Nike Paul George(PG) 2 Performance Reviews

Sometimes a debut sneaker is so popular, so well-designed, and so perfectly priced that a making a follow-up to match the original just seems absurd. Enter the Nike PG 2.

If we have learned anything over these years of reviews is that Nike Basketball loves a challenge. How do you top one of the best-selling debut sneakers ever? Let’s find out…

Sarlacc. When I first saw the bottom of the PG2, the creature from Return of the Jedi was what I thought of. You know, the one that lived in the sand dune and sucked up everything around it? Yeah, that was the dust on the court when playing in the PG2.

Granted, the Palmdale pair I used for this review has a translucent outsole, and clear rubber tends to grab more dust, but when playing on the always-wonderfully kept 24 Hour Fitness courts (there were only a dozen balls of lint/hair most days), the PG2 had trouble holding ground.

Once the floor was swept, however, the PG2 was serious Crazy Glue. The rubber is thick but not too hard, the pattern is spaced well to push dust out (on solid colorways), and the full coverage just means more bite for this big dog.

Outdoors? Depends on your life wishes. The rubber will probably wear away rather quickly, but the pattern is sort of deep, so even as it wears, it will still have some grip. I’m thinking indoors only for my pair though.

Last year, most reviewers were in love at first sight when they spotted the large forefoot Zoom unit on the PG1 images (me included). On-foot, the initial PG1 feel was underwhelming, but did the job. This year, Nike increased the thickness of the Zoom by two millimeters, which doesn’t seem like much, but the increased size and top-loading the unit (little between the foot and the Zoom) makes the forefoot area of the PG2 bouncy and responsive without feeling unstable. The shoe kicks back on every step and makes you want to run.

The heel and midfoot is strictly foam, same as the PG1, but this foam feels more Cushlon/Nike Kyrie 4 than Phylon/PG1. Transition is smooth and the midsole compresses and rebounds well while playing, but if you are a heel-striker, or plant off of your heels while hitting jumpers, you may notice a lack of feedback.

The materials are the same kind of different. The upper features the same description as the lovely, premium-feeling uppers we got last year, but different. The suede is still here, and while it isn’t super-premium it does provide a nice touch of raw materials for that layered look that gives depth and detail to designs.

It may add weight, but it makes the upper more personal and signature-feeling, if that makes sense. Using the suede where Nike does allows for some great color-blocking as well, although we only have four colorways so far (with many more coming soon, surely).

The midfoot and forefoot areas are made up of a ballistic-style mesh and it is rough, rugged, and raw. Thicker than last year but still flexible and durable, the worry of wearing through mesh in the toebox of shoes should be gone on the PG2. While the forefoot straps overlay the medial and lateral sides of the forefoot, the materials themselves keep things feeling smooth while playing.

While the PG1 was narrow (some would say extremely narrow) in the forefoot, causing most to size up a half size, the PG2 has a wider last all through the structure. The fit straps in the forefoot keep things stable and contained on any and all lateral movements, and you can actually feel them holding you over the shoe while playing. Any time the technology can be felt working like it should, WearTesters gets excited.

The inner bootie/one-piece construction is still here, but the opening of the shoe is wider, with a larger area between the last eyelet and the heel padding that gives the foot some wiggle room. I never had much heel slip, almost none for the most part, but the wide ankle collar had me feeling a little insecure when playing. The inner heel and ankle are padded well, locking the heel and foot in place to minimize any movement, but the dead-space around the top of the collar was less than comforting.

As for length and sizing, the best option is to probably stay true to size unless you are a narrow footer. Again, the width issue in the forefoot is fixed and length is solid along the lines of the Kobe AD Mid and LeBron 15.

Wide base, stable foam, locked-in forefoot — everything needed for a solid support shoe, and the PG2 is solid. The heel being foam, and slightly stiff, means there is no unwanted compression around the edges leading to the shoe rolling over. The forefoot has a wide outrigger that keeps the shoe upright on strong lateral moves and getting in front of your man on defense.

However, the biggest tool in the shed is the forefoot straps. Seriously, they work, and it is lovely. Many times while playing I could feel my foot being kicked back into the shoe by the straps, especially while guarding ball-handlers on the perimeter where I need all the help I can get staying in front of players.

