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Air Jordan III Retro Flip Performance Review

Nike Air Jordan III was released in 1988, which was definitely a cult at the time. It was also at that time that Michael Jordan created one of his miracles during his lifetime, and the shoes he was wearing were the Air Jordan III. At the height of Michael Jordan’s day, people were not only crazy about the NBA star, but paid close attention to his shoes that witnessed his successes. Many years later, when Nike made the retro version of Air Jordan III, many people again got obsessed with it. To help those interested in the Air Jordan III Retro Flip get more knowledge of it, here is its performance review.

Actually, Air Jordan III Retro Flip has a great significance in the history of Nike shoes for it is the first pair of shoes with air cushion exposed instead of being hidden in the midsole. Although there is still room for improvement, it is, nevertheless, an epoch-making technology, and the shoes’ crackling, elephant-leather-like pattern is simply very eye-catching.

The first time I saw the shoes I was, to tell the truth, not so satisfied with its appearance. But as time passed by, I found that the shoes had some more lingering charm than I had thought. The simple white, gray and black combined created a simple yet good-looking vamp, making the shoes an all-match with our daily dressings. It also turned out that although the shoes were not widely enjoyed, they were still favored by some people, and Justin Timberlake is a case in point.

(NIKE Air revolution)

(Air 2 Strong)

Designers in the 1980s and 1990s thought that the higher the ankle part was, the better the protection would be for the wearer’s feet. Therefore, someone of my height (171cm) would look very short in the basketball shoes from that era. For example, NIKE Air revolution and Air 2 Strong both belong to that type of shoes.

(A comparison beween Jordan III Retro Flip and Zoom Flight 5(ZFV)

Jordan III is no exception. With the high-top design and the ankle filler, we can see that the designer Tinker Hatfield wanted to give Jordan the best possible protection.

Compared with Jordan V, VI, and VII, whose ankle shoelace holes are design to be super thin to ensure lightness, Jordan III’s shoelace holes are close to the instep and therefore provide more ankle support.

In my case, Jordan III always gives me quite solid protection either on courts or in daily walking. Although occasionally after landing, I felt that it was not vert stable under my feet, I think it should be attributed to the design of another part rather than ankle protection design.

Made of rubber, with concentric circles in the forefoot, which were popular design at the time, its grip performance is just above average. On the concrete where I tested Jordan III Retro Flip, I haven’t had any slippage. But if compared with fish bone pattern which is more commonly used nowadays, the concentric circles have yet to be terrific.

Jordan III midsole is composed of front and rear Air-sole+PU (as shown in the picture). Although the setup sounds wonderful, it doesn’t turn out to be so. When I was playing basketball, I felt that the Air-sole of the forefoot was not made the most of and it seemed the shocks all acted on my feet. After about 2 or 3 months of wearing, the forefoot cushion has become thinner and thinner, and its performance also slumps.

However, when it comes to the rear Air-Sole and the PU midsole, they perform super nicely. After two hours of practice twice a week, I didn’t feel any pain in my knees, and the air cushion doesn’t sink too much over time, thus providing solid protection for me.

The Jordam III Flip is overall made of leather, so I didn’t expect it to be excellent in breathability. But on the other hand, I can feel my feet tightly wrapped by the shoes’ vamps, and the all-leather lining gives me a comfortable experience whether I am playing ball in stockings or shopping without wearing socks.

For the protection of the ankle, I think it’s not just the padding of the ankle that’s responsible, but the design of the outsole plays a big part as well. In order to make a sudden stop or lateral movement, the outside of both shoes must provide a super excellent grip at the moment. Therefore, the pattern of the ousole and the area in contact with the ground are of great importance. But Jordam III Flip’s outsole just turns out to be quite ordinary.

The durability of Jordam III Flip’s midsole must be the bane for Jordan sneaker fans. Here are the pictures of the status quo of my Jordam III Flip.


In conclusion, Jordan III Flip wears very comfortable and has excellent rear cushioning, decent ankle support and protection, in spite of the poor forefoot cushioning, mediocre grip and nondurable midsole. Although it is out of my reach to cop the classic Fire red and Royal blue, Jordan III Flip has also allowed me to have some unforgettable experiences.