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This month we welcome the new Air Jordan 30 (XXX) sneakers, and since we were able to grab a pair we will review its features in this article. Officially released on February 12th 2016 to general public, the XXX has been introduced a month earlier at an exclusive event held at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago open for media members only. Tinker Hatfield, the man behind the most popular Air Jordan Retro Shoes of all time has been once again in charge to design this anniversary edition, being helped by Mark Smith, mainly responsible to apply the newest technologies in building this new sneaker. That day they introduced a limited edition of the Air Jordan XXX named “Cosmos” in black, white and blue colorway.

The next day after this event, Russell Westbrook had the honor to wear them first on the court during the Oklahoma Thunder game against Minnesota Timberwolves, this being the third time in a row when he officially introduced a new pair of Jordans in the game. And he did not disappoint, having recorded his fourth triple-double of the season. Russell was also featured in the official release video, being the pivotal athlete to promote it.

Tinker Hatfield recalls as inspiration in designing the Air Jordan XXX a picture of Michael Jordan at a slam-dunk contest in 1988. The former NBA star has asked him to come up with a new design at a pre birthday party in February. The result is a design that is different in many ways from the renowned retros, having a much more emphasis on performance than on looks.

air jordan xxx 30 review

Upper

As expected, the Air Jordan XXX is built with the latest Nike technology, featuring several new elements meant to keep it in line today’s athletes demands. The design is sleek and simple, with seamless jacquard woven upper and a special reflective fabric that reveals the Jumpman logo, placed for the first time on the toecap.

The shoe collar is shaped like never seen before, built to deliver the ultimate ankle support.

Another new element celebrating this anniversary issue is the tongue artwork that reveal Michael Jordan’s roots, with North Carolina marked on the one with the North American continent, while Africa is depicted on the other.

For the first time on a Jordan shoe the Flywire technology is used; in combination with the seamless jacquard fabric it makes the Air Jordan XXX sneaker one of the most performant on the market today.

One feature that stands out in this new design is surely the shape of the knit cradle, resembling both the XXX number and a basketball net that prolongs to the front. This last detail is in line with MJ’s request to Tinker Hatfield, “make it look fast”.

Sole

When the first pictures of the Air Jordan XXX were revealed, many hardcore sneakerheads were disappointed to see that the midsole it’s pretty much the same as its predecessor, the XX9. Tinker Hatfield blamed the short time in which the shoe had to be designed but also bringing up a point that many agree with; the Flightspeed technology used for the XX9 is the best the brand ever came up with, professional athletes being more that happy with the support it provides so it would’ve been a shame to change it only after one edition.

The Flightspeed system is a combination of Nike’s Zoom Air technology and a moderator plate that work together to give the athlete’s the ultimate energy return with every stride.

The outsole, while it has the same shape as before suffered some modifications, such as a new translucent herringbone pattern and the oversized XXX design next to the Jumpman logo.

Conclusion

The Air Jordan XXX sneaker is and anniversary issue that marks the transition of this shoe line to today’s athlete’s demands, away from the retro looks that made it so famous. This is a move that the Jordan brand had to make, one that no everyone will like at first. No wonder why many hardcore sneakerheads are not so happy about it. But with so many retros being re-issued this year, Nike will surely make them happy again. If you’re looking for a performant basketball shoe the Air Jordan XXX is the top of the line, as it features the latest technology the brand has to offer.

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