While the heel fit did allow a little slip, there were no problems as far as support. The heel cup is high and solid and the lacing does hold your foot in low, keeping the heel in place. It is still up top where the problems hit me. However, when actually thinking about the rankings, the slip wasn’t enough to mark down.

Solid. That’s the best word for the Nike PG2. And that makes sense because Paul George is about as solid of an NBA player as there is. He does everything well — rebounds, steals, scores, defends — but isn’t the best in any category (well, the steals are up there). He needs a shoe that does everything well but doesn’t focus on any one thing, and Nike gave it to him.

Take a look at the Nike PG2 if you are a do-it-all player who can be counted on to play your part. If you like minimal, fast-feeling shoes, there are better options, but the PG2 is honestly the best all-around shoe that Nike has on the market right now. Not the best, but best all-around (and at $110). It’s amazing what can happen when function not only meets but beats form over the head — for our sake.

Better Off-White Air Jordan 1: “Chicago” Or “White”

It all started late 2017 when Virgil Abloh debuted his Off-White x Air Jordan 1 from the “The Ten” Collection.

The first release came dressed in the original “Chicago” Air Jordan 1 off-white colorway that featured details to coincide with the rest of the ten models like exposed foam, stitching on the Swooshes, and signature Red zip tie.This Air Jordan 1 uses a constructed build that pretty much mixes both the Air Jordan 1 High Ultra and Deconstructed tooling. The high-top sneaker comes dressed in familiar Red, White and Black Chicago Bulls-inspired color scheme. Its branded with OFF-WHITE for Nike tagging on the medial side, along with a unique Nike Swoosh logo and “AIR” branding on the midsole. Other notable details include branding on the laces and the year ’85 on the inner ankle flap. look for the OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 to release in November.

Months later to kick off 2018, Virgil dropped his second Off-White x Air Jordan 1, but this time in a White colorway that was exclusive to Europe. Still no word on a stateside release.

“That shoe originally was all white,” Abloh said, telling the story of the shoe’s development. “I was in the airport—I was at Newark; I can remember it—and I was going through the security and I saw somebody in a white pair of Dunks and I couldn’t tell the difference. And I was like, “Emergency: The Jordan needs to be the Chicago colorway. That shoe would have just been a sort of anonymous white shoe. The Off-White x Air Jordan 1 “White” will be releasing on Feb. 27 exclusively in Europe in both men’s and women’s sizing.

Looking back at air jordan 1 both, which would you guys say was the better release? Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Comparing 2009 vs. 2016 Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam”

The highly-anticipated 2016 Air Jordan 11 Space Jam is slightly different from previous retro iterations, as this latest gallery showcases its comparison to the 2009 counterpart.

The good folks at jordans for all have provided detailed pics to express just that. For starters, the 2016 pair is simply more shoe. The midsole, patent leather mudguard and model cut are all slightly taller than that of its predecessor. By our estimates, the height of the 2016 version rates closer to the OG while the sleekness of the 2009 pair is more inline with the 1995 edition. Shaping aside, concord branding is featured on the ’16 release (an original detail) as is #45 heel tagging (also indicitave of the OG). With the 2016 version essentially staying true to its OG build, in which MJ first wore during the 1995 NBA Playoffs, the sneaker’s notable differential elements consists of a higher cut black patent leather overlay.

Furthermor Last but not least, the sole on the 2016 pair features a much more pronounced blue tint than that of the ’09 release, with the original version also appearing more blue when worn on court by MJ.
the 2016 edition will be packaged in a Looney Tunes themed box with special cartoon graphics to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary.

Take a look at how the 2016 Space Jam 11s stack up against the 2009 retro in the gallery above, and set aside $110 if you’re planning to cop a pair when they return on today.

Air Jordan 28 SE Performance Review

When the Air Jordan XX8 was unveiled to the public for the first time in December of 2012, it was introduced along with the concept of “stealth.” During the design process, when the theme was taken to MJ, he pulled no punches when explaining what the concept meant to him. “Stealth is like Black Cat. It’s an ultimate aircraft. You never hear it coming, but it’s deadly as hell. You don’t ‘F’ with stealth. My game is like that. When you see it, it’s too ‘F-ing’ late.” The concept of stealth could even be tied in to the fact that the shoe was the first Air Jordan of the blog-era to not leak beforehand.

