This is my review of the Air Jordan 35 basketball shoe. In my opinion, the Air Jordan 35 is an upgrade over previous models, even if the fit and traction could be better, thanks to the superior cushion, support, and unmatched responsiveness.
Read the detailed review below to learn more!
- Where to Buy: Amazon
- Best for: Serious players who need a responsive and supportive shoe.
- Pros: Herringbone traction pattern. Cushioned step. Extremely responsive. Supportive throughout the foot. Modern, attractive style.
- Cons: Fit could be better. Some rubbing and slippage around the heel. Expensive. Traction won’t hold up outdoors.
- Alternatives: Nike Hyperdunk X, Puma Clyde Hardwood, Nike PG 5
Why Trust Me
I have worn tons of different shoes throughout my twenty five plus years of playing basketball, ranging from early classics to more modern versions. As such, I understand the traits that make a model both blend in or stand out from the pack.
I used my wealth of firsthand knowledge and compared it against various reviews and other accounts to properly analyze the traits that make the Air Jordan 35 tick.
Detailed Air Jordan 35 Review
The Air Jordan 35 is a strict improvement over the 33 and 34, two solid models in their own right. It hits just about every important box when it comes to performance, cushion, and support without losing any key traits.
The shoe is definitely on the pricey side, but if you don’t mind paying for the quality it does a great job both on and off the court.
The Jordan 35 comes with a large volume Zoom Air unit in the heel that’s fantastic in terms of feel. Most modern shoes focus their padding in one area, but the premium materials used in these shoes are spread out. That allows for even cushioning and bounce throughout the shoe.
There’s a lot of stability built into the sole as well. That ensures your foot remains stable while you run around. Big men or larger players will also appreciate the extra material in the heel, as it allows you to press down hard without any pain or lasting discomfort.
Beyond that, the shoe is also quite breathable. Ventilation is something I always appreciate, and these come with excellent air flow to help you cool down. That’s a big part of what makes them so comfortable because it means less chance of any rubbing or chaffing.
Upon first use, the grip is quite impressive. The Jordan 35 utilizes a classic herringbone pattern that works here just as it does in other premium shoes. The grooves stick to most surfaces, and there’s plenty of bite when you need to dig in during a tough drive or defensive stop.
Unfortunately, they don’t quite hold up when used anywhere outside of the gym. While the traction does a good job on all surfaces, the rubber used isn’t strong enough to take a lot of use on the blacktop. It will break down quickly and wear away faster than many would like.
As with so many other Jordan shoes, the 35 is well-made on all fronts. The materials are a large upgrade from previous versions, which were already impressive in their own right. The modern textiles and high-end stitching ensure a lot of longevity when using the footwear.
The suede leather is worth a special mention, as is the Eclipse Plate 2.0. Everything in this shoe builds towards a strong, resilient model. As an added bonus, the different characteristics give you extra strength without weighing down the shoes or holding you back.
When it comes to performance, the Air Jordan 35 performs as well as you would expect. The line has long utilized extra cushion and solid support for better on-court performance, and that’s exactly what you get with this pair.
The comfort and padded sole directly translates into a bouncy, responsive shoe. You aren’t going to get a ton of help when it comes to jumping or running, but the allowance for lateral movement is incredibly apparent when you need to make a sharp turn.
If there’s one area where the Jordan 35 excels it’s the fit. The shoe not only sits snugly on your foot without being too constrictive, it provides ample ankle protection through the collar. I’m a big fan of shoes that go out of their way to prevent injuries, and that’s what you get here.
All of those features amount to security on top of impressive lateral containment. You can freely play defense or drive without worrying about losing your footing. Your ankle will stay in place as a result of such measures too.
Unfortunately, that solid lockdown doesn’t translate to a reliable fit. As great as the 35’s are when it comes to general comfort, the nylon cables cause a lot of issues. There’s no buffer between them and the foot, which leads to rubbing and discomfort on your arches.
The rest of the shoe has no lockdown issues, with the forefront fit being especially nice, but if that one area is already problematic for you, the 35s might not be the best choice.
Anytime you look at Air Jordans, it’s important to note their style. These shoes get mixed results on that front. While they do have a striking appearance that may stand out on the court, the color scheme and general design is a bit mis-matched.
What I Like
There’s a lot to like when it comes to the Air Jordan 35, but my overall favorite aspect is the durability. I’m always a big fan of premium shoes using premium materials, and that’s what you get here. The entire item is well-made, with nothing feeling cheap or too weak.
Beyond the longevity, I also like the support. The Eclipse Plate 2.0. provides you with a strong base, and the rest of the shoe works with your body to cut down on twists or similar injuries. Prevention is an important part of modern shoes, and these hit that mark with flying colors.
What I Dislike
My number one gripe with the Air Jordan 35 is the fit. Lockdown matters, especially to players who need to get a lot of work in on the court. The shoes just don’t have the snug, secure feel that I’ve come to expect from most modern premium basketball sneakers.
The fit isn’t also true to size and there’s some noticeable rubbing around the heel. Both of those can lead to discomfort. I wish the style was a little more consistent as well.
If you like some of the Jordan 35’s aspects but want to branch out to a different high-quality shoe, check out the models in this section.
1. Nike Hyperdunk X
The Hyperdunk X (review) is a comfortable shoe that’s incredibly tough and comes with excellent spring. If you love to jump or if you’re someone whose game hinges on being able to move quickly, this is the pair for you. They feel great on your feet and have a fit that’s largely unmatched.
Though the rubber outsole might be a bit soft for some people’s tastes, those who spend a majority of their time in the gym will greatly value what these bring to the table. The lockdown is secure, the traction does a great job on all surfaces, and they have a lot of inherent toughness.
2. Puma Clyde Hardwood
Players who like the reliability of the Jordan 35 but want something that slants more towards performance will enjoy the Hardwood. This Puma sneaker has an old school look and then backs it up with a ProFoam midsole as well as a knitted upper for maximum breathability.
Those are then backed up by the forefoot webbing, which gives excellent lockdown and stabilization. The look might be a bit out there for some, but the energy return created by the sleek design and springy soles is relatively unmatched.
3. Nike PG 5
For a lighter option, check out the PG 5. This model has a slim, sleek design that will never feel like too much or get in your way. Not only does that promote speed, but it furthers lateral movement without being too open in a way that could get you injured. The lockdown is solid too.
In addition, the PG 5 has a great grip and a largely flexible construction. The lace bands built into the shoe also help with the general fit. They definitely aren’t the strongest pair on the market, especially if you play outside, but that’s to be expected when getting a light sneaker.
How Well Do the Air Jordan 35s Fit?
While you might experience some slipping during longer practices or games, the fit is true to size. No need to go up or down.
Are The Air Jordan 35’s Big Shoes?
Not at all. Weighing in at just 13.1 ounces, they are rather slim and easy to manage.
Do These Help With Jumping?
Yes. The shoes have a springy sole with plenty of bounce to help you launch when going for a dunk, layup, or rebound.
The Air Jordan 35s follow in the footsteps of previous models while avoiding some of their common pitfalls. They have a strong cushioned step, a responsive sole, and an excellent base that properly supports all parts of your foot. The traction does a good job too.
They definitely aren’t perfect shoes, however. The look can be off putting and internal fit leaves room for some sliding. Even so, such problems largely fall by the wayside when you consider how many excellent traits are packed into the reliable and well-rounded sneakers.