As Nike’s most successful signature shoes series, Air Jordan is on the verge of becoming a household name. But I dare say that not all AJ shoes are as excellent as they were hyped. Some of them are truly outstanding and impressive while some are merely beckoning because of their nice looking. Then when it comes to the protagonist of today, the Air Jordan 14 “Last Shot”, is it a HIT or MISS? Let me share with you my detailed thoughts about it.
Although it was not attractive or breathtaking at the first sight, for me, how it plays on the court is just the one thing that I really care, and I think this is the same for most of you. Now that I’ve copped the shoes for over a year, I’ve got certain knowledge of it and here is my long-term based Air Jordan 14 “Last Shot”review.
How’s the impact absorption? Can it offer players sufficient energy return properties?
As a matter of fact, in addition to the price, we are most concerned about the setups of the AJ series sneakers, which is the so-called comfort or foot feeling. So is the “Last Shot”capable of providing that for us?
Someone once asked me that “What are the AJ shoes that can be used for both high-intensity plays and daily wearing and that are also good looking?” Well, my answer are AJ11, AJ12, AJ13 and AJ14 which are all after my own heart in more ways than one. Among them the one with the most excellent performance is the AJ13, followed by AJ14. And with regard to the AJ 14, I am most satisfied with its cushion. After all, as a player who belong to the explosiveness style, the cushion experience it offers to me is way beyond words.
The retro AJ14 features the separated air cushions and a large anti-torsion setup in the sole. Though it is a bit disappointing that the cushions are relatively small, the setup is still playable and quite satisfactory, personally.
In terms of the fan-shaped air cushion in the forefoot, I can barely feel its feedback. Because the air cushion is placed close to the arch area, it is almost impossible for me to feel or use it, not least when there are stops or direction changes. Does that sound awful? Well, it is not so! Instead, thanks to the brick-like forefoot , I can enjoy a very fast, responsive & stable ride, smooth step transitions as well as a sense of wonderful court feel.
At the meantime, however, the forefoot is also a bit self-contradictory. While I can enjoy its good, it also makes me feel that I don’t feel as happy playing in these shoes as barefoot, which can be said to be quite bewildering.
Compared with the forefoot cushion, the rear one is much more wonderful and satisfying. For me, I can feel its softness and elasticity. Then could the heel feel too much for you? I don’t think so. Even for players weighing above 75kg, they can still enjoy its magic, and though it’s got good compression, it also rebounds back into shape extremely quickly.
It should be mentioned that for different players, their opinions of the setup will vary greatly. The forefoot cushion, being too thin and small, is not suitable for everyone. If you are also the explosiveness type, then it may be your thing as well.
Can the vamp wrap the feet well? Will there be extra room in the toebox? Here’s the answers!
To tell the truth, the wrapping of AJ14 is a little bit strange. Normally, the average people won’t feel any pressure in their insteps. On the contrary, there may be some extra room above their insteps while the toebox is somewhat small so that pinches are quite possible during actual plays.
Therefore, for wide footers, not least those with protruding thumb joints, they cannot go true to size of the shoe and it’s thus recommended to go up 1/2 a size to avoid this hassle. As for the normal foot types, they can go with their regular sizes, though the vamp wrapping performance is just so-so, not impressive and great yet.
The nice thing about the quick lacing system is that it allows you to easily lace up your shoes and provides some wrapping around the arch area. Besides that, the design of the heel also enables you to enjoy nice wrapping at the heel, which, again, is quite different from the vamp wrapping.
So in general, the vamp wrapping is not satisfactory while the heel area fits snugly and its wrapping is quite comfortable, if not perfect.
How’s the grip on all manner of surfaces? Is the outsole sensitive to the dust/debris on court? Is the grip better indoors or outdoors?
Unfortunately, I wanna tell you that the AJ14 infield grip, due to the hard outsole, is very poor, especially on dusty indoor courts. Although the outsole features the traditional herringbone pattern which should provide god-like traction, it doesn’t turn out to be as good as it sounds. Anything can sound cool or promising before you actually take a try in the flesh.
As you can see in the picture, the outer area of the sole is rather smooth without any lines, which might lead to slippage on indoor courts when there are such movements as breakthroughs and direction changes, as is told by my bitter experience.
Nevertheless, it is not always that bad. Good news is that on outdoor courts the traction becomes much better and I even couldn’t help asking — “Are these the same shoes I used to wear indoors?”
Yeah, sometimes abrasive surfaces can save a shoe’s traction and this Air Jordan 14 “Last Shot” is also a case in point. On blacktop and concrete, mostly, I was ablaze to find that I barely had any issues with the traction outdoors. Although dust or debris can at times get stuck in the grains and a few occasional wipes will keep the bite healthy, I seldom do the cleaning which, in my eyes, is more of a chore. Despite that, I never slid all over the place.
Over and above that, because the outsole is hard enough, its wear resistance, or durability, is quite impressive. I even think there isn’t much difference between this one and the XDR.
Talking about a shoe’s protection, it is also of great importance. In some reviewer’s deconstruction I got to know that the AJ14 uses foam that is shark-teeth-like at the forefoot, which can enhance the wrapping and improve the protection while also makes it more nice-looking.
It is worth mentioning that this design also takes into account the anti-rollover performance. The outward extended “teeth” also increases the contact area with the ground, and the security therefore is also improved.
In terms of the anti-torsion piece in the arch, it is quite large and it doesn’t need much hype because its power alone is enough to deeply impress us. On the personal note, it’s safe to say that its anti-torsion performance is almost second to none in the sneaker market currently.
Personally speaking, this shoe is cost-effective considering its overall performances. And if you take a great liking for it, it’s also worth your dollar. Just like when I bought AJ12 CNY at its original price, I copped it as soon as possible because I liked it.
I can’t say I had a terrific experience of my life with the Air Jordan 14 “Last Shot”, but what I can say is that the shoe makes me feel secure, comfortable, and confident while I was playing on court. It’s a solid buy if you are the explosiveness style just like I am. Or if you are looking for an almost well-rounded sneaker, this is also a good choice for you.