But while “stealth” may have defined the shoe’s design aesthetic, and even the unveiling, beneath it all, it was basically a shoe you’d seen before. A much better version than you’d seen before, but still a shoe who’s lasting impression came more from its refinements rather than breaking entirely new ground.

There are a handful of differences, which we’ll get into later, but if you are familiar with the Air Jordan XX8, then the easiest way of describing the SE is that it is the Air Jordan 1 , minus the stealth. The sky-high cut of the Air Jordan XX8 may have garnered most of the attention, but it was the shoe’s tooling that boasted the real breakthroughs. Zoom Air has been around since the mid-‘90s, and has been our benchmark for what’s possible in basketball cushioning. In over 20 years, nothing new that has come out since has topped it. That still hasn’t changed, but thanks to the introduction of Flight Plate, Zoom Air has gotten even better.

It’s still Zoom Air, but thanks to a holistic system, you are able to get more out of it than ever before. “The basic system is all around compression, deflection, and ultimately moderation,” explained the shoe’s developer, Josh Heard, when the XX8 launched.

“Zoom Air bags by themselves are extremely energy efficient,” he continued. “The problem was the way we had used Zoom Air bags in the past. We would encapsulate them in foam and whatnot, and it would lock up all the energy. You couldn’t get anything out of it. So what we did was we unlocked the Zoom. We unleashed the Zoom. We’ve cored out foam all around the Zoom Air bags, so literally you are stepping directly on Zoom when you are getting that first, initial feel. The outsole also helps, as I said, piston that effect. And then we have a moderator plate on top, that eliminates any bumps or hot spots under the foot. So, it’s moderated all the way through, and you get that nice, comfortable smooth feel.”

The change may seem subtle, and compared to an entire new cushioning technology, it is. But the results are immediately noticeable, and make “regular” Zoom now seem lacking. It allows the wearer to feel “more” Zoom, without the use of “bigger” Zoom, such as the full-length Max Zoom bag found in the LeBron X.

That means more responsiveness, with better court feel, and a stance closer to the floor. Cushioning and court feel typically have an inverse relationship. As one increases, the other deceases. But thanks to this new system, protection and flexibility increased simultaneously. When combined with an outstanding midfoot shank, the Air Jordan XX8 and XX8 SE were simply some of the best playing experiences I’ve ever had.

The shoes flex where needed, offer up support where needed, provide responsive cushioning where needed, and have zero break-in time. I can’t think of a performance shoe that’s ever felt as good right out of the box as the two of these. With the only exception possibly coming from the traction improving over the first few wearings, the shoes felt as good on the first runs as the twentieth.

I haven’t mentioned any differences yet between the original and SE editions of the XX8, because when it comes to the shoes’ toolings, there aren’t any differences. It’s the exact same shoe underfoot. And the uppers are similar enough to not effect the way the tooling plays.

The most obvious difference though is the XX8 SE’s lack of a shroud. But considering the shroud was largely a cosmetic feature, the shoe feels much more similar than you may expect. The plushness of the XX8’s inner workings provided a level of comfort that isn’t quite matched by the SE, but at the same time, the synthetics used here are more supportive, and have proven to be more durable after long-term testing. And strangely enough, the cut of the XX8 SE actually feels slightly taller than the original. The lack of shroud also means better breathability, which was one of the few negatives of the original.

Unsurprisingly, since it was also the case with the original XX8, the SE runs a bit large. I’d recommend starting a half-size smaller than what you normally wear. Jordan Brand has stuck with the traditional, generally accommodating last, which they’ve used on all recent Game shoes. This means the shoe will fit more people than the sleeker and more narrow lasts used by Nike Basketball, but it won’t fit as well. After playing in my normal size 13 in the air jordan 1, and 12.5 in the SE, I found the ideal fit came by sizing down.

The XX8 was an excellent example of the law of diminishing returns. It was the best performing hoops shoe of 2013 at any price, but it wasn’t twice as good as shoes costing half as much. But with the XX8 SE, you are getting almost the exact same shoe, for $100 less. And with better breathability, more durability and slightly more support, you could almost argue it’s a better shoe.

