Traction – The overall traction has been very solid. From a visual perspective you would already assume that the traction would be more than capable of keeping up with your movements from a front to back standpoint. What is clear after you begin to trust the surface is that your jab steps, jump stops along with your crosses, quick cuts and abrupt stops are great as well. No matter the court condition, the Air Jordan X can keep up with the best of them.
Cushion – We finally have something a bit more ‘modern’ with the Phylon midsole but even then its not as soft as some of the newer renditions of the foam nor is it as responsive as the newer foams that have been introduced to us over the last few years. However, the cushion is more than capable and 100% ready to take care of you during games. While you wont receive that step-in comfort you may find in something with an Ortholite insole – an easy fix if you wanted to swap insoles – but the full length Air unit along with the Phylon midsole do their job and they do it very well. Heel to toe transition is extremely smooth and you don’t feel high off the ground so court feel isn’t compromised.
Material – I personally love everything about the materials… it brings me back to when you got what you paid for. I’m not saying that you are getting ripped off today by purchasing synthetic based sneakers – since they will last longer – but there is just something about wearing a handcrafted sneaker made with organic materials that makes you feel as if you just laced up a luxury item onto your feet.
Fit – The fit is fantastic and one of the highlights of the Air Jordan X. When you have leather based shoes, you typically have a break-in period to adjust to. That wasn’t really the case as the break-in time for these are easy and painless. I was expecting for the overall shoe to lose its shape after some time – a typical issue with leather sneakers – but that never happened. Those bungee bands place down the tongue keeps the fit snug and secure from beginning to end… a really nice feature and its also something I really enjoyed on the Air Penny III.
Ventilation – The tongue is mesh but other than that there really isn’t any ventilation. This will bring their overall score down but that should only really effect your decision to wear these on-court if that particular attribute is a high priority for your needs.
Support – The support is minimal but fairly effective. While the leather overlays didn’t provide much of any support, the midsole did which made up for it. There is a molded arch which is nice for arch support but this is the first time within the Air Jordan Project where I felt my arch over flexing. It didn’t happen often and when it happened it was only with my right foot but it does make you appreciate the shank plate no matter what material its made of.
Overall – The Air Jordan X is a great on-court option. Its no surprise why you still see them on basketball courts today… they are just that good of a shoe. They have almost everything a hooper would need.
Despite claims from consumers claiming the ‘quality’ is lacking, the Air Jordan X Retro has been one of the best releases this year in terms of materials and craftsmanship. For the few who may have bought a pair to wear with their Nike Elite socks on-court and not on the sidewalk… they’re on-court ready fresh out the box.