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  • Writer's pictureClinton Jeff

Air Jordan 1 High Zoom "Racer Blue" Review

The Air Dior Alternative.

The Nike Air Jordan 1 High Zoom in the Racer Blue colorway dropped around March 14th and weirdly enough it was a pretty limited release. It didn't drop here in Asia as far as I know, so I had to cop it via a reseller, and I gotta say I'm pretty happy with the purchase.

Even though its not an OG model, these are kind of a follow-up to the iridescent black Air Jordan 1 High Zoom that dropped in a few markets earlier. Or in some markets later.

But I really liked this pair just because it looks much cleaner, its way simpler and more my style. This has been a kind of controversal colorway because they look similar to the Dior Air Jordans, and there’s a lot of transparent TPU elements but I still think this is a solid cop. Starting with the upper, the mid-panels are constructed out of a smooth white leather, which is pretty decent quality. There's a grey patent leather surrounding it and extending towards the edges of the toe box area, and it's a nice contrast against the white leather. I actually like the way they used the patent leather here. I hate it when they use it throughout the entire shoe, but here they’ve used it cleverly enough that it looks great.

But the part that grabs your attention ofcourse is the Nike swoosh, which is made out of a translucent plastic material - hopefully that doesn't yellow for a while.  On the lateral side, you’ll also see a small tag with the ZOOM branding - obviously not something you find on the Air Jordan 1 OG models. This is ofcourse an indication that this shoe incorporates Nike’s ZOOM Air technology. I’m not a big fan of having that tag there, but oh well. Above that, you have a translucent TPU wing, with the Air Jordan Wings logo on the lateral side, that seems to be just stamped on - so hopefully it doesn't wear off or anything.

Also unlike the OG model, these wings are not sown into the shoe, so you can actually move the wings to reveal the mesh-like material construction that surrounds the top half of the back heel area. Coming to the back of the shoe, you have the same translucent TPU material once again In terms of lacing, there’s the usual white flat laces here, which come with blue lace-tips here. 

But weirdly enough they also give you an extra pair of laces, which are a maroon-ish pink, which is meant to match the outsoles. Honestly, I kinda wish they included racer blue laces instead, cause that would have really popped on these. Underneath the laces, there’s the usual white nylon tongue, but instead of the usual leather, or nylon tag, you have a plastic tag with silver ZOOM Air branding. Behind that, you’ll notice that the inner liner of these shoes is actually in the racer blue color - so I guess that's where the name comes from. And then coming to the insoles, they’re the usual Jordan One insoles in white, but with the ZOOM Air branding instead in blue. And that takes us to the major difference between the High ZOOM and the OG models - underneath this insole, there’s a full length ZOOM Air unit. This replaces the Air Max unit that’s usually underneath the heel. The ZOOM Air unit sits directly underneath the insole and runs from heel to toe, and is the main reason why these Air Jordan 1s are actually comfortable. Moving on, the entire upper sits on top of a white rubber midsole, but lets talk about that outsole. Coming to the outsole, there’s a translucent icy blue outsole, which has a gradient color that goes from blue on the heel, to a very bright shade of pink towards the toe area.

You’ll notice there are tiny “Z” characters all over the outsole to represent ZOOM Air, and the Nike and Swoosh logos in the middle. Honestly, at first I thought this outsole was cool, but then the more I looked at them, the less I liked them. And now I think that pop of bright color actually looks cool while you’re walking around on these, so the jury’s still out on this outsole. All in all, the combination of that patent leather and the translucent materials and the blue hits, really gives this sneaker a kind of futuristic vibe which is what really attracted me to this pair. Even though I’m going to be really paranoid about it yellowing over time.

At the same time I find the hype around this particular pair really fun because a lot of people are calling these the poor man’s Air Dior sneakers and hey, I’m a poor man so sure why not. Coming to fit, I went true-to-size here which turned out to be a mistake because (a) I have wide feet, but also because (b) these fit more snug than your usual OG Jordan 1s because that ZOOM Air unit sits on top of the base of this shoe, which ends up pushing your feet up higher against the top of the shoe. So yeah definitely go up half a size with these if you can. In terms of comfort, honestly you have to admit the OG Air Jordan 1s are fire but they arent exactly the most comfortable sneakers around, to be wearing all day, because of their flat, firm ride. By comparison the High ZOOM model is much more comfortable, with a more responsive, cushioned and kinda bouncy feeling that you usually get from a ZOOM Air sneaker. Alright guys with all of that out of the way, here's a look at the Nike Air Jordan 1 High ZOOM racer blue colorway, on-feet:

Thats it for the Nike Air Jordan 1s High ZOOM, in the racer blue colorway.  I’m really curious to know what you guys think about these sneakers - are the High ZOOM pairs a good cop or do you prefer sticking with the OG models only? Let me know right over on Instagram @ClintonJeff or Twitter @ClintonJeff.

Or you can let me know right over on my YouTube Review of the Nike Air Jordan 1 High Zoom Racer Blue.


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