It’s that time of year… The most iconic sneaker line has been updated. It’s none other than the Air Jordan 34, and this is my performance review.
Spoiler alert: this is freaking greatness…
WEIGHT: 371 g. / 13.09 oz
TECH: ZOOM AIR, ECLIPSE PLATE, RIPSTOP
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $180
BD RATING: 9.3/10
BEST PLACE TO BUY: NIKE
Straight out of the gate, this might be the most boring part of the shoe, though, considering the whole performance sneaker game, it still has some innovative stuff to bump up that playing experience.
So as for main body construction, this particular colorway is rocking a ripstop material with a touch of synthetic in the heel portion. Now if for whatever reason ripstop doesn’t rock your boat, no worries, you get to pick the one with screen mesh as the base material. Anyhow, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which combo you happen to choose, the outcome still remains the same – lightness, form-fitting factor, breathability, and see-through type of vibes.
Obviously, under the hood or I should say under the main body construction, is where the heavy-duty stuff is located. It’s a performance woven that comes as standard for all of the AJ 34 colorways, and the best part about this type of woven is that it is able to adapt. So to explain the process in a few words – the more force you’re putting out, the tighter it gets in that certain spot of the upper, preventing your foot from all of that unneeded motion, whether it’s lateral or back & front movements. Pretty freaking awesome, right?
Overall, it’s a super minimalistic upper that enhances lightness, quickness, and second-skin-like fit, but at the same time doesn’t lack of support & containment any bit.
No doubt about it, Zoom Air is in the building, and this time around, we got to experience a brand new iteration of it. What can I say, this is THE best Zoom Air version I have ever felt in my entire short life. Yep, just like that. Sorry LeBron 16’s Zoom Air/Air Max combo, you were my all-time favorite, until now…
Digging deeper into specifications, the AJ 34 does feature unlocked Zoom Air units both in the forefoot (originally shaped unit) and heel (hex unit) sections, plus a layer of phylon on top of that Air, it’s pretty plush so I assume it might be Seems like we already saw this type of combination a bunch of times, but that’s not everything to it.
While Zoom Air is considered to be the most responsive cushioning in the game, the Jordan Brand wasn’t completely satisfied with this statement. That’s where the Eclipse Plate comes to work to make this Zoom Air tooling so much different & evolved.
So the Eclipse Plate is basically a torsional plate which main mission doesn’t end with only crating more rigidity & support for the shoe’s platform, it way more than that. As you probably did notice, the Eclipse Plate creates a hollow core in the midsole to save some weight. Not only that, it is heavily connected with the cushion system itself to act as a performance booster. It distributes your weight for better cushion usage, at the same time improving already impressive responsiveness of Air. So as far as performance/experience go, it’s like having activated grenades that do explode whenever you go for a rise.
I was trying my best to explain this freaking amazing stuff is working, hope I did well. Now for those who are wondering whether this setup fits one position or the other – this one is for everyone across the board. From big dudes to enjoy impact protection, to two-way players to have well-balanced performance, al the way to guards to have their fair share of court feel.
To make the best, you need to use the best, and in this case, it’s none other than herringbone. However, from adidas’ practice we know that having only killer traction pattern isn’t enough, a rubber compound is as much important as the following one. Luckily, the AJ 32 has both, the rest is history…
You’re going to own those dusty courts on the same level as the clean ones with just a few quick wipes here and there. How about outdoors? Well, this isn’t the best option out there, but occasional outdoor usage is healthy.
That FastFit system was cool to try, but the original way of securing your fit still outperforms it by simply offering more adjustability within a few pulls. On these bad boys, you won’t find any fancy lace pattern or other complicated stuff, it’s your standard lacing system attached to string lace loops. It’s basic, but the Jordan brand made it work flawlessly with the rest of the shoe to ensure a true second-skin-like fit, and at the same time giving the perfect amount of lockdown straight out of the box. Though, I did receive just a tad bit of extra room in the higher portion of the toe area, basically, just below where the last row of laces is. This is just me nitpicking since that dead space was unnoticeable, but it does indicate that the AJ 34 is indeed a wide foot friendly option. That being said, I would recommend going true to size for everyone.
Other than that, the 34 is an incredibly nimble, lightweight & shifty performer on the hardwood when it comes to how it fits. They make you feel like playing barefoot, though, it’s way better with these bad boys since you have that greatest Air cushioning.
Do you think that strip down construction can’t hold anything? WRONG. Literally, every single main section of the shoe has it’s own support feature so that your foot won’t go anywhere while in action.
Starting off with the forefoot, there you do have a performance woven underlay pared up with midsole plate to control that exposed Air unit upon lateral movements. While a heavily cushioned internal/external heel counter that goes up to the midfoot area is there to completely cup your heel for perfect lockdown, had to slippage in either direction.
Last but not least, it’s the Eclipse plate in duo with a rather wide platform to ensure under the foot stability & rigidity. Adding all up, you’re getting all-around support in places you need it most.
I freaking fell in love with these, like no joke… After all of those years of trying to create something really special & iconic, this is that time, the Air Jordan 34 is up there in the same league with the AJ 28 and 29. This is THAT shoe that we’re going to remember as one of the greatest to ever made. This is a history in the making, and we’re the part of it.
Yes, you will need to pay a pretty big buck for these, but they damn worth every single penny. It’s that time to save your lunch money folks!