If I had to choose between the two, I’d probably go with the original XX8, if price was no object. But then again, I could get 2 pairs of SEs for close to the same price. It’s hard to call a shoe costing $150 a deal, but with prices constantly rising, that’s practically at the team level in 2014. At this point in time though, you won’t find a better value, and probably not a better shoe period, at any price.


best for: most players other than larger forwards and centers who need abrasion protection in the post

colorway tested: Black/Dark Powder Blue/Team Orange/White

key tech: Flight Plate system, Carbon Fiber midfoot shank and heel counter, Dynamic Fit

pros: comfort; cushioning; transition; fit; zero break-in time

cons: sizing

improvements: Fit more true to size

buying advice: The SE edition of the Air Jordan XX8 offers almost all of the positives of the original, for $100 less. It’s slightly less comfortable, but slightly more breathable. And in my experience, the SE has been much more durable as well. Its cushioning is second to none, and I’ve never felt a more effective carbon fiber shank. Considering that the $250 Air Jordan 4 was an easy recommendation, at $150, the SE is one of the easiest recommendations I’ve ever made for a hoops shoe. Just be sure to try a pair on, or size down a half size, for proper fit.

Air Jordan 3 Black Cement: Comparison 2008 vs. 2018

We are 22 November 2018 and today is the big day out of the Jordan 3 Black Cement, one of the most sneakers known and recognized. We were also often asked if this 2018 version was competitive with the retro of 2008, after the pack CDP 3/20 (the latter being more easily found and ‘affordable’). So we are often told that over the years the retro lose enormously in quality, NiceKicks helps us to take stock of this release and therefore whether it is better to let go a few dollars more on the 2008 or 2018 proccurer this version. 2018 jordans present you, in French, this roundup. So sit back, relax and enjoy!

The perforations

As you can see the holes on the 2018 model (right) are slightly larger and more spaced.

The Varsity Red

Like many recent retros, we note that the colors are not met (we think of the gray cement IV white / cement). The air jordan 3 Black / Cement is no exception, we note a varsity red darker than the 2008 that it was very close to OG version. This notable are on the inner cover of the sneaker, of the tongue and Jumpman. This is unfortunate, but the difference is not so obvious is true condition (in real life, on your feet).

The label

Regarding the placement of the label, the 2018 (left) is more consistent with the range by putting Jordan on the inside of the tongue, unlike the 2008 version that hides in the inner side of the sneaker.

Elephant Print

To counterbalance the darker red varstity of 2018, Jordan Brand to put an Elephant print in black slightly less intense. But this was done out of concern for color balance and does not jump in the eyes.

The insole

The 2008 version was released for the 23 th anniversary of Jordan sneakers, so she has a special insole far enough from the OG. The 2018 version is much more simple and standard.

The silhouette

The 2018 version (like the white cement and true blue) sees her figure slightly redesigned with a slightly larger overall appearance and a tongue that dates back earlier than 2008, it is also slightly wider. And on the tongue, it’s not a bad thing, given that Jordan is doing with the tab visible.

The padding of the tongue

Here you will find that the tongue is much more padded on the 2008 version (2nd image) than the 2018 version. Jordan Brand explained to us at the exit of the white Cement 2018 that this change gave more freedom to move the anchor to those who would wear during a game of basketball.

The fender

On the one hand the fender of the 2018 (2nd photo) is slightly less polish but also parallel to the footing that the 2008 version.

Mid Sole

The finishing of the mid sole in 2008 (left) gives a more matte than the 2018. The 2018 is closer to the OG of this view.

The padding of the ankle

Jordan Brand continues to refined comfort of his 2011 strengthening of the sneaker padding around the ankle. This is part of why the 2018 version has a more massive than its big sister in 2008.

The Packaging

Buy a 2008 version is to have half a box of dmp pack 3/20. Buy a 2011 is to have a box near OG version with tissue paper Elephant Print.


This 2018 version has against it a slightly darker red varsity, a slightly more massive. For the rest there is no real difference strong enough to justify the extra Euros required for CDP 2008 version. Jordan Brand has done a great job on this 2018, then go ahead darken, it is on sale now in all good dairies advised to take € 155. Another big thank you for this great comparative and these wonderful pictures.

adidas Crazy BYW X Performance Review is here

You all asked and we delivered: the performance review on the $200 adidas Crazy BYW X is here.

Traction was amazing…to start. The very first day I played in the adidas Crazy BYW X was my best experience in the shoe overall.

