LOS ANGELES — Jordan Brand publicly announced details about the latest signature shoe from Russell Westbrook, the “Why Not Zer0.3,” on Wednesday night, but on Tuesday, I was lucky enough be among the group of media invited by Jordan Brand to get a first crack at testing out the shoe on their rooftop court in L.A.
Here are some first impressions.
When looking at the shoe, one of the first thing that stands out is all of the crazy lines on it, giving its appearance a similar wildness to the kind exuded by Westbrook’s playing style.
The version shown to us was the “Zer0 Noise” colorway. With this shoe, Westbrook really wanted to show visually what it’s like to zone in on the game and block out all the noise. That’s why the bottom of the shoe looks a bit staticky, to paint a picture of what it’s like when Westbrook is tuning out everything around him.
Under the shoe at the ball of the foot, they placed Zoom Air cushioning, which is a bubble of air that has a tensile strength fiber. When those fibers load up with force, they’re supposed to help the wearer pop forward with explosiveness. Jordan put them at the forefoot because Westbrook likes to play on his forefoot a ton, so it helps him.
Jordan Brand also pointed out four other unique features on the shoe:
- There’s a horizontal articulation on the shoe that allows flexibility for it to bend underneath your foot.
- There’s a TPU based strap to contain all of Westbrook’s power, especially for the Zoom Air on the forefoot.
- There’s a decouple from heal to toe due to the fact that Westbrook is a super linear-motion guy.
- The tags on the shoes are going to be in reference to each colorway. The inside of the tongue of the shoe is Westbrook’s family crest, not the shoe size. The shoe size is placed underneath the shoe, like on Westbrook’s last model (another way for him to be different). The shoe also has a double-layered collar.
When I wore the shoe, it shocked me with how comfortable it was. I wouldn’t say it was the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn, but it was up there. Your foot feels very secure, especially with the strap on the top. The colorway wasn’t exactly my style, but they noted that there were going to be other ones. NBA shooting coach Chris “Lethal Shooter” Matthews — who has worked with Lakers Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, among other players — was there to run some drills for us to test out the shoes, and he was wearing a colorway called “The Family.”
There will be another colorway called “Heartbeat,” which references the women in Westbrook’s life that empower him.
If you’re looking for a new pair of shoes, I’d highly recommend this one. But you don’t need to take my word for it, just know that my team went undefeated while running scrimmages that day, and let’s be honest, I looked like a real player while doing it.
We can talk about how a shoe looks all we want, but at the end of the day performance is what matters, and so if it can help this blogger can go undefeated in pickup games, it’s clearly doing something right.
The “Zer0 Noise” colorway of the the Why Not Zer0.3 will release on Jan. 2, while the “Heartbeat” and “The Family” colorways will drop on Jan. 9 and Feb. 27, respectively.