Facts

  • Top

    High-Top

    Basketball sneakers that rise well above the ankle to keep sprints and jumps stable and well-supported. You sure can fly high when you have high-top basketball shoes to tie.

    Mid-Top

    Basketball sneakers that rise just up to where the ankles are. Providing support and flexibility so fine, mid-top basketball shoes surely hold the line.

    Low-Top

    Basketball shoes that leave the ankles exposed for a better range of motion. Be flexible with your blows, get basketball shoes that are low.

  • Signature

    Good to know

    Some basketball shoes embody the athleticism and symbolize the life of certain on-court legends. Hooping will surely be fine when you get kicks from their signature lines.

  • Lockdown
    Lace-Up, Zipper

    Strap

    Hoop shoes that drop the traditional laces in favor of velcro straps for better efficiency. Secure strap basketball shoes, and have them in various hues.

    Lace-Up

    Basketball shoes that stick with the good old laces for that familiar security and lockdown. Get lace-up basketball shoes to tie because they never go out of style.

    Slip-On

    Basketball shoes with uppers that provide a glove-like fit without the help of any lockdown mechanism. Do nothing but go in with slip-on basketball shoes .

    Good to know

    Some basketball shoes combine the powers of more than one lockdown styles for an improved fit and a much more stable ride. Get more bases covered with these basketball shoes.

  • Price
    $250
  • Weight
    13.3oz

    Good to know

    Basketball shoes usually weigh between 300g and 400g for speed and agility. Write your on-court tale with basketball shoes that barely tip the scales.

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Summary

We spent 10 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what basketball players think:

10 reasons to buy

  • The shoe's shroud elicits very polarizing reviews. However it is assessed, one thing is for sure: the shoe grabs attention and can be a show-stopper on and off the court.
  • Most of the users report that the materials on the Air Jordan XX8 are top-notch and very durable. The sole lasts long while the shroud and zipper show no signs of early wear  and tear.
  • For many wearers, the traction is the second best attribute of the shoe. It makes users feel confident on-court. Users also share that don’t need to wipe the sole during games.
  • Several shoe owners love how the XX8 has two looks in one shoe.
  • The shoe plays very low to the ground but remains well-cushioned and responsive both at the forefoot and heel. A number of testers share that this is the “best cushioning set-up” that they've ever tried. They feel like they can "run faster, jump higher, move better."
  • The dynamic fit system of the AJ XX8 really provides the wearers with a secure lockdown and a snug fit.
  • The torsional plate and the external heel counter do a good job ensuring rigid support in areas that need it, one user shares.
  • One reviewer likes how the carbon fiber piece on the lateral side of the shoe helps keep the foot from sliding off the footbed during hard cuts.
  • The heel-to-toe transition feels natural due to the decoupled midsole according to a few wearers.
  • Because of the shoe’s soft and pliable upper, many testers remark that the 28th Air Jordan does not need any break-in time.

9 reasons not to buy

  • The top complaint about the Air Jordan 28 is its lack of breathability, which is most probably because of its multi-layered construction. Most users comment that the inner tongue and heel are usually damp after every wear.
  • There are reports about the forefoot Unlocked Zoom Air bag popping after just a few months of use.
  • The public’s reaction to the shoe’s silhouette is largely polarized; they either love it or hate it so much.
  • Several testers say that the Unlocked Zoom Air unit at the forefoot initially feels uncomfortable and a bit "wobbly," adding that the cushioning needs some break-in time.
  • “The shroud offers no ankle support and only acts like a sock,” a few wearers say.
  • The carbon fiber piece on the lateral side dug into one of the tester's foot before it got broken in.
  • One reviewer doesn’t like it that the sole doesn't squeak that much.
  • The fuse compound used on the toe rand is not very strong. Two testers share that theirs easily got torn.
  • Most users feel that although the XX8 is a performance beast, the price is a little bit too much.

Bottom line

Looks are not everything; the Air Jordan XX8 has proven this to be true. The majority of expert reviewers and common folks have almost nothing bad to say about this aesthetically polarizing shoe performance-wise. Most of them are just overwhelmed with how the shoe played on-court, from its low profile, responsive yet protective cushioning, super solid traction that doesn’t need any wiping, and its flexible supportive upper that allows for more natural movements.

If $250 is the price for perfection, then it’s a low price to pay.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are basketball players, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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95 / 100 based on 7 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 | WearTesters

    All I know is this… my requirements are widely available on the Air Jordan XX8 – Traction, Fit, Cushion and Support… its all there and its abundant.

