As the first generation of AJ after Jordan’s retirement, the AJ19, like AJ 18, is historic among the many AJ sneakers. Many consider it a good choice because it can be used for both daily wearing and actual plays. However, there are still many who think that the AJ original versions are not suitable for actual plays. Is that so? Well, to be frank, I don’t know much about the other AJ shoes, but this AJ 19, at least, has proven that it is a good one for actual plays.
Now that I’ve been played hooping and shooting in it for almost a season, let me share with you my detailed thoughts so that you may form your own idea about whether it is a HIT or MISS.
Its cushioning, as far as I am concerned, is the most advanced setup in Nike’s history: the full-foot Zoom and the rear Zoom. Just like the FOG, KD12 and AJ18, the AJ 19 is also outstanding in this respect.
The AJ 19 has ditched the carbon plate that is seen under the insoles of the AJ 18, which,as a result, has some implications for players’ speed during startup. A trade-off for this is that the energy return can be more obviously felt and the cushion also becomes more soft and comfortable.
This, however, is only a mixed blessing. Why do I say that then? Well, this is really a super well-balanced setup that are fantastic for guards but cannot work for just about everyone. For me, I enjoy the cushion’s softness and comfort quite a lot. But, buddy, if you are the explosiveness type, you’ll certainly find it disappointing. Its forefoot feels quite soft, which is set to affect the speed when there are breakthroughs, startup or direction changes. So for those explosiveness players, it is suggested to think twice before taking action.
For the heel, it offers stellar impact protection thanks to the gorgeous rear Zoom and I don’t feel mushy or overly slow because of this. You can just rest assured because it isn’t like the Dame 7 whose heel is a little bit mushy while the forefoot feels quite firm. As for the forefoot and midfoot areas, they feel lower to the ground and the overall heel-to-toe stride just feels ultra-smooth, which does surprise me to a certain extent.
We all know that the vamp plays a crucial role in a sneaker’s overall performance. But likewise, it definitely cannot satiate the needs of everyone. For instance, the AJ 19’s wrapping performance again receives quite mixed comments from many consumers.
Objectively speaking, the wrapping performance has also something to do with players’ foot type. Depending on the personal foot type, some may think it super excellent while others may consider it as a crap.
Personally, I am a little bit of a wide footer and during the period when I tried to get used to the shoes, my feet were a little crowded in there but that changed before long after the vamp started heating up and breaking in. So if you can give yourself some time to get used to the sneaker, things will then become awesome.
One big downside is , for quite a few players, that there’s no ventilation here. Almost zero. Actually, there’s a dustproof design but it is so bewildering that I can’t figure out why it is designed this way. Maybe for improving air permeability or something else.
In fact, the design concept of this one is very similar to that of AJ18. Possibly because of the poor air permeability caused by the leather vamp of AJ18, AJ 19’s dustproof setup is upgraded in such a way. Nevertheless, it is a sad story that the air permeability is not improved and the shoe’s appearance has also become less inviting. Just think that if AJ19’s vamp is changed to the AJ18 leather, the AJ 19 is sure to be more nice-looking！
So, since I don’t personally have a big sweating problem, I don’t really care about the poor breathability. But if your skin sweats fast, you’ll probably feel it a bit with it.
If you happen to have experienced one of the successful Harden releases, say, the 3rd or 4th shoe, you should have known what a good, supportive sneaker is like. In terms of the AJ 19, the familiar carbon plate is reminiscent of AJ11. The setup of this ones, it’s safe to say, is equally excellent. So there is simply no need to worry about the torsion resistance of the midsole. In a word, the midsole can stabilize you torsionally.
Besides, the toe area is super hard, avoiding any possible injuries caused by bumps during exercise. And pair that with its anti-rollover design that looks quite reliable even in high-intensity plays, you’ve got yourself a quick, comfortable, and well-thought-out machine.
Now that the support features are in place, the vamp can hold my foot in place wonderfully and there are no apparent restrictions. That’s for sure. So again rest assured and play to your heart’s content.
In terms of the startup which I think deserves one more mention, I’d take the well-known KD12 for example. You may also have experienced KD12 before. And based on that, the AJ 19 feels a bit softer. No more surprises here. So players who belong to the explosiveness type may as well seek other models because this one will only encumber their athletic performances rather than being a great assistant.
Rounding the AJ 19 review up：Who’s it born for? Does it deserve the dollar?
As have been mentioned several times earlier, the shoe is definitely not suitable for explosiveness players. But for other players, it is a good one and maybe it is awesome for some.
The only shortcoming, on a personal note, is that its leather can be damaged easily, which, I think, may make quite a few people flinch away from the shoe. But the flaws do not overshadow the advantages. It actually belongs to the top sneaker in terms of the setups: it has the full-foot Zoom and a carbon plate in the rear cushion; besides, its wrapping performance and weight both live up to its reputation of being an original AJ shoe.
To sum up, the sneaker surprisingly fits me very well while also sticking with my regular size and I think most people can go true to size likewise. Last but not the least, based on your own needs, I’ll leave it for you to decide if it’s right for you.