Performance by We Are Testers
Traction – Herringbone is in place and this time around it doesn’t ensure great traction. The grooves aren’t as peaked/ sharp as other herringbone patterns so it isn’t able to bite the floor as well. Consistent wiping of the outsoles will be required – unless you play on pristine floor conditions – in order to achieve optimal traction. Surprisingly, the Air Jordan XIV’s traction worked very well outdoors so that’s a plus.
Cushion – Originally, the Air Jordan XIV featured heel Zoom Air and forefoot Articulated Zoom Air. The heel unit hasn’p shoot.
Fit – They fit true to size and the leather will stretch a bit so if you have wide feet that aren’t extremely wide then you may want to try to break them in versus going up 1/2 size. Lockdown at the midfoot was perfectly fine for me, it was the heel that had some sloppiness to it. The collar has an asymmetrical design to it that was supposed to be better fitting around the ankle while providing support – this works for the most part – but the heel piece is too high and ends up pushing against the ankle instead of cupping it. Its a minor setback but one that was bothersome. It definitely brings greater appreciation to small modifications found in ‘modern’ footwear – LeBron X Elite collar is a pretty good example of a great fitting ankle collar.
Ventilation – As with nearly every single pair of Air Jordan’s, the ventilation isn’t great. However, Tinker did implement an air vent into the shoe which was always a really cool – albeit stupid – feature in my mind when I was younger. This means two things… 1. ventilation isn’t good in the XIV & 2. ventilation is an attribute that was and currently still is a focal point for performance footwear.
Support – Torsional support is abundant with the enlarged TPU shank plate in place but the lack of proper heel lockdown prevents complete support. Luckily the shoe is fairly low to the ground and has a stable/ flat base so support doesn’t suffer too greatly.
Overall – I personally love playing in these. Always have and always will. The main thing I dislike about this Retro version is the lack of quality from the nubuck and the lack of cushion when directly comparing them to their previous releases. Other than that, these are still very playable on-court and I wouldn’t mind using them as an outdoor shoe at all. If these suit your needs as a player then there is no reason to shy away from them for those that wish to have some style while on-court.