August 15, 2019 by tinmy2014
Can Jordan Brand once again produce a top performer following the praise of the CP3.12? Jalique Gabay is here to provide his perspective on the Jordan Zoom Zero Gravity.
BAM! That’s what looks like should’ve been slapped in the middle of this traction pattern. Actually, a “SNIKT!” might’ve been even more fitting, simply for the way the Zero Gravity cut through dust and anything else in the way.
It took a while to ever feel the need to wipe no matter the surface — only a handful of times I can remember across multiple surfaces in nearly a month of ownership. The rubber seems suitable for outdoor use, is sharply-patterned, and an overall joy to play over.
It should be noted that because of a heavily cored out midsole, there is a significant patch that doesn’t provide coverage. Regardless, traction didn’t suffer much because of the naturally forefoot-heavy activity basketball requires. Simply put, the traction works best where it is needed most.
A standard Zoom bag is top-loaded into the forefoot over a full-length Phylon midsole which isn’t great compared to contemporary iterations of the foam. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a complete brick, it just seems to bottom out quickly for something that isn’t all that spectacular to begin with. On the plus side, there is room for inward compression due to a carved-out area running through the midfoot – a great side effect to the shoe shaving weight to live up to the Zero Gravity name.
Luckily, like the traction, cushion is placed where it is needed most. In a heavier frame, I felt the forefoot Zoom bag underfoot from try on and it only became more prominent with break in — a good sign for even those who don’t put as much weight in the unit as I do. It feels like a standard top loaded forefoot unit, though it doesn’t feel like the thickest or highest amount of air Jordan could’ve placed in it. The bounce back is there, just not as snappy as something with a similar set up like the kyrie 5.
You should expect a standard cushioning set up from Nike/Jordan Brand that provides decent court feel, response, and a bit of protection for hard forefoot landings. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — especially when you can do it for $100.
Nope, sorry. No Flyknit for this pocket-friendly performer from Jordan Brand. Instead we are back to the basics of textiles and synthetics. I actually like the toe box area, which feels like a Nylon that moves smoothly with the foot and has done well to contain, while the synthetic nubuck and leather overlays are functional, but honestly laughable when you look at them.
Minimal break in is needed in my opinion, and though there is nothing premium going on with the Zero Gravity, materials check the boxes performance-wise. Many out there still don’t realize this is a performance model, so making these look even a tad more premium would’ve helped the lifestyle aesthetics, but on-court they did what they needed to do anyway.
So, I’ll just go ahead and recommend everyone try this sneaker on if they have the opportunity, and I’ll tell you why. When I purchased the Zoom Zero Gravity, my true size 11.5 was not available. I tried a half-size down and fell in love with the fit so much I didn’t even care to wait for my true size to become available. In an 11, I got a snug 1 to 1 fit throughout, perfectly good lockdown, and great Zoom placement under foot.
The shoe does break in a bit, but never really needed to in order to meet my preferences. I’m sure true to size would’ve have been decent, but I have not one regret about my decision. A half-size down may not work for everyone, but I believe those that find the best fit will be delighted.
The Jordan Zoom Zero Gravity sits on a narrow base, which is something I couldn’t help but watch out for initially, but one way or another I had no issues with staying on the footbed. The internal heel counter also isn’t the greatest, but it is also supported by a TPU overlay, eliminating any potential heel movement.
The plastic torsional support is nothing special but does its job to support underfoot where the midsole is cored out and you are also covered laterally by a synthetic nubuck and leather midfoot saddle tying directly into the lacing system. Had the base been wider or included an outrigger, support could’ve been better, but I really have no gripes with how things did in this category.
If you are looking to save a few dollars for a fast, lightweight low top that is for the most part all about business, look no further than the Jordan Zoom Zero Gravity. No, it isn’t as “premium” as another current $100 offering from the same brand, and yes, some may feel the shoe is a little too tippy to go all out it, but I’ll tell you this: A guy like me, who would prefer more cushion, slightly better materials, and a wider base for his on-court go-to still doesn’t mind playing all day in the Jordan Zoom Zero Gravity. And frankly, I wouldn’t mind owning multiple pairs if my time and money weren’t going elsewhere.
Jordan Brand once again gets it done on the more affordable end of the performance spectrum.