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 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 nor 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.

Air Jordan XX8 Midsole1

Traction. The outsole comes with a full-length spiral-shaped tread pattern that looks similar to a fingerprint.

Air Jordan XX8 Outsole1

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.

Air Jordan XX8 Outsole2

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 cleat 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 are used to 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 the either translucent or solid rubber compound.

Air Jordan XX8 Material1

Style

The Jordan XX8 is made to look like a military combat cleat. It's upper sports a classic basketball shoe silhouette. The shoe can be worn in two ways: one is by zipping the cleat 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.

Air Jordan XX8 Style2

Facts / Specs

Weight: 13.3oz
Top: High
Signature: Michael Jordan
Lockdown: Lace-Up, Zipper
Collection: Air Jordan
Features: Ankle support
Colorways: Black / Red

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Author
Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.