Traction bit the floor, which had dust all over the damn place like nobody’s business. However, each time I wore the shoe after that initial day I became less and less impressed — it’s like the rubber decided to retire. For whatever reason its bite and tackiness wore out and I was left with a herringbone outsole that required me to wipe any chance I had nike air force 1 .

Even after taking the Crazy BYW X to cleaner courts I had to wipe every so often to maintain the level of grip that I’m comfortable with — which was a bit irritating. However, the traction never got to the point to where I thought it was downright bad, but it wasn’t that “Oh, hell yes!” type of grip I had on day one.

Then the rear section of the outsole blew out on me, literally. I remember the play when it happened. I rarely feel when traction peels, but this time I did as it was a few rows at once.

I was on a fast break and needed to slow down a bit so I could gather and lay the ball in. When I used my heel to slow myself down — the only time I really use my heels — I felt this weird jerk at the base of my heel. Luckily, my stride was already beginning to lead into the toe so I was able to continue the play and lay the ball in.

It wasn’t until I went to wipe my soles after the play was completed that I noticed the traction on my heel gave out and looked like strands of Play-Doh stuck in the spaghetti maker play-set. Thus, outdoor use is definitely not recommended.

While the Crazy BYW X doesn’t deserve the Benched badge, it doesn’t deserve the Starting 5 badge either. It’s good coverage that will take care of you, but you’ll need to maintain the outsole throughout your sessions.

The Feet You Wear concept implemented here isn’t like the original. While many applaud the original adidas harden vol 2 system, I was never a huge fan of it because sometimes it would aggravate my right foot. This version feels more neutral, like the original Pure Motion system, only with Boost in place instead of EVA and adiPrene.

Fluidity and transition were pretty smooth while court feel in the forefoot is abundant, without losing much impact protection. The closest thing I can compare it to is the Harden Vol 1. The main difference being the Boost is even more subdued in the forefoot of the Crazy BYW X than it was on the Harden Vol 1 since the Boost is completely encased.

The heel is really bouncy and at first and it was a bit of a distraction compared to the firmer forefoot. I felt like I was being propelled with a small spring under my heel until I got used to the setup. After, I began to adjust and feel more comfortable with the setup — that’s when the shoe really feels low, fast, responsive, and built for fluid mobility.

The only thing I can compare the feeling to is what I experienced with the Air Jordan XX8-30. That incredibly mobile and agile sensation that I felt makes this BYW setup a step up from the original FYW.

Materials featured are pretty average for a modern shoe; the Crazy BYW X uses textiles and a compression collar at the tongue and ankle areas.

For being a textile upper, it has been pretty durable thus far. There are no areas that pinch or hot spots along the main section of the build, but the heel’s rubber pull tab caused some chaffing at the back of my ankle — my quarter cut socks weren’t quite long enough to prevent this so that is an area to keep an eye on.

Interestingly, I had the same issue with the adidas Harden Vol 2 as well. I’d recommend that adidas stop stitching the rear pull tab into the main bootie section of the collar. Perhaps the brand could stitch it between the bootie and the outer material so it doesn’t rub on the heels of some wearers.

The shoe fits true to size, something rare for adidas. However, it’s that really snug and tight, nearly suffocating, type of fit that some — like myself — enjoy, but that others may not. Wide footers will want to go up 1/2 size, but that could cause some issues with the support as it relies on that one-to-one fit.

Lockdown as actually nice — like, really nice. I initially had my reservations with the lacing as the lateral side relies on those thin cables that are known to break. While those can and likely will break on someone, they did not break on me. The medial side has a much stronger nylon cable in place and both worked well to keep me sucked into the shoe and on the tooling.

All I can say is that if you try the shoe on, don’t be discouraged by the initial choke hold it will have on your feet. The materials will stretch around your foot once you break them in and you’ll end up with a form fitting shoe like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

Much like the lockdown, support was really surprising on the Crazy BYW X. The shoe is very minimalistic and doesn’t look like it’d support anyone.

However, the shoe uses all the standard support features, and they’re amplified to make up for the very minimal upper. It’s heel counter is strong and encompasses most of the rear while the chassis that the tooling sits on cradles your foot — much like the setup in the Air Jordan XX8-30.

The part that I felt really helped the Crazy BYW X was that you sit within the Boost midsole both in the heel and forefoot. You’re on a low-profile platform built to be anatomically correct and designed to really hug and hold onto your foot. If you’re a shoe nerd in addition to being a regular hooper then these will leave you wondering what else the future of performance footwear has to offer.

