- Strong side-to-side grip
- Tremendous support
- Very pronounced court feel
- Reliable energy return
- True-to-size fit
- Good for bigger men
- OK for outdoors
- Casual style
- Dust-prone outsole
- Lacks impact protection
- Seriously needs breaking in
Who should buy the Jordan Zion 2
This basketball shoe from the Jordan brand is a good match for the following:
- bigger players with aggressive play styles
- guards who appreciate a lot of court feel for their offensive drives
- wearers with narrow to normal-sized feet
Who should NOT buy this basketball shoe from Jordan
Some potentials of the Zion 2 cannot be unleashed if its wearer is on the lighter side. Hence, this shoe is not for lighter players who value quickness and minimal-feeling uppers. We are certain that they are better off with the Nike KD 15 or the Air Jordan XXXVI. The KD 15 is also a good pick for those who want outsoles that resist dust.
We also advise players who love a lot of cushioning to look past this shoe. They are better off with the Nike LeBron 20.
A strong grip, especially for side-to-side movements
They really dig into the court well especially when we are doing lateral movements. This gives us a lot of confidence, so we are able to respond much more quickly and move much faster despite this shoe's apparent heaviness and bulkiness.
Dust is an issue
While the traction truly works, we have to warn you that the outsole is not great on dust. It does pick up a lot, so wiping is heavily needed.
The Zion 2 employs a breathable mesh material in the toebox as well as some ventilation holes in the tongue area. That way, you get a pretty good airflow throughout the shoe.
In the video below, you can see the most transparent part of the upper. That's where it gets the most breathable.
The Zion 2 offers excellent containment
We are delighted with the support that the Jordan Zion 2 gives. We observed that the upper, which has several layers of durable materials, simply contains a tonne of speed and a tonne of force.
The ankle area is padded so that it delivers tremendous support back there. We also appreciated the heel counter, which we found to be thick and bolstering, too.
Confirming the rigidness of the heel counter is our lab test in which we gave it 5 out of 5 (where 5 is the stiffest) in our subjective assessment.
It must be noted here that the materials are initially stiff. Fortunately, they do get better in time and as more games are played. Players just have to be patient as they bide the break-in period for this one.
The forefoot strap allows for fit adjustments
The Jordan Zion is equipped with a strap. We found that this provides good lockdown and support in the midfoot-forefoot area. We also love this feature as it allows us to dial in how much support and fit we desire. The snugger we made the fit, the more capable we are of being faster with our moves.
Tremendous court feel from the Zion 2, anyone?
We realised that the court feel in this shoe is really solid, especially in the forefoot area. Because of that, we are more in control of our movements and we are able to move faster.
The shoe's forefoot stack height is 19.1 mm which is 1.4 mm thinner than the average. It is one of the lowest-to-the-ground among our lab-tested shoes.
Be ready to give up some compression
Admittedly, we discovered that the Zion 2 is not so much for cushioning as it is for court feel.
Checking the midsole softness with a durometer, it looks like the cushioning is on the firm side. For reference, it is 20% firmer than the Jordan Luka 1.
Disclaimer: We take durometer measurements 5 times to make sure the results are accurate. The photo shows one of the takes.
As for the midsole thickness, it can be considered average at 27.1 mm.
Disclaimer: We always check the stack height with the insole included.
The insole on the Jordan Zion 2 is not very impressive either. At 3.3 mm, it is thinner than the average 4.2 mm.
The heavier the wearer, the bouncier the midsole
We believe that this shoe is meant for bigger players, as the more we press the midsole with our weight, the more energy return it provides.
But even if you are not a particularly heavy player, you are also likely to benefit from the shoe's springiness. The thing is, the Zion 2 is VERY stiff shoe, meaning that it doesn't bend that easily.
We measured that the Zion 2 is 18% stiffer than basketball shoes on average. It is actually the stiffest one on our list as of now.
The Zion 2 fits true to size
We recommend going true to size, especially if you have narrow to medium feet. On the other hand, we think its best for those with wide feet to go at least half a size up.
Again, it must be noted that the shoe is initially very very snug and a bit uncomfortable. It seriously has to be broken in.
The Jordan Zion 2 can be played outdoors
This basketball shoe from Jordan is sturdy enough to be used outdoors. We feel that the outsole is hard and we discovered that it has fantastic grip even on asphalt.
Checking the rubber with a durometer we found that it is not that hard, actually. It is even 2% softer than the average.
Same story with the rubber thickness. The layer is only 3.2 mm thick which is less than the average 3.5 mm.
We want wearers to take note, though, that the middle portion of the outsole is made of a softer rubber than the one used for the sides, so it is the first to bottom out.
This shoe looks like a lifestyle sneaker
Because of the multiple layers of coloured supportive materials in the upper, this shoe truly looks like a basketball-inspired lifestyle sneaker.
Thus, we are convinced the Jordan Zion 2 is as much a fashion item as it is a performance tool on the court.