Traction – While the Air Jordan VI doesn’t flaunt a specific traction pattern, they surprisingly do a solid job of keeping you grounded on the court, provided they stay clean. As noted in a previous Performance Teaser, keeping the clear sections debris-free ensures a pleasant experience. Personally, I use a traction mat, but a lint roller or duct tape works just as well for quick clean-ups.
Cushion – Similar to the Air Jordan 3 & 4, the AJ5 offers minimal cushioning, with dense polyurethane and embedded Air Units providing some impact absorption. To enhance cushioning, swapping insoles is an easy fix, with plenty of options available to cater to your needs. I opted for the SofSole insole for reasons I’ll explain later.
Material – Depending on the colorway, the Air Jordan VI offers a variety of material options. I chose the Carmine colorway for its dual material layers, providing proper fit and support with leather sections while maintaining flexibility with nubuck sections. The overall durability is commendable, standing up well to heavy on-court use.
Fit – The overall fit is decent, with minimal padding aside from the collar and heel. Downsizing to a size 8.5 might have helped, but toe jamming could have been an issue. To address this, I swapped insoles for added height, improving overall fit and lockdown.
Ventilation – Possibly the most well-ventilated Air Jordan model, the VI boasts plenty of perforations, ensuring excellent airflow without obstruction.
Support – While support mainly comes from the fit, material choice plays a role. Opting for materials like leather provides more support, while nubuck or suede offers flexibility. Overall, the VI offers a mix of strengths and weaknesses, with adequate traction (when clean), durability, and ventilation. Cushioning and fit issues can be easily addressed with an insole swap, making it a versatile performer on the court.