The brand new Air Jordan 35 is like an older brother to the 34’s, even though, theoretically it should be the opposite, who still has his hard copy of GTA San Andreas, and was into skating back in the days.
Can the Jordan brand go even further on improving what was one of the best on-court performers of the last year? There’s one way to find out. Read on.
WEIGHT: 16.1 oz / 456.4 g. (size 11.5)
TECH: ZOOM AIR, ECLIPSE PLATE 2.0
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $180
BD RATING: 9.2/10
I freaking love when the Jordan brand puts one leg back to the old days but keeps the other in the present. This has become their bread & butter; something that they have mastered throughout the years, and the Air Jordan 35 is just another proof of that.
The main body construction contains textiles & synthetics to meet the demand of a modern basketball player – lightness, free-flowing motion & airflow are the main aspects there. Meanwhile, all of that is flawlessly complemented by suede panels on the sides, as well as a full leather heel portion for adding containment in high-pressure areas; and just making another reason to look at their price tag with a less judging mindset.
What’s inside the midsole hasn’t changed that much, but the midsole itself did – so as on-foot experience.
The forefoot’s Zoom Air unit is now completely caged, unlike the 34’s having those free-range sections on lateral sides for Air to have some extra room to compress. That makes the 35’s forefoot a notch firmer due to the extra volume of foam surrounding it. In other words, the forefoot Zoom Air unit was forced into lockdown. Why? Probably due to COVID-19… Just kidding.
Heavier or overall bugger players, like me, won’t feel any major difference as they should break the foam in with ease to activate that Zoom Air greatness.
On the other hand, things might not be so exciting for lighter, less forceful players. I’m not saying you won’t be able to feel the unit. That’s not the case. The forefoot just wasn’t as exciting when it comes to Zoom Air experience as in the 34’s.
Looking at the back, the heel section is now rocking a full-sized Zoom Air unit, instead of a hex unit featured on last year’s model. That pretty much makes it a full-length Air experience, and if you weren’t completely satisfied with the amount of heel cushioning in the 34’s – these should cover you up perfectly.
Team Jordan just simply doesn’t have time to create brand new traction patterns or figuring out how to make that storytelling stuff work. They leave this job to Nike since they’re too busy working on another holy grail or two. And what you put on a holy grail’s outsole? Herringbone.
That being said, this year’s model adopts the same herringbone setup featured on its predecessor. And like last year – this stuff completely kills it both indoors and outdoors.
It’s like Chef Curry doing 360 with a wrist boy. You can do 360 with your feet boy – getting all the coverage you need.
Though, when it comes to outdoor hooping, the pattern itself gets the job done, but the rubber compound doesn’t. So I highly recommend avoiding these types of courts, especially the concrete ones.
While this year they went for a retro look, you can definitely see some fragments of the Air Jordan 5 in the heel portion, the on-foot experience still maintains modern standards. Quite frankly, that’s a thing of beauty to me – spicing it up with a pinch of retro spices on top of a present-day performance framework.
As I mentioned earlier, the leather paneling does not spoil the shoe’s ability to offer a speedy, free-flowing, one-to-one fit almost straight from the get-go. It’s the opposite, it complements the whole package with much-needed foot containment for that A1 court experience.
When it comes to the sizing, no complexity there, just go true to your size. It may not be a perfect match straight out of the box. But you should find your perfect fit within a few lacing system adjustments.
This is the segment in which I don’t have to say much… You just lace them up – make sure you’re using all the aylets and lace loops to squeeze the most out of it. Yeah, that’s all.
Once you do that, it’s like wrapping your shoe with a chain and putting a lock on it. Just a thousand times more comfortable. Your foot is literally going nowhere, minus a bit of healthy movement to keep your ankles from destruction.
The Eclipse plate 2.0 in conjunction with the Flywire type of strings keeps you laterally protected. While on the other end, you do have a heavily padded interior ankle portion powered by an internal heel counter for comfy yet rigid heel lockdown. Finally, all of that goes under a wide platform that sort of connects everything into a greatly working contraption.
No wonders why Zion is wearing these bad boys.
Another year, another potential spot in this year’s TOP 3. It never gets old.
It’s just another… My bad – “just” doesn’t go along with greatness. But, yeah, the Air Jordan 35 is the latest hit of one of the most well-rounded basketball performance lines in the game.
The upgrades aren’t big, but when you’re already on top of a game (talking about the aj 34’), there’s just simply not enough room left for improvements. And by that, I just answered the main question… Should you upgrade?
Well, if you missed some additional lockdown in certain areas; or you felt like there wasn’t enough pep in your step action back there in the heel section – the Air Jordan 35 will definitely fill those holes.
But other than that, I just don’t see any major reason for an upgrade as the AJ 34 still remains on top of the ball game when it comes to on-court performance. And that slight edge in the cushion department arguably makes them more acceptable for a wider variety of players.
BALLER FROM EUROPE? WE GOT YOU.