Air Jordan 34 Performance Reviews

Finally an ambassador worthy of the JB buzz machine.

But does the new Jordan match the hype of the new face of JB?
Let’s face it, love or hate JB, you pay attention to the launch of the latest Jordans. Throw in all the influencer marketing on YouTube and you can’t really avoid it. Are they always aesthetically pleasing ? Not every shoe during MJ’s playing date were hot but most non MJ playing year have fallen on the the meh side of things. I think these look great but of course nobody is reading this for my style tips so on with the review !

Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, support, stability, containment
Cons: some wiping required on dustier floors, arch support may cause pain, pricey, materials are meh
Best for: any position
Sizing advice: true to size or half a size up. I really advise going in store to try on. Half size up would be the safest bet.
Buying advice: like all shoes these days these are sitting. Wait for discounts as these will get down to the $100-120 level like all Jordans these days. But can you hold off after watching Zion highlights is the real question.
Weight

Jordan brand touts these as one of the lightest Jordans ever and they are average weight for a mid despite the tech spec “upgrades”. “One of the lightest” is about as generic and broad of a sentence as you can get without lying. Most of the weight is on the bottom since the upper is so minimal. But hey if a someone thinks they are uber light so be it!
Traction

Thin flexible and slightly modified herringbone really works well. It doesn’t squeak like crazy (nor does it matter). Just a good reliable pattern slightly angle to give a little more stopping power side to side.

It is not the best ever but it’s definitely up there and works well on all floor conditions. Some slight wiping on really dusty floors but not much at all. Well done JB!
Cushioning

Really lots of surface area coverage in the forefoot, and just a standard smallish rectangle in the heel. I’m sure Fastpass.cn will have a break down if they haven’t yet.

Even though it’s smallish you can feel the Zoom directly with your hands and obviously your heel. Much smaller than the Kobe IV heel and shorter than the Zoom Freak 1 heel.

You can see how wide and fairly thick the Zoom is. I’m guessing 8- 10 mm which is standard…thanks for the view Eclipse plate

It is NOT AJ 28 level (or 29 31 32 or 33 or melo m8-11) but it doesn’t need to be. It just feels like Zoom should feel almost right out of the box thanks to a softer foam carrier similar to the PG3. No need to add in protrusions or speed plates to artificially increase Zoom feel if the bags are nice and big. I could feel the Zoom in the heel pretty easily even though it isn’t the biggest (that’s what she said? 😞) since it’s directly underfoot. The forefoot feels fairly good after break in but it is under a few millimeters of foam so it isn’t surprising that the Zoom feel is muted. I suspect this is what the Zoom Rise and Alpha Dunks sort of feel like (Ill get around to those soon I hope, the Rize is already on sale for 104 on Nike).
If you’re looking for plush or KD 9-10 level you’ll be disappointed but if you want a very well balanced and fun overall set up, you’ll really like these. Guards and bigs should really enjoy the cushioning even if there are better feeling set ups. FWIW the Kd12 feels better underfoot to me but not by much.

The 34 does everything well and while I don’t see much of theAJ IV lineage (are they still doing that ? I see more AJ XXI than IV)I think it’s a fresh, good looking shoe that you forget about while you’re playing which is pretty much what every sneaker should strive for. It isn’t the best at anything in particular but overall it works great. Surprisingly (or not) these remind me a lot of a sneaker in my rotation; the tried and true seven year old. Lebron Soldier VI. As cool as the AJ 34 is, I get more Zoom feel and more support in a lighter package at 13 ounces for a fraction of the price. I’m not knocking the 34, it is a great shoe but it isn’t any better than what I have already (keep in mind I love the Soldier VI) I’ve said it time and time again that newer doesn’t mean better. If you’re in the market for a pair of hoop shoes, the AJ34 is a very safe bet because it performs well in every category except price.

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