The Jordan JT 1 is Jayson Tatum’s first signature shoe and offers an odd assortment of performance features.
Release Date: 2023
The Jordan JT 1 is Boston Celtics superstar Jason Tatum’s first signature shoe. The JT 1 was one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year but after an initial brief testing of the shoe, the JT 1 raises a lot of questions regarding its on-court performance. There is no denying that the JT 1 is an innovative model that’s packed with tech, but how exactly it will all perform on court remains to be seen.
Jordan JT 1 Traction
The Jordan JT 1 features a very different traction setup for a Jordan sneaker but it’s very reminiscent of another brand’s traction setup. The JT 1 does away with most of the shoe’s sole and uses a lot of the midsole foam as the traction system. This is very similar to Under Armour’s Flow technology.
This type of setup cuts down the weight of the shoe considerably, and, in the case of Flow, grips the court extremely well. It isn’t great for outdoor use, but indoors, it’s an excellent traction system. In the case of the JT 1, this setup does not seem nearly as effective. The foam portions of the sole are almost slippery.
It might just take some time to break in but after an initial try-on, it doesn’t feel great. There are two traditional rubber traction pods in the forefoot of the shoe that do grip very well, and most people predominantly play on their forefoot, but having bad traction on over half of the outsole does not bode well.
Jordan JT 1 Cushion
The Jordan JT 1 again has an unusual cushioning setup. The heel of the shoe relies only on the foam in that area of the shoe, but the forefoot is where Jordan Brand packed all the cushioning tech. Here we have an exposed high-volume Zoom Air unit that covers most of the shoe’s forefoot.
The holes on either side of that Zoom Air unit are there to allow it to expand and contract and give you the maximum amount of cushioning possible. It’s not the bounciest implementation of Zoom Air we’ve tested, but it gets the job done.
Jordan JT 1 Materials
The JT 1’s materials are again, odd. They have a combination of the lightest and most innovative synthetic textile out there: Lenoweave and the most traditional and robust material out there: Leather. This version of Lenoweave is very lightweight and breathable but it feels much more reinforced than what was featured on the Jordan 37.
The leather is implemented in portions of the shoe that need a bit more structure and containment. This setup should work well on court but Lenoweave is pretty abrasive, so you’ll likely need thicker socks when playing in the JT 1.
Jordan JT 1 Support
This might be the worst feature of the shoe. The forefoot, again, is very well equipped with a TPU plate that adds support and acts as a spring plate which should add some zip on the court. But the back half of the shoe has nothing. In fact, if you press down on the midfoot, it bows, and this is exactly where you need support in a hoop shoe the most.
This is why torsional shank plates are usually placed in this section of the shoe. There is a good chance that after playing in the JT 1 for some time, you will feel heavy foot fatigue, and this might even lead to plantar issues.
Jordan JT 1 Fit
The Jordan JT 1 fits true to size so go with whatever size you usually use with Jordan. However, it’s a rather narrow basketball shoe, so if you have wide feet, or if you have had issues with this type of fit in the past, keep that in mind.
Jordan JT 1 Overall
The Jordan JT 1 might turn out to be a good on-court performance basketball shoe, but it does not seem like it will after our initial test. If the traction finally breaks in and grips the court well, if that high-volume Zoom Unit ends up being bouncy and reactive on court, and if those potential torsional issues don’t rear their head, then this might be a great basketball shoe. Not likely, but we will keep you posted. So far, it appears it’s not a great first signature shoe for Jayson Tatum.