Verdict from 47 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • A good number of reviewers like the smooth patent leather detailing over the upper mesh
  • Some reviewers say the mesh upper allows their feet to breathe making the Air Jordan Spike 40 ideal for summer months when breathability is a significant
  • Nike Air branding at the back of the shoe awakens a sense of nostalgia on this lifestyle sneaker from Air Jordan, some observers said.
  • A few commenters mentioned that the strength of this follow-up to the Spiz’ike and Son of Mars is on its heavy detailing with Air Jordan V-inspired reflective accents and Spike Lee details.
  • A large number of users disclosed that the Air Jordan Spike 40 sneaker felt lightweight and is ideal for daily wear or hanging out.
  • Some users were surprised by the clear outsole’s excellent traction with the herringbone pattern helping a lot in adding grip at the bottom.
  • The Zoom air cushioning midsole does its job well in providing comfortable cushioning to this lifestyle sneaker, several users commented.
  • Some customers are impressed by the vibrant colorways and combinations used in this Air Jordan high-top design.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A lot of complaints were posted about the plastic feel of the accents that made the entire high-top shoe look cheap.
  • Some questioned the durability of the mesh upper and the synthetic leather overlays as it felt poorly executed.
  • A few critics say the price is too steep for a new sneaker design compared to the retro releases of the Air Jordan brand that has already proven itself regarding quality and looks.
  • Other users say they find this an overpriced buy compared to buying tried and tested retro designs from the Air Jordan portfolio.

Bottom line

A fitting follow-up to previous Spike Lee-inspired kicks, the Air Jordan Spike 40 is a dynamic display of colors in neatly placed accents over a tight-woven mesh upper. Tinkering with the Tinker Hatfield designed Air Jordan V silhouette; the lifestyle sneaker features a transparent outsole, reflective material, and lace toggle.

While the shoe looks stylish, other critics say it is priced steeply when they can get retros of previous iconic Air Jordans for a few bucks difference from this model.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The high-top silhouette of the Air Jordan Spike 40 is secured by flat contrasting laces with a 3D Spike Lee caricature decal lace stop for a secure lockdown. The lifestyle sneaker has well-cushioned interiors and lining with a padded breathable mesh tongue. 

The Air Jordan Spike 40, Spike Lee’s latest creation for the Air Jordan brand, is a fitting follow-up to the American director’s previous successful designs like the Spizike and Son of Mars. With reflective detailing inspiration from the Air Jordan V and the patent leather reflective detailing in the upper, the Spike 40 completes the overall look with a 3D Spike Lee caricature lace decal, a speckled midsole, and a translucent sole with “Spike” and “Forty” wording at the bottom.

The heavily accented Air Jordan Spike 40 is a handsome high-top sneaker to add a bit of gloss to one’s outfit. The reflective detailing and contrasting colors are instant crowd drawers. Eyes would undoubtedly gravitate towards the glossy accents and reflective detailing with the Spike Lee caricature on the lace stops as the centerpiece.

The debut colorway of the Spike 40 is a no-brainer New York Knicks-inspired colors. Often dubbed as the No. 1 fan of the NBA team, the Knicks colorway involves a Total Orange/White/Game Royal combination. The look of the debut model is finished with a combination of white and black with speckles on the midsole for added funk. A sense of nostalgia is also rekindled with the Nike Air logo at the back heel of this high-top kick. After the first colorway was released, other color options were issued for the Spike 40 that include Game Royal/Total Orange, White/Fire Red, Black/Fire Red Maroon, and Black/Cement.

Drawing a familiar Air Jordan V silhouette with reflective detailing, the Air Jordan Spike 49 has a 3D Spike Lee lace lock, a transparent outsole with Spike and Forty lettering with reflective material in the back, eye stays, and collar. On the technical side, the most significant features of this high-top kick include a Phylon midsole for a lightweight feel and a Zoom Air unit at the heel for impact absorption.

American film director Spike Lee has a long history of creating iconic designs for Air Jordan. Ever since the favorite director played the character Mars Blackmon alongside Michael Jordan in a series of Nike commercials in the 1980s to the 1990s, Lee has played an essential role in getting the Jordan brand noticed.

The Mars Blackmon character from the 1986 film She’s Gotta has It and his equally iconic “It’s gotta be the shoes!” line has been proven effective to get the Jordan brand noticed aside from it being worn by the greatest basketball player of all time Michael Jordan.

Since then several designs inspired by Lee or designed himself were released by the brand that includes the ever-popular Air Jordan Spiz’ike in 2006, the Jordan Son of Mars in 2012. Other collaborations between Air Jordan and Lee were also done with the release of limited-edition Air Jordan I and the Fly 89.

The Air Jordan Spike 40, meanwhile, was released in late 2015 as a sort of homage to the director’s production company 40 Acres and a Mule. The high-top sneaker also gives nostalgic vibe as the Nike Air branding is placed at the back heel. Combining lifestyle and performance shoe qualities the debut colorway of Game Royal and Total Orange are inspired by Lee’s favorite NBA team the New York Knicks.

The high-top shoe also has drawn influence from the Air Jordan V with reflective material as accents, a Spike Lee caricature lace lock, and clear detailing at the sole. The shoe also boasts of a Phylon midsole with speckled detailing, a clear rubber outsole with a herringbone pattern for added grip, and a lightweight and breathable mesh upper material for added durability.

  • A white or black Phylon midsole with speckled detailing.
  • Zoom Air unit is placed at the heel for lightweight cushioning and shock absorption.
  • Woven mesh upper is held together by smooth and reflective patented leather.
  • A 3D caricature of Spike Lee serves as a lace lock.


How Air Jordan Spike 40 ranks compared to all other shoes
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Bottom 30% Jordan sneakers
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.