story. 

Inspiration aside, the shoe itself is a good overall performer but the ultratargeted tiny heel cushion really ruins the shoe. Let’s see how UA does with the same inspiration. 

11 Comment on “The Archive: Air Jordan XX2 22 Performance Review

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