Sneaker Review: Jordan Icons – Joe Johnson Player Exclusive

04.27.10 9 years ago 6 Comments

Meet JH, a long-time Dime reader who also happens to be a huge sneakerhead. While working in sneaker valley, he’s been able to get access to some of the coolest kicks and PE’s around – far before they ever hit the court or the shelves. Anyways, he’s been wanting to write some reviews and shoe stuff for a minute, and his debut couldn’t be better. Check out his sneaker review on Joe Johnson‘s playoff player exclusive of the Jordan Icons.

Words. JH

Like most sneakerheads and ball players out there, I usually judge the type of heat that will be dropping in the coming months by catching pictures leaked on the Internet from some ballsy factory worker who took them on his camera phone. Personally, I’m more of a classic silhouette type of guy when it comes to what Jordan Brand puts out; the XI and XIII’s are the obvious choices topping my list of best shoes to ever hit the hardwood. So with the recent explosion of fusions, hybrids and other noteworthy Jordan Brand releases, it’s becoming harder and harder to find a good looking shoe that still maintains performance – all while donning a silhouette of the G.O.A.T himself.

I recently had the pleasure of having a pair of Joe Johnson‘s Jordan Icons Playoff PE’s fall out of the sky and into my lap for the price of a high five. The basic, but overall aesthetically sound design of the shoe, doesn’t give you much to boast about when it comes to making them a staple in your shoe collection or for blogging about on various shoe websites. But they do serve another purpose: performance. With the pod cushioning system from the AJXX and a perforated upper (paying homage to the XXIII), the Icons seem to rise atop the ranks of Jordan hybrids. Wanting to see if my initial read of disgust was correct, I decided to rock the ’em on-court to prove to both myself and other sneakerheads out there that JB’s game was slipping.

Coincidentally, my old man’s rec. league team had just made the playoffs, so I thought it was only fitting to rock Joe’s Playoff PE’s that I had just acquired. Stepping onto the court for the tip-off, the shoes drew about as much reaction as a Craig Sager custom suit does; your call if that’s a good thing or not. I had the refs and players (from both the other team and my own) all commenting about these unique kicks. So with the red patent leather shining brightly under the gym lights, it gave me an extra vote of confidence going into the single elimination game. We weren’t able to pull out the win, but I was able to get a great read on the Jordan hybrid.

The Icons performed better than I could have ever expected. They kept my feet comfortable throughout the two twenty-minute halves and showcased just why Jordan Brand absolutely still knows what they’re doing. These shoes have recently been added to my rotation of kicks that I’d go to battle with. The malleable patent leather upper, coupled with the quilted collar cushioning, added nothing but praise as I attempted to summon my inner J-Johnson. The basic lacing system gave good lock down and kept me on point with every cut and drive – as well as maintaining consistency throughout play. The ankle support was a little suspect, however; and even with quilted cushioning and a higher collar height, they didn’t hold up as well as I anticipated at first glance. The Phylon midsole is also a bit tough at first, but will break-in enough to maintain your level of play during the first outing. All in all, its performance swayed my opinion.

I know there are always going to be doubters sitting in front of their computers blogging and commenting while taking pulls off their Extreme Big Gulp sized cups of Haterade, but these shoes are worth taking a look at. Don’t believe me? Then do yourself a favor and turn on your TV during the NBA playoffs. Both Johnson and Ray Allen have seemingly elevated their games for the Celtics and Hawks during the playoffs this year. While Joe Jeezy is averaging 25.8 points and 5.3 rebounds a game, Jesus Shuttlesworth is putting up 18.3 points per outing and still shooting 46.7% from behind the arc. Not to mention, Boston is leading its series against Miami 3-1 and although Atlanta is tied 2-2 with Milwaukee as of Tuesday, Joe’s putting up big numbers. Is this a direct link to the sleeper kicks I’ve detailed above? Of course not, but you can’t deny that these two anchors of Team Jordan have been expressing their own pleasure with the Icons by putting up solid numbers and are in great position to push their teams past the first round.

So in conclusion, don’t look at some of these hybrids or new silhouettes as JB slipping when it comes to the shoe game (after all, they’re not the 2009’s right?), but rather a new direction that is still embodying the legacy of MJ by always taking the game to new heights – as well as keeping all the haters out there on their toes.

What do you think?

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