Will shoes get even more supportive with sock-like uppers? What will basketball shoes look like in 20 years? These are just a couple of questions this one shoe forces me to think about.

I think the Crazy BYW X is very good, but the traction definitely could be better. I think if adidas used a slightly stronger rubber compound and spaced the herringbone treads a little further apart then this would have been a shoe that I’d say you’d need to try.

As it is right now, sitting at that $200 price point, the Crazy BYW X is a shoe that you should try only if you have the means. If you don’t, don’t be discouraged because there are plenty of footwear options that offer great performance and won’t break the bank.

I am very curious to see where brands go from here because adidas really pushed the envelope with this one — adidas Originals no less. It’ll be very interesting to see what comes from the basketball shoes in the future.

Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Blue and Chicago and Blue in 2017~2018

1.The Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Dark Powder Blue is expected to release at select retailers during May 2018. Retail price is set at $190.

Jordan Brand and Virgil Abloh will have yet another strong year utilizing the Air Jordan 1. Recently launched was the ‘White’ edition and now we have the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 ‘Powder Blue’ coming in May.

This Air Jordan 1 will feature a White, Cone and Dark Powder Blue color combination. At the time of writing images have yet to leak, however they are expected to feature a UNC theme.

2.The Off-White Air Jordan 1 White will release exclusively in Europe on March 3rd, 2018 in limited quantities. Once available the retail price will be $190.

With the release of the Off-White x Air Jordan 1, Virgil Abloh along with Nike and Jordan Brand will expand on their collaborations. In 2018 there will be another Air Jordan 1 releasing.

While the first release featured the iconic Chicago theme, Virgil’s upcoming Air Jordan 1 collaboration will come dressed in White. In addition they have the unfinished – unconstructed look. Following is Black writing, Blue stitching on the Nike Swoosh and the standard Orange tab.

This won’t be the only collaboration releasing this year, also launching is the OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 ‘University Blue’ edition.

3.Continue to scroll below to check out more images of the OFF-WHITE Air Jordan 1 Chicago collaboration which will give you a better look. At the time of writing, they will release during November 2017

Virgil Abloh who is the founder of OFF-WHITE appears to be working with Jordan Brand. Recently leaked is the OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 collaboration.

This Air Jordan 1 by OFF-WHITE features a Chicago theme of Red, White and Black while having an inside out or unfinished theme. On the medial side we have ‘OFF WHITE for Nike branding while large AIR is seen on the midsole. Completing the look is a unique Nike Swoosh on the panels and ‘Shoelaces’ written on the laces. Each pair will also come with four colored laces while the box is also inside out. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

‘Banned’ Air Jordans have slightly different history than Nike’s narrative

Nike’s story of the black-and-red Air Jordan 1 makes for sexy marketing: When then-NBA commissioner David Stern saw Michael Jordan wearing the shoes in a 1984 preseason game, he banned them.

Nike and Jordan Brand are pumping that story line as they prepare for the Saturday release of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Banned, a throwback to the classic that sneaker heads have nicknamed the “Bred.”

But the Bred was not the shoe that was banned. It was the Ship.

Let us explain.

Air Jordan sneaker design: A brief history
A brief history of the design inspiration behind Air Jordans.
As original Air Jordan logo designer Peter Moore recalls, Nike and Jordan’s marketing team at ProServ met that August in Washington, D.C., and planned the launch of his first shoe, but it wouldn’t be ready until November. Jordan needed something of Nike’s to wear during training camp and preseason and the brain trust wanted it to be red and black, as they intended the first shoe’s color scheme to be, to make him stand out from other players.

At the time, however, NBA shoes had to be mostly white, and Stern “banned the red and black because he proclaimed that the red and black were not the color of the Bulls — the shoes didn’t meet the uniform standard,” said Moore, who is now founder of What’a Ya Think, a Portland, Ore.-based. branding consulting company. “They were the colors of the Bulls, they just were lacking white, but you don’t argue with David Stern at that point.”

During the regular season, Jordan alternated between red-and-white Ships and Air Jordan 1 Retro Banned , nicknamed “Chicagos.”

So how have the red-and-black Ships and Breds come to be confused?

