The upper is dominated by the patent leather that wraps around the shoe , an element that will always be associated with the Jordan XI retro sneaker. A small nubuck piece and thick mesh with a XIII retro’s pattern add a smooth finish to the upper construction. The shoe utilizes rope laces and features the Jumpman logo as the only branding on the ankle and tongue. Overall, the Max Aura 2’s upper looks pretty good and is definitely the shoe’s biggest upside. For a basketball model that was released this year, it looks straight out of Jordan Brand’s 90’s-2000’s catalog, in the best possible way. The triple black colorway that I got , which is normally not a particularly flattering colorway for this kind of shoe, actually suits the Max Aura 2 rather well. The glossy black finish of the patent leather contrasting with the matte black nubuck looks great and stopped the sneaker from blending into an indistinguishable black mess.
The upper is also very comfortable thanks to its padded heel and tongue and the patent leather, other than its luxurious looks it also adds some nice protection on the court or the muddy streets. The only complaint I had while doing this Jordan Aura 2 review was its breathability, as whilst the thick build of the sneaker provided a comfortable ride, it also prevented the feet from staying cool in the heat. But this is an easily avoidable downside given that this is a shoe that you’ll likely wear outdoors most of the time.
The sole unit is constructed from a standard foam midsole, and a rubber outsole, but with a visible bottom loaded Air unit in the heel. The midsole then features a dimple pattern under the heel, and the outsole is covered in a simple herringbone traction on the sole. The sole unit design is quite simple which makes sense since the patent leather upper pretty much takes the spotlight. It matches just right with the upper and helps giving the sneaker a sleek, streamlined look.
The simple design of the upper is reflected in the comfort and support it provides. The sneaker does not excel in neither department but is surely a big improvement from the retros it was inspired from. Admittedly considering the shoes basic cushioning set up, I expected the sole to offer very little comfort, but whilst it was certainly nothing to write home about, it was much better than we first thought. The Air unit did compress and was relatively comfortable, but for $120, I would still prefer a shoe with a Zoom unit or React cushioning. Especially for what is supposedly a performance basketball model, you would be right to expect a newer and more effective cushioning system.
The sole unit held up well in all weather conditions, and the rubber outsole seems very durable, still being completely intact after some light wear. The herringbone also provides some nice traction, and although this may not be particularly useful if you are wearing the shoe casually, it is great for playing basketball, or for any kind of exercise for that matter.
To conclude this Jordan Max Aura 2 review , this sneaker strikes just the right balance between a basketball shoe and a lifestyle sneaker, with enough technology and looks to excel in both departments. The shoe’s greatest upside is its stylish upper, that is nicely cushioned, and looks stunning with its patent leather wrap around mudguard. I was seriously impressed when the shoe arrived, looking even better in real life than in pictures. Regardless, if you like the Jordan Max Aura, and are happy to pay the price tag, we are sure you won’t regret your purchase. What the sneaker lacks in technology, it makes up for in style, and if you can find the shoe on sale anywhere, then it’s certainly a must cop.