This season Westbrook’s triple-double game was as strong as the first signature sneaker. A distinctive silhouette that heavily emphasized support to withstand his ripping explosiveness along with the rest of the aspects delivering a solid performance for a full package.
Today we’re looking at the new addition to the Westbrook signature line – the Jordan Why Not Zero.2. The continuation that keeps the same emphasis but adds speed and mobility to its total.
So without further ado let’s get to the Jordan Why Not Zero.2 performance review.
WEIGHT: 467.7 g. / 16.5 oz
TECH: ZOOM AIR
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $125
BD RATING: 8.6/10
The new Russell Westbrook’s signature sneaker is back and it looks like a performer that is way above what it retails for. A large part of this is the mesh and knit that makes up a large portion of the shoe. These materials ensure that you are ready to step on the court as soon as you pop them out of the box, no break-in time is required.
The massive amount of paneling throughout the whole upper is there not only to complete the look or give the sneaker a character but to also serve the purpose of delivering that strong foot containment without interrupting player’s movement by moving together – something that the first model was lacking. Yet, breathability is, again, the thing that you will need to sacrifice for having this type of setup set-up. However, compared to the first generation, the Zero.2 is a “colder” sneaker due to not having that synthetic seal on top of the mesh and adding some knit in the forefoot area. That being said, your feet won’t be suffocating or burning. Just a few extra degrees caused by heavy layering from what we usually receive in sneakers with the same materials.
If you do own or had a chance to put up a few runs in the AJ 33 then you know the deal, well, as far as the Zoom Air part goes. For those who don’t – the Why Not Zero.2 is rocking the forefoot unlocked Zoom Air and without any surprise – it’s freaking awesome. Is it even possible for Zoom Air to be bad? As far as I can remember, not really. This stuff was, is and probably will be the best cushion technology in the sneaker game, and the Zero.2 is not an exception. Therefore, the forefoot section does feel really responsive to every move you perform on the court, while impact protection does not lag behind either thanks to additional Phylon layer.
The heel area, on the other hand, got robbed (in terms of tech) compared to the last year’s version having a full-length Zoom Air set-up. Instead, the whole rare portion of the midsole is Injected Phylon which is a more bouncy/springy version of Phylon. That being the case, it filled up my need of having some type of Zoom Air version back there more than I was expecting since the Injected Phylon did a solid job of absorbing impact and giving me that nice springy compression. You already know that I’m more of a “the more cushion the better” type of guy so I did enjoy this tooling more than the one on the last year’s pair. Nonetheless, if you do care more about court feel rather than some extra cushion, the Zero.1 or the AJ 33 would be a better option to go with. Yet, I wouldn’t say that the Zero.2 was that much noticeably higher of the ground, in my opinion.
These bad boys grip the floor like Russ grabs rebounds, tight. The outsole is featuring a whole army of deeply grooved circles (like tiny versions of Russell Westbrook), which bring to the table that aggressive, “straight up glue” badge worthy bite with the floor both indoors and outdoors.
There’re small cutouts in every single circle that help dust to channel through & out, instead of them clothing up inside, and in tandem with rather soft rubber compound keeps the dust at bay. Whipping is optional, maybe a few times per session for a good measure.
Unfortunately, while the A1 outdoor performance potentially makes the Zero.2 a really solid option for our street ballers out there, I wouldn’t be even considering bringing them outside, if you don’t want to make them flat in two months or so. Why? Blame it on the rubber…
Mesh and knit combination is what the brands these days are going for, and I’m completely positive about it. Leathers are nice and it adds up a premium touch to the shoe, however, as far as performance goes – it’s already history. You can’t get that little to no break-in period from them, which with mesh/knit is pretty much a norm as the Zero.2 requires none at all. You just slip your foot in and forget about it from day one.
Now – the biggest game changer would be the paneling itself. You do have three individual mesh panels on each side which are connected with the standard lacing system. Sounds like we have seen something like that before, yet those little details that make the 0.2 one of the best fitting sneakers this year.
While you’re tightening up the laces, the panels tighten up simultaneously in order to create that tight one-to-one fit while still maintaining a smooth transition within the upper, no matter what type of a foot you got. Speaking of which, the Zero.2 does fit true to size, well, for the most part. Therefore, for wide footers, it’s always best to try them out in store first due to mixed opinions over at social media whether they fit true to size or half a size smaller.
The Zero.2 has kept its roots of being a top dog in the support section, though doing it in a different fashion. The shroud from last year was swapped for the set of panels, which I’m a huge fan of. Each main section of the foot (forefoot, midfoot & heel) has its individual panel backed up with a Phylon wing on the midfoot section, an exaggerated torsional plate and that massive plastic external heel counter in the back. Oh man… Last year it was crazy, but this year it’s even crazier. That lateral support is straight up savage. No way you could bust your ass out of the footbed as long as this stuff is in the watch.
While the support is excellent in the higher portion of the sneaker, there feels to be a shift from completely support aimed midsole to more speedy construction on the 0.2’s which has led to having a buttery smooth heel to toe transition in exchange of narrower platform. Same deal as with the KD 12, didn’t experience any stability issues, but that peace of mind is still here.
I do like where the Jordan brand is going with the Why Not signature line. Adding that flashiness to already a beastly package was exactly what the Zero.1 was missing. In my opinion, the Zero.2 is a better reflection of Russel Westbrook’s play style in which bulkiness has no place in it. And, yeah, I’m ready to sacrifice some of the stability in exchange of having the shoe which seems like can run the floor for you. Once you lace them up, you immediately start to feel that brutal energy pumping through your legs and pushing you to just go for a nasty poster or tear down someone’s ankles. These do have that type of character and a price tag of $125.