Jordans should be comfortable. They are, after all, athletic wear. Athletic wear has a reputation for being comfortable enough to run and jump in. Comfort is why athletic wear has become popular even with people who aren’t athletes.
The Air Jordan 1, however, is an exception to the rule. It is meant for style rather than comfort. The technology used to make it way back in 85 may have been cutting edge. Not so much anymore. True, it has the “Air” unit, but it’s barely noticeable.
Of course, it is unfair to judge an entire series based on the first product. It’s kind of like with pancakes. The first one’s going to be a bit of a mess that gets thrown into the dog’s dish. Many follow up Jordans were actually quite comfortable. Many of them had their own pros and cons.
Take, for instance, the Air Jordan 2. As it is a mere year older than the Air Jordan 1, you wouldn’t expect that much improvement. However, necessity became the mother of invention that year.
Sir Altitude broke his foot and needed something extra comfortable. This shoe features a full-length Air unit to deliver that extra comfort while the high-top cut while a molded heel counter provides additional ankle support.
Others In The Jordan Line
Now, if you don’t mind not having any laces (it can take some getting used to) the Air Jordan 19 is very comfortable while still being supportive. It’s got a boxy; almost boot-like design but the mesh instep makes the shoe very breathable.
If you like the retro style but also like to be comfortable then you might like the Retro 12. It’s based on Tinker Hatfield’s classic design but with the added benefit of Air Max Cushioning. They’re great shoes whether you want to be like Mike or just dance the Macarena.
One of the newest types of Jordan is the Air Jordan 35, dubbed “Sisterhood” in honor of women in sports and the inspiration they bring. That gap under the arch big enough for a gerbil to crawl through does give pause.
However, this appears to be instrumental to the excellent support these shoes provide. The cushioning, though, is where these shoes really have it going on. It is best described as bouncy and responsive.
Do you want a shoe that’s breathable, shows off your cool socks, and isn’t your dad’s sandal? You might like the Air Jordan 2010. Not only is the shoe breathable but the asymmetrical build fits the natural asymmetry of the foot. The double-stacked Zoom Air setup makes this shoe ultra-comfortable.
The tongue has some issues and people with Achilles problems may not find it very comfortable. 2010 was not the year we made contact, but it was the year Jordan made an unusual looking but very comfortable shoe.
The Air Jordan 2012 is a bit stiff but well-cushioned enough. Granted, just enough. The ventilation, however, is a little better than mediocre. The superlative traction and fine materials may tend to balance the comfort flaws out.
2012 wasn’t the end of the world the Mayans told us it would be, but it did produce a Jordan that sacrificed comfort for functionality. The question is, what good is it to play basketball in shoes that hurt your feet?
The Shoes Aren’t Murder But Paying For Them Is
If Jordans don’t make your feet uncomfortable, they could very well make your wallet uncomfortable! The average Jordan sneaker costs roughly thirty-five dollars more than the average basketball sneaker.
Not only do they have the name of the Greatest Of All Time as their name brand, but the first Jordan’s had a colorway that went contrary to the NBA’s uniform rules. Wearing them became a sign of rebellion.
Of course, when Mike broke his foot in the first Air Jordan, there was talk of him wanted to take his business to Adidas. Lucky for Nike and sneaker fans everywhere, His Airness decided to give Nike one more chance.
Designer Tinker Hatfield was put in the game and he came up with the Air Max technology, the iconic mid-cut, and of course that Jumpman logo that tells you that you have the real McCoy…well, the real Hatfield.
Jordans, are, of course, a luxury brand. They do have some practical elements that one looks for in a basketball shoe such as traction, responsiveness, shock absorption, and heel support. However, they are also a fashion statement. And that statement is “I have a lot of money to blow on something that’s just going to go on my feet.”
So, Why Do People Wear Them?
Why do people still wear Jordans? Not only are they expensive but MJ has been retired from sports for years now. After all, we can’t very well expect a fifty-seven-year-old to do slam dunks. (Granted, he’d probably be better at it than me.) So why do Zoomers who are too young to have seen Space Jam in theaters wear Jordans?
Well, people still wear Chucks even though Chuck Taylor died a month before the Moon Landing. The product has to have something substantial in it; something that outlasts such ephemeral things as fame, fads, and life itself.
Their high price makes them a bit of a status symbol. Expensive clothes are often thought of as being very formal. Not so with Jordans. You can wear them casually and people will still know you’re someone who pushes stacks.
Even though Jordan is off the court his legacy as being one of the best basketball players still lives and may always live. People who play basketball want to play like he did the way people who play baseball want to play like Babe Ruth. In a way, tangible shoes can make a dream feel more real.
So, are Jordans comfortable? That depends on which ones you get. Some are built for comfort, some are built for speed. Some are meant for wide feet, some for narrow feet, and some even for flat feet.
Yet another reason why Jordans have kept their popularity is that they’re always trying to improve themselves. There’s a good chance that the next Jordan’s release will be more comfortable than the last.