*Sorry I struck out again with the Kobe I Protro. Lebron Solider XII next possibly . Sorry been really busy*

đŸŽ¶You know it’s hard out here for a PippenđŸŽ¶ (Pippen ain’t easy is so passĂ©… and if you don’t know that song, go watch Hustle and Flow, you won’t regret it)

As I continue my shoe purge, I pulled these retro Pippen II’s out of the closet and decided to start using them them again. I never really “analyzed”what made them special but after studying what’s under the hood, I understand why I loved them so much back in the day. Twenty years later, shoes can say they look different but not many can say they are better.

Pros: traction, true to the OG Zoom, fit, support, stability, containment

Cons: leather needs break in? Some wiping needed on dusty floors

Sizing: true to size

Best for: any position

Weight: 16 ounces which is about an ounce more than average for a modern mid. Twenty years and shoes have only shed an ounce of weight in most cases.

Traction

So simple and efficient. Full herringbone with a nice pliable rubber compound. Even a top 50 of all time player didn’t get story telling on his shoe. There are no stories about Scottie and his grandma or the zip code of his old house, just a normal herringbone pattern.

These work almost as well as the Curry 4 with minimal wiping and stick to the floor traction when clean. They do need an occasional wipe of dusty floors though due to the flat “outline” around the outsole.

Cushioning

Zoom in the heel and forefoot with no break in? Sounds good to me.

These actually have the almost same forefoot Zoom set up as the OG AJ XIV which explains why I love this cushioning set up so much. The XIV has four sections while these seem to “only” have three. Amazingly, this 2006 retro pair has the same set up as the OG while the Jordan XIV retros do not. Cheaping out JB, who’s the CEO of JB? 😬

These feel awesome from the get go and still haven’t popped or deflated so yea, I’m sticking with these for a bit. I’d be really shocked if Nike retros these again and keeps the same set up.

Fit

True to size or half a size down depending on preference. There is enough padding to adapt to your foot in case you’re off by half a size.

A one piece bootie with a outer shell? Wait, is this from 2018 or 1998?

Oddly the “bootie” doesn’t connect at the bottom of the shoe.

Check out how many eyelets there are. Ten!! Adidas, are you listening ? I’m not sure if you really need this many rows of eyelets but better safe than sorry and sure as hell better than five.

Zero issues with the fit. The bootie upper hugs the foot out of the box and the leather upper just conforms to your foot after break in. This design pretty much set the precedent for almost every shoe you see today except this was done twenty years ago.

Materials

Leather!!

I will say that today’s knits do not need the break in time that leather does and in this world of On Demand, people would not have the patience to wait on breaking in a shoe.

Even during break in with the stiffer leather, it didn’t affect my play. I’ve said it before but you have a lot of muscle and weight to push through a few millimeters of material.

You won’t see leather much nowadays since synthetics and knits are saving the planet (which is a great thing) while making shoe companies more profitable. There is always a caveat to saving the world I guess.

Support and stability

A mid with just enough mobility in the ankle. Sounds good to me

Midfoot support comes from a large plastic shank. In retrospect, Scottie deserved a carbon fiber shank.

No issues with stability due a wide flat base with no tippiness.

It’s slightly wider than the Curry 4 which is ultra stable.

Containment

Leather and that plastic rail runs almost across the entire shoe.

As you guess, no issues

Conclusion

Another old shoe that outperforms the majority of shoes today. But this time the shoe is twenty years old, not twelve. Sure it’s simplistic looking, almost on the verge of following the dad shoe trend but don’t let its looks deceive you, it plays like a beast after all these years. The Pippen II, the Uncle Drew of kicks. Don’t reach Youngblood!

These get a first team rating even after twenty years. And could it be more appropriate?

Pic courtesy of SI

17 Comment on “The Archive: Nike Pippen II 2 Retro Performance Analysis and Review

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