“The Air Ship was basically colored up to look like the shoe that was coming,” Moore said. “Those shoes were probably specially made for him to wear, and they were what his Air Jordans would look like once they came. Nobody would know the difference unless they had the shoes in front of them.”

The True Story Behind the Banned Air Jordan 1

We’ve been led to believe that the black and red colorway of the Air Jordan 1 was banned 31 years ago. But was it really? The Air Jordan 1 is a mysterious shoe that originally released in all sorts of colorways, and in order to gather the history and evolution of the brand, we must first look back at its roots.

As the story goes, Michael Jordan was, or would be fined, $5,000 per game if he wore a certain pair of red and black Nike basketball shoes, as evidenced by 2011’s “Banned” Air Jordan 1 High. Per the “uniformity of uniform rule” set by the NBA,

A player must wear shoes that not only matched their uniforms, but matched the shoes worn by their teammates.”

At the time, red and black was much more rebellious than plain black and white shoes, and first-year NBA commissioner David Stern “threw them out of the game.” Legend has it that MJ continued wearing the pair anyway, while Nike footed the bill. Does this story sound familiar to you? Let’s take a look at an interview conducted by legendary late night talk show host, David Letterman. Fast forward to 4:48.

Here is a letter written by then-NBA Executive Vice President, Russ Granik, addressed to Nike Vice President, Rob Strasser. It states that Michael Jordan wore a certain pair of Nike basketball shoes that violated the league’s rules and procedures on or around October 18, 1984.

There are so many questions to be asked. For one, how many games did MJ wear the Black/Red Air Jordan 1? And did Nike really pay said imposed fines? And here’s the biggest question: Was the Black/Red Air Jordan 1 even the right sneaker that was first “banned” by the NBA?

No, and here’s why.

I’ve had regular discussions with people on the matter. In particular, bigbostrong on Instagram, who has provided detailed pictures of Air Jordan history, as well as our friends from Australia, Adam Ryan and Aaron Stehn—both of whom who run a popular podcast on A mutual colleague of theirs, Adam Howes, runs and does the same, but with all focus on the rich historical events of Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls history.

We have already scratched the surface as to what MJ first wore during his rookie campaign, which is identified as the Nike Air Ship—a mysterious shoe that has yet to be retroed. To my knowledge, Jordan wore three colorways of the Air Ship: White/Natural Grey, White/Red and Black/Red. And that Black/Red version of the Nike Air Ship is the actual sneaker that was banned, not the Air Jordan 1. Jordan did however had a PE edition of the Air Ship, which read “Air Jordan” on the heels.

Michael Jordan Air Ship

Close-up shot of the “Air Jordan” PE Air Ship – Image via Getty Bettmann / Contributor
Here is Michael in a 1984 preseason game against the New York Knicks wearing the Black/Red Nike Air Ship. The game was played on October 18, 1984 at Madison Square Garden. It was the 6th preseason game the Bulls had played, and they were going into the game with a 4-1 record. A few days earlier on October 15, 1984, the two teams played each other at Glens Falls, NY some 200 miles north of Madison Square Garden. The NBA notified Nike and/or the Bulls that the black and red sneaker from the October 18 game broke the “uniformity of uniform rule.” He would immediately have to stop wearing the colorway on court.

In this YouTube video, you can see Michael wearing the Black/Red Nike Air Ship during practice at Madison Square Garden from a interview conducted on October 18, 1984. Fast forward to 0:26. The game following is the regular season debut at Madison Square Garden on November 8, 1984 with Michael wearing the White/Red Nike Air Ship.

There have been no pictures surfaced of Michael Jordan ever wearing the Black/Red Air Jordan 1 in an NBA game. I’ve been analyzing this mythical story for a some years now, and have even challenged our Jordan forum to provide a picture and/or video of Michael wearing the shoes. I’ve been presented with all sorts of unique attempts such as the 1985 NBA Slam Dunk competition, to Patrick Ewing in a one-on-one match up, to screenshots of Michael from the “Just For Kicks” documentary of 2005.

Let’s break down each attempt. The 1985 NBA dunk contest doesn’t count since it wasn’t an NBA sanctioned game. It does however suggest that the NBA may have again warned the Bulls superstar and Nike for breaking the “uniformity of uniform rule.” Referencing back to the letter, it was dated February 25, 1985. All Star festivities began on the weekend of the 10th. It may suggest that a second warning did take place, but no evidence has surfaced regarding any imposed fines the NBA may have issued—something we can perhaps research at a later time.

