Verdict from 8 experts and 8 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Impact protection: The Air Strobel unit compresses very well, giving the foot the cushioning it needs during hard landings.
  • Court feel: The first Jordan Zion provides court feel, though it is not as much as the Nike PG 4 according to an expert.
  • Comfort: The materials that make up the upper, though basic, still get the job done in ensuring comfort and breathability.
  • True-to-size fit: Expert reviewers recommend going true to size, especially for those who want a snug fit.
  • Stability: The Jordan Zion 1 really has a big outrigger, and it does a great job in ensuring that the foot stays securely on the footbed.
  • Lightness: Despite its bulky look, hoopers say that this shoe feels really light and minimal.
  • Smooth steps: Basketball players report that the transition from heel to toe is notably made smooth by the soft curvature of the heel and forefoot.

5 reasons not to buy

  • Problematic traction: Basketball athletes do not seem to agree on how the traction performs; this inconsistency in itself is a risk.
  • Less bounce: The midsole setup compresses a lot; this ensures impact protection but sacrifices responsiveness.
  • Thin tongue: Wearers complain that the tongue lacks some padding, though it isn't as bad as the Nike LeBron 18's.
  • Roomy toe box: A couple of players complain that the toe area has a little bit of excess material.
  • Less ankle support: An expert speculates that the shoe doesn't give the best ankle support because of how the collar is constructed.

Bottom line

Players are definitely excited for the new Jordan signature line for Zion Williamson, but they still saw a lot of room for improvement. They compare it with other signature shoes from Nike such as the PG 4, Zoom Freak 1, and even the LeBron 18; and such comparisons suggest that the Jordan Zion 1 is still an on-going experiment, though a very promising one.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Jordan Zion 1: For Gen Z Balling

Zion Williamson is young, but he is already taking the NBA by storm. Seeing his potential, Jordan signed him shortly after being drafted in 2019. This made Williamson the brand's first ever Gen Z athlete in its roster.

According to a vice president at Jordan, work on Williamson's first signature shoe commenced right after he signed with brand. The end product, the Jordan Zion 1, provides the following benefits:

Multidirectional traction. The outsole features an aggressive pattern that makes sure that wearer is covered in all directions.

Responsive cushioning. An Air Strobel unit covers the full length of the shoe, ensuring plush comfort all throughout. It is coupled with a bouncy Air Zoom unit in the forefoot for explosive energy returns.

Functional lightness. Soft padding is strategically placed only in some areas of the tongue to reduce the shoe's weight.

Special colorways of the Jordan Zion 1

Like the signature shoes of basketball stars LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, Zion Williamson's first sneaker is released in special colorways that pay homage to important people and events in his life. The following are just some of those:

Gen Zion. The "Gen Zion" is one of the very first to come out, and it celebrates Zion Williamson's ascension to NBA greatness. This special colorway honors him as a worthy representation of the NBA's wave of Gen Z ballers. 

Marion. Williamson realizes that he won't be where he is if not for his humble beginnings. The "Marion" colorway honors the South Carolina city of Marion where he first honed his athleticism. This version has pink and maroon accents.

Noah. Williamson shares a special bond with his much younger brother Noah, which he honors in a special "Noah" colorway that features the child's colorful doodles and drawings in the upper.


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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.