Luka Doncic’s first signature shoe with Jordan is finally here! The Dallas Mavericks young superstar has quickly become a household NBA name since entering the league in 2018, and his exploits led him to a shoe partnership with Jordan Brand in 2019. Last July 2022, Jordan Brand unveiled the Jordan Luka 1, and it comes with intriguing features.
The Luka 1 is an intriguing basketball shoe as it introduces a couple of unique materials such as the IsoPlate system and the Formula 23 foam. It’s a brash experiment that could go wrong, but it’s a first signature shoe anyway.
To know why this signature line has some major potential, check out Dribble Media’s Jordan Luka 1 performance review below.
The Jordan Luka 1’s uppers are covered with Flightwire cables.
Similar to most basketball shoes nowadays, the Jordan Luka 1 implemented minimal materials on its uppers to make it more lightweight. The upper is made of textile material that is covered with Flightwire cables. These Flightwire cables in the Luka 1 are not just present on the forefoot — they actually extend up to the heel area to help stabilize your feet.
You could also see synthetic leather covering the eyelets, and this could give additional lockdown. Moreover, the Luka 1 implements a three-piece tongue and two layers of ankle collars that contribute more to the shoe’s lockdown ability. Another great thing about the Luka 1 upper is its durability; the uppers don’t easily get beat down by direct impact or abrasions.
However, the downside of the Jordan Luka 1’s materials is its ventilation or the lack of it. Despite the light materials on the uppers, the shoe does accumulate a lot of heat when playing. Lack of ventilation is an issue that you should consider when buying the Luka 1.
The Jordan Luka 1’s translucent outsole performs best on indoor courts.
As you can see, the Jordan Luka 1 offers a fully translucent outsole. You just have to break it in for a short while, and then you’ll discover the wonders of its traction performance. The traction pattern is linear from the heel to the midfoot and then changes into a multi-directional design on the forefoot.
The traction on the Luka 1 provides incredible grip, so you don’t have to worry about making quick changes in direction. Furthermore, it also offers a high level of stopping power, which will stabilize your feet when doing hard cuts and sudden pivots.
The drawback here is that translucent outsoles are usually not that durable when you use them on an outdoor court. But if you’re a shifty player and you need the best traction you can have on an indoor court, then the Jordan Luka 1 is the perfect choice for you.
CUSHION AND SUPPORT
The Jordan Luka 1 introduces the Formula 23 foam and IsoPlate support system.
There’s no shortage of new concepts in the cushioning and support aspect of the Jordan Luka 1. The most intriguing feature is the Formula 23 tech, which is Jordan Brand’s new full-length performance foam inserted in the midsole of the Luka 1.
The Formula 23 tech makes the Luka 1 more responsive, but the cushion is not as bouncy as those seen in other shoes such as the Li-Ning Way of Wade 10. In fact, it’s not bouncy at all, so that’s a bit disappointing especially since there were tons of expectations for the Formula 23 cushion.
But what the Luka 1 lacked in its cushioning, they made up for with the pair’s tremendous torsional support. This is made possible through the new IsoPlate system, which focuses on providing stability to the lateral elements of the shoe. The Luka 1’s IsoPlate technology will keep your feet secure when stepping back and moving forward — a design concept that is obviously concentrated on Doncic’s signature stepback jumper.
However, the support around the ankle area of the Jordan Luka 1 is not that thick, so you might want to wear a pair of ankle braces if you have ankle issues. Overall, the Formula 23 foam didn’t perform up to par, but the Luka1’s IsoPlate torsional support is as good as advertised.
SIZE AND FITTING
The Jordan Luka 1 perfectly suits wide-footed players.
Even though the Jordan Luka 1 looks a bit clunky from the outside, it doesn’t feel stiff at all when you wear it. The step-in comfort is great, as the soft ankle and tongue padding will fit your feet right through.
Having said that, the toebox goes wide so the fit on the Luka 1 is better suited for wide-footed players. If you have a narrow or medium fit, you might want to go true to size in this pair.
The Jordan Luka 1 performs best when doing lateral movements and making hard cuts and pivots on the basketball court. Its traction provides incredible grip, and the IsoPlate technology offers amazing torsional support.
However, the hyped-up Formula 23 cushioning foam was quite a disappointment, as it does not provide a whole lot of bounce and impact protection. This might be a dealbreaker for vertically-athletic players who love to play above the rim. But all in all, this is a great introductory shoe for a new signature line, and there’s no doubt that the Jordan Luka line will only improve from here.
The Jordan Luka 1 nets an overall rating of 7.5 out of 10.
WHERE TO BUY
The Jordan Luka 1 is now available at your nearest Nike stores for a retail price tag of USD 110.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
The traction of the Jordan Luka 1 will still perform great on outdoor courts, but you should be wary of its durability. Translucent outsoles, like the ones in the Luka 1, usually don’t last long on outdoor courts.
Yes. The Luka 1 runs a bit wide on the toebox, which means that it suits players with wider feet.
Yes. The Jordan Luka 1 is low to the ground and packs a high level of responsiveness — two benefits that mostly cater to quick, shifty players.