The matchup between Jordans for all and Ewing was for the cover of the November 1985 issue of Inside Sports magazine, and utilized for promotion of the 1985-86 NBA season. It simulated the matchup between the previous Rookie of the Year (Jordan) versus the potential (and eventual) Rookie of the Year (Ewing). Jordan continued to wear the White/Red Air Jordan 1 in the 1985-86 NBA season, before and after his foot injury.

The documentary Just For Kicks again attempted to align the notion that Jordan was fined for wearing the shoes. But there has yet to be evidence by Nike or the NBA that proves that the violation ever took place. These screen captures from the documentary were modified. Photos of the game were taken from the first round of the 1986 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics in which Michael scored a playoff record 63 points. It still stands as a record today.

Keep in mind that the uniform style worn during Michael’s rookie season were different. The road jerseys consisted of black script lettering for Chicago along the chest and the home jerseys with the Bulls team name in red. After the 1984-85 NBA season, the Bulls sported a new uniform style which is similar to what Jordan wore throughout his illustrious career.

So there you have it—the true story behind of the actual “banned” sneaker. It was not the Air Jordan 1 banned , but indeed the Nike Air Ship in the Black/Red colorway. Perhaps someday we’ll come to understand how Nike strategically rolled out the “banned” campaign. We can only wonder if we’ll ever get a retro of the Nike Air Ship—which seems like a possiblity after it was finally offically acknowledged by Jordan Brand in 2014.

Whether or not the Air Jordan 1 was banned, the myth is most definitely a part of sneaker history, and the precursor to what Jordan Brand is today.

adidas harden vol 2 red white performance review

The Harden Vol 2 is a nice basketball shoe off the court, but it did not impress me on the court.

Let’s cut straight to the chase: the traction on the Harden Vol 2 let your boy down something fierce. The traction performed well right out of the box…for about two days.

After the rubber breaks in the traction will decline full speed ahead. On dirty courts, I was wiping more than I like to, and these things pick up dust like nobody’s business. The traction had me out there like I was competing in the Winter Olympics – figure skating style.

On a clean court, the traction was solid. As long as the court conditions are good you will be fine.

I’m sure you guys already know what I’m about to say right? You guessed it: Booost is life…well, a different life, because this setup is a bit different from other Boost basketball shoes.

This year, a much thicker piece of Boost is implemented in the Harden Vol 2. However, don’t expect this thicker boost to be as bouncy as other performance models that we’ve dealt with before. I am not saying the Boost isn’t good, it is, I’m just that it seems like adidas went with a more impact protection focused setup this year. It was great for impact protection and I’d like to see this setup on more releases in the future.

Materials are pretty basic on the Harden Vol 2. ForgeFiber, a reinforced textile mesh is used at the forefoot while synthetic paneling makes up the rear. The mesh gets its strength from TPU-coated fibers, and they add support to the mesh — it does a great job at containing the foot. While the materials are pretty basic — it’s all synthetic here — they keep the weight of the upper down.

The fit on the Harden Vol 2 is true to size. Wide-footers may be able to go true to size but I would try on in-store. The shoe fits pretty snug and at the midfoot there’s an elastic-like band that may cause discomfort for some people. It is also an ounce heavier than the Harden Vol 1 (just a note for people that prefer lightweight

Support on James Harden’s second signature was pretty good. With an outrigger that is as wide and as thick as the one used here you’re bound to get good support. The wide base here is like standing on a plank of Boost foam.

The one-piece bootie does a great job at containing the foot while providing you with a compression-like feel — I love how these felt on-foot. The mesh was strong enough to support every move I made on the court and keep me atop the footbed with no issues.

I did have a bit of an issue with the heel lockdown, but once I customized the lacing system to my liking — those holes aren’t for decoration — I was able to get my heel locked into the back of the shoe.

Unless you play on crispy clean courts the Harden Vol 2 Red White isn’t a shoe that I would recommend people buy because there are a bunch of better options on the market. The traction was just too inconsistent for me to enjoy in these.

However, I do recommend this Harden if you want to rock something swaggy with tons of Boost. I think it looks incredible worn casually.