The Nike Ja 1 is very reminiscent of several Kyrie models and feels like it will be a solid on-court performer.
The Nike Ja 1 is Ja Morant’s first signature shoe with Nike. The launch of Ja’s first signature coincides with the departure of Kyrie Irving from Nike’s roster of signature athletes but it looks like the Ja Morant signature line will pick up where the Kyrie line left off. The Ja 1 is very reminiscent of several Kyrie models and will seemingly fill the niche of a “well tractioned, reactive guard shoe” for Nike from here on out.
Nike Ja 1 Traction
The Nike Ja 1 features a solid rubber outsole with a very aggressive, herringbone-adjacent traction pattern. We have seen very similar patterns on the Kyrie Infinity and Kyrie Low 5. In fact, the rubber compound on the Nike Ja 1 is almost identical to what we see on the Kyrie Low 5, so you can expect similar on-court performance.
Traction on the Nike Ja 1 promised to be excellent indoors and outdoors, although the outsole is not built with the most durable rubber we’ve ever seen. But, for however long the pattern will last, you will get great grip out of the Nike Ja 1. Another thing to look out for is dust build-up while playing indoors.
Nike Ja 1 Cushioning
Here we have a very similar setup to what we used to find in the Kyrie signature line. The Nike Ja 1 is equipped with a lightweight Phylon midsole with a small, top-loaded Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. The Phylon is rather firm, and all in all the Nike Ja 1 offers a very reactive and low-to-the-ground on-court experience. This setup is very similar to what we saw in the kd 15
If you are looking for a reactive and stable cushioning setup with a lot of court feel, this will be a great option. You won’t find a ton of compression or impact protection, but, since that forefoot Zoom Air unit is top-loaded, it does add some step-in comfort.
Nike Ja 1 Materials
The Nike Ja 1 features a completely synthetic upper that combines textiles, synthetic leather, and some TPU reinforcements. None of these materials is premium in any way but those synthetic leather overlays do make the shoe feel nicer in hand. The materials will adapt well and quickly to your foot as well as add breathability and containment.
The shoe’s upper is reminiscent of another Kyrie, in this case, the Kyrie 1, and the shoe feels very similar in hand. Materials are nothing to write home about but they get the job done and for $110, you can’t really ask for more.
Nike Ja 1 Support
In terms of support features, there is nothing mind-blowing featured on the Nike Ja 1. With the combination of the stable cushioning system, the wide base of the shoe, the material build of the upper and the shoes fit, you have more than enough to get you where you are going. On top of that, you have a nice heel counter and TPU reinforcements for lateral stability.
Nike Ja 1 Fit
Nike Ja 1 Overall
The Nike Ja 1 feels like it will be a solid on-court performance basketball shoe. You really can’t go wrong with great traction, solid cushioning, and good materials. It definitely isn’t a shoe that is built for every type of basketball player and will be better suited for smaller shifter players that will get the most out of that traction, reactive cushioning setup, and court feel. If they end up performing like the Kyrie Low 5 (which is a very safe bet) then we will have one of the best guard-specific shoes of the year.