  • 100 / 100 | Tre Good

    This was truly an innovative shoe and a great performer.

  • 90 / 100 | WearTesters

    All I know is this… my requirements are widely available on the Air Jordan XX8 – Traction, Fit, Cushion and Support… its all there and its abundant.

  • 96 / 100 | SoleCollector

    I can’t think of another shoe I’ve played in that addressed both performance and comfort this equally.

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Profile of the Air Jordan XX8

The Air Jordan XX8 marks the return of numbered Air Jordan basketball shoes. Designers Tinker Hatfield and Josh Heard are inspired by the idea of “stealth” when they were working on the 28th Air Jordan. They wanted to capture the essence of a scene from the 90’s action movie “True Lies” where Arnold Schwarzenegger, after getting rid of a few villains, unzips his commando suit and steps out in a tuxedo.

Performance

Cushion. The midsole utilizes the Flight Plate System, which is considered as one of the best cushioning setups available today. In this system, a PEBAX Flight Plate rests on top of two Unlocked Zoom Air units at the forefoot and heel. These units are large, and are neither top-loaded or bottom-loaded. The midsole is hollowed out to accommodate these units.

Each time pressure is applied on the midsole, the Flight Plate pushes on the Unlocked Zoom Air units. Due to the tensile fibers within the units, energy bounces back to the foot, resulting in an ultimately responsive ride. The forefoot unit is divided into two segments so that whichever side the wearer leans on, the cushioning would work just as well.

Traction. The outsole comes with a full-length spiral-shaped tread pattern that looks similar to a fingerprint. The grooves are multidirectional, assuring a full and grippy coverage regardless of which direction the wearer is coming from or going to. Because of this, sudden direction switches are now possible.

Fit

Length and Width. Although the shoe runs true to size, several testers recommend going half a size down if a snug glove-like fit is desired. However, if you like that extra space between your foot and the upper, you can go with your standard Jordan basketball shoe size.

Lockdown. The shoe’s lockdown comes from the Dynamic Fit system. This system uses two layers of material: mesh and a stretchy material called Lycra. The lace loops are shaped like fingers, and their goal is to securely grasp the foot and pull it into the midsole for a 360° locked-in feel. The outer shroud is enclosed by a sturdy zipper, adding extra protection.

Material

The upper is composed of two layers. The outer 8-inch shroud is made of a durable Schoeller textile that is abrasion proof and feels nice to the touch. The inner upper is made of mesh, fuse, and Lycra. It is a full-length internal boot with a thickly padded tongue and cushioned pods in the heel areas for a better-sculpted fit.

The Jordan XX8 also has an external carbon fiber butterfly heel counter and a midfoot shank that gives support to the foot. The materials used strike a balance between lightness and strength.

The Flight Plate System in the midsole has a PEBAX plate, two Unlocked Zoom Air units, and a Phylon case that surrounds the units. The outsole rubber, depending on the colorway, comes in either translucent or solid rubber compound.

Style

The Jordan XX8 is made to look like a military combat boot. Its upper sports a classic basketball shoe silhouette. The shoe can be worn in two ways: one is by zipping the boot all the way to the top, transforming it into a high-top; the other is by unzipping and folding the shoe’s shroud, making the shoe a mid-top.

Special Colorways of the Air Jordan XX8

The shoe originally debuted in a Black/White-Electric Green colorway and later on was released in more than fifteen different colorways. Below are some of the most popular colorways worn by top NBA athletes:

Air Jordan XX8 Why Not

The Cement Black/Blue/Orange “Why Not” colorway of the Air Jordan 28 was worn by Russell Westbrook during a game against the Brooklyn Nets. The two-word mantra for Westbrook started back in high school when he and his friends would ask themselves “why not?” before doing something crazy or impulsive.

The phrase today, however, has a better meaning for the MVP player. In an interview, he explains that it’s about empowering kids and giving them a sense of confidence and swagger. He adds, “I didn’t think I’d be playing in the NBA at the time, but just being able to give the next person, your brother, your friend, whoever it is, some confidence. Why not? Who told you, you can’t? That’s how it started and now I’m using the mantra to keep impacting people across the world.”

Air Jordan XX8 Locked And Loaded

In honor of Ray Allen and his game-winning clutch shot in Game 6 against the San Antonio Spurs back in 2013, the White/Gym Red/University Gold/Icy Blue colorway Allen wore during the close-match was released in 2018.